Langdon Residence

4800 Tartan Dr.

Metairie, Louisiana

Renovating a 1960s tract home for a musical couple provides an opportunity for a fresh, modern take on traditional suburban dwellings.
Glenn + Laurie Langdon, client
3,300 sf house/1,850 sf area of work

Wayne Troyer FAIA

Tracie Ashe AIA


George Long

Project Type: Interiors, Residences

Following a post-Katrina stint in New York City–where their work as conductor and dance company director, respectively, took them–Glenn and Laurie Langdon decided it was time to move back to New Orleans and set about renovating Laurie’s childhood home in Metairie. Built in 1967 as a tract house in the Bissonet neighborhood, the house was ready for updating to suit the needs of its new residents: Glenn required a piano room where he could play and compose; Laurie requested a small dance studio complete with mirrors, barre and sound system; they both wanted more openness and less clutter. The renovation was initially slated for the first floor only (kitchen, living areas and master suite); however, once work got underway, Glenn and Laurie expanded the scope to include the second floor.

A primary spatial design move was removal of several walls and widening of openings to facilitate physical and visual connection between spaces on the first floor. At the foyer and stair, a space which had been very constricted was transformed to an area of transition and welcome, and the lower run of the stair was reworked as custom, floating bamboo treads suspended from the ceiling. Moving further into the house, the kitchen was fully reworked as an extension of the living area, with custom cabinetry and island; a pale color palette brings further lightness and modernity to the space–important for a house with existing ceiling heights of less than ten feet. Concealing the television is a pair of sliding resin panels custom-created with old theater programs significant to the owners embedded in them. Bright accent wall colors add vibrancy. Throughout the main floor, ceramic floor tiles flow from space to space, reminiscent of wood flooring with the advantages of lower maintenance and increased durability.

Along the north side of the house, a series of smaller closets and bathrooms was reworked to a more generous master bathroom, closet for Laurie, and new powder room off the living area. A custom vanity and mirror, translucent privacy panel and tub/shower arrangement create a spa-like atmosphere in the master bath. Full-height, translucent sliding panel doors enhance the spatial connectivity of the master suite and bathrooms to the first floor.

At the second floor, a guest bathroom was fully updated with custom vanity and shower/tub combination including new tile and glass. Two guest bedrooms and an office benefit from the removal of a dropped, hard ceiling: the new spaces have soaring gabled ceilings that allow light to flood the rooms. Laurie’s small dance studio is located adjacent to the office she and Glenn share. Carpets on the second floor were replaced by bamboo flooring to match the new stair, for a seamless transition. Exterior work included replacement of vinyl siding with composite wood, replacement of windows and a new, custom-made front door.