Simien family’s move to Garden District not without deliberations

Husband-and-wife lawyers Eulis and Tammy Simien needed a “family negotiation” to move from their modern house off Bluebonnet to an old home in the Garden District.

“When we’re living in Bluebonnet, Tammy hits me with, ‘I want an old house,’” Eulis Simien recalled with a laugh.

She liked older homes, but she also wanted to be closer to St. Joseph’s Academy, where two of their daughters were in school.

“I said I would move, but I had one condition.

I wanted a pool,” said Eulis Simien, who teaches one course at the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center and practices law with his brothers in his family firm, Simien & Simien.

In 2002, the Simiens found their home and made the move from new to old.

“We didn’t have to do much to the downstairs,” said Tammy Simien, senior staff attorney for the LSU Health Care Services Division.

The previous owner, a young couple, had done a major renovation, opening the living room and solarium to create one space separated by arches and a column.

For the large room, the Simiens used a neutral palette on the walls and fabrics in red and tan on the sofa and chairs. A chess set on a table in a front window is always ready for a lively game between Eulis Simien and his grandson.

The focal point of the solarium’s south wall is a hand-painted mural. In the center is a baby grand piano, where the Simiens’ classically trained daughters practice and play for family and friends.

When the Simiens purchased the home, the original kitchen had already been renovated and extended to create a combined keeping room area. “This is where we spend most of our time,” Tammy Simien said.

After they moved in, the Simiens continued the renovation by updating the upstairs bathrooms and bedrooms, landscaping the yard and building Eulis Simien’s dream pool.

The front entrance leads to a wide center hall with a traditional two-tiered stairway. On the left is the living room. To the right is a formal dining room with a large table, breakfront and sideboard. Behind the dining room is the kitchen-keeping room area.

Every downstairs room in the house has a view to the beautifully landscaped yard designed by Lee White.

The Simiens removed some trees close to the house and planted the beds for year-round color. “I wanted to open up the front yard,” Eulis Simien said.

The pool is in a courtyard off the dining room and kitchen area. It’s where the couple’s children and grandchildren love to gather. The home is filled with furniture and artwork collected over years. “It’s a combination of old and new things,” Tammy Simien said.

The Simiens love their family-oriented neighborhood.

“It has an old-fashioned feeling. It’s welcoming. It feels like home,” Tammy Simien said.

Holidays are favorite times for the couple, who enjoy decorating for the seasons. At Christmas, they use fresh greenery on the balcony and porch and place a large creche, handmade by Eulis Simien, in the front yard.

At Halloween, they hang ghosts from the trees, fill the porch with pumpkins and fall flowers and dress in costume for the hundreds of children who trick-or-treat in the neighborhood.

Eulis Simien is well known for appearing on television representing his law firm. One Halloween, he donned a particularly scary disguise to hand out candy to the children.

The costume didn’t fool one smart little boy. He looked up and said, “I know you. You’re Eulis Simien.”