Living in Mediterranean Luxury
The stately Spanish-style home in Shreveport’s historic South Highlands neighborhood is a gem among its neighboring grand homes.
“All of the homes in our area have a lot of character, and each one is lovely in its own special way,” says designer Regina Lynch, who owns Écru Antiques and Interiors on Magazine Street in New Orleans and divides her time between sharing the family home in Shreveport with her husband, James, and a charming historic cottage near Magazine Street in Uptown New Orleans.
“South Highlands is a friendly, established neighborhood where most of the residents grew up and where they are now raising their own children and grandchildren,” she says.
The Lynches’ home makes a bold statement in a neighborhood where traditional architecture dominates. The striking exterior seems to have been transported from the Mediterranean Coast of Spain or Portugal, or even a grand Mexico City neighborhood. The house features stylized stucco covering the exterior, arches across the front porch and a balcony with a sturdy balustrade.
James, the authorized Chevrolet Buick dealer of DeSoto Parish, explains some of the unique history of the house. “The house was built in 1929 by the Ellis family, who wanted their children to play different musical instruments,” he says. “So they designed the big den that adjoins the intimate living room as their own concert hall for music, dancing and entertaining. We enjoy the fact that our house is different.”
Regina loved the idea of making the interior of the house as exciting and interesting as the exterior. “I wanted each room to have a warm, Mediterranean feeling,” she says. “I enjoyed searching for just the right rich velvets and heavy woven fabrics to mimic the aged look. Most of the furnishings are Spanish, Italian and French antiques made from darker woods.”
To further enhance the style of the architecture, she used Saltillo floor tiles and a stamped tin ceiling in the den and honed travertine with dark veining on the foyer and dining room floors. The main entertaining spaces on the first floor include the living room, den and sunroom on one side of the foyer, with the dining room and kitchen on the opposite side.
“Each room is special in its own way,” Regina explains. “However, my favorite space is the sunroom. It’s where I like to cuddle up on a rainy day with a cup of tea and a book and listen to the rain on the skylights.” She used pecky cypress glazed with a neutral color on the walls and ceiling of the cheerful room.
The kitchen has an Old World vibe, showcased through an arched opening that was created for easy viewing of the dining room. “While the kitchen has the patina of a space long in existence, it was actually totally remodeled beginning with the bare original studs,” Regina says. “The custom cabinets are made from knotty alder, and I personally added the worm edges and wormholes with an ice pick. Of special interest is the butler’s cabinet that was made from a vintage one from France.” A cozy seating area adjoins the kitchen. “It’s a nice, warm place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee when the weather is cold outside,” James says.
The Mediterranean influence is also apparent in the back of the house, with arches enclosing the porch where the outdoor kitchen and dining area are located. A new two-story rear addition to the house completes a U-shaped configuration that gives complete privacy to the pool and entertaining area.
“We feel like we are on vacation when we relax in our own backyard,” Regina says. James agrees, adding that they both love the neighborhood that is filled with beautiful old trees and mature landscapes. “It’s a pleasure to live here.”