Newlyweds Aim for "Urban Minimalism" in a 100-Year-Old St. Louis Home

Newlyweds Aim for "Urban Minimalism" in a 100-Year-Old St. Louis Home

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Jessica Rapp
Nov 15, 2017
Newlyweds Julia and Meg bought their first home, built in 1911, in St. Louis' Fox Park neighborhood in March. Five years ago, the century-old home was falling apart and on the market for less than $40,000. But in recent years, St. Louis investors have been quickly buying up homes like this one to flip. And this has opened the door for young, aspiring homeowners like Meg and Julia to make new memories...in a house with some serious character.
Image credit: Jessica Rapp
Julia and Meg prioritize sharing their new stylish living space with their friends. From roommates and Airbnb guests, to dozens of people for their annual beer bash, they have plenty of visitors making use of their open floor plan, two living rooms, and backyard.
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Meg (pictured) and Julia renamed their fluffy adopted cat June after the month they first met.
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They have a soft spot for mid-century modern design, and frequent the locally-owned Future Ancestor for much of their decor. In just six months of home ownership, they carefully picked out furniture and special pieces that would not only fit their budget, but create an inviting an interactive atmosphere. The couple also has a knack for making antiques look modern – like this mirror from Treasure Aisles Antique Mall.
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Our Style: Urban minimalism with mid-century inspiration.
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The embroidered art piece above the sofa is among the items they've picked up from Future Ancestor. They first fell in love with the place after following the shop owners' Instagram account of their own minimal home. The pennant was a find from local Tin Roof Antiques.
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Inspiration: Being from the Midwest, we are inspired by modest living. We strive to represent our lives authentically through our space. We enjoy healthy doses of minimalism, functionality, and a desire for all people to be comfortable in our home.
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"I really like change and I like trying new things," Meg said. "Where we ended up settling on certain furniture arrangements took a ton of trial and error."
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Meg and Julia's friend Abby Dorning drew this pint-sized illustration.
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Favorite Element: Definitely the open floor plan on the first level.
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The chaise (a family heirloom) is June's favorite spot to nap.
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Biggest Challenge: With a century-old home, closet and storage space is hard to come by. This has challenged us to scale back and declutter, often bringing us back to Marie Kondo's question, "Does this spark joy?" in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
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While this kitchen was already remodeled when they moved in, kitchens have played a big part in Meg's history with home decor.
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"My parents bought a house when I was a freshman in high school, and I designed the entire kitchen," Meg said. "My mom let me pick out the cabinets and the handles because she thought I would do a better job than she would."
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What Friends Say: Fresh, welcoming, and highly curated to our lifestyle.
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Proudest DIY: The shelves above the wet bar in our kitchen. Simple. Raw materials. Under $10.
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The back room features a warmer, cozier aesthetic for watching films on a projector. Instead of having a TV, they store the projector inside their West Elm coffee table.
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In the corner are another furniture piece (and art!) from Future Ancestor.
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The most important coffee table book: Meg and Julia had their wedding in September, and their memories are compiled here courtesy of photographer Courtney Lee.
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The corner of their back room includes a small desk for a serene workspace. The pennant is from Urban Matter, where they got married.
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Stained glass windows are a unique feature of many old St. Louis homes, as the city was a hub for one of America's most well-known stained glass artists, Emil Frei.
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The upstairs hallway to the main bedroom is adorned with a rug from West Elm.
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Their most minimalist decorating tendencies are reserved for the guest bedroom. Here, they store their books and a few pieces of St. Louis memorabilia.
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Biggest Indulgence: Entertaining. From backyard beer tastings to hosting 50 people for breakfast the morning of the Pride Parade, our biggest indulgence is the hospitality we shower on our friends and family.
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This St. Louis Arch artwork was an Etsy find, but the shop no longer exists.
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Julia and Meg say they had similar tastes even before they met. "Our bedrooms looked alike!"
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Design was always part of their relationship. "For Julia's first birthday present when we were dating, I put up a gallery wall in her room," Meg said.
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"When I was little, my parents put me to bed and I would wake up and completely redesign my room," Meg said. "Like, by myself as a seven or eight year old, I would have moved the bed into a different spot."
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The back door of their master bedroom leads out to a small balcony.
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Whatever they can't fit in their walk-in closet they put on a small clothing rack next to their bed.
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The bathroom is a continuation of a gray theme with mix-and-match textures: aluminum on the backsplash and stone in the shower.
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Best Advice: Be patient. Our home is made up of found pieces that we have brought together little by little. Creating lovely spaces takes time.

Thanks Meg and Julia (and June)!

Image credit: Jessica Rapp
Loading House Tour...

Name: Meg and Julia Rigano
Location: Fox Park — St. Louis, Missouri
Size: 2,126 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months, owned

Five years ago, hosting a party at this address would have been unheard of — the century-old home was falling apart and on the market for less than $40,000 at the time. But in recent years, St. Louis investors have been quickly buying up homes like this one to flip. And this in turn has opened the door for young, aspiring homeowners like Meg and Julia to make new memories...in a house with some serious character.

Meg and Julia's two-story home is a beaming, cheerful white exterior in a row of the red brick houses that are typical for St. Louis city neighborhoods. It's a brightness that continues inside, with a sunny, minimal living room anchored by a cozy white fireplace, and also with the homeowners: Two newlyweds that prioritize sharing their new stylish living space with their friends.

And when they say friends, they mean a lot of friends. From roommates and Airbnb guests, to dozens of people for their annual beer bash, they have plenty of visitors making use of their open floor plan, two living rooms, and backyard. In just six months of home ownership, they carefully picked out furniture and special pieces from their favorite local antique shop that would not only fit their budget, but create an inviting an interactive atmosphere.

Resources:

PAINT & COLORS
Benjamin Moore - Revere Pewter

ENTRY
White Book Shelf – IKEA
Vintage Books – Gift from College Professor
Cattle Skull – Treasure Aisles Antique Mall
Bundle of Sage – Housewarming Gift
Horsehead Bookends – Tin Roof Antiques
Entry Rug – Urban Outfitters
"Safe Community Fair" Flag – Tin Roof Antiques
Tall Entry Table – Future Ancestor
Plant –Trader Joe's
Plant Pot – Flowers and Weeds
Watering Can – IKEA

LIVING ROOM
Burnt Orange Chaise Lounge – Family Heirloom
White Sofa – Big Bend Antiques
Baby's Breath Basket – Friend's Wedding Decor, Repurposed!
Ceramic Elephant – Gift from Julia's Parents
Letterfolk Board – Letterfolk
Octagonal Mirror – Treasure Aisles Antique Mall
Flower Pot – Bowood Farms
Orchid – IKEA
Floor Plant – IKEA
Picnic Basket Side Table – Treasure Aisles Antique Mall
Mid-century Modern Floor Lamp – West Elm
Geometric Center Table – West Elm
Boxwood Decorative Plant – West Elm
Log Cabin Incense Burner – Old Made Good, Nashville, TN
Black Chest – Secret Garden Nursery, Waynesville, OH
White Table Lamp – Future Ancestor
Black and White Throw Blanket – Happy Habitat
Mid-century Tapestry – Future Ancestor
Embroidered Wall Piece – Future Ancestor
Area Rug – West Elm
Feminist Body Sketch – Our dear friend, Abby Dorning

KITCHEN & DINING ROOM
Dining Room Table – West Elm
Dining Room Chairs – Amazon
Exposed Shelves – DIY, Home Depot
Antlers – Big Bend Antiques
Tree Print – Future Ancestor
Pink Potted Plant – Flowers and Weeds
Chemex and Coffee – Wedding Gifts
Towels – World Market

BACK LIVING ROOM:
Brown Hutch – Future Ancestor
Retro Wooden Accent Mirror – Future Ancestor
Brown Vinyl Couch – Future Ancestor
Yellow/Green Chair – Treasure Aisles Antique Mall
Grey Sofa – West Elm
Area Rug – West Elm
Coffee Table – West Elm
White End Table – IKEA
Mid-century Lamp – Future Ancestor
Floor Plant + Pot – IKEA
Square Matted Frames - IKEA
Vintage Basket – Gift from Julia's dad, The Blessing Basket Project
Floor Lamp – Family Heirloom
Alvarez Guitar – McCutcheon Music, Dayton, OH
Red Handmade Rug – The Heirloom Room
Mirror Tray – The Heirloom Room
Voluspa Candle – Anthropologie
Desk – IKEA
Wooden Chair – West Elm
Midwest Pendant – Urban Matter

MASTER BEDROOM
Hallway Runner – West Elm
Laundry Basket –Target
Acorn Dresser – West Elm
Navy Speckled Chair – West Elm
Acorn Headboard – West Elm
Duvet Cover – West Elm
Shams – West Elm
Nightstand Tables – Family Heirlooms
Green Banker's Lamp – Treasure Aisles Antique Mall
Mid-century Exposed Bulb Lamp – Future Ancestor
Terrarium – Flowers and Weeds
Clothing Rack – The Container Store

GUEST BEDROOM
White/Glass Desk – IKEA
Floating Shelf – IKEA
Black & White St. Louis Print –Etsy
Book Shelf – IKEA
Nightstand Table – IKEA
Duvet Cover – West Elm

Thanks, Meg and Julia!


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