#STL365 – The Foundrie

The Foundrie – Featuring the work of over 100 local and independent artists at Chesterfield Mall


The Foundrie is an independently owned shop at Chesterfield Mall in St.Louis, featuring handmade and vintage items.  Owners Shelah McClymont and Elizabeth Hahn-Lawrence, each designers in their own right, take the utmost care in choosing the best, most unique products and displays to set The Foundrie apart from uninspired big box retailers.


“We currently carry the work of 100 local and independent artists.  Products range from jewelry, clothing, and accessories to furniture and home decor…..and even records and books from local musicians and authors!  We love everything local and handmade, and are ecstatic to be a part of St.Louis’ bustling indie scene!”

Be sure to visit The Foundrie for your unique, local, and handcrafted gifts!  They can be found here:



265 Chesterfield Mall

Chesterfield, MO 63017



2013 Holiday Hours (December):

Monday-Saturday 11-7 pm

Sunday 12-6 pm

** We are closed Mondays and Tuesdays January thru November **



Phone: 636-730-4130

Email:  elizabeth@thefoundrie.com

Email:  shelah@thefoundrie.com


Find The Foundrie online:

Website: thefoundrie.com

Facebook: facebook.com/thefoundrie

Instagram: @thefoundrie

Twitter: @thefoundrie









Sustainable Living out of reach? I do not think so! by Elaine Freund

The famous St. Louis Art Museum debuted their new East building to the public on June 29th.  Weightless and airy are just a few words to describe the white oak floors, dark polished facade, skylights, and concrete coffers. Designed by British architect David Chipperfield the expansive East building is 210,000 square feet and Gold LEED certified. St. Louisians should be proud!

Even though the Art Museum is a large project the same sustainable elements can be incorporated into your home renovations too. A lot of people get the idea that designing green or eco-friendly cost millions but in reality it will save you millions. Follow with me as I break down some of the elements used in the East building to show you that it is possible to update sustainably on an individual level.




In three of the building’s galleries floor-to-ceiling windows compliment gorgeous views of Forest Park and the Art Museum’s sculpture garden. To continue that open energy designers have created a special shade system triggered by sunlight to protect art work from over sun exposure without compromising the atmosphere it suggests.

As an individual Mermet fabric shades are designed for solar protection, energy savings, as well as acoustical comfort.  Mermet is a USGBC member that continues to introduce new sustainable fabrics and technologies that reduce up to 100% of harmful UV radiation. As much as Mermet values their customers they also continue to commit to educating associates and consumers about green design.





Who knew the exterior walls connecting the two buildings and the entrance steps are composed of trap rock and sand from Wisconsin and Missouri rivers? Reusing a plentiful resource is a great way to achieve an eco-friendly balance as well as bring an aesthetically pleasing look to the space.

To be able to apply this element in your home you can use Curava® recycled glass surfaces. Curava®, a member of the USGBC, is durable, heat, scratch and wear resistant. It also reduces energy consumption and cuts down on usage of raw materials.  You are one step further to a greener future.

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The East Building utilizes their advantages of new construction by using the floor for more than one purpose. The ventilation system is hidden in metal grates that run the length of the gallery floors. This allows for peace of mind that the artwork will not be damaged by forceful airflow. Smart thinking!

There are great ventilation systems out there to use for your home but I have come up with some simple updates you can apply to your home now.

                -Eliminate doors as much as possible for balance of air flow throughout your whole house

                -If you are finishing your basement, adding windows would be optimal to increase ventilation through out

                -Installing ceiling fans will contribute to air balance as well as increase comfort to you during hot weather months




Seeing as art is why people come to the art museum it was smart to enclose temperature controls and fire extinguishers within the walls. People might have started to think those were a part of the artwork.

This was a bit challenging to relate to our home projects but I realized it is possible to use that dead space in your house to create new spaces. Nothing puts your square footage to better use than a built-in.  They are perfect to maximize every inch of your house for other things and allows for function to be restored to your home. Creating a new space for your children could also make your updates more appealing to them.

Reading-Nook-Pretty-Handy-Girl closet-office-l under-stairs-storage-picture

Saint Louis is home to some other wonderful green designs just like the new Art Museum addition. I hope this gives you an insight into sustainable living and how it is possible for you to do it in your own home. Happy designing!

Contribution by Elaine Freund

The Blodgett Lighthouse…an experience like no other by Kieara Crisp


In-house design consultation, custom lamp design and repair, and professional installation are just a few of the many services available at the Blodgett Lighthouse. With over 30 years of experience, the lighthouse claims to be more than just another lighting store. According to them, they are your only lighting store. Quick disclaimer: If you are looking for professional help when it comes to selecting a lighting fixture and want a piece that sits quietly in the background, this is not the place for you. If you want expert advice and have a desire for a fixture that speaks to you, your client, and/or a specific project, look no farther.

Initially, I took The Lighthouse’s bold claim of being, “the only lighting store you need,” as a challenge. When I entered the building I was flooded with an odd sensation, which continued while walking around the store  (literally ever inch of the store is covered by a lamp, fixture, or the components to make one) and couldn’t decide if my feelings were a good or bad thing.

Because the Blodgett Lighthouse is set up like a museum with every collection on display, you have to give yourself adequate time to take it all in. If you don’t take the time, you would fail to notice how the motion-sensored lamps were constructed from vintage jars, bottles, and cans. Sure you would see the typical pendent fixture made with colored glass, but would completely miss the vintage and contemporary factory lamps (3x times cheaper than most without a loss of quality) to the right. Did that bright yellow sticker imply that they could turn any strange item I desire into a lamp? Why yes, yes it did.


Custom fixtures go beyond picking a different color than what is stocked. After fully appreciating what this means; all the cords, wires, and screws sitting neatly on the shelves start to scream creative potential and possibility. The staff here is friendly, funny, and completely obsessed with their job; these lighting gurus know what they are doing!  If you want a piece that sits quietly in the background, theres a lamp for that here as well. Good luck finding it. You may find yourself hours later coming up with items that spontaneously need to be turned into a wall sconce to go inside the future home of an unknown client… just in case.

Be sure to check out The Blodgett Lighthouse. An experience you will not soon forget!

P.S.  The old sensation was labeled a good thing upon reflection.

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: http://www.framations.com/

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: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Framations-Art-Gallery/126409054042100



spotted: creepy crawlers? no it’s just…by rebecca shell

…the Bug Store!

If you’ve ever went into a retailer’s and felt a little bit overwhelmed by all of the merchandise there, this place certainly gives the same feeling – but – in my book, that’s a good thing.

Looking up


With things for outside of your home, inside your home, and anywhere in between,
you’ll have more than a thing or two to fill up your arms with goodies.
You can choose from a small handful of every day items, or an even
bigger handful of those fun “unusual” items.

Fantastic linear floor lamp


Don’t forget – there’s always a great clearance sale going on on the upper level of the store!
There’s more than one level you ask? Why yes – there’s the first level, a higher platform (still on same level),
a second level, and a lower platform (still on second level). Their store layout is just as interesting as the items they sell!



I think I shall let the pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy!
Hopefully, you’ve found an exciting new place to feast your eyes on as well. : )

See ya next time!


super fun idea - get creative in what you fill the test tubes with


I love this outdoor wind sculpture - Pretty enough for inside, too!


Located in historic Kirkwood, it’s not too far from other exciting venues.
Take a day to explore and have fun! I’m sure you’ll find even more than I did (if that’s possible).  ; )

Bug Store
(314) 966-2287
113 W Argonne Dr
Kirkwood, MO 63122

Part 1: “Designing Small is Designing Smart” by Derek Maschek

Welcome to the most important part of the design process and woe to those that try and cut this corner altogether, or fail to go through it properly. Believe me, there are those that try, and all regret it without exception. So pay attention and listen up! Ready? Here it is…


Sounds technical, and by all appearances it is. So what could it possibly have to do with design and how could it possibly be so important to design? Well, you probably remember the term GIGO from high school or maybe even grade school; Garbage In, Garbage Out. A piece of software, a website, a digital application of any sort, only works as well as its programming. So, in a similar fashion, if you aren’t designing with the right information, you are doomed from the start.

Especially when it comes to designing small, programming is about asking the right questions and answering them honestly and thoroughly. It includes questions to which you think the answers are obvious, but beware, this is where assumptions and misperceptions live and they have the potential to undermine everything. It’s not all about avoiding disaster though – programming is the best part, the most exciting part. Programming is where creativity is born and takes root, where opportunity hides, and where magic waits to transform your project.


A quick moment has to be taken here to shamelessly plug the profession of which I proudly belong – architecture. But this is exactly where design professionals show their experience and talent, and value. Working with a professional saves time and improves the quality and potential of the end product. Save a dollar here and spend hundreds later as a little good planning goes a long way. I’d say “trust me”, but we’ve all experienced rushing into something that we didn’t give due attention beforehand, and we paid the price. As most people will likely only engage a design professional once in their lives, if that, it’s important to not learn this lesson after suffering the consequences.

Now, it’s so tempting to jump straight into the fun stuff, but as with any building you have to build a good foundation first. We start with the three biggies; budget, schedule, and quality. To the best of your ability, be specific and prioritize so that a decision-making framework is established and clear. Some insight on how this works; the more you expect from one, the more the others have to give or else things get hairy really quickly. For example, if you want a lot of house for a little money, plan on lower quality and an expanding schedule. If you have a tight schedule too, then quality will plummet. Say you want high quality but don’t have much time, be prepared to pay dearly for it. The advantage to designing small is that the pressure on all of these items is eased from the start. All things being equal, the less you build, the quicker you can build it and the less it will cost. It’s a win-win-win situation, so congrats on picking the smart path! You can indeed have it all…sort of….

Next we start talking specifics; functions, features, and relationships. Prioritize them again so that everybody understands their relative importance and why. List the functions of your house and sketch them at their most essential. Often these functions are “rooms” but to call them rooms already would be one of those assumptions to be wary of. Be honest with yourself and distinguish between a want and a need. Size spaces to their function and furnish only to accomplish the task (“form follows function”). Watch out for duplicate functions and look for opportunities to overlaps too. Every bit as important, identify what you do NOT want or need, and why.

Discovering the difference between a Want and a Need comes out when answering the question “why”. Be honest and note, if you WANT something bad enough that it is non-negotiable, it does indeed qualify as a NEED. Squeezing out a bunch of low priority Wants is the best way to reduce the area of your house. As you start thinking about the number of “bedrooms” you list, ask some questions. Why three (to pick a common number)? Do you have two kids?, or just one and the other is really just a guest room?, or is there just an assumption that three bedrooms is what the market will want come time to sell? Could two of the “bedrooms” be combined even, as long as there’s some ability to achieve privacy, or could one be storage now and finished later if needed? Of course these questions are numerous and most of the time an answer leads to another question, exactly like a really good in-depth interview.

Sizing spaces for functions is about furniture quantity, size, and placement. In non Master Bedroom sleeping areas for example, are full size beds necessary or can they be twins?, or how about bunkbeds? Can they be pushed into a corner?, built into an alcove?, or even be hideaway like a Murphy Bed? An opportunity in small houses we’ll discuss later in this series is, you can actually buy less but higher quality furniture, and smaller spaces beg for smaller and simpler furniture.

Next, watch out for duplicate functions, as with separate Family and Living “Rooms”, or Breakfast Alcoves, Kitchens with seating, and Dining “Rooms”. Seek instead to overlap or combine spaces with related functions, like only sitting to eat in one centrally located farm-style kitchen area. Last but certainly not least, since circulation constitutes about 75% or more of the actual square footage of a house, consider how to put more functions within reach of the same paths, like with laundry and office functions “in” corridors. A function that’s directly accessible from another space uses much less space than a “walk-in” room dedicated to the function.

Design is fluid process. It’s not always obvious, is rarely quick, and is never all fun and glory as reality shows would have you believe. But it is those nuts and bolts components that make the overall process an enjoyable one, and the result seem so perfect. Others will ask “how could it have ever been anything else?” and you will know the simple truth- it all started with asking the right questions.

Stay tuned for more installments on this topic in the coming weeks.  Derek can be reached via email to discuss a specific project.

What is all this buzz about FORM?

Looking for fun plans this weekend?  Want to check out dozens of cutting edge furniture makers?  Dying to know what they hype is about this new Temtor building?

Well, then you definitely need to come to FORM Design Show this weekend!  DesignSpeak is excited to be one of the exhibitors at the 2nd annual event hosted by the Luminary.  Last year we met so many amazing people and are anxious to expand our circle once again!

This year our booth will feature an interactive discussion with participants about design & St. Louis.  We want to hear your thoughts!  Want to know more about DesignSpeak and how you can get involved?  Come visit us and learn first hand!

Here’s the address & the times we’ll be there!  The Temtor – 8125 Michigan Ave; St. Louis, MO 63111

Friday 8.12.11: VIP Party 7-11

Saturday 8.13.11: General Admission 11-4



the cover-up by andrea beckman

When I recently moved into my new apartment I absolutely loved everything except for two things….

1. My extremely short bathroom sink.

2. The brick facade above my fireplace!

Now, I’m a huge fan of exposed brick and will take it wherever I can, but this…this is not your beautiful brick.  This my friends is z-brick!  For those who don’t know, z-brick is a type of wall covering.  A thin brick facing that in this case was applied over plaster.  This may not be a catastrophe to many but it becomes a slightly bigger challenge when you are renting!  As most renters know you are usually pretty limited in what you can and can’t alter.

before...bad, bad, bad!

Challenge: How to completely change the look of the z-brick wall, with out really changing it?

Solution: Build a relatively light weight structure to cover the undesirable with something desirable!   Key: Do not permanently alter or attach to the undesirable.  I chose to use wallpaper as my desirable.  With so many amazing wallpaper designs to chose from I knew I could find something to create the look I wanted.

I should probably mention..the fireplace itself was not and is not bad, in fact it’s wonderful!  It still has the original decorative tile and cast iron surround/cover that is exquisite!  It has so much detail and gives off this romantic ‘secret garden like’ vibe that you can’t help but love.  OK, so maybe I’m the only one who sees it that way but in any case it’s beautiful.  I actually felt that I owed it to the fireplace to some how rid it of the dreary facade that had been placed upon it and breathe new life into it.

cast iron cover

Step 1.

Recruit some one to help because you may need a hand.  I often select my father for such projects.  He doesn’t always have a choice so this works out well!

constructing the frame

We first built a frame out of 1 x 2’s and made it the exact size of the chimney chase wall.  I decided to build this at my parents house so that I could make use of my fathers tools and lending hand.  However,  this did raise an issue with transportation.  Due to it’s large dimensions, the only way to transport the unit was by constructing it in two sections and hinging it down the center so that we could fit it in their van.

constructing the frame

Step 2.

We attached wafer board to the face of the frame and along the sides to cover the return of the chase wall.  We chose to use wafer board because it is cheap, relatively light weight and substantial enough for the intended use.

step 2

Once that was built and eventually transported to my apartment, we placed the unit directly around the chase.  It actually stood in place by itself but for additional support we tacked a nail at the top and bottom of each side, along the return.  I did not intend on hanging much weight from it, as my goals was to have nothing screwed and nothing anchored to the wall!

unit placed around chase

Step 3.

Once in place we filled in any gaps or imperfections with spackle and smoothed the surface by applying a backing paper.  The only reason this project required spackle was to help conceal an error on our part (or mine)…oops!

backing paper applied and it already looks better!

Step 4.

We then hung the wall paper and this is where things got a little ugly for us.  Our main problem was that we were running low on glue and ended up diluting it a bit too much!  This caused the glue to dry very quickly and parts of the paper would dry before we were able to line up the design and the seams.  Despite our personal challenges in this area, overall the project was pretty simple.

dad smoothing the paper

The final result….

the cover-up complete!

There are other things I could have done using this same concept but I chose to wallpaper.  I was looking for something dramatic and graphic that complimented the already existing elements of the fireplace itself.  I like how the motifs in the paper tie in so nicely with that of the tile and the scrolls in the cast iron cover.  All of the motifs look up but then scroll back down (in both the paper and decorative tile)…it’s this beautiful medley that gracefully takes your eye all the way up and all the way back down again.

wallpaper close up

mantel close up

With a little patience and precision this can easily be done, and you can create the look you want!  Where there’s a will there’s a way to always bloom where you’re planted….bad z-brick and all!

the cover-up!


Kitchen tour exclusive sneak peek by Dana King

Watch our journey to remodel Ned and Hillary’s kitchen. This video is part one. It’s the people and the craftsmanship behind the scenes. Come see the final reveal at the Junior League of St. Louis’s First Annual Kitchen Tour — A Gathering Place — on April 2. For more information about the tour click here.

YouTube Preview Image

Here is a teaser for the big reveal:

Ned and Hillary’s kitchen bridges the periods since the home was built in 1905. And for that reason I  call it eclectic vintage. Inspiration for our design came not only from the home’s character, but also from Hillary’s antique food tins she has collected for years. Here was the starting point from which it unfolded.

Art deco lighting, yet to be revealed, draws you in and sets the stage for the vintage charmer. John at “A Light Above” salvaged antique shades in three different shapes, for pendants over the peninsula. He strung them on cloth cord for a contemporary feel.

The decorations and the lights remind you of a time before. Yet a more permanent and original feature uncovered a poignant story — a story that, if walls could talk, would have so much to say.

It started with a shallow bump-out that perplexed us. We wondered what to do with it. Work around it, with it? What the heck is it?

Hillary stared at it during dinner one night and wondered if it was an old brick chimney that we could perhaps expose. We chipped at the old plaster and, sure enough, there was brick and a hole where the old stovepipe once was.

Coincidently, here was where we planned to put our new modern stove top. Joe, of Joe Bennett Construction, cleaned the bricks and then vented the new hood out of the same hole.

The once mysterious bump-out is now revealed to not only create a stunning focal point to the room, but also provides a striking historical contrast. In my mind I travel back in time to observe a woman in a long dress cooking before a wood-burning stovepipe stove. Then flash forward to Hillary who gathers her family while she cooks beside the modern cook top with its sleek hood.

Many things have changed over the years, but one thing remains the same: the human need to gather one’s family around the hearth.

And so I believe the Junior League kitchen tour is aptly named: A Gathering Place.

Kitchens speak to the core of why I do what I do. Its not about me or my design. Rather, it’s about family. And if I can help make a difference to a family, then that’s the spice in my cake, the ice in my soda and the butter on my bun!

I wish the Junior League a successful launch of the kitchen tours to celebrate hearth and home. And to Ned and Hillary, a special thank you for sharing with us. May you gather many and love much in your new kitchen!

march “speakeasy” at Baisch & Skinner

We had such an amazing time at Baisch & Skinner on Wednesday evening!

Lots of new faces and fresh flowers galore!

Thank you to all who came out to learn about the wholesale flower market.  Extremely informative presentation in such a beautiful new space.  A huge thank you to our gracious and entertaining hosts: Tom, Glenn & Margaret!

Tom, Margaret & Glenn from Baisch & Skinner

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welcome design friends!

The Linda Kay Learning Center, located on St. Louis’ historic Floral Row, is now available for upcoming events.

For more information, please contact Glenn at Baisch & Skinner.

entrance to building

I like how the branches create an entrance to the space!

Ready for people!

The ceiling is beautiful!

Showcase for our surprise raffle.

We raffled this vase & flowers!

Zaximo Studios was our surprise raffle

Here is a close up of one of her new pieces.  For more information, please visit her online gallery.

Beautiful detailing

Everyone had a great time meeting new people and admiring all the arrangements on display!

Off for a Behind-the-Scenes tour!


Lovely display of flowers!


Chris is the lucky winner!

Some guests even won roses on the tour!

Michelle of Zaximo Studios (left) and a new fan!

Thanks everyone for a fantastic evening!  Look for more details about the April event coming soon!

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