Name: Jenn Schoemehl
Location: La Salle Park — St. Louis, Missouri
Size: 4500 square feet
Years lived in: 7 — owned
The first thing you need to know about Jenn Schoemehl's house concerns the ceilings. They're 13 soaring feet tall. Your eye keeps going up and up and up until you finally hit the ceiling. Then, and only then, can you begin to take in the rest of the house.
Jenn lives in a grand three-story home built in 1885, with a curving staircase, huge pocket doors and large rooms. Years ago she converted the caretakers' quarters into a B&B, now called Dwell912. She splits her time between running that business, managing her own landscape company, and rehabbing the house.
Jenn is more used to raw spaces. She lived in a warehouse loft in downtown St. Louis for many years, and became accustomed to carving out a space that suits her needs. She maintains a no-rules approach. Industrial pieces blend in nicely with antiques. Likewise, she chose modern shades of avocado and grey, but also left some of the original floral wallpaper.
Jenn admits to loving to get her hands dirty. Case in point: she single-handedly did all tuckpointing in her huge basement, scraping out old mortar crack by crack and carrying it out to the dumpster out back. (She's also that crazy person outside at 11:00 pm mowing the lawn, so you could say she's motivated.) All that energy translates into a gorgeous, serene home that's ready to share with others.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Industrial and elegant, modern and eclectic … I am forever reinterpreting each space of the house.
Inspiration: Living in a warehouse for ten years and discovering that when you have an endless amount of space and good light, there are no rules.
Favorite Element: The wine cellar, marble and iron fireplaces, multiple skylight windows, the gilded mirrors that were purchased with the house. The baby crap green paint in my living room Oh, and my father's reel-to-reel player and tapes from the 1960s and 70s.
Biggest Challenge: Incorporating my design style and aesthetic while respecting the historical value and character of the house.
What Friends Say: Do you ever stop?
Biggest Embarrassment: When I first bought the house, out of the frustration of my inability to remove it, I painted over the wallpaper in the master bath.
Proudest DIY: Building the frames and mixing and pouring the 32 Portland cement step stones through my courtyard over my freezing cold birthday weekend in March 2006. Cutting the Murphy's window into French doors for access to second floor walk-out balcony. Designing and building my own chicken coop.
Biggest Indulgence: Purchasing local art and attending Art Basel for the last 6 years.
Best Advice: Never be limited by what a space or object already is; consider what it might become.
Dream Sources: Barns, warehouses and dumpsters. European open-air markets.
Resources of Note:
• Herman Miller 'Noguchi' coffee table,
• Room & Board couches
• Hospital nursery table for bar
• 'Darst-Webbe projects' painting Nick Riggio
• Silk-screen tryptich
• V. Vogiantzis wood painting
• Chairs, Table and China cabinet procured on St. Louis' own Antique Row, Cherokee St.
• Gilded 19th century decorative mirror
• 1892 reproduction Light bulbs purchased in New York
• Framed menus from 1960's London restaurants,
• Librarian's ladder from Lindenwood College, St. Louis
• 1940's Hotpoint Refrigerator used for dish storage and General Electric Stove.
• Handmade butcher block received as Christmas gift.
• Pottery Barn tool organizer
• Grandmother's mahogany bedroom set circa 1930
• Joe Papendick 'female figure' above bed
• Velvet reupholstered mid-century couches
• Museum textile case converted to desk
• Ikea console
• 60's red rolling desk chair
• Teresa Disney 'the Architect' painting
• Handmade wine rack
• Luan wood-paneled master bath
• Over-sized round security turned vanity mirrors
• Locker set and vintage suit cases
• Antique Gilded Mirror
• 'Josephina' painting Joe Papendick
Images: Ann Manubay, Dabney Frake
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