Step inside St. Louis sushi chef Elliot Harris’ Webster Groves home and be transported into a moody marvel that the J&J Design Team likens to an underground restaurant.
“When you walk into Elliot’s house, it’s cozy and very welcoming, but you also feel like you are not in St. Louis,” says J&J Design Team designer Jenna Siebert. “You feel like you are at this cool restaurant or something. It’s a very cool space.”
Prior to the project, Siebert says the residence in question was rather raw.
“Nothing about his personality showed in this house,” Siebert says. “It was very drab, definitely outdated, so he wanted to bring it to life.”
The husband-and-wife team that is the J&J Design Team started with the living room by updating the floors that carry throughout the entire first level.
“He had a really dark hardwood floor in there,” Siebert says. “We could have refinished them, but he wanted something very easy to take care of, so we went with a laminate flooring. Just that alone brightened up the space.”
From there, Siebert introduced her client to shiplap.
“He was like, ‘What is shiplap?’” says Siebert with a laugh. “I showed him pictures – we actually have some in our personal home – and he loved the shiplap.”
The shiplap was incorporated into a redesigned fireplace.
“The fireplace was kind of awkward in his living room, so we redesigned it by bumping it out, adding shiplap from floor to the ceiling, and then we wanted a little industrial thrown in there,” Siebert says. “So we teamed up with Gregory Rascher, who had a 100-year-old beam, and that is what the mantel is on the fireplace.”
To tie the living room together, Siebert sourced natural window treatments in addition to all furnishings.
“Every piece of furniture in his living room is brand-new,” she says. “I got to style it and surprise him with it. That was fun.”
Adjacent to the living room is the dining room, in which the J&J Design Team created an industrial-meets-nautical custom chandelier above a custom dining room table.
“The chandelier is another 100-year-old beam, and I found these cool lights to wrap around the beam,” Siebert says. “We have seen similar stuff, but we wanted to bring more of that nautical theme with rope to make it a little different, and then we wanted to tie that beam in with the beam on his mantel. They work really well together.”
The table is a concrete tabletop on a custom wood base.
“Honestly, the most difficult part of this project was getting that table inside,” Siebert says. “Gregory made that table off-site, and that concrete tabletop was so heavy. That was probably the biggest oh-my-God, freak-out moment.”
Placed directly behind the dining room is a bar buffet that mimics the adjoining kitchen – concrete countertop atop beautiful black cabinetry with leather pulls.
“I love those leather pulls,” Siebert says. “I wanted to do something different. That leather works so well with the butcher block. I just fell in love with them.”
The kitchen in question has black slate subway tiles adorning the walls, while the concrete countertop, stainless appliances and butcher-block waterfall island create a crisp contrast.
“We used that same butcher-block material for his windowsills and open shelving to tie it all together,” Siebert says. “His kitchen was functional before, but it was awkward and really outdated. Now, the kitchen is all black, and I think it’s so sexy.”
Last, but certainly not least, is the main floor bath, which features floor-to-ceiling white subway tiles, a custom wood vanity and black herringbone-tiled flooring that carries into a curbless walk-in shower.
“Overall, we just totally transformed his house,” Siebert says. “It feels like a completely different space. We have a small team, but one that makes a big impact. I’m really happy with how that project turned out.”
J&J Design Team, 314-229-9420, jandjdesignteam.com
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