For Lynn and Felix Weill, every piece of furniture, every accessory, every picture in their home is a story — and almost all of them have to do with family.
The husband and wife are from Baton Rouge families that have connections that go back several generations. Those stories play out in the home the couple bought 32 years ago in Woodstone.
And they start in the living room, where light floods the space from two sets of French doors at the front and a view to the patio at the back.
A large brick fireplace flanked by bookcases covers one wall. On those shelves rests a small treasured marble replica of the Ten Commandments given to Lynn Weill's grandmother, Ida Bombet Schmulen, by her dear friend, Rosalie Moyse.
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There's also their collection of colorful china and pottery elephants that belonged to Felix Weill's mother, Ruth Weil Weill.
"She had elephants everywhere," Lynn Weill said. "The whole family got elephants."
A modern sofa provides an inviting place to sit, but the most interesting chair is Felix Weill's great-great grandparents' love seat, obviously made for two incredibly tiny people. Refinished and recovered, the love seat is now a comfortable spot for one average-sized 21st-century person.
Hardly anyone ever used the formal living room until the couple finally gave in and installed a big television.
"This used to be a pass-through room," Lynn Weill said, "but now everyone sits in here."
Felix Weill's family is spotlighted in the foyer with a sepia-tinted montage portrait of his grandparents, Doris and Julius Weill, and their three children, Felix Weill's father, Gus Weill, and his two aunts, Sue Weill Preis and Leslie Weill Marcus. The picture hangs above his grandparents' antique brass clock.
Although Lynn Weill says many of her friends have "redecorated" with white walls and neutral colors, she loves color and uses it everywhere, as in the seafoam green walls in her living room and complementing colors in the fabrics for her draperies and upholstered pieces throughout the home. The dining room is papered in a stripe with colors in the same palette as those used in the living room.
A large breakfront in the dining room displays the china and crystal that belonged to Lynn Weill's mother, Carolyn Rosenthal Schmulen. Also in the room are three prints brought from Japan by Lynn Weill's aunt and uncle, Mickey and A.M. Rosenthal; a silver service that belonged to Felix Weill's grandmother, Ernestine Levy; and two stoneware vases from Lynn Weill's grandmother.
Although the Weill home is perfect for entertaining with great flow from the dining room through the foyer to the living room and patio area, everyone always gathers in the kitchen.
And, it was the kitchen that sold Lynn Weill on the house all those years ago.
"The minute I saw this huge kitchen, that was it," she said. "I told the real estate agent that I didn't even need to see the rest of the house."
The couple redid the kitchen some time ago, but left the cypress cabinets and the beams.
"I like the natural wood," Lynn Weill said.
The large kitchen has room for Lynn Weill's grandparents' dining room table and chairs. Two other chairs were made from pieces of three chairs the Weills found at an antiques mall in Jennings.
"The dealer said they were from the Knights of Pythias Hall," Felix Weill said. "My great-grandfather was a member of the Knights of Pythias in Vicksburg (Mississippi), so when the guy told me that, I had to have the chairs."
Felix Weill, who practiced law for many years, recently moved his office to his home as he transitions toward retirement. His antique lawyer's bookcase is now filled with Lynn Weill's cookbooks.
One of the most interesting pieces in the home is the official photograph from the Rotary District Convention of 1922 taken by famous Louisiana photographer Jasper Ewing on the old LSU campus. Felix Weill's great-great-grandfather, Ben Stein, was president of the Rotary Club of Vicksburg at the time and was among the convention delegates from Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. Felix Weill found the photograph with his grandmother's things and donated a copy of the panorama to the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, which put a small copy on the top of a wooden box presented to Weill as outgoing president of the club in 2005.