3,250 Square Feet
4 Bedrooms
3.5 Bathrooms
Est. value $475,000
Photography by Marc Gibson

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his year’s KTBS 3 St. Jude Dream Home brings a little bit of Europe to Benton.

A courtyard entry offers a taste of old-world charm in keeping with this year’s theme of New Orleans. Builder Philip Rodgers drew on the French city of Orleans – not the Big Easy – when designing the 3,250-square-foot home in Lost River Estates.

“It’s not like your normal house where you walk in and you’re in the living room,” said Rodgers.

The house also features a mother-in-law suite, an elaborate master bathroom and an upstairs game room.

Started by Dr. Donald Mack 28 years ago, the giveaway raises money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Since the first giveaway in 1990, the KTBS 3 St. Jude Dream Home program has raised more than $30 million for the hospital. This year there will be more than 30 St. Jude Dream Home giveaways around the U.S. St. Jude never charges for the care it provides to children with cancer.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of this. We went up (to St. Jude) last year,” said interior designer Myron Griffing. “It breaks and warms your heart at the same time. There’s not a better cause than helping sick children.”

Griffing, owner of Space: Interiors, was the designer for the 2017 Dream Home. He used comments from visitors last year to help shape his vision for the 2018 home. He opted for neutrals throughout the house instead of a starker look.

“There is a purposeful lack of color in the entire palette, which really gives you this relaxing, calming, soothing kind of a vibe. The entire color palette was based off the wavy tile we put on the fireplaces,” he said.

But the neutral palette doesn’t hide the rich textures of the designer materials, including ribbed tile and carpet, a new take on parquet flooring and Venetian plaster.

“Johnny Johnson, a local painter, is the only one who does this,” Griffing said. “He basically called Philip up and said, ‘Is there anything I can do to help?’ “The texture feels amazing; it looks amazing.”

This is the first time Griffing has done a home without any color.

“The entire vibe is about tone, texture and pattern. It really forces you to look at its kind of simple palette and how things work together and the repeating elements and the little punches of graphic in the wallpaper,” Griffing said.

The deceptive simplicity extends to the furniture — a custom wood table and exposed beams — provided by Haverty’s.

“It’s a modern space, but it’s livable modern. It’s not crazy contemporary,” Griffing said.

The kitchen features Bosch appliances and painted cabinets. A tile backsplash in the kitchen uses the same neutral tones, but every tile is different, providing “a nice, muted impact.”

Griffing said response from the more than 1,000 open house visitors has been positive – but the highest praise came from the program’s founder, Dr. Donald Mack. Decades ago, Mack, a pediatrician, was faced with a child suffering from cancer. He searched for treatment and was the first doctor to send an out-of-state patient to St. Jude.

“The house is Dr. Mack approved. He came to visit and said, ‘You knocked it out of the park on this one. I would move in this one’,” Griffing said.

Rodgers has been working on Dream Homes since he was a child and said dedicated volunteers bring the homes from a set of plans to reality every year.

“My dad built the first one with Dr. Mack. That was 28 years ago,” Rodgers said. “I was sweeping the floors for my dad. I took over from him nine years ago.”

He said building against the clock to get a house ready for visitors before the August giveaway is always a challenge – but the crews always come through.

“I’ve had some of the same subcontractors for 28 years,” Rodgers said. “They do it for the right reasons. I go to visit St. Jude once or twice a year. You walk through the halls and see eight-month-old babies. We do it for the kids.”

To purchase tickets, visit www.StJude.org/give/dream-home/Shreveport or call 800.724.2423. Mail-in tickets must be received by Aug. 6 to be eligible to win.