It took 18 months, but Anne and Peter Davis have turned their 1950s-style house into an updated showplace that marries tradition with modern flair.
The couple had lived in the brick, one-story home for 25 years and wanted to do a total renovation, but they also wanted to keep the home's traditional feel. With a goal of updating, modernizing and making a few major improvements, they packed their furniture and belongings and moved out.
Working with architect Tommie Cockfield and contractor Bertel Cook, the Davises doubled their living space while emphasizing the elements that had sold them on the house — large rooms, tall ceilings and lots of light from windows across the front and back.
The home is fronted by a porch with seating. It leads to the large formal living room/dining room with a fireplace, hardwood floors and a wide opening that leads to the den. The bedroom wing with two original bedrooms and a new master is to the right of the entrance, and the new guest bedroom is to the left of the kitchen.
The Davises did not want an open floor plan, but they were able to create a more spacious effect by widening the door openings and removing part of the wall between the den and kitchen, which they had redone a few years after they moved to the house.
"You can move freely between the den and kitchen, but when we have company you can't see the sink, you can't see the refrigerator from the den," Anne Davis said.
The Davises added about six feet to the back of the den to create flow to a new master bedroom, study and breakfast porch they added at the back of the bedroom wing.
In the space of the original master bedroom, they built a laundry room, bathroom and a butler's pantry. On the opposite side of the house, they pushed back the garage and created a new guest bedroom.
The den always had windows that looked out on a small patio in the backyard. Cockfield designed a full wall of more modern windows and a door that leads to a covered patio that wraps around from the new guest bedroom to the new master bedroom.
"The new plan is basically the same plan as the old," Anne Davis said. "This house still lives the same as our old house."
Over the years, the Davises, both only children, inherited antique furniture and decorative pieces from generations of their families in Shreveport and Waterproof.
"We have used a lot of furniture from both families," Peter Davis said.
"Things Peter and I love," his wife added.
At the entrance to the formal living room is an antique clothing armoire from Anne Davis' grandparents. It is filled with a collection of Irish Belleek china from Peter Davis' mother. In the formal dining area are several paintings from his mother along with a framed collection of sterling silver spoons from her travels as a young girl.
Family pieces are everywhere, including beds in one bedroom, panels from a family screen in the powder room, an armoire hiding a television in the master bedroom, a family dining table converted to a desk in the study and numerous family lamps and decorative items.
Anne Davis' grandparents had an altar in a bedroom of their home, so religious items are placed throughout the home and in a designated quiet corner of the new master bedroom.
Peter Davis is especially proud of four framed camera patents from his inventor grandfather, Carl Bornmann, who came to Alexandria from Binghamton, New York, to develop a mechanized method of bread production for Cotton Brothers Baking, the company that made Holsum Bread.
As much as the Davises love their renovated home, it's the Hundred Oaks neighborhood with its quiet streets, established live oaks and friendly neighbors they love the most.
"This is a real neighborhood," Anne Davis said. "Everybody knows everybody."