Amid the French-inspired, tri-level Saint Louis Club, perched atop the Pierre Laclede Center in downtown Clayton, more than 600 prominent business, civic and community leaders, as well as guests from St. Louis and around the globe, recently celebrated its golden year.
The dining room in this year’s Show House easily could accommodate a classic Queen Anne dining set. But for designers Christy North and Tracy Miles, that predictability is anachronistic and somewhat out of touch with modern lifestyles.
The 2014 Ladue News Show House sits on a sweeping 1-acre lot that was sorely in need of landscape design. Beyond routine maintenance, precious little had been done to the grounds by way of gardening or landscaping for some time.
The architecture of the Colonial property at 34 Briarcliff in Ladue reflects its formal Mid-Century design roots with notable features such as a stately columned portico, floor-to-ceiling windows and a classic double-door entry. Just inside, a compact and rather plain central foyer and staircase leads to a second-floor hallway. It was interior designer Tamsin Mascetti’s job to bring both of these areas into the 21st century, while respecting the essence of a well-loved and lived-in family home.
When Teddy Karl and his team first saw the great room, they were favorably impressed by its generous size, open feel, and floor-to-ceiling windows that let in an abundance of natural light. The room also had a wood floor original to the house, as well as a fireplace with pickled-wood mantel that they chose to keep intact. The subtle pink undertones “struck me as very Palm Beach, circa 1960s or even early '70s,” Karl says. “I’m sure in its heyday, the room was very sharp.”
The guest bedroom in this year’s Show House is, well, simply irresistible. True to form, the designers at Diane Breckenridge Interiors didn’t skimp on a thing, resulting in beautiful sleeping quarters that envelop the lucky inhabitant in layers of softness and comfort.
The master bedroom was transformed from tasteful traditional to frankly fabulous by designer David Deatherage, who specializes in high-design vintage furnishings. “The house was built in the Mid-Century era, but instead of organic modern, it had formal aspirations,” Deatherage observes. “It's Champagne instead of a martini; Beverly Hills in the 1950s, as opposed to Palm Springs.”
Tucked away in the back of the home at 34 Briarcliff is a classic 1950s-era den, complete with a vintage built-in wet bar, brick fireplace, pine paneling, parquet flooring, and picture windows providing an unobstructed view of the expansive grounds beyond.
At first glance, the original space reminded the June Roesslein team of an old-time ice-cream parlor, according to Smith, who, along with McGovern, designed what's being labeled the 'bonus room' in this year's Show House. The trim, chair rail and shutters had been painted bright red, and the walls were covered with red-and-tan-striped wallpaper. Café curtains had the unfortunate effect of preventing most of the available natural light from entering the small room. Additionally, the chair rail visually cut the walls in half and made the ceiling feel lower than its actual 8-foot height. On the upside, the room featured a fireplace with a pretty dark wood mantel, a vintage wood floor and attractive millwork that could be transformed into an architectural asset, albeit after many coats of paint.
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