The bright lights of California lured Blaine Lourd away from south Louisiana shortly after he graduated from LSU in 1985. Three and a half decades later, Baton Rouge beckoned him back home.
The native New Iberian made headlines early last year when he took ownership of a house that had formerly been owned by LSU football coach Les Miles in the Settlement at Willow Grove neighborhood. But with help from interior designer Kenneth Brown, Blaine and his partner Christina Ellender put their own bold stamp on the contemporary space. The result combines the best of the West Coast aesthetic with their desires for a place comfortable enough both to entertain and to kick back as only Louisianans can.
“This house attracted us because of the large glass windows, high ceilings and airy feeling,” says Blaine, the founder and CEO of the Los Angeles-based wealth management firm LourdMurray. “We liked the neighborhood and the fact that it’s in the center of town.”
Designed by architect Dwayne Carruth of The Front Door Design Studio, the house’s unique layout—with its jewelbox-like rooms wrapping around a central courtyard and L-shaped pool—also resonated with the couple.
“We looked at houses for a full year,” Christina says. “When we met with Kenneth, we felt confident that this could be what we were looking for. There’s a lot of glass, so it doesn’t feel closed in, but it’s super private.”
Blaine and Christina tasked Kenneth with taking this residence in a decidedly different direction than Blaine’s southern California home. “My house in California is a beach bungalow,” Blaine says. “It’s much more Ralph Lauren-esque and much smaller. It’s full of colored textiles and designer rugs. The house in Baton Rouge is much more modern; we wanted a simple, modern design with little clutter.”
To tour the rest of this California-cool abode, check out our cover story from the October issue, available on newsstands now.