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See how Carter and Lauren Hill transformed their 60-year-old Webb Park-area home into a contemporary showplace |

See how Carter and Lauren Hill transformed their 60-year-old Webb Park-area home into a contemporary showplace

He’s a contractor, she’s an artist. Together, Carter and Lauren Barksdale Hill had the vision to transform a traditional 60-year-old house into a stylish contemporary home.

The layout, the use of space, the soft neutral colors and the modern treatment of traditional materials make the home a fit for the couple’s Webb Park-area neighborhood.


The transformation started at the front door.

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Working with architect Mike Sullivan, the Hills “created a greater presence” for the home by changing its facade. A bay window was removed and a new front entrance created with the front door centered instead of off to one side. Steps runs the entire length of the front, with low boxwood hedges planted between the three steps to add natural color to the otherwise neutral palette.

The new entrance opens to the living room, flooded with light from the French doors and tall windows. A white piano is settled in the front corner. Lush, warm colors are accented with pops of gold, also picked up in Lauren Hill’s painting of a peacock over the fireplace. 

In the dining room, a wall of mirrors and contemporary chandelier keep things bright. An informality reigns with the round table surrounded by a small sofa, two comfortable chairs and three dining chairs. 

“It’s not too formal a dining room,” Carter Hill said. “We eat dinner here every night.”

A butler’s pantry/bar with a marble island, a perfect spot from which to serve when friends visit, connects the dining room to the kitchen, with its white cabinetry trimmed in gold.

The kitchen opens to a comfortable keeping room, where the original pecky cypress walls are painted Tapestry Beige, a neutral color used in most of the public areas of the home. Four swivel chairs covered in soft blue make the space a cozy spot for the family to gather.

Off the living room are bedrooms for daughter Palmer, 6, and son Monroe, 4. Monroe’s room is a soft blue, while pale lavender colors Palmer walls, and fabric hangings are hoisted above her twin beds.  

Open to the keeping area is a large den, where originally had been a deep screened porch with a tall roof line. The Hills opened the ceiling and exposed the beams and widened and raised the doorways between the main public rooms, keeping separate spaces but increasing the flow of the home. 

In the den, they used accents of the same pecky cypress as in the keeping room and kitchen.

“The cypress was here, and when we cut out the openings, we saved those materials to use in our addition,” Carter Hill said.

Off the den, in what was originally a large closet, the Hills built a two-story playhouse for the children. It even has a secret opening that leads to their bedroom wing.

“I just had to do it,” Lauren Hill said. “The children are only young for such a short time.”

A short hallway at the back of the den leads to Carter Hill’s office and the master suite, which overlooks the patio and pool area and is painted a soft gray-green called Hazy Skies. 

The backyard, which originally was all grass, is now a comfortable spot to entertain. Working with landscape architect Jeb Barber, of Makaira Design, pavers were laid to floor a covered dining area and a gathering place in front of a large white-painted brick fireplace.

A recent addition to the backyard is a new pool, its bright blue a striking contrast to the deep green grass.

And then there’s Minnie Pearl, the family’s miniature horse, whose kept in a white-fenced corral.

“My grandmother had a stable in Florida, and our family was always big into horses,” Lauren Hill said. “Minnie Pearl is my baby.” 

Carter Hill, who has a master’s in preservation studies through the Tulane School of Architecture, did the contracting work, while Lauren Hill’s sister, interior designer Shannon Mahon, assisted with the decoration. The sisters own Mint, a local boutique that sells items for the home, art, shoes and accessories.

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