Vote for our 2024 Brand Ambassador Today! →
Now Reading
Restored: The Villas at Spanish Court   

Restored: The Villas at Spanish Court   

Bedroom looking into kitchen, with bright butterfly wallpaper

It’s time to open the doors of our Louisiana Project House to reveal the fully rescued 1930s property that’s ready for guests.

patio area with fire pit exterior of the Villas at Spanish Court
Each villa has its own patio area with a charming brick foundation, thanks to Cherokee Brick. You can sit out here and roast s’mores while listening to the local wildlife. On the Wheeler villa’s exterior are the original roofline with new roofing, a custom Simpson Door Company front door and custom Dogberry Collections shutters on the windows.

It's reveal time! And we couldn’t be more excited to share this final chapter of our Louisiana Project House: The Villas at Spanish Court. A year ago, you opened these pages to see an expansive, overgrown property in Minden, Louisiana, dotted with eight villas.

indoor swing in Villas at Spanish Court living room
Sara is always pushing the design envelope, and a hanging swing from Organic Swings embodies that. “Typically, these swings are made for outdoor porches, but the villas do not have porches, and I wanted another fun, unexpected design twist for my guests,” she says. And the Organic Swings sofa isn’t just for looks—guests can actually swing on it. 
bar stool seating in neutral kitchen at Villas at Spanish Court
It can be difficult to make a neutral color scheme pop, but Sara uses a variety of textures and patterns to make the Piper villa dynamic through a mix of hard and soft surfaces next to each other—such as the soft Piper Classics cushions next to the metal barstools and Sinkology farmhouse sink. The benefit of a textured but neutral space is that the environment is just as serene as it is stylish. 

Though it was easy to see the vintage 1930s charm of their architecture, each one was crumbling away—some in such a state of disrepair that the ceilings were caved in. Sara McDaniel of Simply Southern Cottage has battled unruly underground springs, asbestos ridden walls and termite-damaged wood. It’s now time to show you the vision Sara saw and brought to fruition over the course of the past year. 

villa kitchen neutral beige wallpaper farmhouse sink in Project House Louisiana
Each villa comes stocked with dishes and each has a distinct set because Sara opted for thrifted dishware. “Almost always, I prefer to utilize thrifted versus new items because they add texture and intrigue,” Sara says. The farmhouse sink from Sinkology and cabinet hardware from Emtek provide beautiful new elements alongside the vintage.

Pleased to Meet You

“Seeing the villas now, I can hardly believe the ‘before’ photos,” Sara says. The Villas at Spanish Court is now entirely restored, and each unit has its own name and distinct style, from the Annie, which is an exuberant and funky suite inspired by designer Annie Selke, to the Piper, which is farmhouse romance named after Piper Classics, with a neutral brown and ivory color scheme. Another is the Laura after Laura Ashley, with its dreamy blue and gold hues. 

Laura villa kitchen in restored Villas at Spanish Court
The Laura kitchen has a sweet, retro vibe and everything you need to make a vacay meal, including retro-inspired appliances from Forte Appliances and cabinet hardware from Emtek. A cute storage cabinet doubles as a coffee and tea bar, which Sara topped with a thrifted metal birdcage for hanging teabags.
bathroom in the Piper villa at the Villas at Spanish Court
The bathroom in the Piper villa is tiny yet charming, with vintage elements and a custom art piece by Olive Branch Farmhouse. The light fixture by Westinghouse Lighting also embodies the vintage farmhouse aesthetic.

The Villas at Spanish Court is almost ready to open its doors, but the community has already become part of its story. For example, Sara was so impressed by the artisan who applied the wallpaper, despite long hours and heat, that she named the Cindy villa after her.

green botanical wallpaper
Two different wallpapers by Annie Selke pair beautifully. “It can be intimidating to pair two different wallpapers so close together, but they work because they both have a soft style and coordinating colors,” Sara says. The Barn Light Electric Co. pendant light adds to the charm and color of the space.

The wider community, which has been following along nationally through the magazines and via social media, has also played a part. A follower in Texas saw that The Penney was going to have joyful, butterfly-adorned wallpaper by Daisy Bennett Designs. “She reached out and said, ‘I have the perfect dishes for the Penney’ and sent them over,” Sara recalls. “The dishes have butterflies and pinks and yellows and are absolutely perfect for the villa.” 

Annie villa with bright floral wallpaper
The bathroom in the Annie villa showcases a retro-inspired tile wainscoting and original floor. Alongside elements like the beautiful Woodgrain door, Barn Light Electric Co. lighting and tile shower surround, it’s a charming blend of old and new.

A Warm Welcome

Guests can choose which villa they want to stay in and see them all on From dilapidated structures ready to be condemned and torn down, they have stepped into their new lease on life with their history intact. 

The Wheeler villa at the Villas at Spanish Court
The Villas all have vibrant, memorable names. The Wheeler is a nod to Sara’s biological father. He was a photographer, and the villa named after him has bold, masculine-meets-boho vibes in his honor, such as the cool modern art by House of Coco Gifts and Westinghouse Lighting chandelier. The neutral area rug is by Orian Rugs, and is part of the Simply Southern Style collection by Sara herself.
grasscloth wallpaper and warm muted color scheme in restored Villas at Spanish Court
The Wheeler’s grasscloth wallpaper is sumptuous to both see and touch. It works well alongside the Organic Swings sofa, which Sara brought inside from its original outdoor design.
the Wheeler villa bedroom with grasscloth wallpaper and tan bedding
The Wheeler has a warm, eclectic energy and is filled with items from all over the world, from places as far as Oman. “It’s darker and moody, and I really surprised myself here and love how it turned out,” Sara says.

“This project stretched me more than any other,” Sara says. “I was basically renovating eight homes at once—but it was so worth it!” The Villas at Spanish Court can’t wait to welcome you inside and share its story of renewal and hope to take home with you.

entrance door at the Villas at Spanish Court exterior
Solid wood doors from Simpson Door Company are timeless replacements for the previous doors, which tragically were not salvageable. The new doors fit well into the 1930s architecture, and feel solid and sturdy to the touch. The matte-black Emtek handles and Westinghouse Lighting wall sconces match the wrought iron architectural feature on the porch overhang.
The Villas at Spanish Court exterior
The Villas at Spanish Court has come a long way, with new roofs and gorgeous new shutters from Dogberry Collections. Sara incorporated all the original yucca plants into the outdoor design. She added small palm trees, driftwood roses and gardenias to the landscape, along with Liriope, ornamental grasses and pansies for pops of color. 
Cindy villa turquoise cabinetry at the Villas at Spanish Court
Barstools in the Cindy villa allow guests to have a quick bowl of cereal or oatmeal before heading off for a fun day of sightseeing in Minden. The teal cabinets and fun, retro-inspired light by Kichler Lighting are the stars of this small but inspiring space.
floral wallpaper basket trio and neutral trellis patterned rug at the Villas at Spanish Court
Baskets and a dried wreath add texture to the wall above the couch in the Cindy villa. The wreath is a dried palm leftover from an Easter service. It was made by Sara’s friend Allie, who owns a floral design company.
Cindy villa bedroom with floral wallpaper at the Villas at Spanish Court
Unexpected elements are Sara’s favorite, and this stag head is bold and surprising against the soft, feminine wallpaper in the Cindy villa. “There are smaller antlers in the kitchen, so I love how that ties together with the full stag head here,” Sara says. The murphy bed from Lori Beds folds up to give guests more floor space during the day.
In the Laura villa bedroom, a vintage-inspired bed frame by Charles P. Rogers is adorned with floral bedding from Laura Ashley. “This space is all about nostalgia,” Sara says. “I want you to feel like you’re staying the night at grandma’s house—only a very stylish grandma’s house!”
velvet sofa floral wallpaper in Laura villa at The Villas at Spanish Court
A decadent velvet sofa adds a glamorous touch to the Laura villa. “The style is vintage and romantic but it’s also very practical,” Sara says. “You’d never know from its aesthetic, but it actually folds out like a futon. It was important to me to make sure the villa sofas do this so each one has room for littles to sleep, if desired.” 
restored living room with fireplace at the Villas at Spanish Court
New wood trim and baseboards from Woodgrain frame both the room and the windows, and help bridge the old architecture with the new furnishings, such as the Roman shades from 3 Day Blinds. Sara loves to mix and match textures, so she selected a glass coffee table for the living room. “Since the space is small, the round glass coffee table makes it feel lighter and airier,” she says. 
Piper villa bedroom with blue ticking bedding and floral wallpaper
The Piper villa is an ode to farmhouse styling and fresh, airy bedding and pillows by Piper Classics. The blue ticking stripes are a true hallmark of the genre. A murphy bed by Lori Beds can fold up to create more floor space against the Orian Rugs area rug. The rug pattern is part of Sara’s Simply Southern Style line with Orian Rugs.
The kitchen in the Annie villa is framed by an arch, which is original to the architecture. Sara’s materials choices are classic and classy, from the farmhouse sink by Sinkology and lights by Barn Light Electric Co. to the wallpaper by Annie Selke. Even the DIY air conditioning unit by MRCOOL provides an unobtrusive yet practical function above the window.
security camera on the Villas at Spanish Court
Sara installed Eufy security cameras around the property for added security to the Villas, which will have guests coming and going. The Emtek front door hardware also has individual keypad codes to provide guests with more assurances that they and their luggage will be safe during their stay.
designer Sara McDaniels outside the restored Villas at Spanish Court
As Sara brought the Villas to life, she has shared sneak peeks on social media. “People have gone wild over the statement designs I’ve done,” she says. “I’m finding that people want to take big, bold décor risks but are often scared and play it safe. But I think they love seeing me do it and live vicariously through me.” She hopes she inspires others to take risks, too. 

Want to see what the Villas at Spanish Court looked like before Sara and team worked their magic? Take a look back at Introducing Project House Louisiana. Of course, don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration! 

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top