Sara McDaniel of Simply Southern Cottage in Minden, Louisiana is our partner for the 2022 Project House-a restoration of a former apartment village, abandoned in the 1980’s. Sara’s heart for her community along with her skills in renovation and design, made her an easy choice.
You’ll know Sara McDaniel by the bright yellow door on the 1926 cottage she renovated for herself. The cottage was the home her heart desperately needed after a turbulent chapter of life and she knew it the minute she saw it—even though it, like the Villas at Spanish Court, was in terrible condition.
“Many would have chosen to tear the cottage down,” she says. But beneath the decay, rot, and neglect, Sara saw resilience and true beauty and completely transformed the cottage into a charming farmhouse. It’s now her own little heaven in Minden, Louisiana, and that cheery yellow door reflects the song of faith and hope in her soul.
Sara’s passion for old houses began on a fateful 4th grade school field trip to a historic home called the House of the Four Seasons. While the teacher herded her distracted classmates through the tour, Sara found herself mesmerized by the copula, which has stained glass depicting each season. “I envisioned how different life would be back then and fell in love with the stories and lives old places represent,” she says. In 1998, she renovated her first house and was hooked. However, she was busy pursuing a career in sales and life was filled with other obligations, so it remained her secret passion for twenty-one years.
Then, there was an unexpected bend in the path of her life and Sara found herself moving back to the state of her birth to embark on a new journey. She created her brand, Simply Southern Cottage, and focused on home renovation, social media influencing, and entrepreneurship and developed acclaim and a devoted following. With her talents, and vision aligned, she’s not only found her purpose, but her cup has overflowed to bless Minden as well. She successfully pitched the city to be on an HGTV show and is now partnering with us for Project House. Through it all, she’s full of gratitude. “My life has been restored,” she says. “It’s amazing to be able to pass that on by restoring the villas and sharing my story.”
The Villas at Spanish Court will consist of 3 buildings with 8 unique units.
Part of the renovation process is removing overgrowth, eliminating environmental hazards and testing/removing asbestos and mold.
Each living unit includes a gorgeous fireplace and naturally beautiful light.
Written by Autumn Krause – Cottages & Bungalows Mag