Trudy Smith knew exactly what she wanted in her new house, but none of that mattered when she fell in love with the American Craftsman beauty in Spanish Town.
In fact, it was all what she didn't want — two stories, no driveway, no garage.
"I had never seen a house like it," said Smith, an attorney for the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
The classic Craftsman architecture of the house — horizontal lines, low-pitched roof with extended eaves, exposed interior beams, locally-sourced materials and surface decoration — was popular in the late 19th century.
Smith's home, known as the Wolf House, was built in 1914 and purchased by John and Ebba Wolf, of the Wolf Bakery family, in 1919. Although the house had been painted and updated over the past century, much of the original architecture remained unchanged.
Smith did give the home a bit of a refresher, reviving the original floors, walls and ceilings. In went new heating and air conditioning, and the foundation piers were stabilized.
The home is shingled in cypress, colored a beautiful mossy green, and fronted by a porch, where Smith enjoys sitting on her swing and greeting neighbors.
"I don't even have to make an effort," she said. "There's a real sense of neighborhood."
The bungalow's interior is a woodworker's dream, with all sorts of built-in bookshelves, cabinets and window seats.
Half walls of gleaming, dark wood topped by columns separate the living room, den, dining room and sun porch. The rooms are tied together by the dark hardwood floors and exposed beams overhead.
Tall, double-pane windows in the den and living room let in the light, and benches below them provide a place to perch.
Art gives a colorful spark to the spaces.
There are pieces by Smith's granddaughter, Mary Amelia Fuselier, as well as pieces from artists who have shown at the Baton Rouge Gallery, where Smith is a past president of the board. Other items she purchased in her travels, such as the Argentine muneca alta (tall dolls) made of metal, paper and fabric that stand in the framed space between her living and dining rooms.
Smith decorated with early century and midcentury pieces she collected. The living room's midcentury red vinyl and chrome chair and ottoman are complemented with two bright yellow comfortable chairs.
There are nostalgic pieces like a Japanese box her father brought home from World War II and pictures of her nine grandchildren, all of whom live in Baton Rouge.
A stairway of the same dark-stained wood leads to the second floor, where there's a sitting room and three bedrooms, one of which Smith converted into a large closet and laundry room. There is also an upstairs sleeping porch.
A friend helped her disassemble her father's roll-top desk and move it upstairs to her sitting room.
"I just didn't want to give it away," Smith said.
Landscape architect Jon Emerson kept the landscaping low in the front, and in the backyard installed a courtyard with slate walkways, seating and a fountain. He placed trellises along the side fence so the view from the windows will be of blooming and vining plants. Me-Moes Lawn and Landscaping did the landscape construction, including a hand-built fence.
Smith said she loves the sense of community in Spanish Town.
"You are not isolated," Smith said. "You can walk places. It's a real neighborhood."