Relaxed togetherness

The home of Taylor and Lori Benton

Taylor and Lori Benton Hale thought they had found their forever home in a South Lake Charles neighborhood. As beautiful as it was, the second story children’s bedrooms and downstairs layout wasn’t ideal for the young family who considers relaxed togetherness paramount to making their house a home.

At the end of 2017, their real estate agent found a buyer for their house and sold them hers. It has approximately 3,300 square feet of living space, three bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths, an office and a large playroom upstairs. 

The open floor plan sold Lori, and the price was right to allow for making some changes. Hale also appreciates the setting. It is in Blue Sage, one of the South Lake Charles Graywood Community’s many neighborhoods. She described the neighborhood as one with mature trees and an old-fashioned feel. Sidewalks are wide. Green spaces and parks are plentiful. The Hales have plenty of backyard space. Her children play with others nearby. 

“This is perfect for us,” Lori said about the house. “All the bedrooms are downstairs. Each child has its own bath.”

The remodel included paint, lux white Quartzite with light gray veining and a new stainless overhead hood hangs from the ceiling over the cooking island. Glass tile was added to the bar backsplash. Sumptuous wallpaper has been added to an accent wall in the daughter’s room and half bath. The wallpaper, more than anything, helps communicates Hale’s appreciation of nature. Both feature nature motifs.   

The interior design style is transitional. The lighting design is phenomenal. The huge family room offers plenty of comfortable, child-friendly, good-looking seating, including the French tufted sofa/daybed. (Perhaps, like the rest of us, you think of a daybed as that piece of furniture for small spaces, studio apartments and the sewing/guest room. Not this one.) During the American Press interview, the kids hopped up on it and assumed their usual “relaxed” lounging postures, demonstrating the amount of space left for parents. This is why the Hales purchased this piece from Thomas Guy. They can all pile up on it together and watch TV. 

Over the mantel is an oversized painting by Debbie Pelias, New Orleans. Keepsakes include ceramic wall décor from New Orleans, where the Hales were married. The piano in the dining room was passed down from “Granny and Paw Paw Benton,” Hale said. She has given her son and daughter a reprieve from lessons, but only for a season. 

“They will be playing,” the elementary school teacher said with an emphasis on “will” and a smile. 

Two very creative keepsakes come from Taylor Hale’s side of the family. One is a framed piece of upholstery from a grandparent’s sofa.

“Every family member got one,” Lori Hale said. 

In front of hers is her dried wedding bouquet and the combination is lovely. 

Taylor Hale’s grandfather enjoyed New Orleans Mardi Gras and had been collecting doubloons for years. The Hales mounted and framed some of the oldest and most interesting ones. These hang in the entryway of their new Graywood home.

“I like decorating with things that mean something,” Hale said. 

For the Hales, home represents family togetherness, something attainable regardless of the neighborhood in which you live. The Hales upped their opportunities for togetherness with a large, open floor plan and furnishings that will hold up to rollicking grade-schoolers, including a daybed/couch big enough to hold the four of them. Keepsakes help bring to mind the love of previous generations. Finally, Lori Hale uses touches of nature’s motifs and a hint of whimsy to make the house, and especially her children’s rooms, a little magical.

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