A 1980s ranch-style home goes full modern with all-vegan updates

Underneath the newly vaulted ceilings, the family room draws inspiration from hotel cocktail lounge seating, with a 14-foot boucle sofa and cocktail tables on one side and rich velvet banquettes on the opposite side. The fireplace, upgraded with a gas burner and a black marble mantel, is accented with artwork by Wendy Westlake and antique gold-leafed mirrors. A pair of licensed Noguchi paper lanterns stands out against the dark grasscloth-swathed accent wall, while a utilitarian door leading into the garage seems to disappear into the wall. Photos by Chad Chenier.

It was the backyard pond that won her heart. When designer Ty Larkins’ client Jennifer first saw this house in Baton Rouge’s quaint, tree-lined Walden neighborhood back in 2007, the sprawling, wildlife-filled yard sold her. 

In the evenings, the pond’s golden waters reflected pink and orange sunsets. In the mornings, turtles sunned themselves on the shore. This, she thought, could be an oasis.

Inside, the 1980s ranch-style split-level needed some updating. The dated finishes weren’t Jennifer’s style, and with limited windows and doors leading outside, the yard’s beauty couldn’t be appreciated from indoors. 

But it had good bones. She saw its potential.

“I loved this setting. And I thought, maybe one day, if I stay here long enough, I will really make it the home of my dreams,” she recalls.

For more than 10 years, she collected inspiration. She tucked away photos and clippings from design magazines—images of midcentury hotels, Scandinavian apartments, European furniture and colorful art. She envisioned a space where she could practice yoga indoors while watching birds chatter outside her window. 

Good things come to those who wait—and then wait some more. In late 2019, Jennifer was finally ready to renovate. Until the pandemic struck. 

To read the full story from our October issue and see photos of the home’s modern look, click here.