The 10 Most Beautiful Homes IN ST.LOUIS 2020
DesignSTL|September/October 2020
How do you define a beautiful home? Is it in the architecture or the setting? In the mix of building materials or the assemblage of stylistic influences? It wasn’t until our search for beautiful homes ended this past summer that writer Amy Burger and I recognized how our instincts drew us to properties with incredible landscaping and gardens, to places where homeowners place a premium on outdoor spaces and details: window boxes in bloom, statement-making walkways, a passion for the front porch, which, this year above all others, proved its hero status as the place to connect with neighbors and nature alike. –VERONICA THEODORO
AMY BURGER AND MEGAN MERTZ

NEIGHBORHOOD: University City

ARCHITECT: Howard Godwin

LANDSCAPE DESIGNER: Owner; hardscaping by Delgado Brothers

SIGNIFICANT STATS: About 2,700 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

WHY WE CHOSE IT: Sitting regally on a lush corner in the beautiful University Hills neighborhood, this home, in the style of Italian Renaissance Revival, catches the eye with its impeccable landscaping, overflowing window boxes, and unique architectural details. Its painted façade highlights the intricate brickwork, and the rounded inlaid stained glass door and small rounded stained glass window above are examples of craftsmanship that can only be found in an older home. “I just fell in love with it,” says owner Cindy Cramer. “I love old architecture, but we’d never lived in an old home. This was our first move without kids, and we wanted to do something different.” When she and husband Jeff bought the house, 11 years ago, the side porch was open. Screening it in was one of their first projects, and they spend a great deal of time there. The Cramers also painted the carved sunbursts above the windows a lighter shade than the brick to make them pop. The garage is tucked under in the back of the house, and a lovely shade garden winds around behind the driveway, surrounded by mature trees. “It has all of the old charm,” Cindy says.

NEIGHBORHOOD: Glendale

ARCHITECT: Unknown

LANDSCAPE DESIGNER: Owner

SIGNIFICANT STATS: 1,900 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

WHY WE CHOSE IT: This raised Spanish-style bungalow, built in 1929, is the very definition of curb appeal, proving that bigger isn’t necessarily better. The owner, a self-proclaimed farm kid and collector of primitive antiques, says the home’s interior modern farmhouse look won him over. The stucco-and-brick exterior was in good shape when he bought the house, in 2017, but the landscape was overgrown and messy, and he saw it as an opportunity: “I’ve always been a gardener in any home I’ve owned, and I’ve always done almost all of the work myself.” Here, he started from scratch, bulldozing the yard and giving the house the grand entrance it deserved. The brickwork frame on the newly poured concrete walk perfectly mirrors the surrounding entry. The cut-and-milled limestone retaining wall has an organic look. Bookending red Japanese maples bring the colors of the house into the garden. “Gardening, for me, is like an artist’s canvas,” he says. “I just stand back with a glass of wine and plan what I want it to look like. It hits me, and I just do it.”

NEIGHBORHOOD: Skinker-DeBaliviere Place

ARCHITECT: Alfred How

LANDSCAPE DESIGNER: Homeowner

SIGNIFICANT STATS: 2,148 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

WHY WE LOVE IT: This house, built in 1908, is one of the oldest homes in the neighborhood. Current owners Jaina and Paul Stus first laid eyes on it during an open house in 2001 and knew immediately that it was the house for them: The location, charm, and neighborhood were too good to pass up. The couple then embarked on a seven-year renovation, much of which they did themselves, with help from their parents. “We both came from families that were do-it-yourself-ers,” Jaina says. “We learned from them.” Throughout the renovation, they took great care to maintain the historical aspects of the home. When making changes to the exterior, they referred to a photograph from the 1930s that they received at closing. Over the years, they’ve had the house repainted twice, most recently last year when Paul rebuilt the front porch and added the wrought-iron railings. Initially the woodwork was white, but they came up with a color scheme that would better accentuate the house’s period charm. “It added tremendous appeal,” says Jaina. “There’s a lot of detail, and you couldn’t see any of that when it was painted white.”

NEIGHBORHOOD: Ladue

ARCHITECT: William Bernoudy

LANDSCAPE DESIGNER: Owner; rock garden maintained by landscape architect Austin Tao

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM DESIGNSTLView All

IN GOOD TIME

With the help of interior designer Robert Idol, a Kirkwood couple creates a home that pays homage to the past, yet feels just right for their modern young family.

5 mins read
DesignSTL
January/February 2021

Let's Dish

"Food Raconteur” Ashok Nageshwaran wants to tell you a story.

2 mins read
DesignSTL
January/February 2021

The Right Move

New shops and showrooms bring exciting opportunities for local designers, makers, and arts organizations to sell their wares to home enthusiasts here and everywhere.

2 mins read
DesignSTL
January/February 2021

Green Dreams

Painter and gardener Lauren Knight branches out.

3 mins read
DesignSTL
January/February 2021

Cultivating Kokedama

Chris Mower of White Stable Farms discovered the Japanese style of gardening in Italy. Now, he’s bringing it to St. Louis.

2 mins read
DesignSTL
January/February 2021

Graphic Mood

Letters, icons, and illustrations that speak in a hand-drawn language

2 mins read
DesignSTL
January/February 2021

AUDRA's New Digs

Audra Noyes, of the Saint Louis Fashion Fund Incubator’s first class, opens an atelier in Ladue.

2 mins read
DesignSTL
January/February 2021

Color Block

A background in sculpture trained artist Aly Ytterberg to see objects more fully.

3 mins read
DesignSTL
January/February 2021

A Modern Story

How a little log cabin went from being a home to a guest house

3 mins read
DesignSTL
January/February 2021

Cut from the Same Cloth

“Turkey Tracks” is a 19th-century quiltmaking pattern that has the appearance of little wandering feet. Patterns like the tracks, and their traditions and myths, have been passed down through the generations, from their frontier beginnings to today, where a generation of makers has embraced the material as a means of creating something new. Olivia Jondle is one such designer. Here, she’s taken an early turkey track-pattern quilt, cut it into various shapes, and stitched the pieces together, adding calico and other fabric remnants as needed. The result is a trench coat she calls the Pale Calico Coat. Her designs are for sale at The Rusty Bolt, Jondle’s small-batch fashion company based in St. Louis. —SAMANTHA STEVENSON

3 mins read
DesignSTL
January/February 2021