Style Inside: All In The Family
If you’re lucky, the home you grew up in is filled with many happy memories. Dr. Mary Shaughnessy Meyer loved growing up in her home on Lindell Boulevard so much she’s raising her own two small children there. It’s been updated to accommodate modern living, but the stately historic home still exudes plenty of charm.
T&S | This house has been in your family for more than three decades! Tell me how you came to live here with your own kids.
MARY MEYER | I moved into this house when I was 5 years old. In 2003, my parents decided to sell it because they had an extra lot east of the home, and they wanted to build a new one. My second-oldest sister and her husband purchased it. At the time, my husband Weller and I lived in the Central West End in what we thought would be our forever home, but then my sister’s husband got an unexpected job offer and they moved to Washington, D.C.. We decided we just couldn’t let the house go out of the family. I’m probably the most emotionally attached to it, because as the youngest of seven kids, I’ve lived there the longest. We moved in a little more than a year ago. Now my parents live next door, and next to them are my brother and his wife.
T&S | What have you done to update?
MM | We updated the kitchen and redid a few of the bathrooms to incorporate our own personal touches. Overall, we wanted the house to include a mix of old and new and to be more comfortable and family-friendly since we have two little kids. My parents always had it decorated formally, so there were rooms you didn’t go in or only sat in when there was a party. We wanted the furniture to be more comfy and accessible and for it to have more of a young, fun feel.
T&S | Tell me more about what you did to the kitchen.
MM | We renovated it right when we moved in. It’s not a huge room, but we wanted to maximize the area for our family, so we added space to sit around and eat. During parties, people always stand in the kitchen, so we wanted a large enough space for eating and hanging out. Our kids sit there a lot and do homework, too.
T&S | How important was it to preserve all the intricate architectural details and woodwork?
MM | I would never give that up, because you don’t see that kind of woodwork and glass anymore. It’s pretty amazing to see what woodworkers used to do. We’ve also refinished the hardwood floors, because we want to keep the woodwork in as good condition as possible, and that also was a priority for my parents and my sister. Another cool feature about the house is that it has original pocket doors in pretty much all the main rooms on the first floor.
T&S | What’s your favorite feature of the home?
MM | Our house has one of the largest residential pools in the entire St. Louis area, and some of my favorite childhood memories are of spending the entire summer in the pool and going across the street to Forest Park to run or enjoy all the park’s amenities. That was something I wanted my kids to be able to experience, as well. My kids love their secret hiding place under the front stairs, where there’s a storage door that pulls out. They’ve made it into their headquarters. I also love our sunroom, which has a working fountain. It’s a cool, relaxing place to sit and read a book or watch people in the park. And it’s enclosed, so we can use it all year. The intricate detail in the room, including the inset tiles, are original from when the house was built in the 1920s.
T&S | What’s your design philosophy?
MM | Luckily many of the family heirlooms are still in the house because no one else had a place for them. We like to mix older pieces with fun, more modern ones and to make things a little edgy and more comfortable.
T&S | Are there any unique challenges that come with decorating a historic home?
MM | I don’t think so. It’s classic, so the historical details really go with anything.
Photos: Suzy Gorman