The House of Hester
By Derick Jones
Photos by Jonathan Dean
Kitchen with eat-in area
Full size dining room and living room
2 veranda balconies
Outdoor spiral staircase
Between babies and football fields, finding the time to buy a new home is never really convenient — especially when you’re former LSU and NFL running back Jacob Hester. But nevertheless, he and his wife Katie, along with their three children, settled, and while it wasn’t what they were looking for, they decided last year to move their family into a Cross Lake chateau.
After spending the last few years living in California due to Jacob’s job — playing football for the San Diego Chargers and then, the Denver Broncos — the couple decided it was time to move home to Shreveport.
But living in California can spoil a person, especially if you’re in a high-rise with a beautiful beach in the background. When Jacob decided his family would move home, they found a home in Twelve Oaks in south Shreveport.
“When we moved home we were on our back porch looking at our fence and our neighbor’s house,” said Katie, who moved into her new home in September 2014. “It just wasn’t right. We missed our beach.”
Now the two are settled into their cozy two-story, 2,900 square-foot home on Cross Lake. It’s a true Parisian retreat. Built and customized during the 1970s, this one-of-a-kind home was previously owned by Molly Chance.
“We knew we had to snag it as soon as it was on the market. We sold our old home and bought this one on the same exact day. How many people can say that?” Katie said, laughing.
Upon arrival, their home is situated in a secluded part of the lake. Not directly on the water, but definitely just a skip a way, their home sits atop a hillside, which provides a breathtaking view.
“It’s the main reason we bought this house,” said Jacob. “We wanted to be on the lake.”
The house itself is brick and made of natural elements throughout, including steel and various tones of wood. The Hesters’ living room is the main attraction with pieces from Restoration Hardware and Horchow. Both companies specialize in what Katie calls “rustic glam.”
But any of these could change at a moment’s notice. Katie is a fan of trying out new things, new projects and finessing her style. As soon as she’s tired of it, she’s off to the next task and on to find a new and exciting piece of furniture.
“I love mixing the old with the new. Antique glass, mirrored furniture. All of it,” she explained. “I like having pieces that people won’t walk in and see in anyone else’s house.”
In the main room, which is connected to the kitchen, two oversized chairs flank their simply stunning powder blue sofa. The couple’s Chihuahuas, Bruiser and Lady, call the couch their home.
The dining room is nestled in the corner with an oversized mirrored wardrobe at the head of the table. Instead of a traditional island in their kitchen, the Hesters opted for a table and chairs for quick, on-the-go eating. The floor is a nice, clean brick.
“She had white tile and with my crew, white doesn’t do well,” said Katie of the previous owner’s white tile flooring. “We love this house, but the boys will outgrow it soon.”
Katie and Jacob have three children, Jackson, 5; Knox, 3; and Hudson, 2. While they don’t plan to stay in this home, they are definitely making due until the time comes to move again.
Downstairs, off the main room, is their children’s play space and a true getaway among the home — a secluded guest room with a built-in dinette.
“This is where our family stays,” said Katie, pulling down a murphy bed from the wall. The wooden doors hiding the full-size bed were imported from France, according to the previous owner.
Along with that is a bed built for a king tucked in the corner with LSU and various sports memorabilia of Jacob along the walls. Connected to the room is its own stone balcony and porch.
When asked what sold them on this specific house: “The balcony,” they said in unison, laughing.
“About this time, we’re out there having wine, watching the boys play,” said Katie. “Even though we’re in a neighborhood, it’s still private. Being on this hill and overlooking this lake — it’s about as close to California as you’ll get.”
The balcony upstairs is the one they’re referring to. Complete with copious amounts of seating, Katie said it’s been perfect for parties and entertaining.
“We had a big NYE (New Year’s Eve) party, and it was a great time for all of our friends to come out and see our home,” she said.
The outdoor area is complete with strung up lights and a wrought iron railing with fleur de lis atop the posts. The almost secret cabana is inviting yet private.
The couple said they so far have enjoyed living in their Cross Lake neighborhood and after only their first few weeks found everyone to be very kind and accepting.
“When we were moving in I got so sick and had a kidney infection and had to be put in a hospital,” said Katie. “Everyone brought tons of food and was very friendly. What more could you ask for?”