A travel-inspired modern home in cajun country hits all the right notes
For two long years, Tracy and Wendy Young tried to persuade the owners of a primo lot overlooking a lush park not far from their home in Youngsville, Louisiana, to sell it to them. One night, the couple finally received the call they had been hoping for. “We were so excited to finally be able to start the process of something we’ve been dreaming of for so long,” Wendy says.
Inspired by the clean lines and organic touches at the Bardesonno Hotel and Spa in Napa Valley, they hired architect Stephanie Potter and builders Brady and Angela Mills to bring their vision to life. The couple pictured something more contemporary than their longtime home. “We like to travel and are drawn to hotels that are a little more modern,” Wendy says.
Clad with white stucco accented by black windows and cement board treated to resemble wood, the contemporary two-story abode has spacious open rooms with large expanses of glass that frame verdant park views. Indeed, before their son left for college, the plant-filled glass solarium at the front of the house was one of his favorite spots, where he often relaxed on the Eames lounge chair with his laptop to do homework or watch TikTok.
Tall windows also flank the fireplace in the adjacent living room, where a low-slung green-velvet sectional sofa and a pair of brown leather swivel chairs surround a fireplace covered in black nickel gap shiplap, coordinating perfectly with the hood in the double-height open kitchen.
“We love being in the kitchen, and we love sharing it with others.”
Worthy of a professional chef, the spacious kitchen’s wall of windows and clerestories bathe the white-oak flooring and cabinetry with natural light. “The light is always a little different depending on the weather conditions and time of year,” Tracy says.
Raised in a small Cajun community that values good food and close ties, the couple enjoy cooking there, preparing a range of cuisines from Indian to Italian at the prep island. They opted out of a formal dining room, preferring to serve meals at a second island with a white quartzite waterfall edge. “We love being in the kitchen, and we love sharing it with others,” Wendy says.
Tracy tends to take care of grilling on the covered porch, often hosting family, friends, and neighbors for burgers on game day. The space is separated from the living room by 16-foot glass sliding doors, and includes areas for dining and conversation in front of a black-painted brick fireplace. Porcelain tile flooring and a wood tongue-in-groove ceiling distinguish it from the interior without sacrificing the sense of luxury.
While black is an accent color throughout the house, interior designer and close friend, Lauren Pesson, flipped the script in the posh bar, incorporating honed granite countertops and painting the cabinetry, walls, and ceiling black. An antiqued mirror backsplash and brass accents add to the sense of luxury. “It has that 1970s New Orleans vibe,” Wendy says.
The stylish yet comfortable result feels like living in a resort—just what the happy owners had in mind. “When we travel, I look forward to coming home, and I just love that,” Wendy says. “It works better than we could have hoped for.”