spotted: not just your average framers by rebecca shell

Main Street – A place for everything, and everything in its place.

While strolling along, you will find more than just bars and restaurants on this main street located in St. Charles. To my delight, I ran into this little place called

Framations – Custom Framing and Art Gallery


It’s a fantastic place that can not only meet your framing needs, but also allows you to peruse through local artists’ talent. Artists from all over the metro St. Louis area have their works on display here. But there’s more good news! These special works of art are not only for viewing, they are also for purchasing! It’s a great place to go to to find and support your local artists. So come on in, have a look around, and don’t forget about special event nights. More info can be found on their website:

Framations – Custom Framing and Art Gallery
218 N Main Street
Saint Charles, MO
United States

Hours of Operation:
Tuesday-Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Monday: CLOSED

Don’t forget to check out their facebook page here:



junior league kitchen tours – sneak peek #4

With an original plan for custom window treatments, Michelle Llewellyn and her family opted instead, for a Kitchen Remodel.  Having a floorplan of a traditional ranch-style home, meant lots of walls and unused spaces.  As the Llewellyn’s weighed the cost of custom window treatments, they also weighed the cost of these unused spaces, the constant frustration of tight spaces for a family that entertains a lot, and the need to invest in the heart of the home – the Kitchen.  Beck Allen Cabinetry entered the picture and the project was underway! 

Remodeling and knocking down walls to open up a space always has its challenges.  The Llewellyn’s ran into dangling electrical wire within the walls and the need to work around a load-bearing wall.  A summer of paper plates, grilling and eating out, allowed this family to continue living at home while the project was underway. A little over a month past the goal, the project was complete and the result – functional, warm and inviting!

The Junior League hosts “A Gathering Place” on April 21st.  For more information about the Tour and to purchase tickets, please click here!

Junior League Kitchen Tours – Sneak Peek #3

 A bright floor plan + a mix of natural materials + an aged, historical, evolved design = A beautiful kitchen at 7430 Hiawatha!

The Robinsons built a new house to replace an old, forgotten building.  The kitchen is a focal point in the design of their new home. The natural materials include forged iron, copper, marble, a reclaimed cobblestone floor, reclaimed doors and a washed oak ceiling.

All of this add up to a warm, welcoming, highly usable, charming new kitchen.

The Junior League hosts “A Gathering Place” on April 21st.  For more information about the Tour and to purchase tickets, please click here!

Junior League Kitchen Tours – Sneak Peek #2

Julie and Cliff Heggs have lived in the Central West End neighborhood for more than 30 years and were part of the neighborhood revival back in the 1970’s. They take pride in their 1890’s home and wanted their new kitchen to reflect their own eclectic sense of style.

Cliff Heggs, having a background in art, drew up initial floor plans for their kitchen. Once hiring Karr Bick Kitchen & Bath to help them with the design of their kitchen, they were lucky enough to find a designer, Anne Boedges, that took their plans, tweaked them, and added her own finishing touches to the space.

The result of this collaboration is lovely. New Zealand laminate wood flooring, reclaimed wood supports, knotty alder and painted maple cabinets, two differing suede granite countertops, and a stand-out hood design are just a few of the many beautifully designed choices to notice when touring this kitchen.

The Junior League hosts “A Gathering Place” on April 21st.  For more information about the Tour and to purchase tickets, please click here!



Junior League Kitchen Tours – Sneak Peek #1

Hello, my name is Jennifer Steward and I don’t write blogs… Though I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with Pam Kennedy, owner of 1235 Brownell, and I became super inspired to write this one. I have to tell you, driving through the adorable suburbs of Glendale, walking up to Pam’s house, I had every intention of walking into a traditional, classic kitchen. However, as soon as I walked in- BOOM! Color everywhere, outside-the-box design, open & inviting all hit me at once. I had an ‘AAaahhhh’ moment- never judge a book by its cover.

In speaking with Pam, I discovered that her contemporary taste started at the young age of 8 when her parents took her to a contemporary subdivision to look at display homes. ‘I knew as soon as I walked into those homes that contemporary was my style. All my life I lived in traditional décor that just simply wasn’t me.’

It took Pam over a year of research, and making sure the last kiddo was out of college before pulling the trigger to make it all come to life. ‘The backsplash is my favorite part! I walked into so many tile shops before finally seeing what I wanted!’

This house is a must-see. Be happy that Junior League is making this opportunity come to life- perhaps you’ll be inspired too!

The Junior League hosts “A Gathering Place” on April 21st.  For more information about the Tour and to purchase tickets, please click here!


by Derek Maschek (MASCHEK design and fabrication, LLC)

The problem; how to create a cost effective “green” home (or any other building) in the St. Louis area, and this includes renovating an existing building as well. This is ground that has been tread aplenty in recent years, and yet remains ambiguous to many home owners and professionals alike for some reason. I hope to simplify and clarify what seems to be an unnecessarily complicated and confusing topic, saving time and effort while hopefully helping to avoid predicable disappointments. As usual, there are caveats (i.e. “it depends”) that can complicate things again, but I think the overall strategy for accomplishing a cost effective “green” home is really pretty simple and straightforward, as it should be. Then again, I have a fairly practical view of the topic, not that I don’t love my trees. But if you are in the Show Me state, seems to make sense to me, to…well, show that it makes sense.

The first thing we need to do is clarify what it means to be “green”. This is an unclear and emotionally charged term, often meaning different things to different people. All the nuanced meanings are related conceptually, but are critically different when discussed and applied in reality.

Many professionals prefer “sustainable”; meeting immediate needs without jeopardizing a future ability to do so. I personal love this term, but it is a VERY high bar to truly accomplish, maybe more of an ideal than a reality. To truly be sustainable, a residence would not only need to be completely independent of any services (domestic water, sewer, non-renewable energy), it would need to give back in order to recoup losses used to construct the building.

Those more concerned with environment than return on investment (ROI) might prefer “ecological”; environmentally friendly in a “living building” sort of way. Look into the Living Building Challenge for more info on this, but prepare yourself for a college PHD-level exercise in research and calculations. This is just out of the realm of possibility for most people and businesses, but cheers to those that attempt it. We love you for you zeal and shall sing your praises to the heavens.

Those less concerned with the environment but are more focused on a quantifiable ROI prefer “high-performance”; basically meaning energy efficient. This is a great term, used more by engineers, builders, and product representatives that sell energy efficient systems. But because of the practical and simplistic nature of it, it is probably also the most befitting my approach. My only regret is its limitation in that it excludes environmental concerns beyond those directly related to energy consumption. To me, that misses the bigger picture of what it means to be “green”, and so I find it wanting.

I prefer to just say “smart”. It’s a better way of designing and building, with numerous benefits over conventional methods, both economic and environmental, and anybody can take this as far as they want to with more or less zeal. Who doesn’t want to build smart after all?! Every situation and client is unique with different wants and needs, opportunities and restrictions. Done right, it’s actually cheaper than conventional construction methods initially and performs better over the long haul to boot, regardless of location. And feel free to throw in as many of the environmentally beneficial products you feel are appropriate, and get a little warm and fuzzy along with the cost-balancing stuff.

In order to determine which variant of “green” is best for you, answer a simple question; is your priority economic or environmental? Most want a balance of the two of course, but only one can and always does prevail. I usually hear something like “we want to be as environmentally responsible as we can afford to be”, which to date has always translated to an economic priority. It is the very rare committed few that pursue “green” driven by environmental altruism, although God bless them and I hope to work with one some day.

Now, I’m begging you to please, please, please be honest with yourself. Your answer is the foundation of an entire design and construction process. Some call it “concept” or your “level of commitment”. Regardless, if it is not addressed truthfully, expect disappointment and frustration, and in all likelihood wasted time and money for all involved.

While I discuss both aspects in this series, there’s definitely an economic priority to my input as that seems to be the usual driving force behind any “green” project I’ve been involved with. Frankly it’s just less messy overall, more easily explained and understood, and filled with less ambiguity. Don’t feel guilty for not being primarily environmentally motivated, as we live in a real world with real limitations. Designing smart is still environmentally conscious, it just acknowledges and embraces the cost-benefit equation.


Prepare yourself by reading my blog on Designing Small is Designing Smart.

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