Custom-built home includes two-story greenhouse

Bringing the Outside In

In the heart of downtown Kirkwood, this custom-built home combines the homeowner’s passion for horticulture and the builder’s tendency for juxtaposing old-world style with modern elements. 

The focal point of this newly constructed three-story home is the 22-foot built-in greenhouse connected to the cozy family room. Palm trees and exotic plants flourish in this thoughtfully equipped space. This modern greenhouse includes water-tight, glass windows to appropriately filter UV rays, a  porcelain tile floor with a water drainage system, an overhead that mimics wind, and large double doors for easy access to transport the 300lb trees outside in the summer months.  

While the built-in greenhouse is inspired design, every bit of this almost 5,000 square-foot home provides unique and unsuspecting architectural elements.

“We hand-frame the home to maximize the space within the roof structure,” notes Monte Herring, contractor/builder/lead designer of Herring Design and Development. 

The family room’s unsuspecting detail isn’t the floor-to-ceiling, natural stone, wood-burning fireplace with wood storage bins. Rather, it’s the cut and polished Indiana Limestone extending the entire length of the wall. This solid stone element serves as a countertop over three connecting cabinets at one end of the wall and continues through as the fireplace mantle at the opposite end of the wall.

In the kitchen, a ½ waterfall island countertop intentionally highlights custom cabinetry throughout the sun-filled space. Expansive windows in the breakfast nook look out, beyond the courtyard water feature, to the art studio upstairs in the carriage house. 

From outside the glass front door, there a direct line of sight straight through the first-floor interior to the detached carriage house’s charming swooped rooftop. 

Inside the home, everything on the first floor seems to be in view. And yet, there are a few hidden necessities. 

Contained within the bookcase that flanks the front side of the open staircase are the wires and plumbing that support the entire second floor. 

As a point of architectural interest, custom V-Groove paneling wraps the staircase and walls on every floor. But the paneling also features hidden doors to the bathroom and coat closet on the first floor and the laundry room on the second floor.  

Built into the staircase on the second floor, just outside the master bedroom, are two large dog kennels and a hidden drawer that holds toys and treats for the family’s three dogs.


22” Built-in Greenhouse

Temperature, humidity, and wind controlled, automated skylights and irrigation system, and colored lights for optimal Palm Tree growth.  


Custom-built cabinets and island with a ½ waterfall countertop and plenty of natural light.  

V-Groove Paneling

Complete with hidden doors, this custom paneling wraps the walls and the staircase from the first floor to the 3rd floor.

Fireplace Wall 

Cut and polished Indiana Limestone serves as the top of the three cabinets on one end of the wall and as the fireplace mantle at the opposite end of the wall. 

Dog Kennels

Just outside the door of the master bedroom are two large dog kennels built into the staircase.

Book Case 

A beautiful custom bookcase hides the wires and plumbing that support the entire second floor.



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