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Monday, Jan. 27, 2020

At Home

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Liveable Art

Simple, modern and energyefficient for today’s lifestyles

Family brought Robert and Mikal Fogel to Louisiana from Utah. The couple moved to be closer to one of their daughters and her growing family.

Originally from Oregon, Robert received his master’s degree from the University of Colorado – Boulder and his Ph.D. at Oregon State. He accepted a position as a biology professor at the University of Michigan and spent the next 25 years there. He wanted to live amongst the mountains and desert, so the couple retired to Utah.


Several years later, their daughter convinced them to swap red rocks for the Red River. Robert says they would have a family phone call each weekend to see how things were going. “One Sunday [our daughter] says, ‘By the way, now that you’re getting older, you should probably consider moving closer to me so I can keep an eye on you.’ She’s an RN,” he laughed.

Robert got online and found almost five acres of land for sale a short distance from her home. He bought it sight unseen. They built the Shreveport home in 2012, and the couple moved in just before the birth of their first grandchild.

Nestled in a patch of pine trees, the home is a modern masterpiece. Robert, who has a second career as a sculptor and painter, hired a team of luxury architects, Kevin Stephens and Lisa Millican, and the best builder and craftsmen available. Handle It Construction had the task of bringing their vision to life.

As evidenced in his art, Robert likes simplicity in design. “We were looking for a house that had clean lines, was simple, was modern and energy-efficient,” he said.

The one-story home is 2,675 square feet and includes three bedrooms, two and a half baths, an attached twocar garage, and a heated/cooled 1,200-square-foot workshop/art studio with an office. The home is flooded with natural light and views of the outdoors via Marvin windows and doors that span the entirety of the home.

The living and dining rooms feature furniture and accessories from Nader’s Gallery in Shreveport and are separated by a double-sided fireplace. Bamboo floors are underfoot in the living areas and kitchen. The spaces overlook an outdoor living space that serves as both a relaxing escape and a piece of art. Custom shade sails provide shade for the patio, while Japanese rain chains create a water feature.

The home has a built-in gas generator, so all of the necessities are covered if the home loses power. “When you live in a house surrounded by a lot of trees, you have to be prepared,” he said. There is a tankless hot water heater, and the master bath has heated floors, towel bar warmers and a soaking tub. The doors to the master suite are custom-carved solid maple slabs.

This house is crafted with 2x6s, making it a very solid, sturdy structure. Thanks to the BIBS (blown in blanket) insulation system, solar panels on the roof, and reflective roof and metal siding, the homeowners’ highest electric bill in three years was only $142.39. Additionally, the HVAC draws fresh air inside with an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilation), circulates it with interior air, and exhausts old air back outside.

The couple spent seven years in their “forever” home watching their granddaughters grow until their sonin-law was transferred to Oklahoma.

“We said we’ll move somewhere close to an airport, and preferably near the desert, so we picked Tucson,” said Robert.

The Fogels have settled back into life in the desert. Robert, who was a Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) artist while in Shreveport, has joined a cooperative artist gallery and recently received the Ursula Seuss Abstract Art Award for his piece “Alternate Route” from the Tubac Center of the Arts in Arizona.

The home is located at 3100 Halls Trail and is for sale through Keller Williams Realty and priced at $540,000. If you would like to know more about it, visit shreveport.kw.com or contact realtor Dawn Thomas.

Keep it linear, keep it neat: Accessible storage space keeps everything you need at your fingertips and out of sight.

A two-sided fireplace serves the dining and living space.

A floating vanity and an energy-efficient commode keep it light in the powder room.

Efficiently modern, the sleek kitchen is a dream for the culinary-inspired.


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