There's something to be said about living smaller.

After Sue Rainer's husband, Bob, died in 2016, she decided it was time to give up their home in the Country Club of Louisiana. 

"I didn't want the responsibility of keeping up a big house," she said. "I wanted to be able to go whenever I wanted since my kids live on both sides of the country." 

Rainer has several friends who live in Wrenwood, a popular neighborhood of garden homes off Jefferson Highway. She liked the location and the simpler style of living.

When a friend called to say one of the houses would soon be on the market, she pounced.

"I took Fred Grace (a local architect who lives in Wrenwood) to check out the home," she said. "I liked the floor plan when I walked in."

Even though the house is smaller than her country club home, Rainer says she has plenty of room.

"This house has everything you need," she said. "I love it because I can just turn the lock and head out. I don't worry."


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When it came time to decorate her smaller digs, Rainer called on interior designer Nita Gauthier, who had helped her with other projects. The two combed Rainer's CCL home to decide what to take and what to leave.

"Nita started pointing and saying, 'We can use this. We can use this,’ ” Rainer said. 

And, Gauthier even found a spot in a window alcove in the living room for her baby grand piano.

"This was the kicker," Rainer said. "I wanted my piano in the new house."

With Gauthier's help, Rainer was able to decorate the new house with furniture and decor she already had.

"I hardly bought a thing," she said. "Nita brought my house to life." 

The home has a traditional floor plan, with the living room and the dining room flanking the foyer. A stairway provides a partial barrier between the open living room and kitchen and leads to two bedrooms and a bath upstairs.

Off the kitchen area, but also open to the living room, is a keeping room with a small hallway to the master bedroom and bath. The pantry, a small study and the laundry room are all convenient to the kitchen.

The living room, dining room and foyer have dark-stained hardwood floors, while the kitchen and keeping room are floored in white tile.

"I had to get used to white floors and black countertops in the kitchen," Rainer said, "but I made up my mind that I wasn't changing them." 

One of the nicest things about the home is the courtyard, which is accessible from the living room, keeping room and master bedroom. Sprinklers are set to water the plants automatically.

When all was said and done, Rainer still had a lot of furniture and other items left over from her former home. Daughter Rebecca, who lives in California, took some things, but son Randall, who lives in New York, didn't.

Rainer sold a few pieces and then set up tables in the garage of the old house filled with things she was not keeping and told friends who came by to take what they wanted.

Then a local minister picked up most of her husband's clothes for 100 Black Men, and 15 members of Inner Wheel packed most of the remaining items for the annual Rotary Trash and Treasure Sale.