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  • November 28, 2014

Design Defined - Ladue News: Design

Design Defined

Design Discovery: A Wooded Retreat

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Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 11:20 pm, Tue Aug 9, 2011.

Comfortable Modern is how Barb Slavkin describes her ‘50s-era home, and it certainly is. When you approach this unique home nestled on a wooded lane, you get the sense that you are truly about to experience the meaning of the word discovery. This four-level house has been the home of Barb and Dave Slavkin for the past 12 years, and it was the perfect challenge for Barb, president of Barb Slavkin Interiors. After spending 20 years with June Roesslein Interiors, first as a senior designer and then for the last five years as president, owning her own firm makes perfect sense. 

“When we looked at the house, the kitchen was the exact kitchen I had just designed for a house we were planning to build, down to the cabinetmaker and counter tops!” smiles Slavkin. “The owner decided not to sell after we fell in love with it, so every house I looked at afterward, I’d say to our agent, I still want that house!  The agent kept telling me I couldn’t have it; it wasn’t for sale. Finally the owner decided to sell and we got the call. I told my husband, Dave (an attorney with Bryan Cave), Offer them more than they want, I want that house! We did, and here we are.”

Slavkin, an Allied member of ASID, is also a member of the International Color Marketing Group, the organization that selects the colors, patterns and fabrics that will be popularized in the years ahead, so she definitely knows how to use color. And her love of color is evident in her home. Her son, a professional photographer, has supplied much of the artwork for the home.  Custom cabinetry that Slavkin designed in various exotic and unique woods has both utility and beauty. “You can never have enough storage,” she enthuses.

Mindful as an interior designer that much of her challenge is to solve environment-related issues that affect the design process, Slavkin has found some creative ways to deal with her own specific needs. In an attempt to mitigate her allergies, the master bedroom has a creative combination of tile and hardwood. The room has a beautiful hardwood perimeter that surrounds limestone tile. “The carpeting had to go, and this just made great sense. We love it,” says Slavkin.  Simple updates have taken dated bathrooms and brought them into the 21st century.  New cabinetry, faucets, granite counter tops and fun accessories have done the trick.  A multi-level staircase is a showstopper, with its contemporary runner custom-fashioned out of a larger rug. It is dynamite!

The windows are all treated very simply as the surrounding acre of woodlands create a calming vista.  The tiled lanai off the kitchen and great room is one of the last projects completed. A rather large multi-level water fountain comprised of slate is the focal point for their outdoor entertaining.

Slavkin also worked on making her home kid-friendly for her grandchildren. Behind doors in her home office, she has ingeniously hidden a playroom that transforms into a kids’ wonderland when the little ones come to visit.

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