In their Woodstone home, Nancy and Cary Dougherty have the best of two worlds — modern conveniences and antiques.

When she purchased the home 31 years ago, Nancy Dougherty, a lawyer, was already collecting art and 18th-century English and Scottish furniture. Four years later she married Cary Dougherty, who is now retired from LSU, and continued those passions.

The home, which is decorated in a very traditional English style, didn't look that way when it was purchased. All of the woodwork was peach with pale walls and complementing floral wallpapers. But Nancy Dougherty knew she could make the comfortable home the perfect palette for her collections.


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Almost immediately, Nancy Dougherty picked up her paintbrush and transformed the rooms by painting the woodwork a warm, deep natural color and replacing the flowery wallpaper with bold wall colors traditionally found in old English homes.

With the help of interior designer Becki Abercrombie, she selected floral brocades and fabrics that complement her antique Oriental rugs and deeply colored walls.

"I like strong colors," Nancy Dougherty said.

One of the biggest changes the Doughertys made was to update the kitchen, a project they undertook about six years ago.

"It was a typical Woodstone (subdividion) kitchen with a hanging cabinet separating the kitchen from a breakfast area," she said. 

The Doughertys removed the cabinet to completely open up the area, and replaced the breakfast room table with comfortable seating. Filling the back wall of the new keeping room is a Welsh dresser decorated with antique ironstone in blue and white. A round table nestled in the corner has enough leaves to seat eight.

"Now that our children are grown, it was more important for me to have a seating area than an eating area," Nancy Dougherty said. "We want the ability to extend the table when we want to, but not all the time."

The kitchen area features handcrafted old cypress cabinets and modern appliances. On the wall behind the stove, a collection of tiles creates a scene of a Portuguese fishing village. In the center of the kitchen is an antique chest topped with a piece of granite.

"I didn't want a built-in island," Nancy Dougherty said. "I wanted to use my piece of furniture." 

The front door of the home opens to the entrance hall papered in a paisley. Strong blue walls and white woodwork are the perfect backdrop for the antique furniture in the living room, located to the right of the entrance hall. Adjacent to the living room is the formal dining room, which is painted a strong bittersweet. 

The entrance hall leads to the den, where on display are many of the Doughertys' collections, among them pieces of Shearwater and McCarty pottery, paintings and one of the most unique items in the house, a framed newspaper article announcing the death of George Washington.

"My grandfather and great-grandfather were publishers of a newspaper in Arkadelphia, Arkansas," Nancy Dougherty said. "This page was in my grandfather's files." 

Although the Doughertys purchased some art in their travels, most of the pieces were collected with the assistance of two local experts, Sheryl Campbell and Gail Weeks, whose father was an art dealer in Dallas. Much of their antique furniture came from Pat and Linda Coghlan, of The Past Restored in Covington.

"Pat would buy in Scotland and England and ship things home," Nancy Dougherty said.

A long hall, featuring Nancy Dougherty's collection of old maps, connects the home's three bedrooms.

The bed in the master bedroom is truly a family heirloom. It belonged to Cary Dougherty's great-great-aunt, who lived at Rosalie, the magnificent town house in Natchez, Mississippi. The bed was inherited by his mother, the late Jean Dougherty.

In the years that the Doughertys have lived in their home, they have made changes to better preserve and display the collections, which they acquired over time, "piece by piece, one piece at a time," Nancy Dougherty said.