Childhood homes hold a special place in our hearts, and for many of us, it would be a dream to be able to return, put our own personal stamp on the house and build even more memories. The homeowner of this Ladue property was able to do just that. She grew up in this house, and years later, she and her husband decided to purchase it from her family. They’ve created their own personal retreat that’s steeped in family history.
When did you first move into the house?
We moved here around 1969. Back then, Ladue was horse country. There were miles of wide open spaces, and all the neighbors had horses. I took riding lessons across the street. I loved all of the green space when I was a little girl; I still do.
What are some of your favorite features of the property?
I love the privacy. It’s our own little enclave. We can be isolated in our own world. We don’t see
any neighbors, so it’s very private and quiet.
Did you make any major renovations?
We bought the property from family around 2012, and we’ve probably updated around 88% of it. Some of what we did includes redoing the kitchen, putting in a mudroom and adding an outdoor living space.
How do you approach design?
The way I decorate is influenced by my family history. There are a lot of things from my husband’s family and mine as well. We have artwork and artifacts that came from different relatives. My husband’s family collected English antiques, and I love using items from the travels of my grandparents and great-grandparents. There’s a unique mix of things, and every piece has a history. That’s where I start when it comes to design.
Any items with fun stories?
There’s an Orville Bulman painting that came from my husband’s grandfather. It’s a funny story. He had gone to a fundraising event in Palm Beach, and he actually met and talked with Bulman. One of the artist’s paintings was up for auction, and he ended up bidding on it. Well, when he came home to Atlanta from the event, he had two things: a hangover and that painting, which he actually hated. He ended up keeping it in his bathroom, but it was the one thing my husband always wanted from his grandfather’s house. It went from his bathroom to our kitchen.
What is your favorite space?
I love our gardens and outdoor spaces. My mom was a big gardener, and I have many plants that she originally planted back in the ’60s and ’70s. My sister is a landscape architect, and she designed a lot of the landscaping and hardscaping. We also grow vegetables and fruits. It’s like our own little farm back here.
Tell me about the animals.
There have always been animals. When I was little, there were ponies. My dad was a beekeeper, and we still have bees. We have chickens, and my daughter raised some ducks one summer. That was fun until they got territorial about the pool and wouldn’t let the dogs in. The ducks got mean.