A short drive south on Wallace Lake Road, and you’re transported to a rather rural looking south Shreveport. While the city may be just minutes away, there’s already a quietness that can be felt. One of the last stops before cotton fields is Southern Trace. It’s inside the gated neighborhood that you’ll find the home of Clay and Delyla Blackburn. 

Photography by Marc Gibson

Pulling into their driveway, it’s like looking at a castle. The stone house is quite stately from the outside, but as soon as you open the door everything feels cozy. Not to diminish its size by any means — the home measures 4,300 square feet.

Built 2018
4,300 square feet
5 bedrooms
5 bathrooms
3-car garage
outdoor living space
upstairs/downstairs laundry rooms

“We wanted to do a modern, traditional feel,” said the homeowner’s interior decorator, Annette Rich, signaling to the embellished wall sconces along the staircase during a private tour. Gold trim gives a regal touch to the blue-gray paint in the entryway. Off to the left is a tucked away home office complete with sliding barn door; the starting point of how Rich came into the Blackburns’ lives. 

“We met in 2013. I was looking at furniture for my old home office,” said Delyla Blackburn. “I like ‘antique-y’ type stuff and I was just kind of looking around when I saw this shop on North Market.” 

Rich is the owner of The North Market Venue, a vintage warehouse that houses her furniture and design studio. She has been in the home furnishings business since 1984 and has a keen eye for mixing and matching pieces. Blackburn said she couldn’t have thought of anyone else to work with her on this massive project.

Throughout the home you’ll find multi-tone wood flooring. The living space is open to the bright kitchen with an island large enough to house a small tribe. With two seating areas, it’s the perfect space for entertaining. Luckily for the Blackburns, that’s something they do often.

“We’ve already had three parties at our house,” said Blackburn, laughing. ”Last weekend we had a party and there were easily 40 plus people at our house and it was plenty comfortable.”

She already knows her house will be the hot spot come time for the holidays, and she’s excited. Her family lives in Kansas so she said she jumps at the opportunity to host them as much as possible. 

Their kitchen is calming to cook in with charcoal and gray accents and a cool white backsplash. It’s one of the only spaces where exposed brick, wood, marble and patinaed metal come together for a truly unique look.  

A circular table with a dark finish is off to the side where a built-in hutch shows off their silver serving ware from behind wired cabinets. The home has subtle hints of rustic accoutrements. It’s not overwhelming at all — in fact, it’s rather refreshing. The space feels like a true blend of modern and traditional with a barnyard twist.

Off the indoor living space is a comfortable outdoor area protected from the elements. Blackburn said that’s what people notice the most — their removable screen. Ample seating makes this area another spot for friends and family to gather. Rich said that was important to her when pulling together pieces, to make sure she gave them smart, comfortable spaces.

Rich worked with over a dozen local entities to ensure the Blackburns had a space with local detail. Even local art hangs in the house.

Downstairs houses the master bedroom with a comfortable chaise lounge and a mirrored dresser that compliments the mirror accents in the bath. Above is a large ceiling fan and light fixture, but the elephant in the bathroom is the large flat screen television. Throughout the home there are a total of 11 televisions. Their son’s room is at the front of the house connected to a Jack and Jill bathroom.

Up the stairs you’ll find two more bedrooms and bathrooms plus a media room. The media room is a shade of blue, Stormy Sky. The furniture looks weathered. For a moment it feels like a cabin tucked away in the woods.

“Sometimes people are afraid to use darker colors, but with lighting, it’s not dark at all,” said Rich. Darker colors can sometimes make a room have more depth and with correct lighting and placement in the floor plan, really take a room to another level. Add in some mixed wood pieces and you’ve created a little retreat.

When designing this home, one of the biggest concerns Blackburn had was making sure there was enough storage space. Her previous home did not have that, so she put it at the top of her list.

“There are tons of closets, tons of built ins — that’s why we built this house,” she said. “There is a place for everything. Our builder said he’d never seen so many closets and cabinets in one house and he’s been doing this for over 30 years.”

Everything does have its place, and each storage space has a true moment. 

“They will probably eventually be filled with junk, but that’s how a house becomes a home.”


The Blackburns are overwhelmed with gratitude for all of those involved with their forever home including:

  • John Scripture, homebuilder
  • ACME Brick
  • Builders Custom Cabinets & Millwork
  • Carrie Rodie
  • Cooper’s Irrigation
  • Copper Works Lighting
  • Corner Collection
  • Custom Bilt Cabinet & Supply
  • Custom Media
  • Farley’s Glass Company
  • G&S Electric
  • Hoogland’s Landscape Co.
  • Laura Bray with House of Carpets & Lighting
  • Javin Gomez
  • Kitchen & Bath Cottage
  • Lindell’s Custom Cabinetry
  • Melanie Johnson’s Closet
  • National Wholesale Supply
  • Pitts Builder Design Source
  • Quality Shades and Shutters
  • The Granite Studio
  • Tim’s Drapery Service