Cleaner, sleeker lines are the newest trend in modernizing traditional Lafayette homes. By Amanda Bedgood ~ Photography Robin May


A revolt against the French may be brewing in the world of design. For years, French country has ruled the home in Acadiana with a fleur de lis stamped fist. But a new style is emerging — modern, contemporary. It’s a style that, at first blush, doesn’t always seem to jibe in the Southern homes filling this part of the country.

When done properly, however, it fits the bill of transitional. It’s a marriage of beloved antique brick and sleek light fixtures.

It’s a use of color in a new way. And it’s less is more.

“It’s been gradual over the last couple of years,” Crissy Green of Elle Design & Décor says of increasingly modern interiors.
But it’s also been a compromise of sorts with most people marrying a bit of old with a bit of new for a truly eclectic blend of modern rather than an entirely contemporary space.

“We wanted something different,” Ebbie Breaux says simply in the entryway of his home that includes pieces both traditional and modern.

The homeowner who tasked Greene with creating that something different in the home he shares with his wife and two boys (a home that he designed and built himself) gravitates more toward rustic, dark colors. But he couldn’t be happier with the result of their transitional home from the modern tic-tac-toe like design of a custom mirror and chest in their entry to thoroughly contemporary light fixtures throughout the home.RMay_130621_6709

In the Elan home it is, in fact, the light fixtures that stand out most in many of the rooms. In the dining area, in lieu of one large table Greene insisted on two (a godsend when they entertain) and above each hangs a combination of old and new that’s difficult to describe in its marriage of utilitarian quality and dressy vibe.

“Those are filament bulbs,” Greene explains of the pendant chandelier. “It’s very industrial.”

In the master bedroom where a sea of white (what Greene says is modern’s boldest color choice) rules, a light fixture of white wood cylinders and thin silver are a sort of contemporary rarely seen. And above those a beautiful wood ceiling Greene insisted they paint white.

“The bedroom is my favorite room. It’s so inviting,” Breaux says, noting the nook for his office and clean aesthetics.

While the bedroom has diverse textures of white on white, in the rest of the house there are notable vivid hues like teal couches and rust fabrics — one of the newest color combos trending.

“Things shouldn’t be too busy. Let it be more about the color and let the bold colors make the statement,” Greene says.

Instead of the French country method of filling homes with a multitude of pieces, keep pieces to a minimum and choose statement items.

“Make individual pieces unique and bold. Make it light and airy,” Greene says of going modern.

She says including a variety of pieces both modern and more traditional can certainly work for most people. After all, the French revolution didn’t happen in a day.


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