Let the good times roll down in Oxford

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by Kristina Domitrovich // photos by Lindsay Pace

Morgan and Colby Arceneaux met in college at the University of Mississippi, where he played football. After college, they found themselves married and living in New Orleans, where Colby’s from, for almost 10 years. When they had their two children, Duke and Piper, they decided they needed somewhere more quiet.

“We love New Orleans,” Morgan said. “But we just wanted somewhere I guess easier and more family-oriented, and Oxford was always our common place.”

So in 2017 they made the move, and the family (plus their dog, Libby) moved into their new five-bedroom home in November. Initially, the kids’ rooms remained largely unchanged from their home in New Orleans.

“Their rooms especially were fun for us to design because (when) we first moved here and had built the house, they both still had kind of nursery-themed rooms, so we didn’t really do anything,” she said. “But then they started growing and we figured out what they like and their personalities … He’s all sports, loves all kinds of sports, is so competitive; and then she’s like girly-girl, loves makeup, nails done, but she can hang with the boys and play the sports, too.”

Duke, a kindergartner at Bramlett Elementary School who will turn 6 this year, initially said he wanted an Ole Miss-themed room; but Morgan said they compromised for a red and blue room instead, with a lot of sports elements blended together.

Whereas Piper, who will turn 4 this year and will be doing day school at Oxford University Methodist Church, has a room filled with fairies and bows, and a chandelier hangs from her light pink ceiling.

“With her loving all her babies and cooking in her little kitchen, we let her little personality kind of lead us how to design her room,” Morgan said.

Duke and Piper share a dual-access bathroom between their rooms, which works well for the two, as Morgan says “they are best friends.” In the backyard, they each have their own playhouses. Duke’s is a pirate ship, and Piper’s is a home complete with a play kitchen and loft. Morgan joked that Duke is the cleaner, more organized one of the two, and that he’s constantly telling Piper she should tidy up her little home when toys are strewn about. 

As for the rest of the home, while she was working on the interior of the house, Colby told Morgan to surprise him with it’s design, which Morgan now laughs at how daunting of a task that seemed. In their previous home, the colors were dark and really played into the New Orleans style. Doing a 180, their home is now filled with a lot of white and light colors. In a household with upcoming 6- and 4-year-olds, Morgan rightfully had her concerns.

“I wanted to do something fresh and different, and I was scared to do it because of the kids,” she said. “Everything we’ve gotten has been scotch guarded or (is) the Sunbrella fabric, so everything’s kind of kid-friendly, believe it or not.”

Along with other elements, she wanted to be sure to add in some elements of their previous home, like iron railing and pillars on the back patio, more railing on the staircase going upstairs and a lot of metallic elements.

“We tried to bring a lot of ideas from things in New Orleans that we love, make it work here,” she said.

Now that they have lived in their home for about three years, Morgan said she thinks they’ve finally gotten everything settled to their liking, but the family spends as much time outdoors as possible.

“They just keep us so busy,” she said. “It’s so fun having one of each.”

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