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Shades of Gray

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The Taravella Family Home

Take a tour through the Taravella home at 831 Third Street, and you get a clear sense that the owners love two things: fantastic historic architecture and minimalism. So often, the two don’t go hand-in-hand, as many architectural styles throughout history are typically  fussy, ornate, and over-wrought with detailing. But for Aaron and Rachel Taravella, imbuing minimalism into a historic home wasn’t a matter of erasing its original details—it was making the two work in harmony. “I’m a pure minimalist at heart, but dealing with historic homes, you don’t want to compete with the existing architecture,” says Taravella. “You want it to feel timeless.” 

Originally built in 1905, the two-story Italianate home began as a traditional shotgun style house so common to New Orleans. But subsequent owners altered its existing footprint by making additions, ultimately resulting in a U-shaped home that included a shed and a partial upstairs level. “It was really a hodge-podge when we purchased it, and we simplified the floor plan by extending the upstairs addition and renovating the shed into a garage,” says Taravella. “Ours is now one of the few homes in our neighborhood with a garage, which is a huge selling point.”

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