Melancon’s home inspired by Skittles
Within seconds of entering Lori Melancon’s Fairfax Heights home, it is apparent that she loves color.
“My philosophy is that all colors go together,” Melancon said. “I painted the house the colors of the Skittles bag. I picked the colors that I loved. It’s all my little creation.”
She closed the sale on the home three years ago on the Friday before Labor Day. “On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I painted the entire house,” she said. “I moved in Tuesday morning.”
Her large living room is a strong brown. “I picked brown because I thought I needed something neutral,” she said.
Surrounding the living room are the blue master bedroom, a bright green guest room, a green sun room, a purple kitchen and a tangerine laundry room. “I like bright colors,” said Melancon, who is director of marketing for Louisiana Economic Development.
The central location is a major reason Melancon selected her home near the Goodwood area. “It is real easy to get anywhere in Baton Rouge,” she said. “It’s easy to get downtown.”
The previous owner was an LSU professor who studied birds and their environment. “He would do hummingbird experiments in the backyard,” Melancon said. “He had 40 or 50 hummingbird feeders. He would count the hummingbirds every year. His students would come out for the hummingbirds.”
In the three years she has lived in the home, Melancon completely transformed the yard. “It looked nothing like this,” she said. “It was really overgrown. It was planted for hummingbirds and butterflies. I took a lot of that out.”
Because she had worked at the Red Stick Farmers Market, her idea was to convert the two-thirds of an acre to an edible garden. “I tore out all of the backyard and did raised beds,” she said.
The yard now contains 14 raised beds, two lime trees, three lemon trees, a kumquat tree and two satsumas along with a fig tree that was already there. A pergola, or arbor, is planted with beans in early spring and fall.
The pots and beds are watered with a system of soaker hoses and timers. “It operates itself,” she said.
Even though the garden is fairly low-maintenance, Melancon spends some time each weekend with garden chores. At times, she has had as many as 40 tomato plants. She enjoys canning and preserving items from her garden as well as giving produce to friends and family members.
Melancon’s same bright colors have gradually shown up in the yard. “I like projects,” Melancon said. “If I am bored on the weekend, I start looking for projects. That’s how the pergola became turquoise.”
And some random structures left in the yard from the previous owner became electric blue. And the front gate became red.
“I said this fence would be fun if it was red, so I just painted it,” she said.
The home is filled with things Melancon has collected over the years combined with items from her parents and grandparents. “I have weird collections, lots of my grandmothers’ things,” she said. “I love chairs. I have a chair thing. I tend to collect a lot of chairs.”
Her great-grandfather owned a shoe store in Ville Platte. One of her treasured items is the small stool that the employees sat on to measure the customers’ feet.
“I have very little new furniture,” she said. “Mostly I have antiques or things from my grandparents or things I found myself.”
In her living room is a cabinet her grandmother used to display her Nativity scene set. Melancon has the cabinet and the set.
“It’s all just random things,” she said. “Nothing is expensive, just things I collected.”
Melancon loves projects. She’s always looking for a new one.
“The problem is that the house is almost out of projects,” she said. “That is becoming a challenge.”