A Baton Rouge Home To Love Forever

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_01
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.”

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_20
Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_02
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.”

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_03

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.”

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_04

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.”

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_05

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.”

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_06

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.”

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_07

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.”

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_08

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.

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_09 Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_10

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.”

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_11

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.”

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_12

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.

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_13

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.”

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_14

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.”

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_15

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.”

 

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_17

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.”

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_16

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.”

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_18

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.”

Design_Sponge_Lindsey_Smith_19

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.”

  1. Carrie says:

    Baton Rouge! My city! What a beautiful thing to pop up on my feed…. love it all and would be interested to know what neighborhood Lindsey is in :)

  2. meg says:

    this house looks so cozy! i love all of the bright pops of color!

  3. Lindsey says:

    Hi Lindsey, your home is so beautiful! Props on turning 1980’s construction into something that looks like it has much more history behind it. May I ask where your luggage is from (brown weekender on the floor next to the chair)? I’m guessing vintage, but just in case ;) Thanks for sharing with us!

  4. So proud of you, Lindsey! You’re such a regular source of support and inspiration and I love seeing how your talents have turned your house into a personal and cozy home. oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

  5. Megan says:

    What is the floor treatment we see throughout the house? I’m intrigued…

  6. I’m guess the flooring is polished concrete that is tinted? I have to say, this is my most favorite home tour ever! EVER! From the wood herringbone patterned wall treatment to the gorgeous rug that I want to snatch from my computer screen and pop into my own living room to the perfect patina on your flag…EVERY PICTURE IS PERFECTION! I’m drooling over everything. All the vintage treasures are A-MAZING! Love, love, love! Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. sara says:

    This is just incredible! Such style!! Love it!!

  8. Sarah says:

    I, too, am dying for flooring information. Concrete? Cork? How was it finished? Amazingly beautiful home.

  9. Anne Underwood says:

    So beautiful Lindsey! Creating, renovating, decorating and styling to perfection!! You are amazingly talented and have a magnificent home.

  10. Michael says:

    I just started reading your posts Lindsey and was truly fascinated by them. This one is really great. I love the pictures. I think some of the furniture in them are antique. My parents also have those in their house. Yours looks lovely too.

  11. Alexandra says:

    Beautiful! I adore the deep red sofa with the rug as well. Warm & inviting!

    Warm Regards,
    Alexandra

  12. Stefanie says:

    I love everything about this lovely home! The floors! The beadboard bathrooms, the textures & colors, the reclaimed wood… all gorgeous!

  13. miranda says:

    This is what I imagine the inside of a big country home in France to look like, but with the best contemporary twist ever. It comes as no to surprise to me that their Makers Workshop features antlers now. ;)

  14. Jessica says:

    You had me, the moment I saw the herringbone wall. Beautiful!

  15. Katie says:

    This is quite possible my favorite home tour ever! I am also curious about the flooring? It is amazing that you would never guess this house was new construction.

  16. The light in the living room is such a unique piece! Great work!

  17. Wow. This is so good, it almost hurts. Hands-down one of the best homes I’ve seen in a long time. Amazing work, Lindsey!

  18. Myra says:

    Stunning home! Can you share the white paint color and source? Thanks

  19. emily says:

    really gorgeous home. gives hope and inspiration to owners of “new construction” homes everywhere! I love that they weren’t afraid to add “historic” details, like the amazing moulding. And, of course, those floors are stellar. i’ve been looking at these photos since Monday and cannot stop!

  20. crystal says:

    Loved this! I also reeeeallly want to know how the floors were done–did you do them yourself??

  21. Lesley says:

    I was just thinking about layering texture on my living room wall will some sort of wood, now I’ve seen this herring bone design I’m inspired. How is it attached to the wall? The look of the whole house is superb!

  22. Bobbie says:

    This is maybe my favorite home tours on design sponge ever! It is dramatic, and manages an amazing balance of opposites!! Masculine/feminine, dark/light, eclectic/minimal, It really is amazing!!!!
    Stunning!!!!!!

  23. Victoria says:

    This home really invites you in. I wouldn’t mind staying a while :) Very inspiring, specially the ‘floor on walls’ idea and the hanging prints on the living room. Effortlessly elegant. Thank you for another wonderful post. I usually don’t comment, but I do come here very often and love the blog.

  24. I love that this home is so personal. The fact the headboard was homemade makes it even more special. It really adds depth and warmth to the room, as does the ornate mirror. I’d never have thought to cover walls with canvas cloth, the hallway looks really welcoming, yet styled. The antique velvet dining chairs add such glamour to the dining room and prevent it looking too dark, the break in colour allows you to appreciate each aspect of the space.

  25. Linda says:

    I’m curious about the lamp next to the rocking chair….can you give any info on where I might find one like it?

  26. Lindsey says:

    Lesley, the Alder wood planks were attached with a simple nail gun to the wall. You can do it!

  27. Lindsey says:

    Crystal, we did do the floors ourselves. When we moved in, it was beige carpet. We ripped it up, scraped up the carpet glue, lightly buffed it, mopped A LOT, and stained the concrete. After we stained the concrete we put on a few coats of seal. We finished the entire house for less than $700. It was a lot of work but worth it.

  28. Lindsey says:

    Myra,
    We use Valspar paint. The color is Snowcap white.

  29. Lindsey says:

    Linda,
    It was a lucky antique find. Best of luck on your own hunt. The dig is part of the fun and the story!

  30. Jessica says:

    Where did you get the rug? It is to die for gorgeous!

    1. Rugstory says:

      Hi Jessica,

      The rug in the pictures is a traditional moldavian rug. This rugs were handwoven and were originaly used as tapestry. They have colorful and bright colours and their specificity is the floral pattern and precisely rose pattern. You can find them on Ebay or Etsy using the key-word “rose kilim rug” or check my shop specialized exclusevly in this kind of rugs: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Rugstory

  31. Aerolyn says:

    I’m dying to know where your dear friend got the colorful rug! I have been on the hunt but have not been satisfied thus far.

  32. Tabitha Cortez says:

    Hi there!

    Gorgeous pics! Do you happen to know where your friend got the rug from? I’m in love with it! Exactly what I’m looking for. Thanks for your time!

    Tabitha

  33. Kara says:

    This room is lovely. The walls, the seating, the plants, the floral art… Do you happen to know where your friend got the rug?

    Kara

LEAVE A COMMENT

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.