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Tour ADJ Interiors’ Modern-Retro 'Chipper' House

From the Read the Stories from the Fall 2021 ABODE Magazine series
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Keep scrolling to see more photos of the house.

Once two Frontenac doctors became empty nesters, they were ready to turn their outdated home into a luxury abode for the modern era.

And after seeing the work of ADJ Interiors, the couple knew the St. Louis high-end residential interior design firm was up to the challenge of reviving their house caught in the ’80s.

“They had raised their family there … and it was dated and needed an overhaul,” says April Jensen, firm founder and interior designer. “Since they became empty nesters, their lifestyle has changed so much, and their priorities were different.”

While the dated floor plan made the new design difficult, it also gave ADJ possibilities. “It’s always difficult to make [a house with] an older floor plan work,” Jensen explains. “But the homeowners had lived there so long, they realized what they wanted and knew what didn’t work. So, it was a luxury being able to gut a house and implement changes you know [the homeowners have] been wanting.”

With busy work and social lives, the couple needed a long-lasting home renovation that could keep up with their on-the-go lifestyle. “The bones of that house could be in style for many years, and they wanted [the remodel] to have a 10- to 15-year span where it was still looking great,” Jensen says. “That’s a minimum of what we shoot for because we know people invest a lot and we want to make them happy.”

At the top of the homeowners’ wish list was plenty of beautiful, functional space to entertain guests. “They love to entertain and felt they didn’t have the space for that,” Jensen says. “They wanted to be really proud of their home when they were entertaining.”

So ADJ delivered a new airy floor plan featuring a showstopping bar and kitchen, complete with custom cabinetry, an eye-catching backsplash and a massive island ideal for conversation with guests while the homeowners are cooking, all opening to a large living space showcasing a limestone fireplace and an impressive wall of windows looking out on the beautiful backyard and pool area.

The firm tied together the spaces with natural wood elements, including walnut ceiling beams and walnut bar stools from Italy, as well as pieces from the couple’s beloved art collection.

While the homeowners desired a streamlined, modern design, they also wanted it to feel cozy for relaxing after long days at work. “They wanted to be able to go relax and sit in the living room and be comfy watching TV [with] a fire and a great view,” Jensen says. “So we [brought in] that American modern feel with great textures and great color.”

This serene theme was then carried into the master suite. “They wanted the bedroom to be like a hotel getaway,” Jensen notes, adding it was there that ADJ faced its final hurdle with the former floor plan. “They wanted the bedroom to be on the back of the house, so we had to make an addition for the bathroom they dreamed of,” she says.

The result was a reimagined retreat boasting spa-like his-and-her marble vanities with ample counter space and a stunning freestanding bathtub beneath striking vaulted ceilings, as well as another important wish list item: expansive closets.

As a cook herself, Jensen’s favorite part of the project is the jewel of the house’s hub. “I spend so much time in my kitchen, I’d give anything to have that long island,” she says, adding that any spouse knows you can’t beat having dedicated bathroom counter space separate from your significant other. “Every single design has to function to the capacity the [homeowners] want,” Jensen notes. “You can make anything beautiful, but if they don’t work, so what?”

In the end, ADJ made the couple’s longtime home look like a brand-new abode, Jensen says. And months later, the couple is still loving their dream house. “They are very happy and proud of their home,” she notes. “It was very important for this to be a retreat from their busy lives … and each night when they walk in, they’re really, really pleased with the outcome.”

ADJ Interiors, 2800 S. Brentwood, Suite 3, St. Louis, 314-230-9099,

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