Brien Buxton had a goal to own his own home before he turned 40. He made it with three years to spare.
Buxton, a master hair stylist at Elude Salon, lived in a series of rentals for a dozen years after he moved here from Lake Charles in 1999. By the time a tree fell thorough the middle of one of his apartments during Hurricane Gustav, he had fallen in love with historic Beauregard Town and was determined to buy there.
It took a while.
"I kept my eyes open for four or five years," he said.
Finally, with the help of his best friend, real estate agent Adam Enamorado, Buxton found a 100-year-old New Orleans-style bungalow that had been remodeled.
"The layout was nice. The house was structurally nice," Buxton said. "It was turnkey ready."
The house has an easy flow from front to back, with the bedroom wing — guest room, bath and master suite — to one side.
"The house had a lot of light, a lot of windows, the original floors and a clawfoot bathtub," Buxton said. "Those were the selling points for me."
Can't see video below? Click here.
He also liked the semi-open floor plan created by wide openings between the sitting room, dining room and kitchen, which has a breakfast area and had been given a complete makeover.
The first person Buxton called for advice after he bought the home in 2011 was his mother, Hedi Buxton, who worked for years as a designer, first at Kornmeyer's and then at Olinde's.
"When I bought the house, everything was white on white, but I kept feeling like I was in a hotel," he said. "My mother suggested that we go with more of a neutral color."
Together they selected a bold gray for the exterior with pops of bright yellow on the wicker chairs and planters.
In a nod to traditional style, Buxton recently added a white picket fence, custom made by Sean Tommeny.
"I like old and new combined," he explained, "but not too much new."
That theme plays out inside, where the three public rooms are painted soft gray.
In the sitting area, comfy white upholstered pieces pop against the navy drapes that cover most of the north wall of the room. Built-in corner cabinets are filled with keepsakes, and a walnut console, an early Christmas gift from Buxton's mother, has an electric fireplace that glows with a flame and gives off some heat to warm the room on cold days.
On the wall between the sitting room and dining room hangs Buxton's collection of crosses, many brought to him by clients.
"Two were from Medjugorje," he said. "Every cross has a story."
That juxtaposition of old and new shines in the dining room, where Buxton hung a contemporary light fixture over his round glass-top dining table and upholstered chairs, which complement his great-great-great-grandmother's china closet. A built-in window seat studded with pillows adds to the charm.
The previous owner combined two of the three bedrooms, creating a larger master bedroom, which Buxton painted deep blue, and a brand new master bathroom. The guest bedroom is painted pale yellow.
Kris Klar, owner of Stone, assisted in the furniture selection, Buxton said, and Krystal West Interiors made the draperies.
Buxton, who loves to cook and entertain, had his first celebration in September 2011 with a blessing of the home conducted by two pastors from his church, First United Methodist. More than a hundred friends came over.
"For the actual blessing, the pastors asked everyone to grab a wall," Buxton said. "It was the most beautiful thing, and we are still having parties and blessings with the same friends."