A Treasured Tudor
This Tudor gem in Clayton’s Lake Forest neighborhood won over its owners as soon as they saw it a decade ago. Since then, they have filled the space with repurposed antiques and meaningful art, and lovingly decorated it with an eye toward beauty and comfort.
T&S | What first attracted you to the home?
HOMEOWNER | We always had dreamed of living in an English Tudor. It’s a beautiful house, built in 1927. It’s only had three homeowners since then, including us. And unlike most Tudors, there’s a real flow to the space. Newer homes are built with great rooms and an open floor plan, but with most older homes, you tend to get stuck in individual rooms.
T&S | What makes it unique?
H | They just don’t make them like this anymore. I have terrazzo floors throughout the first level, on the staircase and in the basement. There are so many beautiful touches, like the leaded glass, the arched windows and the stone entryway.
T&S |What renovations or changes have you made?
H | We’ve done the whole house. The previous owners bought top-of-the-line cabinets from Sears 40 years ago, and those cabinets were still there when we moved in. So it was a very loved house, but they hadn’t done any of the systems or modernization upgrades. We took over the butler’s pantry and made one great kitchen. We also expanded the master suite, redid all the bathrooms and plumbing, and we got rid of the boiler system from 1927 and replaced it with geothermal.
T&S | What’s your approach to decorating?
H | I’m all about color, and I love art. The trick is balancing those two things while making it an aesthetically beautiful place that still feels approachable. Even though it’s beautiful, I want people to walk into my house and feel comfortable, like it’s a place where you can kick your shoes off. It’s sometimes a challenge to incorporate color and art without it being overwhelming. I wanted it warm and friendly, but still elegant and beautiful.
T&S | It looks like you like to collect art.
H | My husband and I do enjoy picking out art together. Instead of occasionally getting jewelry, I get art. Every time a child was born, a piece of art was purchased. Every piece is representative of an anniversary, a birthday, a child being born—it’s all very special.
T&S | I love the Indian painting in the dining room.
H | That one is incredibly special. That was my husband’s grandmother’s painting that she brought back with his grandfather from India many years ago.
T&S | Tell me about the room with the zebra rug. Where did that idea come from?
H | I wanted to highlight the terrazzo floors and not cover them up. I love the juxtaposition of the rug with the vintage 1950s chandelier, and the vintage mirror in the background with the orchid. The idea was to keep it simple and elegant with a pop of color.
T&S | Is there anywhere in particular you go to find furniture and artwork?
H | No—there are really only two pieces that are new, and those are the living room couches. Everything else is something vintage that was found, stripped and recovered. To me, it’s all about finding those beautiful touches you love that aren’t off-the-shelf. For example, the fixture in the living room was originally a candle chandelier. We restrung it to make it electric, but it’s more than 100 years old. And my husband and I like to travel and go to galleries for art. Sometimes you find it in the strangest of places.