Clinton charmer

Just one look. If you're interested in country living, that's all it will take to fall in love with this Clinton property. Less than an hour from downtown Baton Rouge, this raised Acadian cottage built around 1900 was lovingly restored and updated by a previous owner about 10 years ago and has been meticulously maintained by the current owners.

The winding driveway off La. 63 takes you through some of the property's 21 lush acres, where more than 60 live oak trees, of which at least a half-dozen are more than a century old, provide magnificent canopies similar to what you might find on the grounds of the State Capitol or LSU. There are towering native pecan and pear trees and more long-leaf pines than you can count.

In addition, the home and its accompanying guest house overlook two stocked ponds filled with bass and bream. And don't be surprised to see a bald eagle or two swoop by overhead, perhaps keeping an eye on the deer, duck or a white-faced, white-tailed fox squirrels that call the trees home.

Exuding the elegance of days gone by, the main home has a wide front porch, where rocking chairs offer the perfect spot to watch the sun go down. White columns, dark green shutters and white trim are a faultless complement to the steps and foundation made of old brick.

The vintage front door opens to a light-filled living room to the left and a charming dining room to the right. Both rooms feature tall windows that look out on to the front porch, as well as side windows that add to the overall warmth and hominess. Creamy plantation shutters enhance the ambiance as do the fireplaces that, like the one upstairs, have been converted to gas.

In the dining room, walls are the original cypress planks, but what was old has been made new again. The engineer owner who did the renovation removed all of the wooden slats and had them planed to fit perfectly over new insulation and wiring. He did the same with the ceiling, painted white to lighten the space, and installed wide-planked heart-of-pine floors, although the refinished original floors are underneath.

The footprint of the home was expanded years ago to convert the back porch into a kitchen, although the exposed beams and beadboard ceiling speak of a previous life. Later renovations turned it into a state-of-the-art space, where a Mexican tile floor and granite countertops gleam. The chef in the family will enjoy the stainless steel appliances, including a built-in Sub-Zero refrigerator, gas stove and a microwave stationed in the base of the island.

Off the kitchen is a comfy den, with a vaulted ceiling and French doors that provide a shaded view of the grounds. The other side of the home, which is centered by a wide hall, is the bedroom wing. Two large bedrooms, each with their own full bathrooms, flank a small alcove that can easily serve as an office or homework space.

A third full bath - just what you need when guests drop by - is situated between the two bedrooms, both of which also enjoy spacious closets.

To the rear of the home is a laundry room with loads of counter space and cabinets, a built-in sink and huge windows to brighten even the most mundane chores.

Accessed by a polished staircase at the rear of the living room is the upstairs master suite. It features a huge closet with a cedar entrance and its own bathroom with a whirlpool tub and separate shower. There's plenty of room for a desk and a cozy sitting area in front of the fireplace.

At the rear of the home is a large deck lined with white banisters. Overlooking the lake, it is the picture-book perfect spot to host a barbecue or end the day.

The main house also has a two-car garage with a large storage room.

A short distance away is the guest house, which underwent a complete renovation from barn to beauty about eight years ago. While the rustic wood siding tells of its former life, the inside strikes just the right balance between modern conveniences and country charm.

Boasting three spacious bedrooms, it is the ideal place for visiting family and friends, but the open floor plan also makes it a fabulous space to entertain.

The walls are covered in pine, milled from a tree that fell on the property. Brick pavers make the floors impervious to any party mishaps, and the kitchen, with its Mexican tile-topped counters and island, puts the cook right in the middle of the fun. A laundry room allows guests all the luxuries of home, and there's plenty of space on the opposite side of the house for a game or exercise room.

One bedroom is situated downstairs, while two more - both with gorgeous views of the grounds - are at the top of the staircase that was salvaged from an old home in the Jackson area. The upstairs bathroom features a whirlpool tub, and there's plenty of storage space in the attic.

Next door is the home's true barn, with parking for four vehicles.

So if country life is what you're after, come by between 2-5 p.m. today for that one look and you'll be sold.

Statistics:

Address: 7599 La. 63, Clinton

Lot size: 21.15 acres

Main house living area: 3,566 square feet

Bedrooms: Three

Baths: Four

Guest house living area: 2,600 square feet

Bedrooms: Three

Baths: Two

Price: $825,000

Market agent: Ruthie Golden, Pro Sold Realty

Contact phone: (225) 413-8594