Living Ind

Command Performance

by Mary Tutwiler

The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra opens its Decorator's Showhouse.

It's unusual to open the door of a house under construction and hear the strains of a Monteverdi opera rather than hard rock or country music blasting, but the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra's 2007 Decorator's Showhouse is anything but usual. Italianate from its tile roof to the topiary-studded landscaping, the 8,000-square-foot house trumpets a fanfare of design innovation. Michael Murphy provided the design, and builders Bryan and Sylvia McLain constructed the house in their new Vintage Park development on Pinhook Road in Broussard over the course of the past year.

Architectural elements include a two-story living room with a travertine marble fireplace; balconies and loggias beckoning visitors to step outside; a covered terrace with an outdoor kitchen leading to the saltwater pool, and an abundance of mosaic tile patterning the walls of baths and the interlinking outdoor pools as if the ancient Romans had left their impressions behind.

Each of the 16 furnished rooms reflect the taste of a different local decorator. The wooden floors in the study and keeping room are particularly beautiful, dark stained pine composing rustic parquet patterns that set the tone for a modern take on historic French Louisiana decor. There's something to inspire the imagination at every turn ' from the touch screen electronics system that controls music, lights, closed circuit cameras, thermostat, and even gives the weather report, to a small light-bathed nook equipped with a massage table for the ultimate in at-home relaxation.

For two weeks, ASO takes possession of the house, which will be open for tours and events. During open house hours, an outdoor café will serve light lunches, tea and scones or wine and cheese for visitors to sit and enjoy the ambience. All proceeds go to the continued excellence of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Conservatory of Music.

The Decorator's Showhouse is open Oct. 18-28. Hours are noon-7 p.m. Thurs.; noon-5 p.m. Fri.-Sun. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Special events: Silver Oak Wine Tasting, Oct. 19; Drillin' & Grillin', Oct. 26. For more information call ASO at 232-4277, or visit