After the death of her mother, Barbara Anne Eaton needed a new beginning, a new place to call home.
But she also wanted her new home to have the same sense of hospitality that her mother, the late Mary Frey Eaton, had infused into the family's home.
Barbara Anne Eaton had lived with her mother and assisted with her care in her Jefferson Place-Bocage home, a beehive of activity with meetings and parties almost to the time of her mother's death in 2016.
Barbara Anne Eaton found her dream home in Jamestowne Court, a gated community off Essen Lane.
The interior of the home needed very little work, but Eaton wanted to give the exterior that "Hays Town look."
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Working with architect Mark Montgomery, she completely redesigned the entrance by removing a front rail and posts and by adding shutter doors to create a covered entryway.
A Victorian-style front door was replaced with a more contemporary glass-pane door, and Bermuda shutters were installed on the two front windows. Into the large brick-lined front flower bed went a fountain and plantings selected with the assistance of Juliette Chappo, of Juliette's Gardens.
"It changed the whole look of the house," said Eaton, an associate broker with Coldwell Banker One.
To furnish her new home, Eaton brought several pieces of furniture and a number of accessories from her family home, incorporating them with new items selected with assistance from Vicky Bess at Ethan Allen's Baton Rouge Design Center. Phyllis McLaurin, a dear friend, helped Eaton choose fabrics and decorate the home by blending the old and new.
Although the home has a traditional floor plan, Eaton uses the space to fit her lifestyle.
A second bedroom at the front of the home is a perfect sitting room, nicknamed the "little quiet room" by family friend Winnie Byrd, who often visited Eaton's mother in a larger "quiet room" at the family home.
"I can open the windows and hear the fountain when I am sitting in the little quiet room," Eaton said.
A hallway leads to the open living room-dining room where ceilings soar to 13 feet and parquet floors are underfoot. To enhance the room's creamy ecru walls, Eaton brought in accessories and fabrics with color, mostly blues, inspired by a painting by the late Michael Crespo that hangs over the mantel.
"My mother loved that painting," Eaton said.
Comfortable seating and Asian accessories and art, including a grouping of pictures from Eaton's grandmother, give the room a warm, polished look.
"I never realized how many Oriental items Mother had and how much the furniture I selected added to that theme," Eaton said.
The dining room is traditional in style with a dark wood table set with chairs that belonged to Eaton's parents. Hanging over an antique sideboard is a portrait of Eaton from when she was presented by the Baton Rouge Assembly in 1979.
Off the dining room is a small, efficient kitchen that opens to a breakfast room and a garden room.
The master bedroom includes a sitting area, which doubles as a home office. Built-in bookcases and the desktop hold family photos, including a special photo of Eaton's father, the late L.W. "Puna" Eaton Jr. He developed Jefferson Place beginning in 1954 and started the Jefferson Place-Bocage Christmas Eve parade 60 years ago. Puna Eaton died suddenly when Barbara Anne Eaton was 18.
Like her mother, Eaton loves to entertain. And, even though the home is not large, she can gather quite a crowd by using the entire house and the garage, where she rolls out a carpet for special occasions.
"I like to have a party on Christmas night," she said. "You can't believe how many people this house can hold when I use the garage."
One of her favorite new things she has brought into her home is a large oil painting by local artist Cheryl H. Palmer. The painting, "Koi," is a free-form palette of all the colors used in the home.
"The word koi symbolizes new beginnings in Chinese," Eaton said. "This home is a new beginning with old friends."