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It’s all in the presentation.
Whether it’s the next delectable course at dinner or the combination of flavors selected for your next drink, it is an arguable point that the beauty lies in the presentation. The same holds true for the home of Don Kasten and Jeffery Markel. The house carries with it centuries of history, presented in full color with the present owners.
Built in 1892, the current homeowners recently celebrated five years of ownership of this magnificent Thibodaux treasure, purchasing it in May 2018. First owned by the Simoneud family, and passed on by the Goodwin family, five generations of the same family lived in the house. The home is a Creole-style raised cottage, a style found earlier in history than this home. Other homes in the neighborhood built in the same time frame favor a much more elaborate Victorian style. The 2,700 square foot cottage contains two bedrooms (the third is used as a dining room) and 2 ¾ baths (there are no tubs in the home.)
The house needed to undergo a transformation to be brought up to what Jeffery and Don wanted their home to be. “All work that we did was intentionally designed and carried out to do the least amount of damage and that someone in the future could easily return to original condition if desired,” shared Don. “But we had to have a few changes where we could insert our personal style on the house. We respected the dedication of the former owners to preserving the original elements of the home – but 120 years later it was time to remove that original wallpaper and color scheme. We are grateful to be the new stewards of this home and when the time comes for us to leave we hope that we can sell to one of the original descendants.”
The house is completely made of cypress floors, wall, ceilings and structure. The floor plan was common to the style of the house where past generations of owners were able to move room usages around as they saw fit. The only rooms that remained the same over the years were the kitchen and bathroom which had been in the same location since 1892 and 1916 respectively. In the first year of owning the home, Don and Jeffery removed wallpaper and wall board to expose interior cypress wall cladding and removed linoleum and floor coverings. A more modernized floor plan was created to help the home flow for the couple. Rogers Home Improvements moved the kitchen and bathroom, and added a walk-through closet from the master bedroom to the new bathroom. All the walls and surfaces were sanded down to restore the cypress to its original condition. Jeffrey mixed wall stains to paint the upper portions of each of the primary room walls.
Don and Jeffery moved into their new home in June of 2019. While living in the home, renovations continued including removing the original 1916 bathroom and restoring the original back garden stairs; created a new 3/4 bath and put in a butler’s pantry/home bar in the original back porch area; installing a new roof on the home, along with central heat and air-conditioning.
Color plays an important role in the home, from the bright and lively exterior colors, to the paint used in the interior. “We used a base of white paint for all the woodwork and then color stained each room,” explained Don. “We did the hallway in a gray, black and white theme to let each room opening off the hall to have the Wizard of Oz black and white to color experience and wow factor. The doors in the home maintain the original faux bois wood grain paint technique in shades of orange and gray which work perfectly into our chosen color scheme.”
The wonderfully eclectic home is very personal in style, which each gentleman’s interests and collections displayed. It was wonderful to hear the stories shared that each takes away as a favorite part of their home.