Four years after her husband of 45 years died, Elaine Roy decided it was time to simplify.
Her 60-year-old home in Jefferson Place-Bocage needed constant maintenance as did its large yard. She called her daughter, Jennifer Roy Oliver, a real estate agent, and asked her to put the house on the market and start looking for somewhere for her to move.
"I figured it would take at least three to six months to sell my house," Roy said, "but it sold immediately."
That left her with the dilemma of finding a house, packing and winnowing down a lifetime of memories, including a full second story attic and her late husband, Vic Roy's, 900-square-foot workshop.
"He rebuilt a sailboat, he built a pirogue in that workshop," Elaine Roy said. "We never would have moved if he were alive."
Oliver suggested that her mother take another look at a garden home in Jamestowne Court.
"I had looked at this townhouse after Vic died," she said. "I loved the floor plan with all the windows and views of the courtyard, but it needed a lot of work, which I didn't feel like doing."
The house now had a new kitchen and updated bathrooms, so she made the deal.
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She immediately called in designers Helaine Moyse and Patrick Tandy, who, with the assistance of Oliver, also a designer, helped her incorporate her very traditional furniture and accessories into the more modern home.
"I recovered one chair and added a sisal rug to update my living room," Roy said. "Other than that, everything has worked perfectly."
The front door opens to a small entrance hall that leads to the large living room overlooking the courtyard. Off the left from the entrance is a hall to a guest room and bath.
A wide opening at the back of the living room leads to the kitchen-keeping room, which perfectly marries Roy's furniture with its clean lines. A wall of windows floods the space with warm light.
Off the keeping room is the master bedroom with two full bathrooms and two full closets. Upstairs is a bedroom and a playroom for Roy's seven grandchildren.
To the left of the living room is a formal dining room, almost the same size as the dining room in Roy's old home. Only one thing was missing — her beautiful, very heavy, antique crystal chandelier.
Roy had an electrician remove the chandelier, which she and Oliver wrapped in quilts and carefully loaded into Oliver's Suburban.
"I was holding it as Jennifer drove," Roy said with a laugh. "We looked like Lucy and Ethel from 'The Lucy Show.'"
Walls in the public rooms are painted a creamy yellow with the delicious name of Vanillin. With the help of seamstress Sylvia Hahn, Roy had the draperies from her other house remade for the keeping room and bedroom, giving it almost the exact look from her Jefferson Place-Bocage home.
Roy undertook the monumental task of packing for the move by herself.
"I had been in the house for 29 years," she said. "I needed to go through everything."
Oliver and her husband, Chuck, and Roy's son, Brent Roy, and his wife, Marty, took the things that meant something to them. Because Roy moved the week after the flood, she was able to give furniture and other items to flood victims and local charities.
Roy moved into the home thinking she would make a few changes, like replacing the stone floor in the living room with hardwood. In the 10 months she has lived there, the floor and other items she might have changed have grown on her.
"I have learned that a lot of things I thought I would have to change just don't bother me," she said.