Luxe Living: Laura McCarthy Real Estate

St. Louis is a city with multiple personalities: Clayton’s cosmopolitan walkable community, Kirkwood’s family atmosphere and ‘cute’ downtown, Chesterfield’s rolling hills and large lots. But whatever the neighborhood, there is an abundance of homes that offer amenities, privacy, beautifully landscaped grounds and perfect spaces for entertainment at enviable prices.

Laura McCarthy Real Estate has been serving local buyers and sellers for more than 70 years, and getting positive feedback on the area’s prospering—and unique—home market. The company, which focuses on homes within the central corridor, is also known for listing a wide range of houses in the luxury category. Listings vary from the traditional, like 26 Fordyce Lane, a classically stunning Colonial Revival estate in Ladue built in the 1930s, to 35 Chesterfield Lakes Road, a sprawling ranch in Chesterfield on 3 private acres commissioned by homeowners Paul and Linda Lee 14 years ago and recently put on the market.

The Lees, who moved to St. Louis in the ’80s from North Dakota, chose the West County location to be near Paul’s office. They built the home just about a mile from where they first lived in St. Louis. Now, the two are ready to downsize to a condo, but recall their time in the area with great memories. “Chesterfield is so convenient and easy to get around,” Paul says. “It really has developed quite a bit over the years, now offering a lot more shopping and restaurants. It’s just a nice place to be.” The two decided to build the house when Linda needed a new project, Paul jokes. They started exploring and discovered the Chesterfield Lakes subdivision. Its tucked-away setting appealed to them both. “The entire development is just beautiful, full of mature trees and wildlife,” Linda says. “And every house sits on a 3-acre lot, so it’s really private.” There is access to tennis courts and two private lakes for paddleboats or other activities.

They say the lot was perfectly situated for the kind of home they wanted: a contemporary ranch with lower level walkout. “The house is designed so the lower level can be used for entertaining, as well as the main level,” Linda says. “We wanted to have a large gathering space that could hold a lot of people.” Through Linda’s involvement with the Bach Society, the couple has hosted sit-down concerts with symphony players for up to 70 people. “It’s a very open concept with fabulous acoustics for live performances,” she says. “Our parties often would start with cocktails in the basement before moving guests upstairs for dinner.” She notes the lower level is ideal for overnight guests as well. “We don’t know they’re down there most of the time,” she laughs.

The expansive wine cellar is more than adequate for properly storing hundreds of bottles, and a large kitchen offers professional-grade appliances and impressive architectural details. “The kitchen is really well done,” Paul says. “It’s a great place to cook and gather with guests.”

They didn’t want a ‘traditional’ home, but they did want one that is comfortable and inviting, which is how they describe it. “People often comment on what a warm house it is,” Linda says. “When we’re asked to name a favorite area, it’s the whole house!”

Pictured: The great room at 35 Chesterfield Lakes
Photo: Steven B. Smith Photography

Laura McCarthy Real Estate is a residential real estate company with particular expertise in the neighborhoods in the central corridor of St. Louis. For more information, call 314.725.5100 or 314.569.1177, or visit Pictured on the cover: A current listing, 26 Fordyce Lane in Ladue

Cover design by Julie Streiler | Cover photo by Tim Parker Photography

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