3221 Grand Route St. John

Although its exterior is a bit more colorful than its more conservative fellow citizens, it’s no surprise that this listing at 3221 Grand Route St. John fits right in with the neighborhood – until you open the front door.

The living room/dining room/kitchen is one wide open extravaganza of space that immediately brings to mind hosting Saints parties, New Year’s Eve bashes and just plain old fashioned entertaining your friends with a good meal. This great room lends itself to parties, yet is cozy when you need a little solitude.

“We had to decide what to do with the house, so we decided to renovate this 1980s house in keeping with a European aesthetic,” explained owner Matt Thaller, who remodeled the house himself and who now lives right around the corner.

Thaller, who has established restaurants around the world, gave the house a restaurant feel with a stainless steel sink and refrigerator, a four-burner gas range with a hood, high-gloss cabinets and a free-standing two-tiered stainless steel island on wheels. Cararra marble countertops fit right in and make for easy clean up.

“We wanted a clean look to the house,” said Thaller, who pointed out the easy-to-keep-clean poured concrete scored and stained floors and the windows that let in plenty of light, yet are high enough not to have to be draped.

In addition to the large great room on the first floor, Thaller has included a laundry room and a den.

A sturdy iron staircase leads to the second floor which contains something I’ve wished renovators would offer for years, but none ever has – two master suites with an office or guest room in between.

“This way, the house would be perfect for two roommates or for couples who like their own space, but still like being together,” explained Thaller.

The first master has a large bedroom and bath and opens onto the front balcony with rooftop views of the Bayou St. John neighborhood.

“This is such a down-to-earth community,” said broker Tommy Crane, who has lived in two different homes right on the bayou (and moved both times – how crazy is that!). “It has an all-inclusive attitude and all kinds of people are welcome here.” Crane is the broker for the listing agent of the house, Aaron Dare.

The other master suite also has a bedroom and its own bath and opens off the back of the house onto a balcony overlooking the back yard and a stunning view of the Dome of Holy Rosary Church.

Picture a little wrought iron table and a couple of comfy chairs, an umbrella, a big pot of coffee and the morning paper. Depending on where the sun is and whether you’re hot or cold would be the determining factor as to which balcony you would use.

“We made it so you can drive right in your yard from the street,” said Crane, pointing out that sometimes parking is tight in this neighborhood. There is also a three-car garage at the end of the driveway.

The house looks great visually, but it’s what you can’t see that makes it all the greater. Thaller has included double insulated windows, Rinnai on-demand hot water, exposed HVAC ductwork, recessed lighting, pendant and custom Italian lights, ceiling fans, a sensor alarm system, functional shutters and digital programmable thermostats. The exterior is Harde plank, there are two Lennox air conditioning units and the electrical, plumbing and HVAC have all been replaced plus there is fresh paint inside and out.

“This neighborhood is so dynamic, so diverse,” said Thaller. “Every type of person lives here plus you can walk to City Park, Bayou St. John, the art museum and the grocery. I live here myself and I can tell you I love it.”

Angela Carll may be reached at angcarll@gmail.com or 504-947-6575.

Statistics

--Address: 3221 Grand Route St. John in the Bayou St. John neighborhood

--Lot size: 33 x 88 feet

--Living area: 2,268 square feet

--Bedrooms: Three

--Baths: Three full/one half

--Price: $519,000

--Extras: Stove and refrigerator included

--Marketing agent: Aaron Dare, tommy crane group, inc.

--899-TOMM (8666)

--www.tommycrane.com/3221grandroutestjohn