Something Old, Something New
It’s what’s on the inside that counts—and that goes for homes, too! For Kerrie Caldwell-Troutman, it’s certainly true of her Central West End property. While the house has traditional sensibilities (it was built more than 120 years ago), she brought her own unique style to the interior with modern touches and quirky accents. She gave T&S a look inside, where old meets new.
T&S | What made you choose the Central West End?
Kerrie Caldwell-Troutman | My husband and I lived in St. Louis for 16 years before moving to New Orleans. When we came back, we knew we wanted to be in the Central West End because we love living in the city. The walkability was a big draw. We wanted to be able to take our dog places, and it’s nice to bring him along with us to all of the great restaurants in the area. It’s a really fun place to be.
T&S | How old is the home?
KCT | It was built in 1894. My husband and I love old houses. This is the third one we’ve taken on and remodeled.
T&S | What else attracted you to the house?
KCT | We loved the look of the exterior, but the biggest draw was probably the dining room. It’s a huge space with beautiful, dark paneling. I just fell in love with that room. We enjoy entertaining and having friends and family over, and it’s perfect for that. The whole house is great for guests.
T&S | How much did you renovate?
KCT | If you name it, we’ve probably redone it. The kitchen was completely remodeled; we took it down to the subfloor. Cosmetically, every room in the house has been changed. From switching out the wallpaper to replacing floors and light fixtures, we’ve pretty much renovated the entire house.
T&S | Did the age of the home impact your approach to interior design?
KCT | Absolutely. I love a house with character, and I think you really find that in old homes like ours. We have a lot of antiques, but I also like to mix modern with traditional. The eclectic look is characteristic of my personal style. I have a degree in art, and I love fashion. I want everything to be aesthetically pleasing, whether it’s clothing, a home or anything else. I’m really passionate about design, and I wanted to strike the perfect balance between old and new. It makes the house feel like a hidden gem. Looking at the outside and thinking about the age, you don’t expect the modern art and other touches you find inside. Walking through the front door is a cool experience.
T&S | Do you have a favorite room?
KCT | That’s a really hard question! I love the kitchen. It really was a labor of love and took more than a year to complete. But like I said, the dining room was the reason we bought the house. It’s warm and cozy and the perfect place to have people over. I also love the powder room, the living room, the room with the gold ceiling … I just love it all! I think my favorite thing may be the way the whole house works together.
T&S | Your art collection is striking. Any standout pieces?
KCT | We’ve collected a lot over the years, and each piece has a special story. I especially like to support local artists. Currently, my favorite work is probably Abe Lincoln in the kitchen. It’s the newest piece, and we specially commissioned it from the artist, Zack Smithey. The kitchen is very traditional, and the design is a little serious. The painting adds a pop of fun and quirkiness while fitting the space perfectly.