Amy Studebaker knows a thing or two about design.
The renowned interior designer and her team have been wowing clients in the metro area for more than 15 years thanks to a knack for crafting luxurious living spaces. It comes as no surprise that one of the firm’s latest projects – a vacation getaway dubbed the “Barn Home” nestled in the countryside of St. Charles County – is a total stunner.
“Our vision for the space, which was in line with the architect and clients’ vision, was to create a home for entertaining family and friends,” says Studebaker, who designed the project alongside Michelle Thore and who runs the show at her eponymous studio, Amy Studebaker Design. “This vacation home was to have architecturally beautiful ceilings and sightlines, wonderful warm textures, and lean toward a modern industrial feel with minimal aesthetic for furniture and fabrics.”
This design framework glows in the finished product. The house seems at once new and enduring, a beautiful tribute to the area that could just as easily have been part of the landscape on which it has stood for the past several decades (instead of months). Part of this hard-to-achieve aesthetic comes from the abode’s textures. Wood, stone, concrete, glass – everything blends to create the fresh feeling of modernity mixed with doses of industrial vibes and a rustic aura.
The result is the product of a close collaboration among Studebaker, Thore and the project’s architect, Jeffrey Hancox of The Hancox Group. Together, the three brought the clients’ dreams to life.
“Our clients had great descriptions, some of which had already been conveyed to the architect,” Studebaker says. “Working closely with the architect made it easy to collaborate and come up with the design details that make up the bones of the house.”
What came next was for the design team to seek inspiration. Any great designer will tell you that working with clients requires patience, attention to detail and a knack for merging your own style with what the customers envision for their space. It’s a delicate balancing act, but one that ultimately pays off.
“Once I have the aesthetic that the clients are aiming for, I peruse magazines, think of places I have been before that might evoke the feel we are trying to accomplish, and then I begin to pull elements together that are sketched and designed specifically for this client and their home,” Studebaker says.
For this specific project, Studebaker and Thore were part of the design process from the ground up. As a result, they worked with Hancox to make slight alterations to spaces based on how the clients might use that part of the house. This made it easier for Studebaker and Thore to tailor every nook and cranny specifically to the clients’ needs – including incorporating design elements that they added or created for the clients.
“We pay very specific attention to interior architectural elements,” Studebaker says. “In the Barn Home, I wanted a wall that was mostly covered in stone so that it felt like that was the ‘original wall’ to the home and that maybe there had been history there. Once we get to these types of design decisions, that’s when I feel a project is starting to come to life.”
It also doesn’t hurt that the clients were active participants every step of the way. The result? The multilevel home really does reflect the intentionality of the design.
“Because our clients were checking in on the site throughout the entire process, they saw elements and features of the space as the home came together,” Studebaker says. “They always expressed excitement for the home and how they were looking forward to when they could share it with family and friends.”
From the inviting living room to a kitchen that comes equipped with a bar and every other detail between, it’s easy to envision how the Barn Home will make the perfect setting for any occasion.
Amy Studebaker Design, 11614 Page Service Drive, St. Louis, 314-440-0853, amystudebakerdesign.com