Spin the color wheel and you come up with this house. It's owned by the Greens, painted black and located in the White Oak Landing neighborhood.
Nestled among the trees, Mike and Nicole Holland Green built their dream home on the banks of the Amite River.
And it's all black, from the shingles to the siding, from the shutters to the trim.
“My painters kept asking, ‘Are you sure?”’ said Nicole Green.
And the dark hue doesn't stop there.
The walls of the primary bedroom are also painted black, and it was met with the same puzzlement and bit of concern from the painters, she said.
“But it looks wonderful,” Green said. “Once they saw the finished house, they agreed with me.”
Although an anomaly for Baton Rouge, black houses are common in other cultures, such as Japan, where Shou-sugi-ban, a method of waterproofing wood with fire, turns it black. The Nordic Honka Markki style often combines black and natural wood.
The Greens built their 2,700-square-foot home in 2020, just when the world began quarantining from COVID-19.
“Every house I have lived in reflected the season I was in at the time,” Green said. “I created the house to be a cocoon and as a place for healing.”
The healing is built in, with part of the second floor allocated for a yoga studio. It, like much of the rest of the house, brings nature in through large windows.
“I don’t think this house would work if not for all the greenery and trees surrounding it,” she said.
Neighbors have been complimentary of the house, but often ask how the dark color affects the air-conditioning bills. The new home is very well insulated, Green said, and, so far, high bills haven't been a problem.
The two-story home sits on a pie-shaped lot that's about a third of an acre on the riverbank.
The first floor is built on an asymmetrical stone foundation, which rises 6 feet on one side, 12 feet on the other. Black metal and slate steps lead to a natural cypress front door, with built-in planter boxes across the front.
“We ended up putting the garage under the house, which worked out beautifully,” Green said.
The home's dark exterior is balanced by the light. The front door opens to an explosion of color and light and a direct view of trees. The living room ceiling soars to 25 feet, bathed in brightness from a wall of windows.
“It’s so magical, we look out at the treetops,” said Green, likening it to a plush treehouse.
Green, who has been collecting original artwork for years from local artists, including Marita Gentry, Jane Chapman, Judy Momenzadeh and Elizabeth Stander, spread the pieces throughout the house. Todd Kepper painted the front of a cabinet over the mantel, which hides a wall-mounted TV.
“I told him I wanted something modern and sexy,” she said.
Every room has something Green gathered over the years, such as the living room coffee table, which was made from a cypress block gifted to them by old friends.
In the kitchen, Green loves the antique green Italian tiles she found on Etsy and the honed granite counter with a built-in chopping board.
Her favorite room is the screened back porch, complete with a hanging double porch swing and a hot tub.
“I frequently will head straight to the hot tub after I’ve gotten out of bed in the morning,” she said. “It’s a great way to start the day.”
Many of Green's ideas for the home have been shaped by her childhood and many of the homes in which she's lived. Her mother was a draftsman, and Green saw many homes being designed. Husband Mike, a retired plumber, and his brother, a builder, have participated in many home renovations for the Greens through the years.
But this house is different.
“In our 27 years of marriage, we’ve moved 15 times,” Green said. “My friends don’t believe me, but this is it. This is our forever home."