Greek Revival

An Acadiana family breathes new life into a stately home on the outskirts of Lake Charles

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In 2020, Hurricane Laura dealt a devastating blow to Jerry and Leslie Trahan’s family home on the southern edges of Cameron Parish. The natural disaster prompted the couple to relocate further inland and rescue a Greek revival replica on the verge of being demolished.

When designer Sara Vincent received a call from Leslie Trahan about the project, she knew exactly which Gulf Highway home her client was referring to. She’d fallen in love with the property years earlier while passing by on the way to another design project on Big Lake.

Built in the 1990s, the Trahans’ two-story home was originally modeled off of the historic Burn House in Natchez, Mississippi. Vincent says even though their newly purchased house had also sustained some damage from Hurricane Laura, she knew it wouldn’t be a problem. The dated, 1990s interior however, was another story.

“It was a mess,” says Vincent. “It broke my heart. It was a bunch of DIYs gone bad.”

Her design goal, explains Vincent, was to bring the charm and character of the house back to life. She planned a vision for the interiors, while Jerry, the owner of Trahan Construction, went to work on structural issues.

The classic Southern style of the exterior served as Vincent’s inspiration as she worked to reimagine the home’s aesthetic. She brought in traditional elements, like wallpaper, antiques and richly stained wood to help make the space feel up to date, and even more importantly, timeless.

“I try my very best to always have warmth in a home,” says Vincent. “Reuse old history. Stay away from what you see all over HGTV.”

Luckily, the kitchen already came centered around a brick arched stove area, which Vincent used as a jumping-off point for the rest of the design. She raised the cabinets and added front-facing windows to bring natural light into the breakfast area. Neutral quartzite countertops and a freestanding island kept the space feeling light and airy.

The designer chose to go bolder in the library, with a deeply saturated historic shade of blue by Benjamin Moore. Vincent selected the color to complement jewel-toned textiles she mined at Round Top.

“I found the most beautiful chartreuse fabric I knew would pop,” says Vincent.

She admits the homeowners initially had cold feet about the library’s bold hue, which she extended to the ceiling. But, now it’s one of their favorite rooms in the house.

The primary bath also underwent a major transformation. Vincent describes its original style as “heavy” and “hodgepodge.” She went in the opposite direction, incorporating generous swaths of light marble and glass.

“We totally gutted that area,” she says. “We reworked it to have a much better flow.”

The Trahans are still making updates to the four-bedroom home. Vincent says they have a movie theater planned for upstairs and a pool house in the back. At about 6,000 square feet, the home provides ample space for entertaining and raising their two teenagers.
Most importantly, they’ve created a family home for the long haul and a sturdy shelter to stand up to any future storms.



Builder Trahan Construction,
Designer Sara Vincent,
Carpenter/Installer Chad Cormiera