Text: Margaret Zainey Roux
Photos: Sara Essex Bradley
While Louisiana’s architecture is deeply rooted in European design, it is most heavily influenced by the styles she inherited from France, her motherland. But when Jewel and Vincent Centanni came across a sprawling hilltop lot in Baton Rouge’s picturesque Bocage neighborhood, they had another continental aesthetic in mind for their next project.
The husband-and-wife team are founders of Ivy Residential Concepts and envisioned a classic, clean-lined structure reminiscent of an estate along the English countryside as opposed to a more ornate French chateau. In fact, the Centanni’s credit the Tintinhull House, an idyllic 17th-century hamstone manor in Somerset, as the design inspiration for the 7,000-square-foot structure that served as the site of last year’s Ivy Showhouse benefitting Basket of Hope Louisiana.
“The architectural proportions of the Tintinhull House resonated with us and gave us a strong foundation to build on,” says Jewel Centanni, who was tasked with selecting the hard finishes like flooring, tilework, and plumbing fixtures.
“Both the interior and exterior are traditional at their core. White oak and marble details coupled with kerfed jamb windows and doors speak to the home’s authentic English accent, but we didn’t adhere to the ‘rules’ too strictly. We elected to make some modern adaptations, such as a steel-and-glass entry to create a smooth transition as you walk into the home.”
Inside, twelve esteemed Louisiana designers contributed to the decor. While each one brings their own personality and design perspective to their space, the rooms read remarkably cohesive thanks to their serendipitous use of earthy green tones that Centanni describes as moody and masculine.
“All of the designers have an incredible sense of style, but they are all different, which keeps things interesting,” Centanni says. “Each one did an amazing job bringing in holiday decor that allowed both the everyday appointments and the interior architecture to shine.”
EXTERIOR: Inspired by a classic English country manor, the 7,000-square-foot home by Ivy Residential Concepts boasts a slate roof and iron railings for an air of authenticity, while steel windows and doors in an aged pewter finish update the look to imbue a sleek, more contemporary sensibility. A flickering gas Bevolo lantern adds a romantic ambiance to the home’s entrance.
FOYER AND STAIR HALL: For interior designer Gary McDaniel, a grand entrance begins with beautiful architecture. Much like the impressive eighteenth-century homes of England, the foyer is anchored by a sweeping staircase, yet the space feels more sculptural thanks to its fluted walls and steel-framed glass doors.
“To me, the design recalls the innovative flair of the updated interiors of the avant-garde Parisian patrons of modernism,” he says. The holiday décor is limited to simple smilax vines effortlessly draped throughout the foyer to keep antiques such as the Biedermeier table, early Flemish portrait, and antique Chinese ceramics the center of attention.
LIVING ROOM: For the living room, Rivers Spencer stayed true to her signature style of modern elegance. Clean-lined furnishings and abstract art combined with Old World antiques create tension and depth among soothing shades of dusty rose and powder blue. A large abstract painting by Kevin Gillentine and an abundance of fresh greens lend a textural quality to the space that is light and lucid.
DINING ROOM: Interior designer Anne McCanless was inspired by the richly layered dining rooms in cozy European hotels. “Together, the bold color palette and more formal décor transforms the room into a magical holiday vacation wonderland,” she says.