Eloise Wall moves from a large Victorian house to a townhouse with most of her furniture and art
If the furniture fit — both literally and stylewise — Eloise Wall was buying.
But it took a while to find the perfect place.
Wall was coming from a large Victorian home she had moved in 1973 from downtown Baton Rouge to West Lakeshore Drive.
In 2004, she chose a town house in The Hill but still had her doubts about getting everything from the old into the new.
Luckily, Wall knew just who to call. She had worked for years with interior designer Bruce Foreman, who helped her with the Victorian house.
“I told Bruce, ‘You’ll never get all that furniture in this house,” Wall recalled with a laugh. “His answer was, ‘Try me.'”
He found new ways to use the furniture and shook up the usual placement of pieces.
“I changed nothing. I moved right in,” Wall said. “That’s the beauty of a good decorator.”
The house, built by real estate developer Red Reynolds, has a “different” layout that Wall really appreciated.
“I liked the simplicity of the façade. I liked the openness of the rooms,” she said. “I use every room in this house every day.”
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The elaborate Victorian-style starts at the 1870s-style beveled glass door, which opens to a small foyer. A stairway leads to two bedrooms upstairs, while a hall passes the master bedroom on one side and the kitchen on the other.
The hall then opens to the living room, which is basically divided into three sections — a dining area and two seating areas, both anchored with red velvet sofas and yellow tufted chairs. At the rear is a working fireplace with a wall of built-in bookcases on the opposing wall. The room has 13-foot ceilings with painted ceiling beams and dark-stained parquet floors. Walls throughout the downstairs are painted a neutral color called Elephant Tusk.
A pass-through window between the dining room area and the kitchen allows Wall to visit with dinner guests while she prepares.
“The window makes the house more like the houses they build today,” she said. “If I am in the kitchen, I can hear every word my guests say and see them.”
Off the living room is what Wall calls her garden room with glass-pane interior walls, a full ceiling of skylights and brick floors. Because of the light, it’s the room she enjoys the most.
“It’s where I keep my computer,” Wall said. “I do all my work in the garden room.”
A stained-glass window with a religious theme in the wall between the garden room and a powder room inspired one of Wall’s friends to nickname the powder room as “the chapel.”
The home is filled with family pieces and furniture Wall purchased years ago.
“I don’t think I have ever gotten rid of anything,” she said.
Artwork is another subject. She’s still collecting and mixing old and new.
In the same seating area of the living room are a large English oil portrait, a papier-maché frog, several works by Louisiana artist Caroline Durieux and a painting of three women in traditional upper-class Indian dress.
She also has a collection of botanical prints as well as Han Dynasty Chinese figures displayed on sconces in the garden room.
Wall enjoys the low maintenance of town house living with almost no yard. Because the houses are built side by side, there are few windows.
“Because of that, I practically don’t have a utility bill,” she said.