Tim's "Old Boot" of a Carriage House

House Tour

Name: Tim Tucker
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Size: 3,500 square feet
Years lived in: 7 — owned

Tim Tucker likens his carriage house in St. Louis' Benton Park neighborhood to an "old boot." The reference, which calls to mind neglected and timeworn materials, is apt. Inside his home is a what's what of architectural and industrial detritus from well-known and/or demolished buildings in the city. With its 16 ft. ceilings, and large scale elements, the place feels part home, part church, part warehouse, and all conversation worthy.

Tim's that guy who swaps suit and tie for jeans after 5 o'clock, and goes to work saving things like 7+ foot gargoyles from the wrecking ball. His grandfather (whose portrait hangs in the hallway) was mayor of St. Louis when many of the city's major landmarks were built, including Saarinen's Gateway Arch. It's not surprising then that Tim loves pieces of the St. Louis' past and finds new ways to give them life.

Materials are regularly repurposed as structural features and furniture. Walls are as likely to be made of old window casements as of drywall. A sink base is fashioned from an old wood trunk form. Salvaged stained glass panels provide decorative dashes of color against the heavier wood, iron, and stone. The overall effect is striking and inimitable.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Junkyard or Industrial Chic. I like worn heavy things that have the patina of history. Things that have been polished by the hands and feet of the hard working folks that used them to make something, and in the process, left hints of themselves behind. I like to use these things respectfully for other purposes. It is like an old boot, scuffed up nothing fancy, nothing to protect, wash and wear cement floor flexibility.

Inspiration: I decorate with heavy rust, stone, wood, and glass - keeping in mind, affordability, reuse, industrial and architectural design, art, history and nature. In contrast, I grew up in a loving home surrounded by silver and Steuben!

Favorite Element: My house is a brick tent with volume. It has 16' high ceilings, spatial rooms, and lots of windows. My 12' high and 12' wide wood doors are open 80% of the year, the inside comes out, and the outside comes in. When the doors are open, the kitchen bar becomes a magnate for neighbors and strangers alike.

Biggest Challenge: Dusting, heat, and window washing

What Friends Say: My male friends say they would love to live like this but their wives would not let them. And my female friends say, "it's cold in here!"

Biggest Embarrassment: Over-imbibed one night, I was dancing in the dining room to Petula Clark's "Downtown" and realized the neighbors were listening and watching.

Biggest Indulgence: Leaving lights on at night to show life in our evolving neighborhood, and my 140 pound, 10' x 4' "Carls" Stained Glass window circa 1910. It hung in St. Louis Gas Light Square, that I now use as a window blind in my bedroom.

Best Advice: Practice Minimalism!
"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." -Janis Joplin, "Me and Bobby McGee"
"Thank God I can sit and stand without aid of a furniture warehouse, but no man need be so poor, as to have to sit on a pumpkin." -Henry David Thoreau, Walden Pond

Dream Sources: Grossman's Junkyard, or Bob Cassilly's attic

Thanks, Tim!

Images: Ann Manubay, Dabney Frake

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