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!



guest blog: green renovation by Diane Rosen

Thrilled at the prospect of creating a room, really creating a retreat from an existing garage was all at once exciting and challenging at the same time.

Let me take you on this adventure……….

The Vision:

Collaborating with my clients, their thoughts, needs and wishes….”I’ve always wanted, thought about…”

Ahha…a lake retreat with emphasis on relaxing and comfort was born…

The Challenges:

The existing garage had no plumbing or HVAC.  In collaboration with top contractor Mike Lemke of Renovation Specialists, plans were drawn, discussed and decisions made.

A bath with shower, sleeping and lounging areas were all components of this retreat, a great get away, so close yet so far away.

Using only no VOC (toxic free) paint by Sherwin Williams, local lumber, recycled fabrics, treasured family antiques and adding lots of comfortable surroundings (gotta have a TV, fridge and microwave) put smiles on my clients faces and definitely one on mine and contractor Mike Lamke.

View more of Diane’s work at www.dianeroseninteriors.com

Kitchen Tour Exclusive #2 by Victoria Dreste

Another exciting sneak peak into this weekend’s kitchen tour event!  Click here for more info & to buy tickets!

When the Grecos purchased their home twenty years ago it needed help. The kitchen was small and had not been updated.

At that time they put on a kitchen addition.  With a young family and active lives they didn’t have their dream kitchen but they did have more space.

Twenty years later it was time for the dream.  The planning started in the fall of 2009. by the summer of 2010 the project was underway.  It was completed in November 2010. now they have the kitchen they dreamed of.

Most important was the layout and function of the new kitchen. The space includes an  l shaped island, a built in breakfront and a bar area with a sink and storage for glasses.  A wall that once held a built in desk is now a wall of storage., that includes a tall cabinet for those items we never know what to do with ( vacuum, table leaves…).

The color palette for the kitchen is soft neutrals. The traditional cabinets are painted a soft cream color or a muted khaki green.
The counters are granite in tones of white, cream, grey and tan. The suede finish on the granite gives it a unique look and makes clean up  quicker and easier.

Lion details on the cabinet hardware pay homage to the university city location.
This is a beautiful well designed kitchen. It fits perfectly in to the Greco’s classic, traditional home.

To view Vicki’s portfolio or read more of her blogs, visit her website!

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!

Kitchen Tours Exclusive Sneak Peek by Victoria Dreste

As the online sponsor of the Junior League’s Kitchen Tours, we are able to give you a sneak peak into some of the homes on the tour!  Here’s Vicki’s perspective on this amazing kitchen renovation!

Jenny and Todd Rausch are renovating a one hundred year old house.  The house, located in a historic area of Kirkwood, sat empty for three years. When they purchased the house Jenny was pregnant (with twins). The strong odors (stench) from the house kept her from seeing much of it before they made the purchase.

Rausch Kitchen In Progress

The renovations began, the twins were born. Their first Kirkwood home sold quickly leaving the Rausch family without a St. Louis home.  So Todd, Jenny, daughter Ellie, and the twins, Jack and Maggie began shuffling between a relative’s home in south county and their summer cottage in Illinois.

The kitchen and sunroom are part of the first phase of renovations.  Since Jenny and Todd are the owners of Karr Bick Kitchen and Bath, the kitchen is a very important part of the home. It is the heart and soul.


View into Sunroom

The kitchen has been designed for an active family. Because there wasn’t a single wall large enough to accommodate the refrigerator innovative design and clever planning prevailed. There are two smaller refrigerators flanking a doorway. Each one is enclosed with the same wood panels as the surrounding cabinets.

Two Refrigerators

Great attention to detail is found in the kitchen. The panels on the island have the distinctive linen fold pattern.  The linen fold detail was originally used in larger homes to designate space used to hold the households linens. The beautiful folded linen is a lovely, unique detail on the kitchen island. The perimeter cabinets and wood work have a custom time worn finish that adds character and charm.


Island with Linen Fold Pattern

The floor in the kitchen and sunroom is a limestone laid in a herringbone pattern. The look is reminiscent of a French country terrace.  The soapstone counters, limestone floor, custom finishes, linen fold detail, on demand water heat and historical location all add to the ambiance and functionality of this extremely well designed kitchen.  The home, the kitchen is amazing.


Cabinet Detail

You can view the  Great Day St louis segments featuring the Rausch home here.

Check out more of Vicki’s work and view her portfolio here.

Don’t forget to order tickets to the kitchen tours on April 2nd!  Click here for more info.


Bottom Line: White Kitchen Countertops by Kimberly Reuther

You’ve seen them everywhere lately, it seems.  No, I’m not talking about holiday decorations (although that is true, too).  I’m talking about white countertops, mainly marble.  They are in design magazines, on TV shows, in hotels & restaurants and even your neighbor’s newly renovated kitchen.  They are beautiful and alluring yet you are wondering if they are right for your home with 3 kids, 2 pets and a less than tidy husband.  But mainly you are asking yourself, “what’s the bottom line?”.

Kitchen Inspiration

Kitchen Inspiration

Here is some insight into the more popular choices and how they work with your lifestyle and your budget.

White Marble: Marble is a very porous natural stone and is less durable than granite, which is why it is isn’t commonly used in American kitchens.  It is prone to scratching, staining and chipping.  While it is very beautiful, there is a good amount of maintenance that keeps it looking that way.

All natural stone needs to be sealed (and re-sealed periodically) to keep out moisture and resist staining but it is not an impenetrable shield.  You have to be more careful with marble and acidic liquids (lemon juice, red wine) which will stain or etch the marble.  Also, some bath products, like sugar scrubs will etch marble.  It is a good idea to always use a cutting board, both to protect the sealer and your knives as well as guard against bacteria.  Lastly, use hot pads or trivets to protect the stone from heated cookware.  Of note: most marble is available polished or honed (matte) and has a variety of edge options.

Before you get discouraged, keep in mind that Europeans have been using marble for sculptures, building facades and of course countertops for centuries.  It has proven that it will stand the test of time, it just won’t look the same as the day it was installed.  Here are two of my favorites:

Carrera Marble: This is a more readily available white marble with a slight grey cast.  Slabs will very greatly from light grey to a mid tone grey.  There is a lot of soft movement in the dark grey veining; some slabs maybe more “busy” than others.  It is very important to hand-select your slabs to your personal taste.  Carrera marble looks beautiful with polished nickel fixtures and is available in a range of coordinating tiles to complete the space.

Price Range: approx. $70 – $80/sq. ft.*

Close-up of Carrera Marble

Carrera Marble Bathroom Countertop

Calacata Marble:  If you are looking for a creamier white marble with warmer, taupe or camel colored veins, this is it.  These marble slabs are more exotic and therefore come with a much higher price tag and possibly longer lead times.  You also want to hand-select this stone as it has a lot of variation.  Nonetheless, from a designer’s perspective, Calacata marble has such an exquisite aesthetic that it almost doesn’t compare.

Price Range: approx. $120 – $150/sq. ft*

Close-up of Calacata Marble

Calacata Marble Kitchen Countertop

Quartzstone:  Manufactured quartz has become an increasingly popular choice in recent years, for both commercial and residential projects.  It is more durable than granite, does not have to be sealed, requires little or no maintenance, is anti-bacterial, has multiple edge options and some colors even include recycled content.

Manufacturing stone to give it the best possible features & benefits is a little like gene mutation to me.  However, once I saw slabs of this installed, I was very impressed.  I do think the granite-looking color choices need a bit more work but they have really excelled at the marble and limestone alternatives.  In fact, they keep getting better at it.  I often refer clients to explore these options as alternatives to white marble if maintenance is a major concern.

Price Range: approx. $65 – $95/sq. ft.*

Caesarstone Misty Carrera: One of the first of its kind and still a favorite.  It’s soft grey background with darker grey veins has a subtle movement that fools the eye into thinking it may be marble.  It is available in both honed and polished finishes.

Close-up of Caesarstone Misty Carrera

Caesarstone Countertop

Zodiaq Bianco Carrera: I love this because they have succeeded in adding large scale movement to a manufactured product.  It is also of the creamy white family which is rare to find and is equally stunning in traditional or contemporary applications.

Close-up of Zodiaq Bianca Carrera

Zodiaq Countertop

Concrete:  Want something more modern & less busy? I have to mention this because I am also a fan of this material for several reasons.  I own a white concrete countertop (2 years & counting) and it is beautiful and durable.  It was manufactured by a St. Louis company and it is made of concrete in the form of a powder.  They are able to make any color out of a paint fan deck, can make integral sinks, and have several unique edge options.  They mix it together, mold it, put a sealer on it and deliver it just like a regular countertop, no on-site pouring.  It is not porous so it doesn’t need to be resealed as often as natural stone, it is stronger than granite, has recycled content and is made here locally so it is very good for the environment.   I had them do a custom “pure white” for me and I love how the color turned out.  Of note: different finishes are available but there is no movement or veining in this product.

Price Range: approx. $70 – $80/sq. ft.*

My white concrete countertop

Bottom Line:  Americans tend to base their selections on how well things “age” and we are inclined to replace things without letting them age “gracefully”.  Keeping longevity and your budget in mind will help you make the best selection for your lifestyle.

*Note: pricing by square feet is for general use and is best for budgeting purposes.  Actual pricing for your project depends on a lot of variables including size, cutouts, edge options, color, etc.  Pricing estimates provided by CK Concrete, Hallmark Stone & ISC Surfaces

Originally written by Kimberly for AT HOME’s website.  View the post here.  You can see more of Kimberly’s work here.


“Gray’s Anatomy” by Kimberly Reuther

Gray is a significant neutral color that often gets overlooked in favor of the more dramatic black or the happier camel shades.  However, this year, gray is the belle of the ball.  It is enjoying a resurgence in fashion, home design and luxury style.  So, what makes gray such a fabulous color and how do you use it in your home?

The color gray is unique in that the two extremes evoke completely different emotions.  The lightest shade of soft silver is cool, airy and works with fresh color palettes.  Deeper, more intense shades of gray offer new possibilities to a space and provide nurturing comfort.  Another selling point is the color’s ability to play well with others.  Introducing a pop of color (almost any color fits) creates a more dynamic and inviting space.

Another wonderful attribute of this color is it’s ability to transcend defined styles.  Gray can be rustic, masculine, sensual, rich, velvety, casual, contemporary, modern, feminine, traditional, and the list goes on & on.  It is also a wonderful backdrop for colorful artwork as well as a popular choice for candid & architectural photographs.

In light of all these qualities, how can we live without it?

If you are still unconvinced, here a few photos to illustrate my points…stay tuned for Q & A after the images.

Q. What if I don’t want to paint my walls gray?

A.  Painting is one of the easiest ways to incorporate a color, albeit temporarily, into your home.  However, not all of us are up for the task at hand.  These images are examples of ways to add punches of gray without hiring a painter!

Q.  Do I need to stick to a neutral palette if I want to use gray in my home?

A.  Absolutely not.  If you love color, then by all means, infuse your home with color.  Gray elements can provide a balance to your color choices as shown below.

Q.  How much is too much gray?

A.  Partly that is determined by the shade of gray you choose and how much you love the color.  Remember, gray is a neutral so it can serve as the main backdrop with splashes of white or color as accents.  There are no hard and fast rules when determining your color scheme.  Most of it is made up of personal preference.  Get inspired by the photos below.

Previously posted on AT HOME’s website.  View the original post here.  Read more about Kimberly’s work by visiting her website.



Think Big! Using Accent Colors in Your Home by Kimberly Reuther

So, you love to wear that blue sweater and it really makes your eyes sparkle.  You always get lots of compliments and basically deep blue is your favorite color.  How do you incorporate that into your decorating scheme?  Bold accent colors are not for the faint of heart!  For those of you that love color, here are some great ways to use them in your home!

As with anything, it is all about balance.  When you use a bold color on an accent wall, make sure it is the focal point of the room and that the rest of the pieces complement the intensity.  For instance, this blue wall is deep and rich.  The collection of white furniture gives it the bold contrast and, in conjunction with the chocolate accents, the weight needed to counteract the depth of color.  The result is perfect balance.

The same is true for the red accent in the photo below.  The black and white color palette, along with the beautiful pattern of the rug, visually moves your eye around the room and ìlandsî on the deep red headboard.

Below, is an example of 2 accent colors.  The deep khaki, almost chocolate, color is basically a neutral since it encompasses the entire space.  The soft French blue door, along with the punch of pink on the settee jolt life into the space and instantly make it a more interesting place to arrive.

Here, they have used a more subtle accent color because the entire palette is subdued.  The color is used in smaller things but it is repeated enough to be effective.

This kitchen is anything but subdued!  How fun and bright is this blue island and matching floor?  In the case of this ìaccentî color, it is used so much that it is almost considered a ìneutralî.  Notice, how they still balanced it with lots of white, natural light and high ceilings.  Beautifully done, it is definitely eye-catching!

Originally written for AT HOME‘s website by Kimberly.  To read more of Kimberly’s work, visit her website!


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