All About Eaves
Easy to live in and easy to love are trademarks of Mary and John Eaves’ well-appointed home and carefully planned gardens. LaVerna, the Catholic nuns’ retreat, creates a never to be spoiled green space directly across from the Eaves’ front gardens. A generous flagstone path winds its way through beds of yaupon holly, caladiums, azalea, native iris and elegantly topiaried juniper to the front door which is given character with a wrought iron and glass window and arched fanlight.
Local designer and close friend of the Eaves, Gregory Hudgins, was given carte blanche when tasked with updating the home which had been lovingly built in the 1980s. On the agenda for the renovation was a refresh of most of the home, which had undergone a Tish Miller and Margaret Moses update in the foyer, dining room and master bathroom several years back. Under the discerning eye of Hudgins, the Eaves’ home was masterfully transformed by general contractor Robert Stone. Outside, contractor Eddie Flanigen was tasked with overseeing the addition of a luxurious, heated and chilled pool and spa and outdoor cooking area, as well as a garage addition. Says Mary, “For two years, we lived through many phases of renovations. Now we are so ready to relax and enjoy our home and gardens. It’s a big change!”
Upon entering the home, a large, gilded sunburst mirror above a Brazilian Baroque chest greets guests with their reflections. Lucite and gilt sconces flank either side of the mirror. Hudgins and Mary commissioned Moses to create a large abstract painting to hang above the staircase. The foyer flows effortlessly into the casually elegant dining room centered around a Brazilian Baroque table with chairs upholstered in an Asian-inspired velvet with leather seats. The ceiling is painted a subtle metallic gold with pearlized gold crown molding. As part of the renovation, the area underneath the stairs was reclaimed as a smart storage for the homeowners’ china and tableware.
One of the greatest transformations during the renovation was the Eaves’ kitchen, resulting in a transcendent experience for the homeowner. “Before, our house was dark colors with lots of natural wood,” says Mary. “It’s been a dramatic difference from before and after. It is so easy to work in our kitchen now.” That said, the newly designed space is ready for its close-up. Floors are hand-scraped wood planks that carry through the public spaces downstairs. Key Millwork built the custom cabinetry throughout the space and were the source for the kitchen’s Sub Zero refrigerator and Wolf Range. A built-in Wolf steamer is located adjacent to the oversized, effortlessly-adaptable stainless steel galley sink, which Mary describes as “the best thing ever invented.” The backsplash is oversized subway tile of Calcutta Gold marble found at ACME Brick. Hudgins designed the glass-fronted, upper cabinets with walnut lined interiors over the sink and devised the clever “X” detail. He also devised the quartz countertop’s sexy, waterfall effect on the island and the cabinetry’s diamond shaped detail. The island’s countertop is lit from underneath to provide a soft glow through the quartz counter with the added benefit of illuminating the island’s interior drawers, while two large prismatic pendants provide task lighting overhead. Drawers throughout the kitchen are designed to softly shut with just a touch. A large abstract painting by Annie Richardson hangs on an exposed brick wall.
In the breakfast room, two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the pool, fountains and back gardens. In an effort to eliminate glare and decrease heat gain, Hudgins contracted Smith Blind and Awning to install automated honeycomb blinds by Hunter, which lower and raise simultaneously with the touch of a button. Above the glass topped table with a curvy wrought iron base hangs a gilded brass chandelier encapsulated in sculptural, blown glass. An ethereal abstract painting by Margaret Moses hangs in the breakfast area.
A dreamy, gold leaf tea paper wall covering sets the mood in the bathroom located just off the kitchen. Above the Cambria quartzite countertop on the sink, the geometric backsplash of slate and glass mosaic tile makes a major statement. Waterworks sconces illuminate the Arteriors mirror. The shower curtain is a Kravet Couture fabric with a silk and glass Kravet trim with chenille banding.
The home’s laundry room got a major lift with a complete redesign by space planning whiz Sandy Sartor from Key Millwork and Hudgins. The new layout uses the same graphic backsplash and Cambria quartzite countertops as the adjacent hall bathroom. The use of a stackable washer and dryer creates room for ample storage in new cherry cabinetry and plenty of counter space.
In the back den, a creamy white stingray shagreen Lilian August for Hickory White desk and black stingray shagreen and hammered brass credenza by OLY provide the yen and yang soul for the space. Desk lamps are by Arteriors. Above the desk hangs a Bernard Mattox painting. The walls are kissed by a cool Farrow and Ball grey that complements the Lee Industries wingback chairs covered in a modernist tweed that Hudgins describes as “ridiculously comfortable.” Exotic, slightly tribal elements emerge in a horn floor lamp and a antelope stool by OLY. Hudgins re-appropriated a closet during the renovation as a built-in bar. The bar’s backsplash is a modern, silvery glass mosaic tile, Mardi Gras by Solistone, that changes as you move past it. The black lacquered cabinetry for the bar was designed and built by Key Millwork and includes a convenient wine fridge. The countertop is Cambria quartzite.
he living room was updated with new set of French doors and side lights that look out onto the gardens and pool. An L-shaped sofa and upholstered club chairs create an easy conversational area in front of the fireplace under a “Cloud” chandelier. Hudgins painted the wood mantle a deep shade of grey with the wall behind it a lighter grey for depth.
During the renovations, the master suite was transformed by Hudgins. First, the designer changed the orientation of the bed, positioning it between two large, floor to ceiling windows, which look out into the back gardens. The modern take on a sleigh bed from the JetSet Collection by Bernhardt is upholstered in a creamy, button-tufted fabrication. Hudgins sourced the couples’ bedding from Haven, mixing Dransfield and Ross and Peacock Alley linens and pillows for a luxe bedding experience. The pair of bedside cabinets by Bernhardt are topped with Arteriors lamps. Next, a rarely-used sitting room off the master bedroom was repurposed as a way to expand the homeowner’s closet. Two large raku vessels by Gary Ratcliff are positioned on a large chest of drawers.
In the master bath, a previous renovation had employed beautiful herringbone patterned travertine flooring. To the master bath, Hudgins added a pair of bronze sconces and a framed collection of antique plaster intaglios to each mirror above the his and hers sinks. The bath is a study in the calming hues of travertine, with jewel-like fixtures and drawer pulls.
The homeowner, a collector of haute couture, was in need of closet that could keep up with her Manolos and Christians, and Hudgins was happy to make that happen. The former sitting room located off the master bedroom was called into active duty, transformed into a swoon-worthy artist’s palette of a closet for the homeowner. Again, Sandy Sartor of Key Millwork space-planned and designed closet areas that would allow for easy access and sight lines. Glass-front built-ins painted a soft green hue was designed for purses, hydraulic pull down racks located high overhead for less-used items, high-heel and tall boot-friendly cubbies for Prada, Lanvin and friends and enough real estate to make a SOHO boutique jealous make this more than a closet. Several prismatic, halogen-lit chandeliers throughout the room provide ample lighting along with strategically placed recessed lighting. Artwork by Margaret Moses is highlighted within built-in cabinetry. Laughs the homeowner, “One of my favorite stories is that one of the foremen told my husband that he didn’t think I could fill this wall up with shoes. John said, ‘Oh? You just wait!’ Well, I showed him!”
The landing at the top of the stairs provides a cozy seating area for guests. A pair of white, Barry Dixon Collection dragon lamps top a long, Chinese altar table which is placed directly behind a dramatic black upholstered sofa. A pair of club chairs were reupholstered in textural fabric with a leather seat cushion. A pair of oversized multi-media works set the tone for the space.
he upstairs bedrooms were given a new life with modernist bedroom furniture by Caracole. One bedroom features a bed upholstered in charcoal and cream linen velvets and piped in a white ostrich leather. Chic bedside tables, like something you’d imagine in a James Bond movie, are illuminated by a simple touch of a button on their sides. In the other bedroom, matching Caracole demilune chests with a gold leaf Greek key detail are topped with oversized teardrop shaped lamps and colorful paintings by H. Darling. Bedding for both upstairs guest rooms is a mix of Sferra and Peacock Alley.
The Jack and Jill bathroom between the two guest rooms exudes classic glamour. Large, Calcutta marble hexagon tiles from Waterworks were chosen by the designer. Quartzite countertops in ombre shades of creamy grey to tea add subtle color to the space. The walk-in shower is tiled in grey subway tile with a floor of small hexagon tile. A floating bench of quartzite that matches the bathrooms counters adds a stunning shower accent. The double vanities are treated to a cocoon of mirrors with pairs of polished nickel sconces mounted on them.
The renovations outside began with a fresh start designed by landscape architect Tony Tradewell, whose designs helped eliminate problem areas and capitalize on the back yard’s spaciousness. The original plastic liner pool was removed, and a new, poured gunnite pool with spa and multiple fountains takes center stage. Harris Tassin with AquaTec Pools was called in to execute the design. Flowing from a wall of faux stone stucco, seven stainless steel scuppers continuously pour glistening streams of water into a catch basin which flows back into the pool. Large stepping stones provide a walking path across the fountain end of the pool. Around the perimeter of the gardens, Marty McGough added an 8 foot cedar privacy fence, which was stained a rich brown. “For the landscaping,” says Hudgins, “we stayed with native Louisiana plants, such as grasses, gardenias, hydrangeas, elephant ears, banana plants and azaleas.” The original flagstone was saved and relaid in grids softened by hardy Palisades Zoysia turfgrass sourced from Mer Rouge’s Wilderness Turf.
“John added a series of raised beds for cut flowers, vegetables and herbs just beyond the privacy fence on the property,” says Mary. The beds are beautifully laid out with gravel lined paths in between for ease of access to the bounty and an irrigation system to ensure plants don’t go thirsty.
The outdoor kitchen and living area is located just beyond the pool in an open air pavilion. A faux stone stucco technique is used on the outdoor kitchen island and is repeated on the fountain feature wall for continuity. All appliances in the outdoor kitchen are made by Kalamazoo. The sink and fixture is by ELKAY. On the countertops, explains Hudgins, “We had the edges of the Imperador Light granite, leather-finished counters hand-chiseled on the property for a more rustic look that more suits this outdoor application.” Brown Jordan chairs from The Patio Place provide ample seating at the island. All-weather rattan furniture from Restoration Hardware is softened by over-stuffed cushions in neutral Sunbrella fabric.
“We truly enjoy sitting out here in the evening with family and friends. The most comfortable chairs we own are the ones by the firepit,” says Mary of her newly-finished outdoor space. Found at Parterre, these plush-cushioned, chairs by Summer Classics are lightweight but sturdy aluminum and are made to look like bleached teak. The firepit, elevated on a stone plinth, is a work of art, made from a granite bowl from the Shanxi Province of China that Hudgins had drilled and retrofitted to take the gas fire ring. More zinc planters are filled with native grasses and colorful sweet potato vines.
The homeowners are already enjoying the addition of the “man-cave.” Explains Hudgins, “The man-cave used to be just one big room that was connected to the garage. Now it is the perfect place for John, Mary and their friends to unwind, watch sporting events and play cards.” Memorabilia from John’s days as a Sargeant in the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, including a collection of his badges, are artfully displayed throughout the room. The walls in the room are painted a calm, smoky green, and the furnishings lean toward the masculine with knotted rope detailing on Summer Classics chairs, sofa and cocktail table from Parterre are paired with a zebra hide ottoman. A trio of sea turtle shells creates an interesting backdrop for lively conversation. In the corner, two of John’s favorite guitars hang within easy reach, surrounded by framed covers of favorite albums. The walnut bar and cabinetry by Key Millwork is accented with an incised and gilded circle inlaid white marble tile backsplash. Three long pendant lights provide light for the bar’s island. Just beyond the bar, a well-proportioned game table and chairs is placed in front of a stacked flagstone fireplace. The man-cave features a full bath, convenient for guests who have taken a plunge in the pool. The walk-in shower with glass door is clad in Imperador dark marble. The Ronbow modern sink and cabinet was sourced at LCR in West Monroe. The mirror and fixtures are Waterworks.
Under the gabled, pitched roof patio that leads to the man-cave, Hudgins placed a small firepit surrounded by a pair of rocking chairs and an outdoor sofa of woven all-weather rattan with overstuffed cushions. Two large copper gas lanterns on either side of the doorway add ambient lighting. Zinc planters from Restoration Hardware are filled with lush plantings. To make outdoor living more enjoyable, the home’s garden is outfitted with a mosquito control system.
With an eye toward enjoying their home and gardens in every season, the Eaves and their designer and his team have created a one-of-a-kind experience from the ground up that took their home from 1980s to now and beyond.