A St. Louis Vintage Store Owner Transforms Her Own Mid Century Modern House
AFTER: Anna kept the windows, the lava stone cladding and the copper hood, but painted the window frames black.
Two major changes have been made to the exterior, including repainting the red brick and wood paneling. “It’s a bit of a sacrilege to paint a brick house here in St. Louis, and I’m sure some neighbors aren’t happy, but I’m really happy with the result,” admits Anna. The original double front doors had been sun bleached over the years, so they decided to keep the doors and put a walnut veneer over them. When that plan went wrong, they went to a local craftsman who created and installed patinated copper cladding with vertical fluting and a starburst pattern around the doorknob: “It turned out to be amazing,” shines Anna.
The couple clad the double-wide front door with patinated copper reliefs made by a local craftsman.
In the interior, “we tried to keep what was here, but to keep it open and inviting,” says Anna. The couple ripped out the fluorescent lighting from the existing kitchen and dark wood-paneled cabinets. They opted for “everything black – dark slate floors, black cabinets and appliances, and a black marble counter,” she explains. A tight budget meant the cabinets and countertops were sourced from IKEA. To offset the dark hues, they kept some walls white and brought in lots of sunlight.
“When we bought the house, I knew the Knoll dining table would come in,” says Anna. The black slate floor of the kitchen merges into the parquet floor of the dining room in a unique way.
Small details, like the beveling of the vertical slats of a wooden wall around a light switch, indicate the attention to detail that Anna was obsessed with. “I would go through hundreds and thousands of photos of all kinds of designs and looks,” she says.
Anna notes that “anything we buy for resale is something we love, but it usually didn’t fit in our previous home.” Not the case here! A beloved George Nelson chest fits perfectly in the bedroom.
When setting up the house, Anna and Luby brought many items from their old house, but also obtained many items from the shop. “It was a lot of fun shopping in our own store,” says Anna (no surprise!). Her favorite household items include the Knoll dining table with its black marble top, which “fits perfectly into the room and matches the black worktops”, and the handles on the front doors, which are actually mid-century curtains, but their scale is perfect works with the size of the doors. In fact, they’re the perfect bite-sized welcome to the rest of the thoughtful home that balances style with comfort, accessibility with craftsmanship and high design.
On the original cork wall of the entrance hangs a large format work of art that had to be painted to cover up some damage. A series of George Nelson lights fall down the stairwell.
Anna on the steps that lead into the sunken living room.