Welcome to the Doll House
There’s a top hat pendant in the powder room and oversized jacks on the wall. Oh, and don’t miss the giant flower in the living room. (As if you could!) Take just one peek inside the Webster Groves home of Jo and Jim Doll, and you’ll be fighting back a smile. Using bold color and a little whimsy, Jo created a welcoming and playful space for her family. Now, she’s taking T&S inside for a look at some of her favorite features.
How long have you been in the house?
What originally attracted you to the property?
We loved the location. Webster Groves is close to everything. You get all of the perks of living in a big city with a small town feel. It’s a great community to live in, and our neighborhood has a nice family feel. It’s very walkable to old downtown Webster and the elementary school, which was a big draw since our three boys were younger when we moved in.
Have you done any major renovations?
Along with a lot of cosmetic changes inside and landscaping work outside, we completely redid the kitchen about five years ago. It was originally very dark, and there was a large pillar in the middle. It also used to contain the laundry, which we moved upstairs for convenience. We added windows to make the kitchen brighter and more welcoming, and the pillar was taken out to open up the space.
How would you describe your design style?
Obviously, I like color. I’m also drawn to things that are whimsical. A home should be a happy place with lots of positive energy. Many items came from Rusted Chandelier in Kirkwood, and the design evolved on its own. One room really led to the next. The floral wallpaper in the dining room was one of the first things we did, so we carried the green into the hallway. The living room wall color is a little more subtle, but you can still see connections to the hall and dining room in the decor. Same goes for the kitchen. The rooms all play off of one another.
The wallpaper in the powder room is fun.
We redid that room while we were working on the kitchen. I love that the mirror pattern is so different. We found the top hat fixture and thought it was a perfect fit. Webster Groves High School is represented by the Statesmen, and the light recalls the school logo. It made the small space a fun place, and it’s something I’ve not seen before.
Any fun stories behind your art collection?
We love to go to art fairs and always tend to come home with something. I like the idea of bringing in the work of local and independent artists. Sometimes we have to rearrange stuff to make pieces work, and other times, we know exactly where an item should go. The giant flower in the living room was the perfect color for the space, and it was big enough that there really was only one place for it. That piece originally was discovered by a friend of mine who was on a family trip in Alabama. It matched a rug I used to have, and when she saw it, she knew I had to have it. Despite how huge it is, she made the drive back to St. Louis with it. There also are three pictures of my boys that were painted by a friend, so they are special. I found the cow head in the kitchen on a girls’ trip and carried it back through airport security.
What is your favorite space?
I love the kitchen because it’s such an inviting space. The blue and orange hutch adds a nice pop of color, and it was different from everything else I saw while researching design ideas. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I’m not a big foodie, so I don’t do anything too fancy, but I love cooking for my family. Since Webster is such a tight-knit community, we also love to entertain and have neighbors over. My boys are in college now, but we used to host team dinners, and there was enough space to fit a lot of kids. The kitchen opens up to the back patio, which is especially nice for overflow.
Photos by Suzy Gorman