A simple life in a space that's larger than life
Photos by Robin May
There are definite expectations once a home reaches a certain size. When more than 9,000-square-feet of richly appointed space sits on the Vermilion River with two-story floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking an infinity pool, sumptuous sofas and gilded accessories that are jewels as much as home décor. It's easy to envision men in tuxes and women in glittering gowns sipping champagne.
The Brashier home on Princeton Woods Loop is grand. There is perhaps no other word. And yet, the family that inhabits it meets none of those expectations. The lady of the house, Michelle Brashier, says while the space may look formal, her family's lifestyle is anything but.
"We have a more casual life," the mother of five and "Mimi" to two says standing in the marble entryway.
It's an entryway that opens into the largest room in the house where 24-foot-plus silky gold curtains reach from floor to ceiling. On one side of the entry is a bar with walls covered in a rich, deep brown alligator dimensional wall covering. On the other side of the entry sits a gold-decked dining area perfect for family gatherings. And then there is the marble staircase with perfectly etched floral borders along the side and lined with antique French sconces.
"It's one of the few truer French chateau houses in this area," says the designer behind the glorious interiors, Larayn Guidroz of Swags and Tassels. "There are a lot of authentic details."
Guidroz points to the antique sconces, the staircase and the dramatic front to the house with courtyard and parallel garage doors that deserve another word than garage. There's nothing that says garage or utility about these doors.
"These are the most beautiful garage doors in town," Guidroz says with a laugh.
It's just the sort of detail that makes this six-bedroom house something of epic proportions. There are other touches that are surely one of a kind - like the Swarovski crystal and semiprecious stone-laden mirror in one powder room, a media room with a stage (perfect for a certain granddaughter's performances), and the closet that looks like something out a woman's wildest dreams with clothes housed behind glass doors.
"The closet!" Brashier exclaims when asked about the unique space. "How do you go from that to anything else?"
Brashier loves the closet. In fact, four years after moving into the home, she says there's nothing she would do differently anywhere in the house.
"I don't think I'd change anything," she says, noting how well the home works for their lifestyle. "Whoever wants to come for the holidays does. We always have so many people show up. We enjoy it. We don't do formal. We're grilling out or cooking gumbo."
Gumbo at the chateau? Only in Acadiana.