Statuesque chairs from the 1970s (discovered on the curb outside an L. furniture store) greet visitors in the entry, which is wrapped in a shimmering Maya Romanoff paper infused with glass beads.
Covered in a different fabric—Ombrione, from Designers Guild—the same chairs anchor either end of the dining table, which was designed by architect Jim Sullivan to contrast the roughness of the raw wood with the refinement of its finish.
Guests drift through the open doorways to congregate around the pool or gather in the living room, where upholstered pieces are augmented by an abundance of stools and ottomans, allowing visitors to drag their seats wherever the conversation leads them.
"It's the same thing in her home—people who are lucky enough to visit just feel comfortable here." Leah Simon's kitchen cabinets were finished with auto-body paint, a durable acrylic polyurethane that's available in a vast selection of solid, metallic and pearlescent finishes.
"It has more depth than a normal lacquer and it's a little stronger," notes interior designer Susanna Kost.
Sullivan painted the brick walls white and replaced blue shag carpeting with pearly white terrazzo.
In the kitchen, pristine custom cabinets were professionally coated with white auto-body paint to offer an understated lacquer backdrop for entertaining.
Deciding to retire from her career as a Los Angeles record executive to supervise her restaurants full-time, Simon purchased one of the few midcentury-modern houses in Baton Rouge.