Full remodel and addition creates forever home for Kirkwood family – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Interior designer Julie Baum of BaumHouse Design assisted with the new kitchen design. Kristin Davis says the black and white statement tile backsplash gets the most compliments. The couple went with clean white cabinetry and white quartz countertops. This is offset with a dark gray cabinet base and a different quartz top with gray veining on the center island.  Hanging over the island is a unique light fixture the couple purchased at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s annual Best of Missouri Market, which was crafted from an old wine barrel.
On the exterior, the house got a new roof, new siding, gutters and trim. When the Davises moved in, the front porch was there but had an unwelcoming and awkward entrance from the driveway. They closed that off and had the new walkway poured.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
A gallery wall of enlarged family photos leads into the new main suite. Across the hall is the original main bedroom, which now serves as a guest room and home office.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
Upstairs, both kids’ rooms were expanded with dormers to provide more space for them to grow. Son Nolan’s room is painted in blue. Soft, neutral carpet makes a comfortable play space. A Jack-and-Jill bathroom connects the room to his sister’s room on the opposite side.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
In the couple’s bedroom, the Davises painted the wall behind the bed black for a dramatic effect and added three small windows for more natural light. The wood bed frame with built-in nightstands is from Article and the striped bedding is from Target.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
Designer Julie Baum of BaumHouse Design also worked on the main bathroom, carrying over the black and white color scheme from the kitchen with clean white cabinetry and countertops and a black and white hexagon tile floor.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
Kristin’s must-have for the remodel was a fireplace. There was evidence the home once had one, but it had been removed. They built this stacked stone gas fireplace in between original small stained glass windows. The floors throughout the main level are engineered hardwood.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
Kristin and Ryan Davis moved from a South City bungalow to their 1939 Kirkwood home in 2013, when their son, Nolan, was 1 year old. When they began their home search, they had differing opinions on what exactly they were looking for.
“I love old houses, and I wanted to stay in the city. Ryan wanted a new house in the suburbs; so we compromised and got an old house in the suburbs,” Kristin says.
Located in the heart of Kirkwood, the house was a three-bedroom, one and a half bath with a small master bedroom on the main floor and two tiny bedrooms on the half-story upstairs. The small kitchen was tucked away in the back of the house and closed off from the main living space.
They knew they would eventually end up making changes to both the interior and the exterior, which needed a new roof and new siding. After daughter Caroline, now 6, came along, they were ready for more space and a better flow for their busy family lifestyle.
“When it came time to thinking about where we wanted to be forever, we decided that we like our neighbors and we like our street, so it made sense to add on to what we already had here,” says Kristin. “So we began the adventure of doing an addition to our existing home.”
The Davises spoke with several contractors before deciding to work with Kirkwood Home and Landscape on the project. Through them, they were introduced to architect Paul Dean Hunsicker, who assisted with the design. The whole-home remodel included an addition to add 900-square-feet of living space between the main floor and half-story.
They relocated the kitchen to the addition as part of an open-concept main living area, and then built a new main suite where the old kitchen had been. Upstairs, the kids’ rooms were extended to give them more space, with a dual-sink Jack-and-Jill bathroom between them.
One of Kristin’s must-haves was a fireplace. There was evidence that the living room originally had one, but somewhere along the line it had been removed, so they added a stacked stone gas fireplace, flanked by small square stained glass windows that are original to the house.
The redesigned main floor features an open concept from front to back with a living room, dining area and kitchen. They also remodeled the staircase, which had been covered in carpet, restoring the original wood treads and replacing the wood balusters with decorative iron.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
On the recommendation of their contractor, the Davises worked with Julie Baum of BaumHouse Design on the new kitchen and bath. The kitchen’s black and white patterned ceramic tile backsplash is what Kristin says gets the most compliments. White cabinets topped in crown molding rise to the ceiling. On the large center island, they chose a gray cabinetry base topped in white quartz with gray veining.
Added storage was another bonus of the project. “I got my first ever pantry,” Kristin says excitedly pointing to a door next to the refrigerator. A new main-floor laundry room outside the owners’ suite was another game-changer.
The main bath follows the kitchen’s lead with white cabinetry and a black and white hexagon tile floor. The color scheme continues in the main bedroom, which has a black feature wall behind the bed with three small high windows for added natural light. Kristin says they splurged on the wood bed frame with built-in nightstands from Article.
Kirkwood Home and Landscape also renovated the staircase, which had been covered in carpet. The plan had been to replace the carpet, but once they removed it, the original wood peeked through and the Davises decided to have the treads restored and the wood balusters replaced with decorative wrought iron.
The Davises eventually plan to finish the new basement poured under the addition to give the kids even more space to hang out with friends as they get older.
With the majority of the project complete, the family is enjoying the easy flow of the new space and the extra room to spread out.
“I feel like we built a home we never have to leave,” Kristin says. “When we get old and don’t want to go upstairs, our bedroom is on the main floor and we have everything we need.”
Kristin Davis holds the family dog, Rosie. Her children Caroline, 6, at left, and her son, Nolan, 9, in the home of Kristin Davis in Kirkwood, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com
Kristin and Ryan Davis
Ages • Both are 39.
Occupations • Kristin is the librarian at Robinson Elementary School in the Kirkwood School District, and Ryan is assistant commissioner for the Missouri Valley Conference.
Home • Kirkwood
Family • The Davis’ have a nine-year-old son, Nolan, and a 6-year-old daughter, Caroline. The family dog, Rosie, a lab mix, is 2.
On the exterior, the house got a new roof, new siding, gutters and trim. When the Davises moved in, the front porch was there but had an unwelcoming and awkward entrance from the driveway. They closed that off and had the new walkway poured.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
Kristin Davis holds the family dog, Rosie. Her children Caroline, 6, at left, and her son, Nolan, 9, in the home of Kristin Davis in Kirkwood, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com
The guest bathroom in the home of Kristin Davis in Kirkwood, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com
The kitchen in the remade home of Kristin Davis in Kirkwood, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com
The spare bedroom has a pull-out couch for guests in the home of Kristin Davis in Kirkwood, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com
A gallery wall of enlarged family photos leads into the new main suite. Across the hall is the original main bedroom, which now serves as a guest room and home office.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
Upstairs, both kids’ rooms were expanded with dormers to provide more space for them to grow. Son Nolan’s room is painted in blue. Soft, neutral carpet makes a comfortable play space. A Jack-and-Jill bathroom connects the room to his sister’s room on the opposite side.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
The bedroom of Caroline Davis in the home of Kristin Davis in Kirkwood, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com
In the couple’s bedroom, the Davises painted the wall behind the bed black for a dramatic effect and added three small windows for more natural light. The wood bed frame with built-in nightstands is from Article and the striped bedding is from Target.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
The fireplace was a must-have in the home of Kristin Davis in Kirkwood, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com
The front porch at the home of Kristin Davis in Kirkwood, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com
The fireplace mantel in the home of Kristin Davis in Kirkwood, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com
Designer Julie Baum of BaumHouse Design also worked on the main bathroom, carrying over the black and white color scheme from the kitchen with clean white cabinetry and countertops and a black and white hexagon tile floor.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
A fireplace was a must have in the home of Kristin Davis in Kirkwood, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com
The kitchen is in the addition to the home that now has an open concept, in the home of Kristin Davis in Kirkwood, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com
Interior designer Julie Baum of BaumHouse Design assisted with the new kitchen design. Kristin Davis says the black and white statement tile backsplash gets the most compliments. The couple went with clean white cabinetry and white quartz countertops. This is offset with a dark gray cabinet base and a different quartz top with gray veining on the center island.  Hanging over the island is a unique light fixture the couple purchased at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s annual Best of Missouri Market, which was crafted from an old wine barrel.
The kitchen backsplash in the home of Kristin Davis in Kirkwood, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com
The redesigned main floor features an open concept from front to back with a living room, dining area and kitchen. They also remodeled the staircase, which had been covered in carpet, restoring the original wood treads and replacing the wood balusters with decorative iron.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
The open concept living area in the home of Kristin Davis in Kirkwood, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com
Kristin’s must-have for the remodel was a fireplace. There was evidence the home once had one, but it had been removed. They built this stacked stone gas fireplace in between original small stained glass windows. The floors throughout the main level are engineered hardwood.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
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Interior designer Julie Baum of BaumHouse Design assisted with the new kitchen design. Kristin Davis says the black and white statement tile backsplash gets the most compliments. The couple went with clean white cabinetry and white quartz countertops. This is offset with a dark gray cabinet base and a different quartz top with gray veining on the center island.  Hanging over the island is a unique light fixture the couple purchased at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s annual Best of Missouri Market, which was crafted from an old wine barrel.
The redesigned main floor features an open concept from front to back with a living room, dining area and kitchen. They also remodeled the staircase, which had been covered in carpet, restoring the original wood treads and replacing the wood balusters with decorative iron.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
On the exterior, the house got a new roof, new siding, gutters and trim. When the Davises moved in, the front porch was there but had an unwelcoming and awkward entrance from the driveway. They closed that off and had the new walkway poured.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
Kristin Davis holds the family dog, Rosie. Her children Caroline, 6, at left, and her son, Nolan, 9, in the home of Kristin Davis in Kirkwood, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. Photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com
A gallery wall of enlarged family photos leads into the new main suite. Across the hall is the original main bedroom, which now serves as a guest room and home office.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
Upstairs, both kids’ rooms were expanded with dormers to provide more space for them to grow. Son Nolan’s room is painted in blue. Soft, neutral carpet makes a comfortable play space. A Jack-and-Jill bathroom connects the room to his sister’s room on the opposite side.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
In the couple’s bedroom, the Davises painted the wall behind the bed black for a dramatic effect and added three small windows for more natural light. The wood bed frame with built-in nightstands is from Article and the striped bedding is from Target.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
Designer Julie Baum of BaumHouse Design also worked on the main bathroom, carrying over the black and white color scheme from the kitchen with clean white cabinetry and countertops and a black and white hexagon tile floor.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
Kristin’s must-have for the remodel was a fireplace. There was evidence the home once had one, but it had been removed. They built this stacked stone gas fireplace in between original small stained glass windows. The floors throughout the main level are engineered hardwood.
Hillary Levin, Post-Dispatch
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