Style Inside: Condo Living
When Deborah Challoner moved from her home in Ladue to a swanky condo in the Central West End with boyfriend Patrick Quinn, it represented an opportunity to reinvent her personal style. For a year now the couple has called the space home, and they have transformed it into a stunning, sleek and inviting abode.
T&S | How did you end up choosing the Central West End?
Deborah Challoner: Location-wise, Patrick and I compromised on the Central West End. He had a beautiful loft downtown, and I lived in a traditional Ladue 1930s farmhouse. When we combined our households, it was fun because we had two different styles.
T&S | What attracted you to the property?
DC: I used to have 1.5 acres, so the condo’s outdoor terrace was a big deciding factor. We use the space for cooking and entertaining, and we even have pots for herbs. The property also has a casita or guest house separate from the main living space, which is great for our kids when they stay with us. We also love the building’s security and doorman—we travel a lot for both business and pleasure, and it’s nice to be able to walk out the door without worrying. We had big, complicated pieces of real estate before, and this is so easy. On the weekends, instead of weeding or working on the garden, I’m on my bike or doing something else fun. It allows for a lifestyle we’ve never been able to have before.
T&S | What was your approach in decorating the space?
DC: The building itself is so contemporary, and our condo has exposed concrete ceilings and a concrete pillar in the living room. We wanted the space to match the architecture, but we also wanted it to be warm and inviting, which can be challenging with a contemporary look. So we meshed Patrick’s loft style with my more traditional style, but kept it inviting by throwing in organic accents and fun art.
T&S | Where do you go to purchase art and decor?
DC: We’ve purchased paintings from Houska Gallery in the Central West End. Furnishings came from a variety of places, including Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Restoration Hardware, West Elm and I.O. Metro. I love Twigs & Moss for organic pieces and Vie for unique decorative pieces.
T&S | What was it like reinventing your home style?
DC: When I sold my house in Ladue, I took only a few things I loved. It’s been fun to throw a little bit of the past into this modern setting, and I think it creates an eclectic spin on the contemporary look. When my friends walk into this space, it’s hilarious because they’re all shocked. They say, “This is so different from what you had before!” The whole process was so rewarding for me—it was a chance to break out and do something different. Patrick and I decorated the space together as a team, but he let me drive a lot of it.
T&S | What’s your favorite room or feature?
DC: When you sit in the family room or at the bar in the kitchen at night and the fireplace is on in both the family room and the terrace, the whole length of the space is so inviting. Another major perk of the condo is the elevator: it comes up directly into your property, which is especially nice when you’re carrying a lot of things!
T&S | Tell me more about your fireplace—it’s so unique!
DC: It’s a freestanding glass fireplace. You pour an alcohol fuel into it and light it. It’s no muss, no fuss and adds this great ambiance. You can even have it on during the summer, because it doesn’t put out heat.
T&S | Any tips for those wanting to recreate a similar look?
DC: It’s important to take your time, especially when moving into a new place. We lived with our condo almost empty for awhile, which gave me time to think about how I wanted to use the space and what we wanted it to look like. Taking your time to find things that are meaningful also helps you avoid looking like you went to a store, bought it all, and plopped it down. Even though it’s hard to be patient, I think it’s important to dig down and figure out what you really like.