When high school sweethearts Maria Teresa "Tere" and William "Mac" Thomas, married for 39 years, began searching for a getaway near their hometown of New Iberia, Louisiana. Thomas's, had a hunting camp in mind. After a broker showed them the 680-acre property with rolling, wooded hills and a three-acre lake, they loved everything ... except the broken-down shell of a house that came with the parcel. "It was nothing that a match couldn't cure," jokes Mac. And so began what Tere calls Mac's "gift of love," a three-year gut renovation.
"If we were going to do it, we wanted to do it right," says Mac. That meant hiring a crew and crane to lift the 2,770-square-foot house onto supports, where it sat for more than a year during repairs to its foundation and the installation of new insulation, plumbing, and electricity.
The Thomases knew that their 1820s home was about to be brought back to life. The couple already had big plans to transform Laurietta, as the Fayette, Mississippi, plantation is known, from a dilapidated nest into a roost where their extended family—four grown children, plus their spouses and eight kids—could come together for weekends and holidays. Hold your breath to see the stunning outcome of this renovation!!!!
WoW is the single Word that comes out after looking at the end product!
In this photo: The couple rebuilt both chimneys and added a hand-crimped aluminum roof.
Kitchen --- After
Curious about the history of the home—listed on the National Register of Historic Places—Tere visited the Historic Natchez Foundation, a preservation organization located 25 miles away. Expecting to find records and renderings, at best, she was stunned to discover Laurietta's original fanlights, banister, a porch column, and a mantel in the nonprofit's basement. She also learned that a second mantel had been adorning a fireplace in a nearby house; its owners returned the piece upon hearing of the restoration.
Before: Living RoomEach wallboard was removed and numbered, then put back in place after the electrical updates. Scraping away decades of paint revealed original artistic details, including marbleized baseboards and faux bird's-eye maple panels, which a restoration painter was able to revive.
After: here is the transformed lively living room...
Cherished Collection Old bottles unearthed on the property are displayed in the living room.
After: To this ...
The Thomases converted the second story into sleeping quarters for their grandchildren, adding a bathroom to the larger of the two rooms. So what used to look like this was transformed into..
After: this.. "Girls Room"
After: and this.. "Boys Room"
Though restoring Laurietta (this house) took plenty of labor, thought, and money, the Thomases have been richly rewarded for their efforts. They've won two preservation prizes. And they now have a storied, deeply personal home that respects the past, present, and future.
Images Credit: Story inspiration and Images from Decor Mags.
Have a Wonderful Valentines Day!