New Orleans-based astrology guru Stacey Sexton and her family desired to expand their existing home to accommodate their needs while also completing an interior revamp. Sexton called Kim Allen of Studio BKA in for the job. Allen worked with Sexton and her family to add 650 square feet to each of the home's two floors, more than doubling its original size. Now, the home measures 2,530 square feet, featuring four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Below, we take a look at the final design, which amplifies Sexton's passion for astrology and is full of vibrant details.
Sexton says that she and her family have nicknamed their house "Pinky" in honor of the happy hue that greets them in the entryway (and outside on the front door!).
For Allen, one of the biggest challenges during the design process was expanding the circa 1910 Victorian home while also maintaining many of its historic touches. However, a bit of alteration was necessary to enhance the space to accommodate the family. "We removed the last room of the house in order to pour a new pier foundation system and go up to two stories, increasing the footprint by more than double of existing square footage," Allen says.
Allen says that the previous kitchen was quite small. Removing a couple of walls helped to significantly open up the space. The next focus was to make the room more usable without sacrificing aesthetics. "Our clients, having a young family, wanted a practical kitchen while also beautiful and in the center of the home," Allen explains. Here, olive green cabinets ooze sophistication.
It was of the utmost importance to Allen to successfully blend old and new elements throughout the home. She incorporated heart pine flooring and twelve-foot ceilings throughout "so the home doesn't lose its New Orleans vibe once you transition between the old portion of the home and the new portion of the home." Even the windows and doors have significance. "The window and door proportions match the historic portion of the home, which further blends the new and old portions of the home," Allen comments.
Upstairs, a charming child's room offers plenty of space to play. "Using historic neighborhood guidelines, we added a story after the historic third room of the house," Allen explains. "This style home is very common in New Orleans, where the scale and size of the street-facing facade of the home are required to remain consistent with the context of the neighborhood." Allen explains that this addition is known as a "camelback." She explains. "It often resembles a camel in silhouette with its bump in the back. The addition is barely visible from the street, so I believe we were successful in this strategy."
I love the lengths we go to in [New Orleans] to preserve/reuse these historic pieces when possible.
Allen highlights one of her favorite touches in the primary bedroom. "We salvaged a large picture window that was in the rear of the home and reinstalled it," she explains. "This architectural element really became a featured piece in the home." Sexton also greatly appreciates this window. "No way could a modern supplier replicate something like it," she says. "It’s the most commented, 'wow' part of our home when people first see the space, and I love the lengths we go to in this city to preserve/reuse these historic pieces when possible."
Banana leaf wallpaper adds a splash of pep to the bathroom. "I remember the first thing Stacey said to me," Allen reflects. "She said she wanted the home to feel 'happy.' I knew she was going to be a unique (and fun) client. The home is as vibrant as Stacey's personality."
This isn't the only disco ball present in the home; a 30-inch one hangs in the front entry, too. "As the world was feeling so extra harsh and serious, we wanted to call in some sparkle and play," Sexton says. "Turns out, getting a disco ball larger than 24 inches is quite an interesting hunt that leads to you many DJ websites, but it was worth it!"
The family is extremely happy with their finished space. "The layout is truly superb for us, though, and that is something I’ve raved about continuously," Sexton notes. "The flow is perfect, and that’s all due to the creativity of Studio BKA and Kim leading the charge. She listened to our desire for our home to have tons of charm, but also to have a practical floor plan for a family of four. She made the best use of our space and we feel so grateful this is where we call home."