A Blank Canvas: Home is Where the Art Is
When Dr. McKenzie Holloway and Seth Holloway decided to move back to their hometown in 2017, they knew they wanted to build their own home. And they also knew they wanted to incorporate their love for New Orleans into the home’s design. Both Bossier City natives, the Holloways moved to the Crescent City in 2010 so McKenzie could attend dental school. When it was time for her to start her own dental practice, she wanted to be closer to family and friends and they decided to plant roots in the newer subdivision Kingston Plantation located in Benton.
5 bedrooms • 4.5 baths
4,000 square feet
Photography by Marc Gibson
“When we first were looking to move back home, we thought maybe we would find something and redo it,” McKenzie said. “We started looking and I knew I’d never be happy with someone else’s house.”
While residing in New Orleans, the couple fell in love with the white painted brick homes popping up down south, so they used that as inspiration for their Benton house. “We knew what we wanted. We know our style. And we knew we weren’t going to find it because it has a lot of New Orleans’s characteristics in it,” Seth adds. They hired a contractor they trust – McKenzie’s dad, Greg Williams, which made it easier for them to achieve the New Orleans home of their dreams.
The house was designed around the couple’s growing art collection. The walls are white, so they don’t distract from the vibrant paintings displayed on them. The floors are also white — wide oak planks. And just like many homes in New Orleans, the exterior brick is painted white — a detail that left some of the neighbors scratching their heads.
“We had people say to us, ‘we really liked your house until you painted it.’ Now on our street, everyone is painting their house white,” McKenzie said.
The five bedroom house is like a gallery. The living room features two pieces from New Orleans artist B Fos. One painting is of a pelican and the other painting is of a piano. A darker piece by artist Harouni (the artist calls the work ‘a portrait of self’) complements the black trim and black furniture in the front room.
“It’s a head with a crown on it. It’s my favorite one,” Seth said. “It has real thick paint on it. If you poked the paint, it’s probably still wet underneath.”
It’s not just New Orleans art that brings south Louisiana flare to the home. They purchased several antique doors from an architectural salvage shop, Ricca’s, in New Orleans. They trusted the folks at CustomBilt to create door frames for the 100-plus year old doors and they were installed throughout the home including the front door, pantry and office. In fact, a few of the doors were built into the brick wall of Seth’s office, giving the appearance that they might lead to a secret passage.
The Holloways have added artwork from Shreveport artists as well. They commissioned a painting of a bull from artist Vanicka Terhune after bidding on one of her similar pieces at an auction benefiting St. Jude. They also have a painting of Marilyn Monroe by Shreveport artist Kyle Newton.
One of the biggest ‘wow’ factors in the home is the swimming pool and backyard. They wanted the pool to be as close to the house as possible and since the backyard is one of the places they spend the most time, it’s almost like an extension of the interior. “We wanted to be able to just step out and get into the pool,” McKenzie said.
Another aspect of the home that sparks a lot of conversation is their oven. The black and gold accented oven and stove is a French style oven made to order by LaCornue. McKenzie loves the appliance however it lacks a key feature. “It doesn’t have a timer which rocks my world. They’re like, real chefs don’t need a timer… I’m not a real chef,” McKenzie said in between laughter.
Soon the Holloways will have to convert one of their bedrooms into a nursery—they are expecting their first child—and it’s safe to say, their child will grow up with a great appreciation of art.