Former ULM President’s House Receives Makeover
article by Maré Brennan | photography by Martin G Meyers
Stepping up a home’s style game is nothing new for local interior designer Margaret Moses and Fabulous Fabric owner Holly Richard. When tasked with updating the University House at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, these two former ULM graduates put on a full-court press to seal a victory with winning interior spaces that have guests cheering. Dr. Bruno, ULM’s President, wanted the facility in tiptop condition to welcome guests for the first football game of the 2016 season, so the race was on. Said Moses, “The biggest challenge was the timeline. I always get a bit nervous towards the end of the project, making sure that we have everything completed by the deadline.” But when the buzzer sounded, success!
Richard and Moses’ ties run deep to the university, so when the opportunity to give back to the college through their expertise in interior design, the pair answered the Warhawks’ call. Renovations to the exterior are continuing, but the initial refresh of interior spaces has been recently completed. “Everything inside was feeling a little dated,” says Richard of the University House. “We were asked to keep the existing furniture and ‘make it work.’ And that’s just what we did. We updated each room using paint, drapery, fabrics and lighting, careful to keep our choices from artwork to bedding relevant to the ULM experience and to create more inviting spaces.”
Adds Moses, “This is the third project that I have had the pleasure of being involved in at ULM in the past few years. I graduated from ULM in Interior Design, so I am happy to revisit and assist in these renovations. The University House was a fun project, because it was a little different –like doing a bed and breakfast almost. It was fun to work with Holly Richard and her talented team at Fabulous Fabrics. Most projects that I do are on my own, so it was nice to have a partner to bounce ideas off of on this one.”
Originally built in 1940 as the home to the university president, the University House was renovated in 1965 and again in 1999 and now serves as a multi-purpose facility designed to benefit the university community. The University House provides university guests and speakers a home away from home while visiting the campus and offers the Faculty Senate an official meeting site. The facility is an invaluable part of the campus’ history. In addition, the University House is the perfect venue for meetings and receptions for the rest of the University community. Non-university groups may also rent the University House.
The grand two-story, brick Georgian home is sited on the shores of Bayou DeSiard on a large and convenient cul de sac. Guests ascend steps to enter the University House foyer, which is illuminated by a pair of sconces from Material Things on either side of the front door. In the foyer, two armchairs have been reupholstered with an organic flame patterned fabric. A delicate gold metal occasional table, placed between the chairs is topped with a guest book and a hammered gold lamp sourced from Fabulous Fabrics.
Mod 1960’s chairs in the dining room get new life with maroon velvet upholstered seats and a gold patterned fabric on the chair backs. Suzani-inspired floor to ceiling panels with subtle maroon and gold. Says Moses, “I also was very happy that we were able update the kitchenette area in the dining room and extended the length of the area as much as we could without having to relocate the return air. We replaced countertops, appliances, and had the whole new custom built-in by Jason Ohler painted the same color as the wall, so that it acts more as a piece of furniture and blends into the room.” A large, framed Larry Cavalier photograph of the bronze Warhawk statue makes a big design statement in the space. Adds Moses, “We appreciate the fast and fabulous frame work done by LFrame and Art. I worked with Lenece Laseter and Larry Cavalier on selecting some of Larry’s beautiful photographs of ULM for use in the University House, and they did a fabulous job on getting them beautifully framed and ready for us to hang.
A large Oriental rug defines the living room’s main conversational area with the large fireplace and mantle as the main focal point. Nine bayou scenes in gold frames are positioned above the mantle. Existing seating was re-upholstered in luxe fabrics from Fabulous Fabrics. A neutral velvet covered couch is spiced up with youthful leopard print
oversized pillows paired with natural linen pillows embellished with the same Fabricate tape which are echoed in the floor-to-ceiling drapery. Comfy club chairs redone in a linen fabric are accented with a crushed velvet metallic maroon lumbar pillow. Two little lyre back chairs get the glamorous treatment with the addition of crocodile embossed vinyl seats.
To create a sense of continuity and freshness throughout the home, all walls received illuminating coats of Sherwin Williams’ Antique White with trim painted Sherwin Williams’ White Dove. New, lush carpeting with a geometric cut pattern low pile in a serene neutral from Michael Durham’s Custom Carpets was installed in each of the three upstairs bedrooms to replace well-worn red carpeting.
“My favorite fabric,” says Moses, “is probably the geometric print fabric on the upstairs landing draperies. I am drawn to graphic prints.” The silver and gold geometric pattern on a cream background features French pleating which adds volume to each panel.
Just beyond the landing is the first of the three bedrooms. All bedrooms on the property feature en suite bathrooms and mini-split air conditioning units, so that each bedroom occupant can control how warm or cool they would like their room. Adds Moses, “My favorite room is the upstairs master, or DeSiard Suite, because the wall of draperies make a beautiful dramatic impact.” Indeed, the dramatic wall of golden printed fabrics is a showstopper behind the custom, king sized headboard created by Robert Duncan. The bed’s tailored dust ruffle is made from the same metallic ikat as the curtains. Bedding for all bedrooms in the home is by Peacock Alley, found at Fabulous Fabrics and was chosen for its washability and quality. Linen Euro shams are customized with a zebra fabric tape accent. Mother of pearl lamps atop bedside tables add a warm glow to the space. An occasional chair is covered in a metallic polished velvet.
The Bayou Suite bedroom overlooks beautiful Bayou DeSiard. The bedding in this room is by Peacock Alley and features a Greek key motif, as well. Greek key lamps from Fabulous Fabrics rest on convenient bedside tables.
The Warhawk Suite features sheer curtains with a neutral pattern. Peacock Alley bedding in a neutral on white pattern is accented with a small, rectangular embellished pillow. A silver mercury glass lamp is positioned on a nearby leather-topped bedside table. Bed linens for each room are embellished with an appliquéd Warhawk logo.
If you would like more information about the University House, please contact the ULM Facility Coordinator, Megan Hodge at 318.342.3624 or email@example.com.