2014 Junior League kitchen tour

Photo by Arteaga Photography

If you’ve been daydreaming about a kitchen makeover with sparkling new appliances, craftsman cabinets and luxurious lighting, A Gathering Place Kitchen Tour is for you. “It’s a really fun, self-guided tour from house to house, where you can bring a group of friends, see different styles and let your imagination run away with itself on what you can do in your own kitchen,” says Junior League of St. Louis president Maureen Strasheim. 

The fourth annual event, which benefits Junior League’s training and community programs, will highlight six kitchens in the city’s central corridor. This year’s kitchens are designed by a variety of returning, as well as new, top local designers, including Beck/Allen Cabinetry, Dana’s Design Studio and Karr Bick Kitchen & Bath. At one University City home—featured in Better Homes and Gardens in the ’60s—the kitchen has been renovated by Dana’s Design Studio to emote “a contemporary flare, with wood, granite and quartz countertops and thoughtful lighting that brings the space to life,” according to designer Dana King.

While touring the kitchens, guests will have the opportunity to sample cuisine from area restaurants and bid on aprons signed by celebrity chefs like Paula Deen, Bobby Flay and Art Smith. Home locations are posted on Junior League’s website, and attendees can start at any kitchen on the tour, explains fund development team lead Julie Kearbey. Kitchen Tour tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door, and combination tickets for both the Kitchen Tour and Toast of the Tour pre-party are $65.

Prior to the main event, a Toast of the Tour will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. April 25 at Interior Design Center of St. Louis, where KDR Showroom will feature several kitchen setups for guests to peruse, while enjoying signature appetizers and drinks, and live music, and bidding on silent auction items.

The tours have become one of the largest fundraisers for Junior League, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary with centennial celebrations throughout the year, Strasheim says. “We promote volunteerism, develop the potential of women, and improve the community through the action and leadership of trained volunteers, so all funds will go toward our training, including the leadership development series, and community programs.”

One such community program is the St. Louis Family Theater Series, where annually, more than 25,000 students and families attend local live theatrical productions—many for the first time, Strasheim notes. “It’s a low-cost option for families, and we have not raised our prices in at least 15 years.” Another community program, Strong Women and Families Health and Resource Fair, will be held April 12. It serves more than 350 women with health care, education, legal and financial services. “Women say they got more done in the four hours at the event than they have in three months when it comes to those services,” Strasheim says. “They are eternally grateful.”

ON THE COVER: The fourth annual A Gathering Place Kitchen Tour, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 26, benefits Junior League of St. Louis’ training and community programs. Pictured on the cover: A Creve Coeur kitchen, designed by Karr Bick Kitchen & Bath, appearing on the tour. For more information and tickets, call 822-2344 or visit jlsl.org.

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