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Monday, Aug. 9, 2021

Contemporary Cottage Style


Mod office reflects a different side of the homeowners

Her home serves as a snapshot of Shreveport history and times past. But the cottage that serves as her business space is a leap forward in time.

Marsha Millican Gill is a Certified Public Accountant and owner of Marsha O. Millican, APAC, located at 810 Wilkinson. Her business focuses primarily on governmental and non-profit audits.

Though her professional life is spent crunching numbers, Gill has an eye for the unusual and unique. Gill and her husband, Terry, purchased the property, including the house next door, back in 2002. “When we bought this property, it was so overgrown, they didn’t even know there was a cottage here,” she said.

The couple got to work restoring the “big house” that they reside in. Built in 1916, it is now known as Davis Homeplace and is a well-known Shreveport tourist destination for haunted house enthusiasts. Gill says that while working on the big house, clearing the land and installing landscaping, she and her husband decided to put an office in the cottage.

The spot where the office (formerly the cottage) is located was originally a tennis court when the big house was built. Ella Hunt Montgomery built the Davis’ large house. Montgomery later had the cottage constructed for her daughter and her family after her daughter married.

Gill says the entire property is nearly intact as it was built. The buildings were restored, not renovated. “A coat of paint went a long way. The buildings had good bones,” she said.

Gill says the big house is a step back in time, 80 to 100 years, so they wanted to go in the opposite direction with the design in the cottage. “We thought, why don’t we do something fun, something different for the cottage? So, we chose contemporary style,” she said.

Contemporary style is simple sophistication and strong lines. Lines are found in the space’s architectural details, the use of bold blocks of color, and geometric shapes in sculptures, wall art and furnishings.

Upon entering the cottage, the bold use of color throughout the space stands out. A waiting area for clients features funky green and blue recliners with a whimsical shape from Uniquely Yours on Youree Drive. “I tell people this is a Uniquely Yours mini-showroom. Most everything in here came from Uniquely Yours,” she said.

Gill says she chose the pair of chairs because she liked the bright colors, and they were just different. Also prominent in the space are two paintings by local artist Tony Rheams. She says the ultimate goal is to let the building also become a mini-gallery for Highland artists. The light fixture illuminating the space looks like rain falling from a rainbow. Gill says at night, the light from the fixture casts what look like spiderwebs on the walls. The fixture came from C&C Electric on Line Avenue. She says C&C Electric has been their go-to for many light fixtures in both the office and the big house. The coffee table beneath the rainbow light chandelier is from Uniquely Yours. The tabletop can double as a piece of artwork – the top can be removed and hung on the wall. The room also has a bright red sofa and rainbow-hued area rug.

“When you walk in the door over here, it puts a smile on your face,” she said.

A room with soothing blue walls serves as a conference room. A bottle tree standing in the corner of the room was purchased at the Shreveport-Bossier Mini Maker’s Faire. “I had always wanted a bottle tree. A lady in Minden will custom make and paint the bottles for you,” said Gill.

The couch in Gill’s office pops. Red, yellow and blue with rolled arms and an undulating shape. The sculptures in the space can be switched on to illuminate the room. The 3D flower artwork on the wall was created in Mexico. Uniquely Yours procured the piece there. Due to its fragility, it had to be carried on the flight back to Shreveport. (The airline would not insure it.) Colorful masks in the hallway were chosen by Gill because she thought they were wonderful.

The Gills’ property is not only a Shreveport treasure, it is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also listed on the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau website as a haunted attraction. “After we complete a tour [at the big house], we tell people we have something lagniappe – something unexpected, something free,” said Gill. “Then we bring them over here. When they open this front door, they are blown away by all this modern stuff after just going through 100 years of history next door. It’s fun; it’s a nice addition to the tours.”

David Homeplace is currently closed to tours due to the Covid pandemic.

Vivid colors make this couch a real eye-catcher, while sculptures can illuminate a room.

Soothing blue walls add a sense of comfort to the conference room.

Color is everywhere, right down to decorative masks in the hallway.

A rainbow light chandelier shines on a coffee table whose top can double as a work of art. Even the multi-hued lamp casts a splash of color.


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