Name: Anna Weiss, Luby Kelley, son Samson, daughter Harper and cat Bigs
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Size: 1300 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 — owned
We regularly bump into Anna and Luby as regulars on the estate sale circuit. Like us, they gravitate towards all things mid-century. Unlike us (who hoard like demented squirrels), Anna and Luby actually sell their finds and run a successful on-line business. It makes sense that their home could double as a showroom, with no shortage of beautiful and interesting things to look at. Their 1950s house, with vaulted ceilings and warm wood paneled walls, provides the perfect backdrop.
Anna focuses on higher-end furniture and collectibles, while Luby deals in pop culture and toys. Strange bedfellows in theory, the two combined strike a nice accord. What could be spare and minimalist is punctuated by bright plastics, and nostalgic bits of childhood. And what could be a sea of endless bric-a-brac is tempered by the sophistication of clean lines. It's as if Graceland met Falling Water and the two fell in love.
Anna and Luby live hard in their home and, with two kids, require ease, fun, and functionality. They've created a home that's both true to itself, and to its occupants.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Emphasis on Mid-Century Modern with utilitarian design.
Inspiration: The house really inspires us. Open floor plan, lots of natural light, brick and wood elements. Going to estate sales every week and getting to see layouts and design of untouched vintage decor is really a basis for our inspiration. Many homes we see have not been altered in the past 40 or 50 years. We add our own spin when we bring it home.
Favorite Element: The openness from the front porch walkway all the way through to the back patio. This openness includes the vaulted ceilings which makes the house feel larger than it really is.
Biggest Challenge: Editing is the biggest challenge. We both work from home with two kids under the age of 3. We try to keep everything minimal, but its hard with our jobs. We love so much and our taste changes all the time. Trying to decide what to keep and can be practically used without destroying the item or destroying its value is a challenge. I just bought a high end cane back chair that I love. Not three days later, canning was already coming undone by guests sitting in it. Everything in the house gets heavily used, so it must be practical.
What Friends Say: Since we keep things moving in and out, people normally will ask if something is new. Quote from actual friend: "Part design museum part toy store packed with the best kind of nostalgia. Always changing. Cool but still comfortable."
Biggest Embarrassment: Lack of window treatments and rugs. They tend to be the more expensive accessory, so we haven't committed to all the windows yet. We are waiting for the kids to be a little older before getting some living room rugs. Hardwood is just easier to clean.
Proudest DIY: Kitchen cabinets. When we moved in we knew we wanted to keep the original Geneva cabinets, but because they were too far gone from smoke damage they needed to be repainted or replaced. The top cabinets were mustard yellow and the bottom were brown. We took all the doors and drawers off, as well as the oven face and door and took them to Maaco. We were able to have them all painted for about $300. We painted the original cabinets in place ourselves. It really made the original orange boomerang Formica countertop pop.
Biggest Indulgence: We don't indulge too often because we purchase so much from estate sales and auctions. The George Kovacs ceiling fan in living room was probably the biggest indulgence for us. It took forever for us to decide. The airflow in the house requires a ceiling fan in the main living area. And while it doesn't seem like a fan can be a focal point, it is obvious once you put the wrong one in. It took almost a year and more than we wanted to spend, but finally found the right one and it was totally worth it.
Best Advice: When shopping vintage, if you see something you like you should snatch it up. More likely than not, it will be gone within a day or two and you can always resell it if you get it home and it doesn't work for you. When shopping retail, if you're not sure, put it down. You can always come back to it. You should hold out until you get exactly what you want. Work with what you have. Not what you want. Let your space dictate what looks best. Just because it looks great in your friends loft doesn't mean it will work in your ranch.
Dream Sources: The random phone-call from a stranger asking us to come purchase their grandparents Danish Modern estate.
Resources of Note:
• Danish Credenza: Craigslist
• End Tables: Estate Sale
• Boomerang Marble Coffee Table: Craigslist
• Sofa: Macy's Corona Sofa
• George Kovacs Artemis Fan in Maple
• Loveseat: Macys Corona Sofa
• Dining Set: Paul McCobb purchased from an estate Sale
• Bedroom Set: Craigslist
• Headboard: Phillips Furniture in Kirkwood. Modern Line Queen Headboard
• Kids Drawing Table: Ivey Sellkirk Modern Auction
• Kids Bertoia Chairs: Craigslist
Thanks, Anna & Luby!
Images: Ann Manubay, Dabney Frake
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