Text by Molly Swanson
Three years before they finalized the plans for their Lake Perique home in Paulina, Louisiana, Erika and Bill Guzman had built a similar home without the assistance of a design firm. The home did not meet their expectation, so this time they turned to interior designer Rachel Cannon of Rachel Cannon Limited.
Rachel is known for designing classic, fresh, and smart interiors for her clients. And this is exactly the aesthetic that the Guzmans desired their new home to have. She worked with builder Aaron Tregre to create the vision that the Guzmans had for their new abode.
This spacious home has six bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths, leaving plenty of room to incorporate the cool color palette that Erika wanted. Special details, like a custom-designed iron railing, pared-down millwork, and spectacular finishes and lighting, really set this home apart. The final design includes a brilliant mix of lavender, celadon, and periwinkle blue against a clean backdrop of white and taupe.
We chatted with the designer herself to discover the ins and outs of designing this fresh waterfront interior. Read her answers to find out which room she fancies the most and how she uses her expertise to choose agreeing colors.
Southern Home: What were the homeowner’s most important design wishes? Were they particular or did they give free reign?
Rachel Cannon: Erika gave me free reign, but I did ask questions specific to color palette preferences. She was so incredible and basically said yes to anything I suggested. I had to keep checking in to make sure she wasn’t feeling like I was steamrolling her!
SH: What was the most rewarding room to complete in this project?
RC: The master bathroom really exceeded my expectations, because it’s difficult to make an all-white room—especially one without furniture—look interesting. The moldings we used in the shower with the subway tile worked wonders to elevate the look of that material. The charcoal floor tile brought in some swankiness, which we then reinforced with the design around the mirrors, the placement of the sconces, and the Lucite pendant. I found the Lucite-and-black velvet vanity bench at a vintage store in Geneva, Illinois, while I was on vacation, and I knew it was the perfect piece for this space. When we finally got to see it completed for the first time, we literally gasped at how beautiful it was. I remember thinking it felt like a very luxe hotel space!
SH: Could you describe the process of deciding which colors will agree with one another in a space?
RC: In an open floor plan like this one, I think it’s important to take into consideration that these spaces need to be defined, but they need to be harmonious and work together. I usually start with one fabric that will incorporate all of the colors we’ll use—in this case, the drapery fabric in the living room, which includes turquoise, aqua, teal, purple, lavender, pink, taupe, and celadon—and build the color story around that. I pulled out the blue-green tones for the living room and dining room to tie them together and then used accents of lavender in the living room to set it apart. The kitchen and breakfast room are very neutral, but we introduced artwork that has the color palette of the drapery to call back to the foundation color palette. The most important thing is knowing when and where to draw the eye to create cohesion.
Fun Fact About the home: Perique is a kind of tobacco grown only in St. James Parish of Louisiana (a parish is a county). The home is situated in the delta of the rich, alluvial soil of the Mississippi River, and backs up to fields that regularly produce crops of sugar cane, perique tobacco, and other Louisiana-grown produce.