- 5100 square feet
- 5 bedrooms
- 3 & 2 half baths
- Pool house with bathroom
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or months, Natalie Roberts drove by the white two-story house on Pierremont Road dreaming about restoring the vacant property. The grass was high and overgrown. The swimming pool was covered with a cage because the city deemed it a hazard to the neighborhood. Inside, the walls were trashed with graffiti and beer cans from trespassers were littered about the home. But Natalie saw past the decay and dilapidation — she saw potential.
“It was falling apart and it was so sad,” Natalie said. “I wanted this house because of its charm, potential and its location in the middle of town. Plus it has that historic Shreveport feel and to get a house like that on an acre in the middle of town, is just so rare. The minute we walked into this house for the first time, I could already see exactly what I wanted to do with it.”
Today, visitors to the home would never know its previous condition. The Roberts gutted much of the interior but remained true to the characteristics that make the home special. To achieve Natalie’s vision, she first had to find the perfect team of professionals. Jonathan Hamilton, with Hamilton Builders, was her contractor and Scott Payne, principal architect at Farmer Payne Architects, was her architect for the project.
“The bones of the house were beautiful and timeless, making the decisions for how to update it simple for me. I just needed the right team. I chose Jonathan because when he walked into this house, he was able to see what I saw,” she said. “And I was so privileged to work with Scott. He’s so talented. He was able to help me really achieve the visual aesthetics and functionality that I wanted.”
To maintain the essence of the home, Natalie wanted to highlight its architecture, so she opted to use white — everywhere — from the walls to the ceiling and the trim. She also kept the original hardwood floors but updated them with a more modern stain. The sunroom formerly was the home’s back porch, but she kept the porch’s floor and ceiling that were built before it was enclosed. The Roberts also kept the built in bookcases throughout the home.
Natalie admits her interest is not as much in selecting window coverings and pillows, but her passion is in the structure and flow of a house. She decorated her home with things she loves, including artwork from family, friends and other local artists. Much of her furniture — heirlooms and antiques — also came from family, estate sales and consignment shops. The antique chest in the living room came from her mother-in-law. A family friend gave her the coral-hued sofa and chairs in her sunroom (the home’s most colorful room).
The home’s clean lines and white tones give the house a gallery-feel and with the Roberts’s extensive collection of artwork, it could easily pass as one. A blue steel sculpture — created by her father — steals the show in the living room, which is complemented by one of Natalie’s most prized possessions — a blue star by Italian artist Benini, a gift she received when she got married. A painting of a blue rose, also by Benini, hangs in the dining room. Other artwork throughout the home is by local artists: Katie Lewis, Ellie Pendley, Tom Pressly, and Italian artist Fabio Inverni.
One of Natalie’s favorite rooms in the house, which also is the room she spends the most time in, is the kitchen. Not a fan of cluttered countertops, the all-white kitchen has abundant storage and is connected to the family room. A young mother of two boys, Natalie cooks every day, so it was important that her kitchen be designed for function as well as aesthetics.
“When I planned that kitchen, I knew where every fork was going to go. I knew where my dishtowels would go. I knew where my baking utensils were going to go,” she said. “Achieving both function and aesthetics in a home takes a lot of thought and a lot of meticulous thinking.”
This isn’t the first project home for Natalie and her husband. They built their first house in the Haven subdivision in Shreveport and their second house was a craftsman style home in Austin that they completely renovated.
“I prefer clean lines and a classic, timeless look but the style of this house was ultimately dictated by the house itself, as it has been with every project we’ve done,” Natalie said.
Even though the Roberts family just moved into the South Highlands house in 2016, the home renovation bug has bitten Natalie. She didn’t intend on ‘flipping’ the home, but she decided to list the home for sale on the market to prepare for her next project. She’s even considering turning her passion into a full-blown career.
“I just have to find my right spot,” she said. “This is my outlet. It gives me energy and excitement, and I love it.”