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Stylish Design

Coordinate Interior & Exterior Colors MAY 2014

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long live we time

create the perfect setting for the moments that last a lifetime. Belgard is your resource for outdoor living inspiration, planning and installation. Get a complimentary IDEA BOOK to explore charming walkways, welcoming patios, gourmet kitchens and more—the possibilities are endless.

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Getting a FREE IDEA BOOK is easy! Simply scan the QR CODE or visit us at

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The art of things chosen well rather than often.


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Discover No passport necessary

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Tea Room, Botanicals & Home Decor

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The Doors of St. Louis by

137 Chesterfield Industrial Blvd. Chesterfield, MO 63005


To view a gallery of our work, visit

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May 2014







42 2014 Architectural Finesse Awards


10 Publisher’s letter 14 trends 16 fab finds 20 STYLEMAKER 24 Artisan 28 DELISH DISH 58 The dirt 62 spotlight 66 cheers 70 small scale 80 bright idea 84 BEFORE & AFTER 86 CONNECT 96 Classic or Craze



Red, White & “Ultra-Green”

Designed and built by its owner, this fabulous home on The Hill is a tribute to “green” construction.

On the Cover See page



Architectural Finesse Awards Outstanding design deserves recognition, and five sensational St. Louis design projects have been singled out for our third annual Architectural Finesse Awards.

Harmony Inside and out

Homeowners Mary and Dan Tramelli designed their Richmond Heights garden as an extension of their home’s interior.


Photography By Alise O’Brien

The contemporary stair-stepped white marble fireplace was designed by Directions In Design, Inc. with a large recessed area featuring handblown colorful plates.

St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles (ISSN 1524-8755) Vol. 19, No. 4, MAY ©2014 by Distinctive Lifestyles, LLC. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint or quote excerpts granted by written request only. St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles is published nine times a year, monthly in MARCH, APRIL, MAY, AUGUST, SEPTEMBER and OCTOBER, and bi-monthly in JANUARY/FEBRUARY, JUNE/JULY and NOVEMBER/DECEMBER by Distinctive Lifestyles, LLC, 255 Lamp & Lantern Village, Town & Country, MO 63017, (636) 230-9700. Periodicals postage paid at Chesterfield, MO 63017 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles, 255 Lamp & Lantern Village, Town & Country, MO 63017. For change of address include old address as well as new address with both zip codes. Allow four to six weeks for change of address to become effective. Please include current mailing label when writing about your subscription.



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New Homes ReNovatioNs additioNs CommeRCial STLH_0514.indd 8 | 314.644.2775 2722 Hampton Ave. | St. Louis, MO 63139

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slhl HELLO

Substainable living I can't think of a better way to wake each morning than to the melodies of songbirds greeting the sunrise -- what an alarm clock! It feels as if there is an orchestra of birds singing their hearts out outside my bedroom window. Each spring, these same birds jubilantly announce the rebirth of nature. Living and loving every moment, they sing, find mates, build nests and raise their young much in the same way we do. They naturally live a sustainable lifestyle, utilizing the resources available to them for food and nest building (worms, insects, twigs, string, hay, grass) with no negative impact to the environment. As humans, we haven't quite embraced sustainability like our feathered friends. Slowly but surely, we are opening our eyes and adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. Farm-to-table dining (page 28), tile roofing (page 20), a recycled steel staircase (page 84), deconstructing and rebuilding a barn (page 70) and recycling shipping pallets (page 80) are just a few of the sustainable topics we cover in this issue. If you are considering remodeling or building new, and environmentally responsible construction practices are a priority, check out the host of environmental issues Dave Grassi tackled while building his family home on The Hill (page 32). Known for their architectural ingenuity and integrity and overall aesthetic appeal, we have singled out five exceptional design projects as the winners of SLHL's Architectural Finesse Awards (page 42). The winning projects are sure to inspire and delight your design sensibilities. Happy Mothers Day to all!

Suzie Osterloh Publisher/Owner

Enjoying a decadent breakfast at Prasino.

A special "Happy Mother's Day" to our Moms! xoxo - The SLHL Staff ie


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's m lissa



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PUBLISHER/OWNER: Suzie Osterloh MANAGING EDITOR: Melissa Mauzy ART DIRECTOR: Kim Dillon COPY EDITOR: Carol Wayne CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Lucyann Boston, Judith Evans, Sylvia Forbes, Sara Graham, Lorraine Raguseo, Jamie Siebrase, Barb Wilson CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Anne Matheis, Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton, Jim Diaz David Van Scott Photography, Alise O’Brien, Jad Ryherd, Tom Bonner, Darren Soh, Craig Sheppard, Nicole Crowder Photography, Tack Photography, RVGP Photo+Graphics, Bonnie Forkner, Stacy Ercan ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Carrie Mayer Amy Shea DISTRIBUTION MASTER: Barney Osterloh SALES & MARKETING ASSISTANT: Lauren “Lucy” Morris ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: EDITORIAL INQUIRIES: FOR SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: Call 636-230-9640 ext. 27 Visit St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles Magazine 255 Lamp & Lantern Village Town & Country, MO 63017 (636) 230-9700 Printed in U.S.A.

PRESIDENT: Suzie Osterloh VICE PRESIDENT: Barney Osterloh St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles is a publication of Distinctive Lifestyles, LLC



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2014 & 2015 CONTESTS:

Baths of the Year: entries due May 5, 2014 Garden of the Year: entries due June 3, 2014 Kitchens of the Year: entries due October 1, 2014 Architectural Finesse Contest: entries due Feb 2, 2015

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11610 Page Service Drive 1694 Larkin Williams Road 1694 Larkin Williams Road 11610 Page Service Drive Fenton, MO 63026 St. Louis, MO 63146 Fenton, MO MO 63026 St. Louis, 63146 Phone: (636) 349-4946 Phone: (636) 349-4946 636.349.4946 &314.373.2000 &314.373.2000


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Woven Wonders 2


Not just for sacks of taters, burlap is a strong and versatile fabric that has become a staple in home accessories. The natural, organic fabric complements a variety of design styles. By Melissa Mauzy


Photography by Alise O’Brien


one: Burlap placemat, available at Marketplace at the Abbey. two: Burlap napkin and napkin ring, available at Marketplace at the Abbey. three: Marble lamp with burlap shade, available at Imogene’s. four: Burlap bicycle bench, available at Emporium St. Louis. five: Burlap flowers, in two sizes, available at Old House in Hog Hollow.



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six: Burlap table runner, available at Marketplace at the Abbey. seven: Burlap silverware placeholder, available at Emporium St. Louis. eight: Frenchy burlap pillow, available at The Gifted Gardener. nine: Turquoise burlap bow frame with jewel, available at House In Style. ten: Fly away lamp, available at Marketplace at the Abbey. eleven: Redford trunk dresser, available at Pottery Barn. twelve: Burlap trunk, available at The Porch.

Ba rn


8 7






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Bring a touch of Mother Nature into your home by drawing inspiration from the world around you. Furnishings and accessories celebrating the beauty and wonder of the natural world add an organic element that will complement your home’s design. By Melissa Mauzy  3




one: Viviana collection, by Elk Lighting, available at Holt Lighting Depot. two: Floral birch pot, available at The Porch. three: Acorn pewter measuring spoons, available at B. Davis. four: Petrified wood end table, available at Savvy Surrounding Style. five: Resin birds with metal feet, available at The Jeweled Cottage.



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six: Authentic African headdress, available at MKS. seven: Framed bird print in green, available at Three French Hens. eight: Artichoke votive holder, available at Three French Hens. nine: Aqua chair with floral fabric seat, available at Emporium St. Louis. ten: Silver bowl centerpiece with moss and real horns, available at MKS. STLOUISHOMESMAG.COM MAY 2014

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11 12






eleven: Floral arrangement with nest, available at B. Davis. twelve: Boxwood wreath, available at The Jeweled Cottage. thirteen: Gnarly wood, available at The Porch. fourteen: Resin bird, available at The White Rabbit. fifteen: Green vase with real feathers and hydrangea, available at MKS. sixteen: Boxwood placemat, available at The Jeweled Cottage. seventeen: Dragonfly tray, available at Marketplace at The Abbey.



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Bring your business where your customers want Locate your business where motivated customers you to . St. onlydedicated dedicated center center for await. . . .be. . . .St. LouLouis’ i s ’ only for residentialand andcommercial commercial residential ..



The Interior Design Center of St. Louis offers the only centralized shopping location for home and office interiors. Your business can draw on the synergies of 175 years of local business relationships with our existing tenant showrooms operating from a 2 tier retail/wholesale business model. Ser ving interior designers, architects, specifiers, commercial interior purchasers, developers, builders, remodelers and do it yourself consumers. Located in the best centralized location in the metropolitan area off I-270 & the new Route 364. 100,000 square feet on 7 acres.


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Sustainable Structure edited BY MELISSA MAUZY Photography BY Kim Dillon

Old World Roofing, a family owned and operated company, was founded in 1986 and specializes in slate and tile roofing. Their high standard of workmanship has made them a trusted source for beautiful crafted roofs in the St. Louis area. SLHL: Why consider a tile roof? What are its advantages? Dan: A clay tile roof adds character and beauty, enhancing the appearance of a home. With several different types of tile available, as well as an assortment of styles and numerous colors to choose from, there is so much variety in building a tile roof. A homeowner or builder can create a beautiful and truly unique work of art for their neighborhood to admire. There are some really awesome homes in our area, and it is easy to see the impact that the craftsmanship of a gorgeous tile roof can make to top off a home, and essentially enhance an entire area. Also, a properly installed tile roof will offer years of protection from the extreme weather that we have in this part of the country. The advantages are not only cosmetic, but also cost effective and eco-friendly. SLHL: How long do tile roofs last? Dan: A clay tile roof will easily offer 75+ years of service to a home—on top of that, a tile roof can be removed and reset, with proper flashing and felt, to last another 75+ years. There are clay deposits worldwide, which is why there are tile roofs spanning throughout the world.


Dan Hagerty, SLHL: Are tile roofs available in styles or colors other than a Spanish style? Dan: Clay tile roofing systems are available in multiple styles, shapes, sizes and can be custom designed to match almost ANY color. Throughout the world, these factors vary, and you will see a ton of different looks depending on where you are. Spanish tile is just one style—to name a few more, tile can be curved, flat, thick, thin, wavy, etc. Most clay tile used to install roofs in St. Louis and much of the Midwest are produced in New Lexington, OH. SLHL: Do tile roofs work on any home? Dan: In short, no. Tile roofs are unique, and most homes cannot withstand the weight of a tile roof. Tile roofs weigh at least three times more than a shingle roof. In addition, the pitch of a roof has a lot to do with the type of material that should be installed. For example, a lower sloped roof with a pitch 3/12 or less should not have a tile roof because of the built-in lack of drainage.

owner of old world roofing, crafts clay tile roofs that last a lifetime.

SLHL: How are tile roofs sustainable? Dan: Clay tile is, quite possibly, the most “green” you can get for a roof. In addition to the durability and 75+-year lifespan of a tile roofing system, tile is a product that is both natural and recyclable. Tile is a product that is designed to not fade and will truly last a lifetime. Ludowici (out of New Lexington, where we get our clay tile at Old World Roofing Co., LLC) offers a 75-year warranty on their clay tile, guaranteeing that it will be free of manufacturing defects and maintain its color. A tile roof also can aid with energy efficiency in a home or building. See for resources.


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Simple as black and white, we offer the most stylish pieces, making your surroundings uniquely yours

Exquisite Custom Metal Work Gorgeous Gates, Balusters, Staircases & Furniture Iron Fencing for Pool & Home Perimeters & MORE!

Please join us for our MeMorial Day sale - May 17-24 everything “tagged with a flag” will be 25% off Full-Service Interior Design Firm Home Décor • Furnishings • Gifts

7 Capper Drive, Pacific, MO 63069 P 636-271-3200 F 636-271-9745

9753 Clayton Road St. Louis, Missouri 63124 PHONE: 314-432-SAVY BLOG:


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Beyond Your Dreams, Within Your Budget.

9808 Clayton Road, Ladue, MO 63124, 314.993.6644 Alise O’Brien Photography



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tile | stone | countertops

49 Cassens CourtSt. 14871 West 95th Fenton, MO Lenexa, KS 63026 66215

636-680-2250 913.894.5515 Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00-4:30 Closed saturday & sunday

HOURS: Monday-Thursday 9:00-5:30 Friday 9:00-5:00 | Saturday 10:00-2:00

stop by our showroom and let us make your home design dreams a reality

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Master artist Michelle Hamilton combines glass and ceramics for stunning effects.

What can you do with a hunk of clay and some splinters of glass? Michelle Hamilton, master artist and owner of Zaximo Studios, has dreamed up some very creative answers. Michelle loves to design three-dimensional objects inspired by underwater creatures of the sea. One series looks like sea anemones waving with their many undulating arms. Another source of inspiration is botanicals, which may stem from her enjoyment of gardening. Her current work focuses on a series called “Splash.” These pieces are created as triple layers of glass. The bottom spreads low and wide, the second layer is brightly colored and the center looks like water splashing. Because of the way it's built, with many complex open spaces and intricate details, the piece exudes energy. “Layers and shadows are really important to me,” explains Michelle. “How they're lit in a gallery creates unusual images on the wall, which are almost as exciting as the piece itself.” “Splash” has gotten lots of interest and recognition in gallery shows around the country, and even here in Missouri, as the Missouri Arts Council has asked her to make a limited edition version for the 2014 arts awards, which are given out annually to exemplary artists and art facilitators. Another salute to her exemplary work is that the Bullseye Company, which is one of the main art glass suppliers to artists, recently chose works from 40 artists from around the world to represent the emerging field of art glass. They included her in their list of top innovative glass artists. The transformation from Play-Doh to art pro came naturally. “We are a really creative family,” she says. “My mother was an artist and interior designer, and my father was an entrepreneur. I was given lots of clay at an early age and encouraged to experiment and express myself.” She


BY sylvia forbes Photography by Kim dillon

learned from both, and now has a successful business (Zaximo) in art. Michelle attended college at Miami University (OH), double majoring in ceramics and art education. After graduation, she moved to Santa Fe, NM, studying southwestern clay techniques. Her quest for an MFA in ceramics led her to St. Louis to attend Washington University. Here she was introduced to glass making and fell in love with it, which moved her art in a dramatic new direction. Since then, she's found ways to combine her skill in both ceramics and glass to create art. Ceramics come into play as she hand-throws the molds for the melting glass. Much of Michelle's work can be found in private residences, hospitals and law firms. However, her work will be on display to the public at a one-man gallery show in October at the Schmidt Art Center, on the Southwestern Illinois College campus. Michelle is a current art instructor at Maryville University, and started the glass program at the Craft Alliance. “I love to inspire students beyond their norm. But it works both ways. I find that sharing with students inspires me, too,” she says. Her family has enthusiastically supported her throughout her art journey. She's managed to find balance among her art, kids, husband, family and teaching. “There's a deep satisfaction when you are creating. Not just the creation process, but in observing, too. Every day I see things that inspire. Meditation is a big source of envisioning. There is a soulful feel about being able to express the self with hands, as well as how people react to a piece.” See for resources.


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finished tiles are assembled on fiberglass mesh in preparation for the final installation. Bottom left: Nicole (Nikki) Lemkemeier. Right: Trout pond backsplash.


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From inspiration through installation...helping you with the creative process.

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Green Grub

Prasino epitomizes going green from the eco-conscious restaurant’s menu to its décor and name.

By Judith Evans Photography by Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton

If a local farmer grows it, Tony Marchetto will work to make something delicious from it. If, that is, the food is organic or all natural, hormone free and antibiotic free. Marchetto is the chef at Prasino, a restaurant that’s eco-conscious from its name (the Greek word for green) to its menu to its décor. Last summer, one of his purveyors showed up with a long, gnarly root that looked like overgrown horseradish. It was sarsaparilla, most often used to make a soda that’s similar to root beer. Marchetto cooked the sarsaparilla with sugar and vinegar to make a gastrique, then served it as a sauce for roasted duck. He’d never cooked with

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persimmons until some showed up at the restaurant’s door. A little research and a lot of effort later, he put white peach and persimmon cobbler on the menu. It sold out the first night. “We want to source locally,” he says. “I was on the phone for a week and a half to source organic products, finding the alleyways and different roads to sourcing organic foods.” The restaurant, at 1520 South Fifth St. in St. Charles, is the fourth in a small chain and the only location not in the Chicago area. “They wanted a local chef, somebody who had ties to the community, ties to farmers,” says Marchetto, a Kirkwood native who has worked be-

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Opposite page: Salmon with Cara Cara oranges and fennel. This page: Cheesecake in a Mason jar.

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hind the stove at some of St. Louis’ best restaurants, including Tony’s, Harvest and Cardwell’s at the Plaza. He was happily cooking for Bill Cardwell at BC’s Kitchen when a chance encounter with an old friend led to a job offer at Prasino, which was still under construction. “I wasn’t looking for a job,” he says, but he couldn’t pass up the chance to craft a menu from the ground up. The menu is large – they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily – and so is the space, which seats about 350, plus another 50 or so on the patio in good weather. In keeping with the eco-friendly focus, the tables are made from reclaimed wood and the light fixtures are made from recycled cardboard. The patio is bordered by Marchetto’s herb garden – a hyperlocal touch that diners enjoy all summer long. See for more information.

Left: Tony Marchetto. Right: Lobster Avocado.

cooking school


learn. taste.

b© St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles Marchetto will demonstrate these three favorite dishes. A taste of the cooking school Menu

• Lobster Avocado. Marchetto tosses chunks of lobster with Fresno chile beurre blanc, then piles the mixture into half an avocado set on a bed of arugula. Mango salsa adds even more flavor and color to the rich and bright dish. • Salmon with Cara Cara oranges and fennel. Marchetto makes a salad from torn Tuscan kale, a naturally soft variety of the popular green, and uses it as a bed for salmon cooked over wood and a shaved fennel salad dressed with micro basil and segments of pink-fleshed Cara Caras. • Cheesecake in a Mason jar. Marchetto assembles and bakes these single-serve desserts right in the jar. He starts with a buttery yellow-cake crumb crust, then adds a light, creamy cheesecake filling. Blood orange syrup, Cara Cara segments and whipped vanilla cream are the finishing touches.


J~in u° WHEN Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. WHERE Construction Appliance by AUTCOhome 1694 Larkin Williams Rd., Fenton, MO 63026

RESERVATIONS $35 per person. Seating is limited. RSVP by calling 636-230-9640, ext. 27 or email


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Shhh... your husband will never know we were here.

232 Vance Rd. Suite 204 Valley Park, MO 63088 636.529.8200


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Recycled steel girders and bar joists establish the main level’s dramatic, “industrial loft” ambience and subtly define the various activity spaces. The wood flooring was salvaged from the gym floors of two local high schools, and the stair treads were custom-made from castoff lengths of Power Lam, a product typically used for headers and beams in home construction.



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Red, White &

“Ultra-Green” By Barb Wilson Photography by Anne Matheis


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Designed and built by its owner, this fabulous home on The Hill is a tribute to “green” construction.


The Hill. Rich in history, it is as iconic as the Arch, Forest Park and Busch Stadium. Savory aromas waft from the popular restaurants and bakeries on nearly every corner. Pole banners, canopies, even fire hydrants are emblazoned with the red, white and green of the Italian flag, proclaiming the tight-knit neighborhood’s heritage. For David Grassi Construction Co., however, “green” has an equally meaningful interpretation; it’s the responsible way to build.


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The Hill has been home to the Grassi family for three generations. Dave’s dad, best-known as “Red,” founded the original Grassi Construction Co. in 1969. Sometime later, Red brought his teenage son into the business, sharing his expertise and legacy of fine craftsmanship. It’s readily apparent that Dave relishes the pride of working side-by-side with his father for so many years. Dave’s wife, Julie, is a physical therapist for the Special School District.

Although raised in suburban West County, she too has fallen in love with The Hill’s eclectic urban lifestyle. The couple’s long, happy marriage – which they laughingly refer to as “a series of five-year plans” – has been spent entirely in the neighborhood, where they live with their two children, both academically gifted, athletic high-schoolers. Building their dream home was the planned finale of the Grassis’ timetable, but vacant lots are a rarity on The Hill, and competition for STLOUISHOMESMAG.COM MAY 2014

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them is keen. One open lot had become available, however, and Dave was astonished when the property owner approached him at church. A fellow parishioner, the owner was familiar with Dave’s previous projects on The Hill and offered to sell him the site. Needless to say, Dave jumped at the opportunity. Green construction, also referred to as sustainable building, involves a great deal more than simply adhering to today’s energy-efficiency


standards. From design to completion, the process addresses a host of environmental issues, including the efficient use of water, energy, and natural light; utilization of recycled and locally available, renewable materials; indoor air quality and moisture control, and waste reduction. To help Julie visualize his innovative plan, Dave made a three-dimensional model of the house, and once construction began, it became a neighborhood sensation for nearly two years. “Anything that’s new,


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Left: Gracefully curved, a glass block wall shields the mud room from view. Right: Two concrete column forms serve as the base for the table’s glass top, which was originally a patio door. Fashioned from remnants of recycled steel, the eye-catching corner sculpture was a joint project of Dave and his daughter.

different or exciting on The Hill gets lots of attention,” Julie explains. “We even put up a tent in the backyard and plugged in a refrigerator!” she adds, welcoming neighbors to socialize and kibitz as the work progressed. Respectful of the area’s traditional architecture, Dave designed a classic front elevation in warm, buff-toned brick with concrete detailing. From the curb, it is impossible to anticipate the interior’s boldly

contemporary, “industrial loft” styling. The basic floor plan revolves around an open, central switchback staircase, providing a total of 4,000 square feet on the first and second stories, plus another 1,000 square feet of finished space on the basement level. A rooftop deck, with panoramic views in every direction, completes the structure, and a beautifully landscaped rear courtyard separates the residence from a four-car garage that also houses Dave’s workshop. STLOUISHOMESMAG.COM MAY 2014

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Dave’s eco-friendly building techniques were particularly intriguing for the backyard kibitzers. For exterior walls, he chose the ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) system. Minimizing air infiltration and heat loss, the system sandwiches nine inches of concrete between two foam insulation panels, each 2.5 inches thick. Overhead, the roof’s truss system is sprayed with six inches of closed-cell foam insulation – double the three inches necessary to achieve 99.9 percent efficiency.


Tight construction and 10-foot ceilings required special attention to ventilation, and installation of a whole-house air exchanger ensures fresh air and even, energy-saving heating and cooling throughout. For this and other crucial tasks, Dave relied on Crescent Parts & Equipment, Stiehl Services and electrical contractor Djf Inc. Vast expanses of energy-efficient, UV-coated Loewen windows and doors flood the home with natural light, and an array of water-saving


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Left: For a retro “diner” look, Dave trimmed the kitchen cabinetry with metallic bands. What appears to be a second side-by-side refrigerator at the far right is actually a double-door pantry, laminated with brushed stainless to achieve visual balance. The island countertop, by Artistic Impressions, is concrete with a hand-colored epoxy overlay and brushed stainless edge. Right: Made by Dave as a Mother’s Day gift for Julie, the 12-foot formal dining table is a single piece of 1/2 inch-thick safety glass, mounted on a base of recycled steel.

features, including on-demand tankless water heaters, from Linek Plumbing and Vollmer Plumbing Company, further reduce environmental impact and home operating costs. All of the framing, as well as the countless running feet of stair rail, is recycled steel. Repurposed girders and bar joists are left exposed in various areas to emphasize the home’s loft-like styling, and the main level’s wood flooring has its own unique history. Salvaged from the

former gym floors of Vashon and Hancock High Schools, each plank was individually planed, laid and refinished by Abeln Floor Systems, specialists in reclaimed and antique flooring. Aesthetically, the Grassi residence is as stunning as it is technically fascinating. Describing Dave as a “hands-on” builder would be an understatement, since he personally hand-crafted many of the interior furnishings, including all of the anigre (African hardwood) cabinetry. STLOUISHOMESMAG.COM MAY 2014

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This page: Bracketing the courtyard, the four-car garage mirrors the home’s classic exterior detailing. A fountain splashes in the recess; colorful sail shades protect guests from the sun, and acid-stained concrete provides a smooth surface for the bar and patio furniture. Opposite page: Evergreens ensure courtyard color year-round, and banana trees are added to the landscaping in warm weather. The decorative metal arches along the far wall are salvaged greenhouse supports.

And he is quick to credit his longtime friend and mentor, photographic artist Michael Eastman, for many of the design and décor concepts. Although the free-flowing main level is nearly devoid of walls, the various activity areas are clearly identified. A decorative concrete floor overlay by Artistic Impressions defines the open foyer. To the right, the formal dining area is completely open to the kitchen, which is outlined by an 18-foot work island with overhang. “I wanted a central kitchen,


since that’s where guests usually tend to congregate,” Julie interjects. Beyond the kitchen is a casual breakfast/dining area that overlooks the courtyard. To the left of the foyer, the spacious living room is liberally furnished with comfortable leather seating in a warm terra-cotta hue. The only partitions on this level, a small enclosure shields the powder room entry, and a serpentine glass block wall hides the cork-floored mud


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room, which is equipped with a stacked washer/dryer. The main laundry, however, is located upstairs, convenient to the master suite and secondary bedrooms. A surprising oasis in this urban setting, the spacious rear courtyard extends to the garage, which is as meticulously designed as the house itself. The attractively landscaped outdoor space is perfect for warm-weather entertaining with its acid-stained concrete surface, hot

tub, service bar and rippling fountain. Brilliantly integrated with The Hill’s historic character, this spectacular home reflects the vibrant, modern lifestyle of the Grassi family and the environmentally responsible construction practices of its builder/owner. See for resources.


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Outstanding design deserves recognition, and five sensational St. Louis design projects have been singled out for our third annual Architectural Finesse Awards. Evaluated by a distinguished panel of Kansas City architects, Scott Bickford, Ron Stallbaumer and Wolfgang Trost, the winning entries include a unique variety of newly built and remodeled living spaces, honored for their architectural ingenuity and integrity and overall aesthetic appeal.

And the winners are…the Before/After (page 43), the Addition (page 44), the Bar (page 46), the Ceiling (page 48) and the the Staircase (page 50).

Ron Stallbaumer, AIA Ron Stallbaumer is principal at Wendlandt & Stallbaumer Architects. Licensed in Kansas, Missouri and Colorado, Ron is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), is NCARB Certified (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards) and is a LEED Accredited Professional.  Ron shares his Overland Park, Kansas home with his architect wife, their two daughters and a schnauzer.

Wolfgang Trost, AIA Wolfgang Trost came to the United States with his German family to pursue the “American Dream.” After graduating from the University of Kansas in 1977, Wolfgang has been passionate about quality design and architecture. His Kansas City-based architectural firm, Wolfgang Trost Architects, practices the goal of excellent design with function and beauty with styles ranging from contemporary to classically traditional styles.

Scott Bickford,AIA Scott Bickford and his staff at Bickford and Company have focused on residential architecture, designing nearly 6,000 projects over the past 34 years. Respect for the craftsmen has led to great relationships among the construction community and a reputation for producing buildable designs regardless of their complexity. While the palette varies with each client there is always a strong emphasis on lifestyle and function making his practice one of designing homes and not just houses.

For resource information, visit Edited by MELISSA MAUZY



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the Before

& After

Directions in Design, Inc. Before

Architect: John Peckham, aia Directions In Design, Inc. turned this ordinary fireplace in to an extraordinary piece of art. The contemporary stair-stepped white marble fireplace was designed with a large recessed area featuring hand-blown colorful plates. Lit two ways, one with halogen art lights from the slanted coffered ceiling and the other around the perimeter of a raised panel holding the plates in the recessed area, the pieces of art shine as the focal point of the space. The firebox was raised since the previous traditional firebox was close to the floor. The new rectangular firebox features a ribbon horizontal flame.

Why the judges love it:

A “wow” look! What a change! This fireplace breathes new life into an otherwise typical, tired space. Simple and graceful, this truly was a sleek transformation. Photography by Alise O’Brien.


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the Addition

Curtiss W. Byrne Architect With the need for a more functional kitchen, a 200-square-foot breakfast room addition was born. Curtiss W. Byrne Architect designed the space to look and feel like a conservatory. A vaulted tongue-and-groove ceiling as well as two sets of patio doors leading to the bluestone patio allow natural light to fill the room. Precise detailing was required to conceal structural members and maximize the amount of glass and the height of the vaulted ceiling. The space also features heated, slate-tile flooring. An elliptical eyebrow transom punctuates the standing seam copper roof and continues the scalloped-grille theme on the front of the home. Now more than just a breakfast room addition, the space has become a gathering spot for meals, entertaining, doing homework or just simply hanging out.

Why the judges love it:

This addition is a nice blend of materials and textures. The space is very inviting and has a great flow with the adjoining kitchen. Photography by david van scott Photography



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the bar



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Directions in Design, Inc.

Architect: John Peckham, aia The bar, designed by Directions In Design, Inc., is the epitome of a gentleman’s bar. The custom-designed cherry wood bar features five carved scenes depicting Old World wine-making. Accent lighting below the granite highlights the woodcarvings. To finish off the edge of the granite, intricate corbels and wood beading complement the carvings. Behind the bar, a recessed arched opening displays decorative decanters and liquor bottles. Custom millwork surrounds the archway. The fireplace is made of many layers of carved details. Tuscan limestone surrounds the firebox and creates the hearth. The wall behind the fireplace is covered in cherry wood with raised panel detail, while the remaining walls are covered in textured grass cloth. Wood-carved barstools covered in tooled leather and nail head accents complete the look.

Why the judges love it:

This bar exudes a rich, warm and comfortable feel – a gentleman’s bar indeed. Classical and elegant, attention to detail from top to bottom makes this space outstanding. Photography by Alise O’Brien.

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the ceiling



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Curtiss W. Byrne Architect Nestled off of the kitchen, this cozy family room juxtaposes contemporary and traditional stylings. The circular ceiling trim in the space provides a strong graphic impact against the backdrop of the heavy Rumford-style stone fireplace with its reclaimed oak mantel and dark amaretto-stained maple Starmark cabinets. Curtiss W. Byrne Architect designed the ceiling so that the varying heights and colors would provide contrast while adding to the coziness of the space. The 10-foot ceiling is softened with a one-foot dropped soffit around the perimeter. The ceiling trim is painted a soft while to offset it from the ceiling, which is painted a silvery blue.

Why the judges love it:

This ceiling adds a fun and dramatic twist to the family room. The designer chose a bold combination of materials, textures and styles. Photography by Jad Ryherd.

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Photo courtesy of G.M. Doveikis and Associated



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G.M. Doveikis and Associates Architect: Dick Busch Architects With its grand scale, exquisite finishes and overall richness, this elegant staircase is a distinguished focal point in this custom home. Designer Gail Doveikis, of G.M. Doveikis and Associates, along with architect Dick Busch designed the staircase to make an impact. The steps are wider than in a typical home, the landing is generous enough to allow for the built-in bookcases and window seat and the curved balcony at the top of the stairs adds an architectural interest. Generous balustrades and elegant, fluted spindles coupled with the designer’s choice of finishes add to the uniqueness of the staircase. A third element of finish is introduced to complement the white, painted spindles and stained treads. Ebony-stained balustrades and handrail tie into the chandeliers, beautiful Axminster stair runner and Oriental rug. Oversized baseboards and applied moldings on the angled wall add to the overall richness. Unique wall panels, a swaged window valance, oriental tapestry window seat cover and carefully chosen accessories complete the stunning staircase.

Why the judges love it:

These stairs are a very nice execution of a traditional staircase. Excellent materials and color choices complement the great detailing. The contrasting painted and stained surfaced provides richness. Photography by Anne Matheis.


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Salmon orange "Dragon Wing" begonias and trailing blue torenia flow from a window box in Mary Tramelli's garden and provide a bright flash of color next to a container filled with a frothy mother fern.



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Inside & Out Homeowners Mary and Dan Tramelli designed their Richmond Heights garden as an extension of their home’s interior. By Lucyann Boston Photography by Kim Dillon


it weren't for the patch of blue overhead, you might not realize you were sitting in Mary Tramelli’s garden and not her home. Colors, textures and ambience flow so perfectly from the inside to the outside, it’s hard to tell the difference. It was the stucco walls, tile roof and Mediterranean feeling of the residence that drew Mary and her husband, Dan, to their Richmond Heights home 30 years ago. Through the years they’ve added on and raised three sons within the walls, all the while keeping the rustic, Italian ambience of the home intact. As the house has taken shape, so has the garden, changing form when the couple transformed the garage into a family room, and morphing again when they recently scaled down yard space to enlarge the kitchen. While the garden is not large, Mary’s eye as an interior designer (Call Mary is her company name) has focused so well on making both the house and garden compatible, both spaces seem bigger than they are. Terrazzo floors indoors blend with blue stone floors outdoors. Warm wood and earth tones of the interior furnishings are picked up in the colors and accents of the outdoor furniture. Multiple windows and sets of exterior doors both in the family room and breakfast room make moving from indoors to outdoors inviting and effortless. What’s more, the containers that add pops of floral color outdoors are the exact colors she uses for bursts of color inside her home.

The earthy oranges in the interior of Mary and Dan Tramelli's home are repeated in the outdoor seat cushions and pops of colorful "Dragon Wing" begonia, blue torenia and laurentia in the garden, surrounded by a variety of hostas. The statue was once in Mary's father's garden. STLOUISHOMESMAG.COM MAY 2014

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This page: The garden stones were all on the property when Mary and Dan moved in 30 years ago but none of them are in the same place, Mary says with a laugh. Opposite page top left and right: Mary makes ample use of containers and interesting artifacts in the garden, much as she would do in decorating a room. A variety of textures also are important. Bottom: The delicate fronds of nandina, arborvitae and Japanese maple frame the bird girl sculpture, which once stood in her father's garden.



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MARCH 2014

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The transition from indoors to out works so well, that “when we need extra seating in the garden, we just move these chairs outside,” Mary notes, holding up a breakfast room chair, covered in a leafy print. “The outdoors is just another room.” Mary’s love of gardening began in childhood, working with her father, Jack Erker, who was an avid gardener. “I grew up in a family with seven kids,” she explains. “My mother had seven of us to deal with; she didn’t want to take on the yard work too. But I loved being with my Dad in the garden. He inspired me.” Mary also was not without inspiration from her mother, Grace. “Both my parents had an artistic flair,” she notes. “My mother originally wanted to be a dress designer. She was a wonderful seamstress and made all our curtains and drapes. She and my dad could reupholster anything. When I started my interior design business, she made all the curtains and drapes for me.” Mary’s philosophy of interior design and garden design are much the same. “I don’t have an individual style as an interior designer,” she explains. “I like to talk with clients and learn about their lifestyle and what they enjoy. Houses should be a reflection of the people who live in them.” “Then, I try to help people take that lifestyle and extend it outside the home; some people like to entertain more formally; others love barbecues,” she continues. All-weather fabrics for outdoor furniture and cushions have been a tremendous boon to the creation of outdoor rooms, she adds. Both indoors and outdoors, “I like to keep the larger pieces of furniture neutral and add color through decorative accents.” Mary carries the color palette of her own home, neutrals accented with bright earth tones, out to the patio through the use of orange throw pillows and chair cushions and orange impatiens and salmon Dragon Wing begonias in containers and window boxes. “I love pink; if I have a granddaughter I’m going to buy her pink everything, but if I tried to put a lot of pink in my garden, it would look awful,” she explains. In the landscaping that frames her outdoor room, Mary concentrates on a palette in varying shades and textures of green occasionally accented with blue and purple. Lacy, evergreen arborvitae work as a backdrop for much of the property, and evergreen boxwood and laurels keep the garden interesting in winter. Estimating that 95 percent of her garden is perennials and mostly in shade, she blends hostas, Japanese maples, heuchera, ferns and grasses for textural interest. In early summer, a thread of bright blue/purple campanula runs the length of the landscape, adding to the seasonal interest. The rocks that were part of the garden when the Tramellis purchased the home have found their way into walls and a waterfall. “They were all here when we bought the house, but I don’t think any of them are in the same place,” she says, laughing. Charming statues and urns, many of which were part of her father’s garden, dot the landscape and break up the expanses of green. She loves working in her garden, Mary reflects, because of the sense of peace it gives her. “Plants don’t talk back to you, and you have something to show for your hard work. If you clean the house, it just gets dirty again. If you clean up your garden, you see more flowers. I like to get up really, really early to work in the garden. I’m always sad when I have to go in.” See for resources.


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slhl THE DIRT Growing your own vegetable garden is a sustainable way to feed your family. Check out local landscape professionals’ favorite veggies to plant. By Melissa Mauzy

“The tomato nicknamed 'love-apple' becomes reality with the heartbreaker tomato, a cherry tomato with heart-shaped fruit. Heartbreaker has excellent vigor and produces rich-tasting hearts. The skin is soft, plus the fruit is juicy with the perfect sweet/sour content. Heartbreaker can be used as a snack, for cooking and salads or to decorate your dish for a fun and unique look.” Ann Lapides, Sugar Creek Gardens.

“I am big fan of the way the 'Galactic' Red leaf lettuce pops in the garden. The flavor is a bit in the bitter range, but it balances nicely with an acidic vinaigrette.” Eric Ringhofer, Green Guys.


“I have no favorite. I like them all! Zucchini is my favorite to grow because they do well and produce so much for so little.” Jim Meiner, Prestige Landscape.

“Because I have limited space and sun for my garden, I do most of my gardening in containers. Martino's Roma tomatoes are my absolute favorite vegetable. They are an Italian heirloom that's USDA Organic.  They are perfect for salsas and sauces and grow very well in a container garden, as well as in the ground with proper drainage, organic soil and nutrients.” Linda Coonrod, Chesterfield Valley Nursery.

“One of our favorite vegetables is Lacinato Kale. “My all-time favorite garden veggie is the tomato. Tomatoes are relatively easy to grow and can be It grows well from early spring to late fall with little effort. It is one of the few vegetables for worked into a wide variety of meals and snacks. Try a Caprese salad with sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, early and late gardens. Lacinato is an heirloom basil, balsamic vinaigrette and cracked pepper variety loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and for an elegant appetizer. Homemade salsa and minerals. It is great sautéed or added to soups marinara sauce are lots of fun to make, especially and stews, and is easy to blanch and freeze when you can add in your own garden-fresh for later use.” herbs. Tomatoes are an easy canning vegetable Daniel Mee, Frisella Nursery. for the first-time canner. Canning is a great way to enjoy your garden-fresh tomatoes all year round!” Christine Knoernschild, Passiglia’s Nursery & Garden Center.


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Outdoor Experts Passiglia’s Nursery & Garden Center 1855 Hwy 109, Wildwood, MO 63038 636-458-9202

When only the best will do, Passiglia’s is your choice for creating an outdoor space that is tasteful and uniquely yours. From beginning to end, we are streamlining the design and installation of your next outdoor project. Our range of detailed installation services includes creative landscape design, outdoor rooms, patios, retaining walls, water or fire features, landscape lighting and stunning plantings and landscapes. We give full attention to detail from the first customer meeting to the last moment of the installation to insure the best possible landscape. Your landscape experience will be fun and unique visiting our 8 acre nursery and garden center containing beautiful and meticulously maintained plants. We look forward to working with you on your next outdoor project.

OUTDOOR LIVING INC. 845 S. Holmes, Kirkwood, MO 63122 314-966-3325

With 30 colors and styles of decking in inventory from 6 manufacturers to choose from, Outdoor Living offers the widest selection of decking products in the area. Our experienced, trained sales staff can help you choose the right products for your deck project, whether Outdoor Living builds your deck, you have your own contractor or you just need the material. We display over 2,000 sq. ft. of decking, railing, lights and more to help you make your choices easier. Our family owned business has operated in the St. Louis region for over 20 years. Check us out with the Better Business Bureau.

Chesterfield Valley Nursery 16825 North Outer 40, Chesterfield, MO 63005 636-532-9307

Creating an outdoor living space extends the living space of your home. It can be beautiful and functional. Design options are virtually limitless and can be tailored to your style, your existing landscape and can focus on how you desire to use your space. Pergolas, firepits, fireplaces, and outdoor kitchens are just a few of the options that will add interest and flair to your home. For more ideas on how to create the outdoor living space of your dreams, contact Chesterfield Valley Nursery where Inspired designs create extraordinary landscapes.


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dick busch architects

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Composting 101 Spring is here, and one project that might be on your ‘to do’ list is to finally set up that composting system in the backyard. By Sara Graham

Many of us are likely already mulching our gardens and landscaping with wood chips, grass clippings and leaves, spreading them on top of the soil for insulation and to save water, reduce weeds and prevent erosion. While a huge help above ground, mulching doesn’t address the nutritional needs of the soil underneath the surface. Compost is the end product of decomposed organic materials that can be mixed into soil to provide nutrients, loosen packed clay and improve water retention and drainage. In the wild, falling leaves, dead plants and organisms are naturally mixed into soil over time, providing the carbon and nitrogen plants need to thrive. In our gardens, when we weed and collect leaves in the fall, we remove those natural inputs. Fertilizer then is needed to provide adequate nutrition, either in chemical form or from composted materials. Passive composting with yard waste is an easy way to get started, although it will take time to achieve usable compost – from three months to two years. Weeds, grass clippings, leaves and garden remains can be collected in piles or in multilayered holding bins or rotating barrels over the course of a growing season. Equal parts "brown" to "green" waste is a good rule of thumb. If space allows, a second composter can be utilized when the first is full; when the second is full, the first will be ready to dump into the garden and fill again. A location with minimal shade is ideal for your compost pile, as it needs heat to keep going. Over time, the materials will start to decay on their own. Chopping the pile into smaller pieces will help to speed the process, as will turning it regularly, every week or so. Turning the pile speeds up the natural process of decay and produces usable compost more quickly. Compost should not be left to dry out completely (or get waterlogged) and should retain about the same amount of moisture as a wrung-out sponge. You will know when your compost is ready when it resembles rich, dark topsoil and is soft, crumbly and moist. Note that not all of the compost pile will be ready at the same time.


What Yard Waste Can Be Composted Grass cuttings and weeds • Leaves from deciduous trees • Wood ash Kitchen Composting – The Next Level This level of composting requires a lidded compost container or bin outside that is safe from hungry scavengers. Kitchen scraps can be stored in a temporary container inside that is then regularly deposited into the outside bin, mixing it in when possible. One tip: most kitchen waste is high in moisture. Adding dry, biodegradable materials, such as cardboard, wine bottle corks, crumbled paper and twigs, will help to add structure and provide aeration. What Kitchen Waste Can be Composted Vegetable and fruit scraps • Breads and pasta • Coffee grounds and filters • Tea leaves and bags • Crushed egg shells • Paper, paper towels and newspaper • Straw, hay, wool, sawdust and pet bedding • Vacuum cleaner dust What NOT to Compost Meat • Dairy • Oils • Disposable diapers • Glossy newsprint • Coal and coal ash • Diseased plants Composting With Worms There are several types of composting that require more attention. Most of these are for the advanced composter, but there is one that is an attractive option, even for beginners. Vermiposting (also called vericomposting) uses worms to quickly break down composted materials, leaving behind nutrient-rich worm castings. A vermipost system is small enough to keep on a balcony, patio or porch, so is a good option for those without much outdoor space. A ready-made kit includes the bin, its alternating layers and the worms, and is one of the cleanest, easiest and quickest composting systems available. Happy composting! See for resources.


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Outdoor Living

▲ arrowhead building supply

▲ Lulu belles Fabrics

Indoor/Outdoor fabrics represent all of the exciting advances from technology to texture and style. These fabrics offer UV protection and ultimate protection for all types of weather. They are available in a wide range of patterns and colors so vibrant that you will be tempted to use them indoors as well. LuLu Belles offers the latest indoor/outdoor fabrics from Duralee, Kravet, Thibaut, Robert Allen and more. Let our experienced sales staff help you freshen up your indoor and/or outdoor space today. 314-991-0020,

Arrowhead Building Supply Inc stocks LP SmartSide siding and trim, which delivers the beauty of cedar, plus the durability and workability of engineered wood. These products are engineered with a proprietary process to help protect against fungal decay and termites and produced to LEED U.S. Green Building Council Standards. LP Building Products ensures their wood comes from well-managed forests through SFI certified forest management and fiber sourcing systems. LP Building Products also uses low-emitting, safe resins in the manufacture of LP SmartSide products and does not add any urea-formaldehyde. 636-970-1976,

▲ Envisioning Green

Emporium St. Louis

The Emporium is a multi-dealer marketplace featuring antiques, jewelry, home decor, art, furniture and consignment. With a beautiful selection of outdoor planters, benches, garden furniture and gorgeous flowers, The Emporium offers one-of-a-kind finds that will bring a unique touch to your outdoor space. Like us on facebook at Emporium St Louis. 314-962-7300.

As a local and family-owned landscape construction and maintenance company serving the Greater St. Louis area, Envisioning Green provides homeowners with unmatched services including hardscape construction, landscape design/install, lighting and water features. With the ability to manage budgets on projects of all ranges, Envisioning Green ensures the job is done right from beginning to end. Using color, texture and dimension, Envisioning Green creates an attractive design to bring a one-of-a-kind beauty to your home or garden. 314-718-7100,


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holt lighting depot 

Expand your living space into the outdoors with the Dune Road Collection pendant by Elk Lighting. Add this light as the finishing touch to your outdoor seating or outdoor kitchen area. Hang at varying heights in multiples for a high impact statement. Featuring beautiful water glass accentuated by an Olde Bay finish, the Dune Road Collection pendant will be the focal point of your outdoor space! Purchase at Holt Lighting Depot. 314-533-2227,

volume carpet

Punch up the style of your outdoor space with an colorful and durable indoor/outdoor rug by Surya available at Volume Carpet. This hand-hooked rug is made of 100% polypropylene and comes in three bright color options. Ideal for under an outdoor seating area, this rug will transform your outdoor space into a beautiful outdoor living area. Visit Volume Carpet for a wide array of indoor/outdoor floorcoverings. 314-963-7847,

suttonwood interiors and antiques

Suttonwood Interiors and Antiques is your one stop shop for hand carved stone statuary, antique pots and urns and Asian primitives. Suttonwood has been serving St. Louis’ finest homes and gardens for nearly nine years. Our fine statuary is made of solid granite and marble. Our pots from the Shaanxi province are 120 year old vinegar jars and our primitives just have to be seen to be appreciated. We invite you to visit our showroom. 314-781-5444,


kdr designer showrooms

The enduring designs of mid-century modern have never been more relevant than they are today, nor more beautifully interpreted than in the sculpted lines of Aviano; the new collection of all-weather wicker furniture crafted exclusively for Tommy Bahama Outdoor Living. Sinuous frames, in a rich burnished mocha finish matched with plush upholstered seating offers casual comfort to any outdoor living space. Experience the comfort and beauty of all our outdoor furniture collections available at KDR Designer Showrooms. 314-993-5020,


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▲ interior concrete

Interior Concrete’s custom concrete creations can be a perfect addition to any outdoor space. With a wide range of colors and multiple styles, a custom concrete countertop will give you the options you need when designing your space.  We can also design and create concrete fire pits, tables, lounge chairs and more.  See what Interior Concrete can do for your outdoor living area! 636-238-3232,

▲ belgard



Belgard® Hardscapes can help you create the outdoor kitchen of your dreams with the Elements Collection. Elements install quickly and easily so you can enjoy your new kitchen in days instead of the weeks it would take to build a custom kitchen. Visit for a FREE Idea Book.

▲ classic metal craft

Classic Metal Craft, located at 1315 S. Vandeventer, custom fabricates and installs wrought iron railings, gates, balconies and fencing. We have been serving the St. Louis area for 23 years. Visit our website that showcases our products and get inspiration from the many beautiful photographs in our ornamental iron galleries. Please call for your free quote. 314-535-2022,

▲ chesterfield fence & deck co.

Enhance your outdoor living space with a beautiful Vekadeck™ with vinyl railing and don’t ever worry about staining your deck again. Have Chesterfield Fence & Deck build a new deck or simply refurbish the top of your existing deck. Vekadeck™ is made of low-maintenance vinyl and features a lifetime warranty. 636-532-4054,


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A Spanish

Mother's Love The Figuero wine family pairs their award-winning grapes with a traditional Sunday meal served by matriarch Milagros Figuero in the Ribera del Duero region of Spain. By Lorraine Raguseo Photography courtesy of Quintessential Wines

Milagros Figuero has long been the heart of her family. As a young woman in the 1960s, she was at her husband’s side helping to run the family farm on a plateau along Spain’s Duero River in the now-famous Ribera del Duero region, where the main crop is the Tempranillo grape. With her husband, Jose Maria, Milagros cared for the old grapevines that were planted by his ancestors -- some dating back to the 1930s and many well over 60 years old. By the late 1970s, the Figuero grapes quickly became prized by the most prestigious wineries in the region, and the wines containing their grapes often were gold-medal winners, drawing accolades and attention to both the wines and the region. During this time Milagros was also raising three children – Carlos, Henar and Antonio. Like most mothers, she lovingly tended to them as she would the precious vines that were the family’s livelihood. By the 1980s, she was sending them off to university to make their own ways in the world. When the children (now young adults) returned, they came back with a plan to use their superior grapes to make their own family-branded wines. Thus, in 2001, a winery and tasting room was opened on the farm, near the town of La Horra. A year later, the first vintage of the family’s namesake wines went to market. Per tradition, Milagros and Jose Maria often welcome their children, and now grandchildren, to the Sunday afternoon meal. As summer approaches, it is usually served on the picturesque veranda Milagros and Jose Maria Garcia Figuero.



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Top: Roasted lamb and Torta de Aranda. Bottom: Antonio Garcia Figuero cutting Tempranillo grapes during harvest.


Ingredients: 1½ lbs. wheat flour 1½ gallons water 1 oz. salt ¼ lb. “masa madre” (mother mass) (can substitute Sourdough Starter) 1 oz. yeast Olive oil (enough to brush over top of dough) Cooking: Knead all ingredients, except olive oil, until the dough is elastic. Split into ½ lb. pieces and place into a bowl. Using your hands, shape into a ball, and then move to a large flat baking pan in a “quiet environment” for 30 minutes. Brush olive oil on the top and flatten into large round. Let sit for one hour to allow fermentation. The dough will double in volume. Heat the oven to 415° F, and cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.

of the farm and winery complex that has expanded over the past 13 years as Vinedos y Bodegas Garcia Figuero has grown increasingly successful. It is a real treat for the family when that meal includes Milagros’ variation on a local favorite – milk-fed baby lamb, as tender as veal, cooked in a clay pot in a special brick oven. The meat is roasted with lard and salt, but then basted with a sauce Milagros creates with water, garlic, parsley, juice from a freshly squeezed lemon and a very special thyme that comes from the forest just outside La Horra. This is usually served with a leavened wheat bread called Torta de Aranda, which is the name of another, smaller town that is very close to the winery. The secret ingredient is the addition of what is known as masa madre in Spain. Translated as “mother mass,” it is a sweet wort made from scratch by each cook, with a bit kept to be used in the next batch produced. A sourdough starter would be a good U.S. substitute. This meal pairs perfectly with the family’s Tinto Figuero 12 Month (the amount of time this Tempranillo wine spends in oak barrels – it is also known by the Spanish government’s official designation “Crianza”). Most often, it is a mother’s nurturing (and her cooking) that binds a family, whether along Spain’s Duero River or St. Louis’ Mississippi. With Mother’s Day approaching, we salute Milagros' (and all mothers') often unheralded, but also greatly cherished, efforts. See for more recipes.


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Create your own Midwest paradise with us! A natural ledge stone wall complete with a tropical waterfall flowing into a custom designed pool. Travertine pool deck, flagstone coping and path way lead you to a natural stone dive rock. A Brazilian hardwood deck gives you a birdseye view of the lush landscape filled with tropical and Midwest plants.


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Turn your backyard patio or deck into the outdoor entertainment center of your dreams – from a simple gas or charcoal grill to an elaborate commercial-grade grill with huge cooking surface, infrared searing station; rotisserie, side burner and rear burners; refrigerator, storage cabinet or drawers – add a custom fire pit or outdoor fireplace, you will be the talk of the neighborhood, Victorian Sales can make it happen!

Check out our selection of rubs and grilling accessories!


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1808 Larkin Williams Rd Fenton, MO 63026 636-343-4747 Mon - Fri, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm Saturdays, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm Financing available


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Reclaimed by the By Jamie Siebrase Photography by Anne Matheis


A timber-frame structure is deconstructed and rebuilt into a remarkable residence 200 feet from the Missouri River an hour west of St. Louis.


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Whatever you do, don’t call Tom and Tricia Reay’s inspiring post-and-beam river residence a log cabin – “It’s a house,” says Tom of the 45-by-50-foot barn he and his wife deconstructed, then rebuilt on a vacant three-acre plot just 200 feet from a meandering bend in the mighty Missouri River. Their primitive Americana home is the epitome of green, with the vast majority of its building supplies salvaged by the homeowners. It’s upcycling, in fact, that gives the place its charm, character and rich history. This particular timber-frame structure, built by the Pelsters who

“ There are some beams in here that weigh as much as 1,200 pounds,” Tom says. emigrated from Germany in 1842, boasts quality not easily replicated today. “There are some beams in here that weigh as much as 1,200 pounds,” Tom says. “If you went to a timber framer to have these things made, it would be prohibitively expensive.” But the Reays are experts when it comes to unearthing remarkable pieces with unremarkable price tags. Take the circular staircase, for STLOUISHOMESMAG.COM MAY 2014

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example, a cast iron monstrosity extracted from a 100-year-old firehouse in Minnesota, purchased from a contractor in the Lake of the Ozarks for $400. The kitchen island, too, which holds a Parisian white porcelain farmhouse sink, was originally a solid-walnut countertop at a drugstore in Tennessee. “It was seven-feet-long and built around 1880,” says Tom. The couple found their island in an antique store in Southern Missouri and cut holes for the sink and a dishwasher, which, along with a nearby Dacor gas stovetop and electric oven, is one of the scant pieces of new material you’ll find. Even the floors – random plank oak from the original barn’s hayloft – are entirely reclaimed.


A furniture manufacturer by trade, Tom was well suited to spearhead the arduous undertaking of transforming an old barn into a functioning, comfortable home. The Reays worked with a few contractors along the way and, also drew on the experience they’d garnered back in the 1970s, when they built a weekend retreat from a different barn. “When you find one of these structures, you have to work within the parameters of what they are,” cautions a sage Tom. “The logs are all hand hewn, so you can’t move walls out.” The Reays wound up with an open layout: a conjoined kitchen, dining room and living room, as well as a first-floor master suite. Tucked


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high above the kitchen you will find a quaint guest bedroom, too. The couple added a walkout basement that will function as a wine cellar once completed. The home’s interiors are every bit as authentic as its construction materials. “We’ve just collected things along the way,” says Tricia of the wonderfully eclectic décor. The two glass cabinets in the pantry, for example, which Tricia uses to store her vast dish collection, were once book cabinets in an 1800-era St. Louis schoolhouse that was torn down a few years ago. The pieces integrate flawlessly with an old claw-foot tub and a Parlor’s wood-burning stove. That substantial living room

chandelier, bronze with wood antlers, came from a contractor friend who was remodeling a home in Sonoma, CA. “They took it out of a $2 million house and mailed it to us,” Tricia recalls. It was Tricia who, since childhood, had dreamt of someday living in a wooden barn. And, as Tom watches hundreds of snow geese come in on the water, he too feels content in his reclaimed paradise. See for resources.


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Manchester Road Marketplace


When shopping for the home, Manchester Road provides 14 miles - from Maplewood to Ellisville - of small shops, large stores and convenience shopping centers you won’t want to miss. Start at one end and work your way east or west or stop in a particular store, either way you are sure to find a variety of options to style your home. The 14-mile stretch includes a selection of furniture stores, both national chains and locally owned; home accessories, carpet and rugs; remodeling shops; fabric; appliance stores and sidewalk shops.


DRAPERIES • UPHOLSTERY • BEDDING & MORE! The Shoppes at Tallbrooke • 11676 Manchester Road 314-991-0020 •

Volume Carpet St. Louis’ Best Kept Secret We Specialize in Area Rugs!

More Selection at Sale Prices! OveR 8,400 RugS

Beautiful Flowers & Garden Furniture Borders • Custom Rugs • Sisals • Runners • Solids • Modern • Florals Chinese Needlepoints • Dhurries • Machine Mades • Hand-Knotted • Orientals

8994 Manchester (2 blocks West of Brentwood)

314-963-7847 •


A multi-dealer marketplace of antiques, jewelry, fine furnishings & consignment 9410 Manchester Road, Rock Hill, MO 63119 314-962-7300 | Emporium StLouis


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©2014 California Closet Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Franchises independently owned and operated.



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Save up to 20% with a FREE Finish Upgrade! Now through June 30, receive a free upgrade* to one of our exclusive Italian-inspired Lago® finishes, including Venetian Wenge, Milano Grey, Umbrian Oak, Florentine Rosewood, Roman Walnut, Amaretto, Bellissima White and many more, for the same price as our classic white finish. *Valid through 6/30/14 on new purchases only, at participating locations. Savings not to exceed 20% install value. Cannot be combined with other offers. Add’l terms and conditions may apply.

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Manchester Road Marketplace

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The Abbey Custom Furnishings • Casual Design • Beauti ful Finds Featuring Michael Moore Custom Furniture Come visit us at: 10090 Manchester Road, Glendale, MO 63122 Monday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm 314-965-1400 @theabbeystl

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Inventory Changes Daily! Shop Often For Best Selection! Convenient Hours & Location Monday - Wednesday: 10AM - 6PM Thursday & Friday: 10AM - 7PM, Saturday 10AM - 5PM & Sunday Noon - 5PM Just East of I-141 All items shown subject to prior sale. May or may not be available.

14081 Manchester Rd. • St. Louis, MO 63011 • 636.527.4747

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Manchester Road Marketplace Do you Dream of a new kitchen or bath?

Where Dream Kitchens & Baths Become a Reality.

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Celebrating 60 years of service to Manchester and surrounding areas!

Family based business since 1957 2606 Rock Hill Industrial Court St. Louis, MO 63144 314-918-9696

636.227.5188 14436 Manchester Rd. | (1/4 Mile West of hwy. 141) Showroom Hours: Monday - Friday 8 to 4:30 | Saturday 9 to 2

Somehow prime location for plates and bowls didn’t seem quite right.

Fischer Window and Door Store 2714 Mercantile Dr. St. Louis, MO 63144 314/647-5000

True enjoyment of your new space begins with exceptional windows and doors. Choose style, colors, hardware and more with limitless design possibilities. And find an energy efficiency solution that’s right for your home. Discover the perfect windows for your space. See inspirational videos. Get design tips from the experts. All at ©2011 Marvin Windows and Doors. All rights reserved. ®Registered trademark of Marvin Windows and Doors.


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Manchester Road Marketplace


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• Interior Design • Fabric • Wall Coverings

PhotograPhy by ANNE MATHEIS & KIM DIlloN



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Manchester Road Marketplace

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Purpose 3


one: Headboard, by Bonnie Forkner, Going Home to Roost. two: Wall planter, by Stacy Ercan, Stacy K Floral. three: Wine rack, by Robin Victor Goetz, RVGP Photo+Graphics, four: Coffee table, by Nicole Crowder, Nicole Crowder Photography. five: Outdoor table and benches, by Chris and Malissa Tack, Tack Photography.




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A simple wood shipping pallet can be upcycled into a creative and inventive design. Salvaging these often tossed-away pallets makes for fun and free materials to experiment with. Check out these innovative ideas. By Melissa Mauzy




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ARCHITECTS in DEMAND Consulting with a skilled architect on your home or remodeling design project is not only a smart decision, but it can be essential to the success of your space. Architects help you to define your building project, maximize your investment and will help ease the design and construction process.

Donna F. Boxx, Architect, PC

160 Marine Lane St. Louis, MO 63146 314-434-2333 Donna Boxx EXCELS in residential architecture. With an eye for architectural finesse and 36 years experience, Donna Boxx can deliver on new construction, an addition and/or a renovation you’ve been dreaming of from the beginning stages to the final product. Her design methodology encourages client participation and collaboration with engineers, consultants and contractors resulting in a finished product that always reflects the individuality of the client. Her goal is to provide the most cost-effective solutions by utilizing an optimal design plan that balances ideals, aesthetics and budget. Hiring an architect is a necessity, not a luxury. Education & Credentials Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, Bachelor of Architecture St. Louis Community College, Associate in Architectural Technology Registered Architect: State of Missouri, State of Illinois, NCARB National Certification, Home Builders Association of St. Louis, HBA Registered Remodelors Council of St. Louis, HBA Green Building Council, Certified Builders Guild.


5201 Pattison Avenue St. Louis, MO 63110 314-664-7725 Fendler + Associates, Inc. is an award-winning and published design firm with an outstanding reputation. We provide residential architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and planning services tailored to meet your needs and resources. Fendler + Associates, Inc. specializes in new construction, custom additions, interior renovations and historic rehabilitations. Our commitment to your project begins in the planning stage where we outline the scope of work, budget and expectations. During the design phase we explore a variety of options. Our use of three-dimensional computer generated modeling and our extensive resource library allows you to see your new home or addition before it is built. A detailed set of working drawings allows us to competitively bid your project while minimizing questions during construction. And our involvement throughout the construction period ensures a successful completion to your project. Founded in 1989 by Paul B. Fendler, a graduate of Washington University’s School of Architecture, Fendler & Associates, Inc. has established itself as a leader in the residential design market.




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Quality Kitchen Appliances for Every Budget

1650 N. Warson St. Louis, MO 63132 Phone: 314-429-0972

Pay less! Get more! Finally, a space For everything... Now offering SkyBlend - A GREEN alternative!

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| Improving St. Louis Spaces Since 1985 | Call for a FREE Consultation! 314.997.0150 2033 Concourse Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63146


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Minimal presence

Oak remnant treads and a recycled steel rail make this contemporary staircase sleek and sustainable. By Melissa Mauzy Photography by Anne Matheis


When architect Nathan Dirnberger purchased a home in the city in 2003 for just $37,000, it was in desperate need of repair. The roof had leaks. The basement was half full of water because pipes had not been winterized. “It was pretty beat up,” Nathan says. Over a span of seven years, Dirnberger took the neglected home and transformed it into a cool, contemporary urban dwelling. One of the biggest renovations was the rebuilding of the three-story home’s multilevel staircase. To say the home is narrow would be an understatement. At only 14’ 8” wide, Dirnberger took extreme caution to keep the staircase from closing in the space. “If you put a three-foot-wide staircase in, you are only left with an 11-foot-wide home,” he explains. “I wanted to create a stair that sort of disappeared but gave you a sense of stability at the same time.” The previous staircase included a half wall instead of an open rail, and the space beneath the stairs was entirely enclosed. To open up the home, Dirnberger handcrafted a minimal and open design with the use of repurposed materials from around the area. Before the actual staircase could begin to be built and installed, he had to remove the original stairs and provide structural reinforcement. Once the space was secured, Dirnberger constructed the staircase’s stringer (a long horizontal board that connects the treads to the staircase and the staircase to the structure) out of two laminated veneer lumber boards (LVLs) glued together. Each is three inches thick and 18 feet long, giving the staircase substance. Screwed to the stringers by aluminum angles, the stair’s treads were individually finished with semigloss polyurethane and installed. The treads are fabricated from oak butcher-block remnants Dinberger purchased for $60 from HAVCO Wood Products, based out of Cape Girardeau. “The tread material is a high-quality oak, which makes it structurally very strong and a fantastic, uniform material,” Nathan says. At 1¼-inches thick, the treads nearly disappear when looking at the staircase from the side. The steel-welded handrail was created from leftover steel purchased from Shapiro Metal in St. Louis. The railing was fabricated in place and at only 1½-inches thick, it gives a thin appearance as you approach it while being a good fit for your hand. Once the structure was complete, Dirberger raised it into place with the help of family and friends. “The staircase weighed close to 400 pounds,” he says. With open risers and a sparse railing, the completed staircase minimizes its presence in the home, while maintaining the openness of the larger volume in which it is situated. When the current owner of the home, Adham Abdelfatta, purchased the residence in 2011, the staircase was one of the architectural elements that drew him to the property. “I loved how Nathan designed and created such a spectacular structure that stands so massive, yet so invisible in relationship to space inside the home,” he explains. “Each morning, the light floods the room and flows right through the open staircase. The visual appeal is spectacular." See for resources.


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Places to go, things to do and see, and people who are leaving their mark on the world of style.

Novus International, St. Charles, MO Photography by SWT Design and Jim Diaz, Suite D Studio

In May 2010, Novus International became one of 150 pilot projects across the globe chosen by the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) to test a new four-star rating system for sustainable landscape. The site design and construction were led by SWT Design, a landscape architecture, planning and urban design firm. In January 2012, the nine-acre site was awarded three-star certification by SITES, making it the world’s highest-rated land-

scape project. The campus features diverse habitats, native plantings, innovative stormwater management and an improved quality of life for employees. An emphasis was made on using regional materials, and sustainable design best practices such as hydrology, wildlife habitat enhancement and monitoring, as well as improved soils and vegetation, were used.

Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA Photography by Tom Bonner Set against the Hollywood Hills and built in the early 1920s, the Hollywood Bowl is known for its concave orchestra shell. In 2004, the amphitheater revealed a new shell as part of a six-year rebirth process. The Los Angeles-based architecture firm Hodgetts + Fung wanted to echo the


memory and visual identity of the original shell in their new design. The new structure spans 124 feet and was fabricated off site. Hodgetts + Fung reinvented the acoustics and enhanced the functionality of the new shell. A new stage and back-of-the-house facilities also were included in the design.


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Photography by: © Craig Sheppard

Photography by: © Darren Soh Construction Images

Photography by: © Craig Sheppard

Photography by: © Craig Sheppard

Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay, Singapore See specific photos for credit. The centerpieces for Singapore’s new 133-acre Bay South Garden project are two climate-controlled conservatories, which are two of the largest in the world. Wilkinson Eyre Architects designed the glass and steel-cooled conservatories to bring the climates and plant life of the Mediterranean and Cloud Forest regions to tropical Singapore. The conservatories feature an indoor waterfall, a continuously flowering meadow, cascading levels of vertical

plantings and high-level walkways through and above the tree canopy. Sustainability was the starting point of the design. A computer-controlled shading system and carbon neutral cooling technology were integrated to efficiently maintain the climate. Grant Associates master planned the overall scheme and surrounding landscape.


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(314) 361.1900


JUNE 16-22


All About Outdoors Join SLHL Publisher, Suzie Osterloh & Managing Editor, Melissa Mauzy at a group discussion with:

JULY 7-13

JULY 14-20

JULY 22-28

Mike Brueggenjohann, California Custom Decks Peter Zadrozinski, Classic Metal Craft Matt Gagnepain, Metro Lighting Kevin Burnley, Creative Audio Video

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. arrive early! U doors open 11 a.m. speakers begin promptly at 11:30 a.m.

The Hearthroom Cafe


265 Lamp & Lantern Village U Town & Country, 63017 To make your reservation, Call:

636-230-9640 x 13

AUGUST 11-17


or email:

i Top cs decks Iron Work Outdoor Lighting Outdoor audio & Video $15/per person

Includes entree, a side and beverage.


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Sandra Ford

Design Consultant, Inc. 314-378-8585 |

Window tint protects furnishings & ar twor k, eliminates glare on tv & computer screens and lower s energy bills.

Residential ~ Commercial ~ Auto Window Tint ~ 314.960.2629 STLOUISHOMESMAG.COM MAY 2014

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Award Winning Designs


Call us for new iron projects and repairs to existing handrails and fencing.

314~535~2022 Showroom conveniently located at

1315 S. Vandeventer, St. Louis, MO

Offering home decor worthy of a repeat performance

Known for our large selection of chandeliers!

We Invite You to Visit our 10,000 sqft Showroom We are now accepting like new home decor & accessories. Please send photos of items to

287 Lamp and Lantern Village | Northwest corner of 141 and Clayton 636-220-9092


Lamps | s conces | Furniture | accessories | JeweLry 7014 Clayton Road Richmond Heights, MO 63117 314.645.2722 • Monday - Friday 10-6 & Saturday 10-5 • Sunday - Closed All items shown subject to prior sAle. mAy or mAy not be AvAilAble.


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GARRISON LTD. L i m i t L e s s

d e s i g n

314-721-0333 8001 Clayton Road, Clayton, Missouri 63105

Custom Homes • Renovations • Additions • Kitchens • Bathrooms

(314) 852-9080 •

The Porch Bernadette Designs Creating unique, fabulous florals

BaumHouse design Kitchens • Baths • interiors 636-225-9000 | 11 Vance rd | st. Louis, Mo 63088

The-Porch-by-Nettie-White 636-273-3745 | 16957 Manchester Rd | Wildwood, MO 63040


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The Studio of Abraham Mohler

Enhancing your house...Into your dream home!

Home Staging • Interior Design • Color Coordination

Nancy Minkus, Interior Decorator 636-922-7118 work 206-755-0522 cell

Revealing What Was Unseen | 314.920.1058

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Old House in Hog Hollow

14319 Olive Blvd, Chesterfield, MO 63017 (one mile west of 141 & 4 miles east of Chesterfield Mall) Hours: Mon-Sat 10-5 (314) 469-1019



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igns. Furniture & unique acc ents for your home. Custom kitchen & bath des

421 Sappington Road Glendale, Missouri 63122 (314) 966-9994



Beautiful Chairs revived 1301 Gravois Ave. (In Soulard) | St. Louis, MO 63104 | 314-781-5444 855.367.7967 STLOUISHOMESMAG.COM MAY 2014

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Custom Painting


High Quality Work & Lasting Results




[314] 533-2227

imagine. design. create.

Space planning and furniture layout • Color scheme Furniture and fabric selection • Flooring • Wall treatment Drapery design and fabrication • Accessory and art selection and placement

573.535.0543 | Textures Interior Design


natural stone & quartz countertops glass / stone & porcelain tile installations

4556 Tholozan Avenue St. Louis, MO 63116 314.771.1234


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Marketplace Custom Window Treatments | Furniture | Lighting Floor Coverings | Accessories

Exclusive Home Décor · Furniture · Lighting Custom Window Treatments & more...

At Decorating Den Interiors, we work with you to create a space that reflects your style and fits your budget!

Call us now for your complementary consultation! Find us on facebook at SWAT Design Team for Decorating Den Making St. Louis homes beautiful! Love to decorate? Franchise opportunities available now! 636-244-1623

Appliance Specialist for over 50 years

St. Louis's Newest Treasure 108 Holloway Road Ballwin, MO 636-230-7800

St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles’ annual

GaRdens of the Yea� Is your garden blooming with beauty?

We are passionate about meeting the need for an efficient & functional home.


Monday - Friday 8am-5pm Saturday 8am-noon

2012 & 2013

In recognition of outstanding dedication to offering exceptional levels of service

If you are the owner or designer of a gorgeous garden, enter our 2013 Gardens of the Year contest. Winning gardens (suburban and urban) will be featured in the September 2013 issue of St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles. Entry deadline is June 1. For more information, e-mail To download an entry form, go to


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Is it a classic or is it a craze?

For our MAY issue, we asked local home and design professionals about Concrete Countertops. Here is what they had to say…

classic “Concrete countertops have been around for a while. I've seen some installations that look awesome, and others that failed. In my opinion, the key to using concrete for a countertop is all in the fabrication. If not done right, the counter will look homemade and sloppy. What will define concrete countertops as a classic or a craze is the way in which they are used in a space: whether in a contemporary or traditional setting. No matter the style, or in this case material, good design will always be a classic!” Andy Villasana, Andy Villasana Design. “Concrete countertops have been around for over a decade, and I don't feel they are going away. My feeling is that they are an economical means to an end. Sometimes natural stone or solid- surface counters are not in the budget. I feel that concrete is an easy fix to create an urban, sexy, loft feel to any kitchen. In conclusion, I say CLASSIC.” Joni Spear, Joni Spear Interior Design. “I think concrete counters are here to stay. I first used them 20 years ago on a project in California for a client’s Napa Valley weekend home. They offer the sleekness of granite or marble, but with a more casual, relaxed twist. Since that time, I have used them on several projects, and the color options and finishes really have come a long way, providing more complex design solutions. Today, they also offer a nice reprise from granite, which is at every level of the marketplace, and while still a great material for the correct application, the overuse has caused a loss in being totally chic.” Robert Idol, Idol Design.

Craze “Concrete has been gaining momentum over the past decade as one of the top choices in countertops. It lends itself well to industrial or European-style interiors. Though it’s highly customizable and quite transitional, we still are calling this one a 'craze.' Ultimately, we prefer natural stone and its inherent beauty.” The design team at Savvy Surrounding Style. “I think that concrete countertops are a craze. My reasoning is that a cement countertop, in my opinion, has more of an industrial feel. During the past few years, an industrial atmosphere, for a kitchen in particular, was the craze. Now that the 'Downton Abbey' bug has bitten the American public, a mood of elegance has swept the design world.” Tom Manche, Tom Manche Interiors LLC. “Craze. Although concrete may offer more options in terms of color and shape, it can't compare to granite in terms of long-term durability. Concrete has a tendency to chip and crack more easily, whereas granite and other natural and man-made materials  are nearly indestructible. In addition, concrete is a porous surface and requires diligent sealing, often as much as once or twice a year. If the sealer becomes compromised (through cutting, chopping food or even by a hot pan), then staining easily can occur. Concrete may be the latest/hottest trend for countertops, but granite still wins for durability, looks and ease, not to mention price.” Kristin Kisling, JCR Design Group.

 Tell us your opinion by voting online at or on our Facebook page on or after May 1.



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May 2014  

May issue. Stylish Green Design. Sustainable living. Architectural Finesse Awards.

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