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For Jennifer and John McGehee, it was out with the orange shag and in with the warm family style |

For Jennifer and John McGehee, it was out with the orange shag and in with the warm family style

Jennifer McGehee had a hard time convincing her husband to buy the house with the orange shag carpet.

But she could see the potential in the Walnut Hills home built in 1976. It had heart of pine floors and Mexican tiles, large windows, French doors and plenty of cabinets and closets.


“I had been selling real estate long enough to know that this was a house that could be great for our family and for entertaining,” said Jennifer McGehee, who still has her real estate license but now teaches seventh-grade English at Parkview Baptist School. Her husband, John, works for Premier Chemicals Services. 

The McGehees bought the home, shag carpet and all, in 2000.

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The two-story house has a deep front porch, four bedrooms, a family room with a cathedral ceiling and a large game room. The bedrooms, two upstairs and two down, all have French doors, which bring in lots of light, and many rooms have a painted brick wall.

The home is decorated with a combination of comfortable seating and family antiques, including pieces that belonged to John McGehee’s mother, June McGehee, who moved from Lake Charles to live with the family three years ago.

“John’s mother loved that we incorporated her things,” Jennifer McGehee said. 

There’s also lots of family memorabilia from the years Jennifer McGehee spent growing up in Washington, D.C., while her father, Henson Moore, represented Louisiana’s 6th District in Congress. In one photo, President Jimmy Carter is sneaking a handful of popcorn from Jennifer’s bag and another photo shows the Moore family with President Ronald Reagan.  

And there’s lots of photos of the couple’s three children, Molly McGehee Larpenteur, who lives with husband Jacob in San Antonio, where she is an NICU nurse; Christopher McGehee, who is in the MBA program at LSU; and Hunter McGehee, who will be going back to school in the fall. 

Over the past 18 years, the family has slowly made major changes to the once dated house.

“Life intervenes with college and weddings and cars with three kids driving,” Jennifer McGehee said. 

Early on, they tackled the kitchen. 

“The kitchen had dark cypress cabinets with one set hanging over the peninsula,” Jennifer McGehee said. “We had to take that set of cabinets down, even though my mother kept telling me that I was getting rid of too many cabinets.”

The cabinets and walls went white, and a large linen closet was converted to more useful storage.

Their most recent project was a complete remodel of the master bedroom and bath.

The entrance to the master bath was originally a narrow hall with closets on both sides. The McGehees removed the closet on the left and incorporated that space into the bathroom. They converted a small study off the master bedroom into Jennifer McGehee’s walk-in closet, a dream space filled with lots of hanging space and built-ins for shoes and accessories. 

The couple also turned what had once been a formal living room into a comfortable library.

“We use the library much more now than we used our formal living room,” she said. 

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