As homeowners become empty nesters, downsizing to a smaller residence and easier lifestyle can be both exciting and difficult. A house that once accommodated a bustling family may now seem gargantuan for just one or two people.

Such was the case for a couple who decided to transition from a sprawling Creve Coeur estate to a 13-year-old condo high atop St. Louis’ Central West End neighborhood, with predictably splendid views of Forest Park.

The couple – minimalistic at heart with a contemporary aesthetic – had an extensive art collection and a specific vision for the three-bedroom, multiple-bath condo. Although the perfect spot to settle into a new empty nest lifestyle, the space needed quite a bit of work to bring it to the level the couple desired.


The homeowners consequently enlisted local professionals to create their dream space. Those professionals first befriended the couple and generated a plan to execute their vision and style.

That plan involved the condo’s kitchen being completely gutted and redesigned with modern Wood-Mode cabinetry; the upper cabinets sport painted backs with glass fronts, and the lower cabinets are Rift Cut Veneer. Sleek Cambria countertops highlight a stunning Wolf stove, along with a Julien galley undermount chef sink. The space also includes gorgeous yet functional stacked Wolf ovens and a Sub-Zero refrigerator. The sparkling flooring, meanwhile, involves 24-inch-square large-format porcelain tile with a straight set.


However, the most noteworthy feature of the kitchen may be its striking glass backsplash. It should look familiar to anyone who’s ever visited New York City’s National September 11 Memorial & Museum, with whose unique design the homeowners fell in love on a visit – leading them to want to use an exact match in the kitchen.

The guest bathroom displays a walnut floating vanity, with Cambria countertops and exaggerated stained glass tiles. The well-appointed master bathroom, meanwhile, features his-and-her sinks, Cambria countertops and colorful glass tiles on the vanity wall, as well as in the shower.

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Much thought went into how to light the space. Concrete surrounds the tops and bottoms of condo units in that particular building, making it highly problematic to run electric for lighting. In consequence, the designer involved used out-of-the-box creativity to design a suspended backlit ceiling element, which not only allowed overhead lighting throughout but also created an amazing visual focal point in the main living space. The walls also received special treatment, as custom spots were created to showcase the clients’ unique, colorful art collection.

Once the professionals involved exceeded the homeowners’ expectations on this project, the couple couldn’t have been happier with their condo remodel, which left them with an oasis high above the metro area’s most acclaimed park.

Jill Worobec serves as a designer with St. Louis remodeling and design firm Mosby Building Arts.