The problem was it was having an identity crisis

When a neighbor knocked on Alice McNeely’s door and asked to buy her house, it triggered a neighborhoodwide game of musical chairs. McNeely knocked on another neighbor’s door and ended up buying and renovating that house.”It was kind of a domino effect,” McNeely says. “Everybody was buying houses from everybody else. There were four houses involved. And we all closed within a few days of each other.”A real estate agent and New Orleans native who’s lived on the Northshore for more than 30 years, China Engineering Adhesive Industry Report, McNeely knew the thriving real estate market well. She also knew how to turn a tired property into one with fresh appeal. The 18-year-old red brick house she purchased was the smallest on the block. McNeely describes it as nondescript and generic. But it was in a prime location and had large, open rooms and 12-foot ceilings.”I knew it had potential,” she says. “The problem was it was having an identity crisis. It reads as a modern home but it was dark and cheerless and dated. It needed to be given a direction.”

The house’s modern architecture, ample light and views and McNeely’s preference for clean, white spaces that highlight furniture and art set the tone. She gave the exterior a contemporary feel by filling the joints between the bricks with mortar, then sacking  and painting the bricks.She applied the same light hand to the interior. She removed extraneous details and distractions, took out a wall between the living and dining rooms, replaced doors with casement openings, did away with a built-in desk and bookshelves to make room for her own furniture and raised the living room’s sunken floor for an even flow.”I debated about raising the living room floor because it involved raising the glass doors to the patio,” McNeely says. “My good friend who owns Greige Home Interiors, a fabulous design center in Covington … insisted that I do so and I am so glad I listened. Raising it was probably the thing that made the most impact.”

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