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162 N. Central Ave.

It would be hard to imagine the home of whimsical artist Mary Engelbreit being anything but creative and delightfully unique. That’s how the current owners of 162 N. Central Ave. describe their striking single-family dwelling, built for the renowned St. Louis artist in 1997.

Former St. Louis Rams offensive tackle Jake Long and his wife, Jackie, say they are moving to Nashville but leaving part of their hearts behind in this nearly 7,000-square-foot, 5-bedroom home. They will always remember the three-story structure’s lovely neighborhood, comfortable liveability and history as the first home of their 2-year-old daughter, Jackie says. “We looked at a lot of houses before we bought this one in 2013,” she notes. “As soon as we walked in, we said, ‘This is it.’”

Previous owners renovated the home’s interior, but reminders of Engelbreit remain, including cabinet knobs and other touches she hand-painted. Jackie describes the home’s style as “transitional, but definitely Clayton. You get a certain feeling about it when you walk in. It’s long and tall with high ceilings and great light. It’s like a grand version of a townhome.”

Other highlights include marble accents in the kitchen and master bath. “They make the home feel luxurious, but it’s still comfortable,” Jackie says. “It’s not one of those houses you have to be ‘careful’ in. You can raise kids and really live here.”

Her favorite rooms are the kitchen and living room, which are connected and very open. “The layout makes for seamless entertaining, and I love that the whole family can be together while we’re cooking and eating,” she says. There’s even a fully equipped catering kitchen in the basement.

The property also boasts a large backyard, an unexpected bonus for the Longs. “My husband dreamed of a big green yard for our dogs,” Jackie says. “We wanted the amenities and location of a Clayton house, but we never thought we’d get this much yard.” She even is effusive about the basement and storage space. “The lower level is a 2,200-square-foot finished area with a ‘man cave’ and game room,” she says. “It has a huge walk-in storage area that is so convenient!”

Jake adds, “We love that the home is a block from Taylor Park, and you can walk to downtown Clayton. We’ve really appreciated being in this area with its restaurants, great neighbors and lots of good memories.”

listing price | $2,750,000
listing agent | holly bry of gladys manion real estate

Photos: Steven B. Smith Photography

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