"We always say we won the baby lottery," Courtney Garrett, mother of two sets of triplets, explains. "My husband Philip and I are extremely blessed." Both sets of triplets were quite a surprise. The first time the couple did in vitro, two embryos were transferred and one split, resulting in triplets. Seven years later, hoping to have one more child, they again transferred an embryo and herein lies the next rare surprise. That embryo split and the couple had also conceived naturally at the same time. Voila! A second set of triplets including a second set of identical twins. I was so intrigued by this story that I was thrilled to spend time in the Garrett's home getting to know all eight of them better.
The house, built in 1905, was completely renovated in 2017 to accommodate the large family. Interior walls were moved to create an open kitchen, family room, and playroom. The roof was raised and windows were added to convert the attic into a bedroom and bath for twins Jack and Oliver. "As far as décor, I wanted the house to feel light and airy. In the main areas, everything is painted White Dove by Benjamin Moore. With this many people, you can imagine the clutter and stuff that can accumulate. The white background helps to keep things visually decluttered which goes a long way in keeping me organized and relaxed." There are lots of spacious rooms with ample seating where the entire family can gather comfortably. The living room, designed by Tara Shaw, features antiques and furnishings from Tara's shop and commissioned portraits of the younger triplets by artist Natalie Erwin (portraits of the older children are in the works). The vibe is serene and calm — a perfect place for an adult beverage and a book.
The kitchen, den, and playroom see the most action. "Philip does 100% of the cooking and the space is large enough for all of us plus grandparents and friends. We eat most dinners in our formal dining room, but breakfast, snacks, and casual suppers are perfect at the counter or the little girls' playroom table." I love the showstopper La Cornue stove and the striking gallery wall of the children's art. "With six kids, lots of masterpieces come home from school. I started framing some of the best pieces in simple white frames. Philip has a similar collection in his office." A durable Stark antelope rug, slip covered swivel chairs, and tiny lounge chairs from Pottery Barn provide comfy spots for the whole clan including Bingo, their two-year-old Cavapoo. "The old piano, too heavy to move, came with the house. With coats of high gloss paint, E. Lee Mead gave it a second life and did the same with a table and chairs set that our older kids outgrew. We love that the girls have a place to play where we can easily keep an eye on them. Down the line, it will become a breakfast room."
The girls' bedrooms are fun and colorful. "For Ellie, soon to be a teenager, we wanted a look that she would not quickly outgrow. The big splurge is a wallpaper by Schumacher that we both equally loved." The aesthetic is youthful and fresh, especially with the spindle bed from Crate & Barrel lacquered a sunny yellow and a custom neon light from Brite Lite. For Vivienne, Wells, and Georgie, Courtney turned to Madre Dallas to design a super feminine room. Benjamin Moore's Marry Me Pink sets the stage for a girly mix of punchy accents such as pina colada lamps from Goodnight Light, side tables from Scout Design Studio, and monogrammed Humpty Dumpty dolls from Haase's — a New Orleans tradition. The art in both rooms — Hunt Slonem bunnies from Martine Chaisson Gallery and Ashley Longshore smalls — are forever gifts intended to launch the kids' own starter collections.
"The baby phases were challenging especially when they were learning to walk and running in every direction. Now, it's more about managing everyone's schedules and ensuring that each child gets opportunities for individual attention. Early on, we got them involved with daily chores — making beds, picking up toys, and packing lunches are a must. Philip and I are both from here, so we are lucky that our parents are around for support and we are not afraid to ask for help." I love the fun stories like toddler Georgie trying to learn her siblings names when four of the five are identical twins and how each older triplet was assigned a younger "buddy" based on birth order to encourage bonds across the age differences. But I think the Ashley Longshore painting that Philip commissioned says it all. "It's one of my favorite gifts. It's a fun way to have portraits of all the children and is a wonderful acknowledgement that moms are super women! He's a superman of a dad, so we joke that we need a matching one for him."
This article appeared in our August 2022 issue of Adore