The Versailles Building on Skinker Boulevard has been a part of St. Louis architectural history for almost 100 years. Today, a small group of residents get to call the historic building home, enjoying its classic style and central location in the De Mun neighborhood. T&S got a peek inside one of its condominiums. The homeowners have married traditional style with a collection of art and furniture gathered during decades of traveling the world, creating a truly unique space.
What do you enjoy about the De Mun neighborhood?
We like everything! We overlook Forest Park, and we also enjoy visiting Concordia Seminary’s park, which is only a block and a half away. There are so many restaurants in the neighborhood, such as Louie, Sasha’s, Kaldi’s Coffee, Barrio and Clementine’s Ice Creamery, and it’s easy to walk to the Schnucks on Clayton Road or visit the Hi Pointe and AMC cinemas.
How did you come to St. Louis?
We have family in the area. We’re from Chicago and Maine originally, and we lived in Atlanta previously. We wanted a smaller city experience. St. Louis has so much that people aren’t aware of. There are great museums and other cultural institutions, and it’s much easier to get around.
What attracted you to the building?
It was built in 1928, and it has a lot of character. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places. There are great features like original doors and molding. The two lobbies are beautiful. It’s a small community with only 45 units, and the people who choose to live here really love this building. It makes for a happy community.
Are there any standout features?
We were lucky because the unit was completely renovated around 2015. Before that, it sat untouched for 20 years. It was like Sleeping Beauty waiting to be woken up. Working with a designer, a developer restored it, and he did a superb job that respected the historic nature of the building. With three bedrooms, it’s a large condo, and it has almost as much living space as we did in Atlanta. Overall, we love the space we have here.
How do you approach interior design?
Our furnishings are traditional—many pieces are more than 50 years old and have been a part of every home we’ve lived in. We love antiques, and we’ve lived overseas sporadically over the years, so a lot of our items are things we have gathered. Everything in the condo represents different parts of our lives, whether its places we’ve traveled or friends and family who have gifted us pieces.
So travel impacts your decor?
Assuredly. While we have very traditional pieces like our Queen Anne dining set, we like the contrast of introducing something modern or bringing in something from a different part of the world. We tried to put all of our experiences into our interior design here.
Do you have any favorite pieces in your art collection?
There are artifacts from Africa that I started collecting in the early 1960s. I’ve both visited and lived on the continent, so they are very cherished. Our son is a graphic designer. He lived in New York before moving to Poland where he continued to do art. We have a lot of his work in the condo. We have a collection from Puerto Rico, ceramics by an Argentinian artist and some art from Asia. Other than two pieces we picked up at a gallery in Atlanta, I don’t think we’ve ever gone to a store to purchase framed artwork. We’re happy with the way everything fits together, and every time we look at a piece, it brings back specific memories. We’re lucky that we have space outside of our front entry that allows us to display even more of our artwork.
What is your favorite room?
We don’t really have one. It’s a very spacious condo, but we tend to live in all of the rooms. We spend a lot of time in the dining room, and it’s very cozy in the winter. There is a smaller room with a lot of art on the walls, which is where our TV is. The corner bedroom has become my art studio. During the pandemic, I gave up painting and started doing paper cutting. We have some of my pieces displayed in the condo, and I’ve given others away as gifts.