Sienna Place: Caribbean charm in an intimate atmosphere
The Gossen family has long been synonymous with the building industry in Acadiana going back to the 1890s, when Joseph Gossen emigrated to Rayne, Louisiana, from Germany. He was the first Gossen to step foot on this soil and began establishing new roots for the Gossen name. One generation later, Joseph Gossen Jr. served as mayor of Rayne for four terms, which speaks of the integrity that stands behind this name.
It comes as no surprise that Jeff Gossen, owner of Jeff Gossen Homes, L.L.C. in Lafayette, has been building quality custom homes since 1986. He is the fourth generation to come into the business, along with his brothers, Kevin, who is an architect, and Gerald Jr., who is also a builder. His father, Gerald Gossen Sr., is a civil engineer and architect. Although retired, he is still active in the civic arena.
Jeff has built homes in exclusive subdivisions such as The Grove, Le Triumphe, River Ranch, and Green Briar Estates. Jeff Gossen is also a licensed real estate broker and a member of the local MLS service, offering lot acquisition and certified appraisal services exclusively for their clients. Charlene Gossen, Jeff’s wife is the company’s in-house decorator, helping her clients bring together a bit of the old with new materials for the look they want to create. “We spend a lot of time selecting the perfect materials for each individual homeowner,” Jeff says. Charlene does much more than help to bring these elements together; she has 25 plus years in mortgage banking and is ready to assist prospective homeowners navigate through the mortgage process.
Recently, I’ve had the pleasure to meet Jeff and Charlene and catch up with their latest development, Sienna Place. Located near Acadiana Mall off Johnston Street behind Teche Federal Savings Bank, Sienna Place is a controlled, planned development with an intimate atmosphere. Its theme is Caribbean, a blending of Spanish and Creole. “It’s situated on a plot of land I bought from an old neighbor,” says Jeff. “Its location is perfect for anyone wanting to be in close proximity to everything. The development is made up of twelve homes, seven of which have already been built, and five are still available. Charlene and I are doing this together. We wanted to be instrumental at every level: the theme, the design, the layout, the building, and Charlene takes care of the rest. People seem to relate well to this because you get everything in one neat package. We try to keep it simple.”
In fact, the Gossen’s recently sold their home in The Grove. “We weren’t planning on moving until someone approached us about our home. Our three children are now living on their own and we’re empty nesters. The timing couldn’t have been better. We’ve been here for one month and love it!”
As I look around I’m amazed at how lived in this home feels. Charlene has a knack for putting things together. Beautiful African art as well as local artists’ work grace this home. Olin “LeRoy” Evans, a local artist, painted portraits of each of the children. Done in heavy oils, they are rich in texture and vibrant in color. Unique bamboo lamps made by local artist Francis Chun are nice accents, fitting in well with the Caribbean style of the home.
“Every home in Sienna Place is custom designed for the empty-nesters who want a more upscale product with our amenities without the cost. This is definitely the ‘upside to downsizing,’” says Charlene. “Smaller homes mean less utilities and taxes giving you more of your expendable income to spend on things you enjoy.” Whether its acquiring art, traveling, or just spending more time with your grandchildren, it’s all about keeping your life simple and enjoying those things that mean the most to you.
Jeff places a strong emphasis on the details. Hard pine beams, brick flooring, and antique pine, along with custom cabinetry, eight-foot solid doors, large crown molding, and high ceilings with specialty lighting are amenities you will find within each 2,400 – 2,700-square-foot home. Private courtyards with seven-foot brick walls ensure that everyone at Sienna Place has total privacy. “I’ve used the same quality as I do in my larger upscale homes—same carpenters, finishers, painters, and basically the same materials: wood flooring, granite, marble in the bathrooms, marble in the kitchen, just on a smaller scale,” says Jeff. “Through our contacts we’re able to pass on some savings to our clients. Our desire is to give those homeowners who are looking to downsize something a bit unique in our area. I believe we’ve done that here at Sienna Place.”✦