Small beginning shows character

By By Rita LeBleu / American Press

Starting small hasn’t cramped the style of Josh and Lauren Lozada at all. In fact, the contrary is true, according to Josh.

Some of the elements that stand out most in the couple’s 740-square-foot home are those that Josh said he would have never

added if the home would have been built bigger.

The Moss Bluff cottage’s beautiful, high-end details include rounded wall corners and trim, high-end cabinet hardware, oak

cabinets and floors, granite countertops, and window and door headers. Doors are arched and beaded.

Twenty-four-year-old Lozada has been

exposed to the world of home-building since he was a teen, working for

Bellon Construction,

at first, picking up trash and helping out where needed. Now he’s a

project manager who has designed and built his own home.

Finding the lot was the couple’s

biggest challenge. “It’s hard to find a small, affordable lot in a place

that’s not restricted,”

he said. He built with the idea that his home would appreciate and

it already has, he said.

The beauty of the Lozado home is that,

because space is at a premium, all areas are carefully edited. The décor

and furnishings

fit beautifully and special touches get the attention they

deserve. The couple also adhered to an important design strategy

for smaller homes. They weren’t afraid to have a piece of big

furniture or deep color on the walls. Lozada used a Sherwin

Williams latte-colored interior paint. Window coverings were kept

simple — dark wood blinds.

“We were planning our wedding at the same time as we were picking paint colors so my wife left the home-color choices up to

me,” he said. He left the wedding colors up to her.

Lozada doesn’t recommend the most expensive paint product available, but he steers clear of “cheap” paint. “In paint, you

get what you pay for,” the construction project-manager said. “It just goes on easier and goes further when it’s a better

paint.”

The couple dines at the bar rather than

at a separate table, plus they added extra seating and a small table in

the living

area. When asked about the beautiful granite countertop that

covers the bar, Lozada pointed out that one of the kitchen counter

surfaces was created with remnants at a savings.

His wife likes the fleur-de-lis and that symbol is used in cabinet pulls, inset into the tumbled marble backsplash and is

also used on the window and door headers.

Photographs, including a digital frame (another space-saving device) are displayed throughout the home.

Over the enclosed laundry is wall decor given to her by her grandmother, who used them over her laundry area. These vintage

pieces which were originally purchased at the local Western Auto at least 40 years ago, according to Lozada, are perfect

on the latte-colored walls. “We didn’t even have to repaint them,” he said.

To form the rounded wall corners, a

bull-nosed piece was used to cover corners, and then the piece was

mudded. Extra trim

does not have to be added, but was for the Lozada’s home. The

crown molding is 5 inches, which Lozada said has become fairly

standard in new homes.

The couple installed an extra-large tub in the spacious bath and use one of the bedrooms as an office. They stash seasonal

clothes and decorations in what Lozada calls a “good-sized attic.” A pantry, a linen closet and a large closet are packed full and carefully organized.

The little cottage in Moss Bluff is as distinctive on the outside as the inside, painted a deep green and trimmed in cream

with a large treated-wood porch. On it is another cherished item from a grandparent, the last cypress swing that Lauren’s

grandfather ever made.

The Lozada home on Parish Road may be a small starter home, but the finishing touches give it loads of character, making it

special in a big way.