Like many things in life, moving into a new home rarely happens at the exact moment you need it to, or with the exact circumstances you would have imagined. For Lindsey Smith, a designer and the founder of Makers Workshop, the hunt for her current home was born out of necessity. A few months pregnant with their son Oliver, Lindsey and her husband Gregory were anxious to find a place where they could lay down their roots—preferably with a big backyard and enough space to house their growing family. What they found was a 1983 house in a charming neighborhood in the heart of Baton Rouge. Hardly Lindsey’s dream home, the new construction house featured a dingy yellow paint job, a beige wall-to-wall carpet, and fixtures that were, to be kind, less than ideal. “I think the biggest challenge we faced was our own impatience,” Lindsey notes of her first few months in the new home. Carpeting needed to be removed, paint colors needed to be changed, and new furniture needed to be purchased. After making a series of whiplash decisions that left them feeling strained and unsatisfied with the final result, Lindsey and her husband made a promise to only purchase items that meant something to them, items that, as Lindsey put it, “we would love forever.” After a few first-timer missteps, the home began to coalesce into the dream home that Lindsey and Gregory had always wanted— a beautiful family retreat lush with treasured objects and new stories to tell. At once modern and timeless (it’s now hard to believe the house’s 1980s construction date), the home provides the perfect backdrop for a growing family. —Max
All photos by Lindsey Smith.
Image above: “Whether it is afternoon book readings with Oliver or friends gathering over drinks, we always find ourselves here in our living room,” Lindsey says. Lindsey and Gregory installed Alder wood in a herringbone pattern on the walls a year ago, something that plays into Lindsey’s interest in texture. An antique rocker, a gift from Gregory during Lindsey’s pregnancy, sits in the corner. “Oliver’s rocking days are gone,” Lindsey continues, “but it now finds a home by the hearth waiting for cold days and cocoa.”
Image above: Floral prints purchased during Lindsey’s tenure on Anthropologie’s visual team are the only pictures on the living room walls. Because of their unusual size, Lindsey opted for a light, airy look using an IKEA curtain rod rather than splurging on custom frames. “I typically keep fresh cuts from the garden in this room,” Lindsey says. “The vibrant floral colors really bring out the subtle hues in these botanical prints.”
Image above: Lindsey’s most recent find, this coffee table features a wooden top and shallow metal drawers, “perfect for holding Oliver’s drawings.” Up top, a metal tray holds an assortment of mementoes, including Lindsey’s growing photography collection of bearded men. “The woven garden rug is a gift from my dearest friend, Sharime Jobe,” Lindsey says. “To me it is a sort of visual representation of her wild and colorful spirit. I love the daily reminder of our companionship.”
Image above: A view from the living room into the dining space. “This chesterfield sofa was our first real purchase as a married couple,” Lindsey notes. “I searched for months and months but alas, no other would do.”
Image above: The living room mantel. “I have several odd collections,” Lindsey says, “a habit I’ve had since I was a child collecting antique hankies while most girls were playing with Barbies.” On top are just a few pieces from Lindsey’s various collections— clock gears, architectural moldings, and a photo of an anonymous bearded gentleman (a gift from Lindsey’s mother). “One of my favorite things to do when my friend Sharime visits from New Orleans is to make floral arrangements. Here she paired my grandmother’s wisteria with summer’s colorful zinnias and tiny wildflowers.”
Image above: The dining area. “This humble table was given to me by my mother as an engagement present,” Lindsay recalls. “We stumbled upon it at an estate sale in the small town of Jackson, LA and she convinced me it was sold. Much to my surprise it was mine only a few weeks later. The antique tufted blue velvet chairs, also an engagement present from Gregory. This is a very special spot to me and full of love and history.”
Image above: “There are times when I long for a proper dining table to entertain but often it’s replaced by joyful memories of intimate gatherings. I love how our tiny space allows for us to truly engage with one another.”
Image above: An old mail collector, found in an old Louisiana schoolhouse, has become a space to store various mementoes from friends and loved ones. The flag was purchased at an antique festival in Texas—”probably the best $10 I’ve ever spent,” Lindsey says.
Image above: “Last year while interviewing makers in Portland with Ruthie Lindsey and Christian Watson of 1924, I met Type A Press founder, Chelsey Nichol. We quickly became friends despite the fact that we live across the country from one another. It’s just amazing how the internet can bring people together, isn’t it?! This summer, Chelsey and I partnered with Christina Hart of Wild Hart Paper Co. to create this Hammer and Hand print that illustrates a sentiment very close to our hearts. My website, Makers Workshop, was founded in 2012 on the belief that all things can be made beautifully, simply, and with great function and as a way for me to use my own skills as a stylist to communicate desired impressions and tell the stories behind the products. I believe there is so much beauty in the process and mess of creating that is not captured in a bland drop-out product photo. A few years ago, I began working as a buyer for a retail store in Louisiana. This brought me to several trade shows each year in cities across the USA. With each buying trip, I was disheartened by what I had to choose from for our customers. Everything had a gimmick, was made overseas, and the sales rep knew little to nothing about the product in front of them. I knew this wasn’t the way it should be. If I wasn’t connecting, then certainly our customers wouldn’t! But, every once in a while, I would discover a brand so full of heart and purpose that I wanted to run out of the building shouting in exclamation! My fast heartbeat and admittedly sweaty palms told me THIS was how it should be.”
Image above: Three theater chairs, salvaged from a New Orleans school, sit in the dining area. A small collection of paint-by-numbers postcards hangs above. “They remind me of the Northwest,” Lindsey says, “a place I find myself longing for and a wilderness I can’t get enough of.”
Image above: Oliver drawing images of the family on the hallway’s chalkboard wall. A vintage wool American flag, made in Philadelphia, hangs on the adjoining wall.
Image above: The master bedroom. “This room is a sanctuary and respite and official nighttime monster eliminator. There are few things better than waking here on the weekend with limbs tangled and intertwined with the two people I love most. Our headboard, first seen on Design*Sponge so many years ago, was made by Gregory and his father from a tree that fell during Hurricane Katrina. We had very little money when we first were married but what was born out of necessity is now kept for beauty.”
Image above: “These cardboard prize ribbons were inspired by an image from one of Sibella Court’s beautiful books titled ‘Etc.’ When I first began Makers Workshop, I was asked the interview question, ‘If you could work with anyone who would it be?’ My answer still remains Sibella Court. Her work is utterly divine, rich, imperfect, and engaging.”
Image above: Bedroom corner. A frequent traveler, Lindsey keeps all of her luggage pre-packed, something that she attributes to “one part laziness, one part preparedness.”
Image above: The master bath was out of commission until its remodel two years ago. “Gregory did most of the work himself with help from his father. He replaced drywall, installed the floor, beadboard, trim and moulding and gained a lot more of my love in those few weeks as he patiently learned how uneven our house really is.”
Image above: A stool and shaving mirror in the center of the master bathroom. A trench art vessel holds wooden Izola guest toothbrushes alongside a bottle of Juniper Ridge’s wilderness fragrance. “I have been fortunate enough to work with Juniper Ridge on several projects and hikes. This ‘mountains in a bottle,’ as they call it, transcends all of the possible beautiful words that there are. When work becomes too much and I can’t get away, I find myself grasping for the scent of the deep conifer forests and mountains and rivers without end.”
Image above: The hall bathroom, the couple’s most recent project. Because the walls had been painted and wallpapered so many times, Lindsey and Gregory determined that simply covering them with bead board would help them to avoid the headache of evening everything out. “It was important that this be a child-friendly bathroom while still flowing with the aesthetic of our home,” Lindsey says. “The large, trough-like sink is perfect for washing dirty little hands and won’t break the bank should it take one too many beatings from Oliver and his stepping stool.”
Image above: The main entrance, located just off the living room. “I wanted to make this nook feel different while staying in the same color story. We covered the walls with canvas drop cloth held by black forged nails. I love how the seam poses as a chair rail and the details here are a true moment of discovery.”