A downtown house becomes the perfect home for a growing family. Photos by Robin May
When planning for a family, the natural inclination is to head for a subdivision. It’s where Danielle Keaty’s mind went when she and husband Jim began talking kids.
“I was hesitant to live downtown with having a family,” Danielle says in the renovated kitchen of their home on Avenue B in downtown Lafayette.
Jim Keaty bought the early 1920s home when he was single; it had two bedrooms and one bathroom. It served as the location for both his real estate business and home. Then came marriage. Then came baby. And another baby. When he and Danielle married, she had a home in the Saint Streets where they spent time as renovations began on the downtown home to accommodate their future.
“We have so much fun here; I’m glad we did it,” Danielle says.
And Jim agrees.
“I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else,” he says of the home that marries both old and new.
And it’s easy to see why. There is a unique aesthetic to the home with sustainable bamboo floors on the second story that houses two bedrooms, a generous master bedroom and bathroom. Downstairs, a living area and kitchen open onto a back porch that gets its fair share of use. Friends and family don’t call. They just show up.
After the Keaty girls head to bed, Jim and Danielle listen to music and spend time with friends heading to and from downtown. During the day, the Keatys have turned downtown into their own backyard. They spend time at museums and the park. Head out to hear live music and hit the festivals. And they do it all with their young daughters in tow.
“We’re so glad we did this. We go to the fountains and take bike rides to eat gelato,” Danielle says. “If we had to get in and out we wouldn’t do as much.”
While the location is a huge plus, the uniquely renovated home is just as friendly for their lifestyle. And even easier on the eyes. They have a fair share of paintings from artist Mallory Page (Danielle’s cousin) and local artists like Dr. Jeffrey Joseph. In fact, they aim to collect local art exclusively. A sliding door
over the closet in their bedroom is made from the gate once in their backyard. Twin beds in their daughters’ room hang from ropes.
“The upstairs is much more modern. We wanted something fresh and new while keeping the history of the home,” Danielle says.