Text by Katie Ellis
When Tiffany and Bill Accousti were in the market for a home, they set their sights on an 1885 cottage in New Orleans, Louisiana, just three blocks off Magazine Street and nestled in the heart of an eclectic neighborhood. For Tiffany, it was love at first sight. “I was happy the minute I walked through the door,” she recalls, noting it wasn’t just the house she fell in love with but the neighborhood itself. “We have a lovely neighborhood. It was important to us to be [in a community] with people from different socioeconomic backgrounds; I really wanted my kids to live in an eclectic neighborhood and be around interesting people.”
While the surrounding area has a wide variety of home styles in all manor of repair, the Accoustis’ home in New Orleans’ Uptown neighborhood holds its own. To honor its historic past, the couple spent the first few years in the home working on a complete renovation, gutting the interiors while maintaining its original footprint. “We brought it back to what I feel is its original glory,” Tiffany says. “It’s bright, light, and airy and exactly what I wanted in a house.” In the style of a center hall, the Accoustis’ home has a rectangular floor plan with a central hallway that spans from the front door to the rear. With a formal sitting room on one side of the entry and a stunning dining room on the other, the home quickly opens up and envelops guests in a space that radiates relaxed elegance.
Tiffany’s love for French style is not a conscious effort, she explains, but rather one that has been ingrained in her since childhood. “I probably didn’t do that on purpose,” Tiffany says with a laugh when asked about the subtle French flair found throughout the home. “I’m from Lafayette, Louisiana—that’s Cajun Country. I love anything and everything French.”
From formal spaces layered with antique treasures to more relaxed living areas covered in cream linen, the home is built for family and entertaining. Tiffany opted for a neutral palette that she can continue to build upon over time. “I’m not going to decorate the house in one fell swoop. I think it will take me years to decorate,” she says. As her tastes and family needs change over the years, a neutral background will allow for easy edits. “Ultimately,” Tiffany says, “I didn’t want it to look trendy. I didn’t want to walk in my house 20, 30, or 40 years from now and say, ‘Oh, this house was done in 2010.’ I wanted it to be classic and true to the original house.”
That mantra was especially true when it came to redesigning the kitchen. “We entertain a lot, and I’m really happy with the functionality of the kitchen,” Tiffany says. With a farmhouse sink, ample storage space, and professional-grade appliances, the kitchen is always ready to host friends and family. The large center island with additional seating adds to the kitchen’s overall useful plan and aesthetic appeal. The room’s cream-colored setting not only calls for a simple sophistication but also allows opportunity to introduce fresh color with the seasons and holidays.
While Tiffany quickly admits she spends most of her time in the kitchen, it’s the master suite that ranks as her favorite room in the house. “It was truly designed to be a retreat for me, and that’s what it’s become,” Tiffany shares. “I wanted a pretty, quiet, calm space, and I think that I achieved that in this room.” Using her favorite color, blue, as well as soft neutral tones and a variation of interesting textures, the master bedroom and sitting area is actually a room the whole family enjoys. “The room is big enough that we are all able to hang out and spend a lot of time as a family together in that space,” Tiffany says.
The Accoustis daily find ways to savor sweet moments in their French-influenced New Orleans cottage and find joy in a home that fosters time spent together. “I think we are at our best when we have people around us to celebrate life,” Tiffany says. “We just think it’s the perfect house for entertaining family and friends.”