Kirkwood Historical Society Home Tour

The Kirkwood Historical Society presents "Building for the Next 100 Years" 2023 Home Tour.

The Kirkwood Historical Society is partnering with Kirkwood City Lifestyle and Roeser Home Remodeling to invite you to an exciting event, "Building for the Next 100 Years." This unique home tour explores five newly constructed luxury homes designed by award-winning architects and builders. While this event explores the lifestyle of today's families, it is also an opportunity to visit two historic community landmarks, Olive Chapel AME Church and Mudd's Grove.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 2, 2023, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tickets, priced at just $25, are available online at https://kirkwoodhistoricalsociety.com, or on the Eventbrite link at https://tinyurl.com/2023-Home-Tour. Tickets can be acquired in person on the event day at the Kirkwood Historical Society at 302 W. Argonne Drive. As a special bonus, each ticket includes seven custom note cards featuring the beautiful paintings of the tour's featured homes, created by local artist Mark Borella.

Join us for this inspiring tour, knowing your ticket purchase will contribute to the Kirkwood Historical Society's mission of preserving and building our community's rich history. 

Here is a preview of the builders and homeowners featured on the tour. 

Kim Hibbs, President and CEO, Hibbs Homes 


Our job is to ensure the homes we build fit perfectly into the community. 

That's one of the things I really enjoy about building in Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Glendale, and Des Peres. We want to meet the needs of families but also stay true to the integrity of the beautiful older homes. Several years ago, we were awarded Infill of the Year for a house we built on North Harrison because the client drove the design to seamlessly fit in that historic district. 

We build high-performance homes for the next 100 years. 

When people talk about building a custom home, they mostly talk about exterior and interior finishes. We love to talk about that, but we also want to talk about a durable, low-maintenance, high-efficiency home for the next century. We build homes with a softer footprint, meaning lower heating and cooling bills and more responsibility for stormwater runoff. We built the first Active House in North America. That one-of-a-kind home in Webster Groves supported the development of the green home building standard known as the Active House Alliance standards. 

We never build the same house twice. 

Our clients determine the project. The owners of this home wanted a craftsman home, so we partnered with John Odem as the architect to match the client's style and vision. We were able to complement the home's exterior to the established neighborhood while incorporating modern features like tall ceilings and an open expanse with big windows between the great room and the kitchen.

We build for today's modern family. 

We deliver a home that comfortably allows families to live room to room and floor to floor. The interesting thing about this house is that the family wanted a formal dining room for entertaining. There is something very timeless about that space. The second floor features a secondary office in the corner tower. The finished basement includes an in-law suite and a large theater room. It's important to note that finishing the lower level is much more cost-effective with a new build. We can design that space so that the rest of the house doesn't have to be quite as large. That's one of the tips we help our clients consider when discussing their family's lifestyle.

Monte Herring, Owner / Founder, of Herring Design and Development


We designed a modern home to look historic. 

This home is in a historic district, so I aimed for a 1920s design that aligned with how homes looked 100 years ago. The homeowners considered renovating the existing house. However, after looking at the structure, we determined that it was cost-prohibitive to refurbish and achieve homeowners' goals of entertaining their children and grandchildren while aging in place. There is a misnomer that every old house is built well.  

Unique details fit this family's lifestyle. 

Because the home's footprint is smaller, the primary suite is on the second floor. An elevator was installed to ensure the family could live in their home as long as possible. The front of the house faces a busy street, so we built a half-wall for privacy on the front patio. The detached garage is sloped to accommodate the owner's low-profile cars, and a lift in the garage allows all the cars to be housed. While the backyard has a pool, the ground is maintenance-free with turf instead of grass.  

Preserving the past while building the family's new home. 

The stained glass on the back wall of the garage was preserved from the previous house. The old front door is now the door of the meditation room in the basement. There is also a diamond window that we salvaged and placed in the den at the front of the house. 

Details matter. 

I love the living room. We hid all the electronics behind the paneling, and there is an art TV frame to conceal the TV in the living room. The massive fireplace is reminiscent of 1920s design. Upstairs has a lounge area with a second fireplace that offers a quiet retreat at the end of the day. Modern details were thoughtfully incorporated inside and outside the home to align with the homeowner's health and wellness goals. And we can't forget the dog who enjoys thoughtfully appointed pet-friendly details. 

Jen Fagan, Homeowner

Moved to Kirkwood from Chicago in 2021

Something new in the neighborhood. 

I love tradition and history, so we wanted to build a home honoring Kirkwood. The house next door is a registered historic house, so we didn’t want to build a house that would look out of place in this neighborhood, but I also wanted our home to have its own character. Monte Herring was great to work with because I didn’t have a vision for this house beyond blending Chicago’s style (my husband is from Chicago) with Kirkwood’s charm. Monte has an eye for details, design, and utilizing space. Our galley kitchen is a feature of older homes, but he modernized it with details like a meal prep area behind the kitchen, finishing the walls with shiplap and brick, and adding gold footing on our island. 

I wanted our home to be nice but livable and durable. 

I love the cabinets and functionality of the drawers in the kitchen. Monte designed the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to look hidden. He created three specific areas in the basement for family living with a painted concrete floor, and it’s the best thing ever. 

Including our girls.

I allowed each of our three girls to work directly with Monte to design their own bathrooms and something special for their rooms. Monte was fantastic about meeting with the girls to pick out their custom features and finishes. Each of their bathrooms is entirely different. Monte also suggested incorporating laundry on the first and second floors to accommodate our family’s lifestyle. My favorite thing he built for the girls is the custom outdoor seating at the kitchen window. 

Thoughtful details throughout the house. 

Monte found an old farm that salvages wood. So, he refinished two beams to make matching mantles for the fireplaces. And the lighting is all Monte. He said the lighting is part of our furniture and installed fixtures I never would have thought of. He pulled everything together and took the time to get the details right. He has a great vision, and I would recommend him to anyone.

Jessica and Aaron Senne, principals and architects of Studio Lark


Making a new home look mid-century modern. 

Modern and contemporary design in our niche. This house is inspired by mid-century modern homes. Our design really shines in the opportunity for spatial overlap. We don't conceive a house as a collection of rooms. We look for opportunities for all the spaces to be connected. 

Building a new home on top of an existing foundation.

Our process is always about aligning the practical goals of our clients with the principles of aesthetics and economy. We do a lot of renovations, so we are inclined to begin with what exists. With this project, we knew what existed was very dated and small. We kept the original foundation and reorganized and rebuilt the house to fit the family's lifestyle while celebrating the green space view of the park in the front and the large private yard in the back. Natural light connects the house's landscape, the open plan concept, and the family spaces. 

Building for a multi-generational family. 

Our clients wanted a five-bedroom house with an in-law suite. This house wasn't just designed for a modern family but for a multi-generational family with spaces for parents and kids to spend extended periods at home. The design allows the family to feel connected even in different areas of the house. 

Unique details about this house. 

Aaron is responsible for so many details on the outside of the house. The structural bracing is so elegantly detailed that it feels very architectural. The cable rail on the decking maintains views from the house's interior to the outside space. A pallet of natural exterior materials includes two-tone Shou Sugi Ban (charred natural wood) and thermally treated poplar wood. We celebrate wood over vinyl. Aaron studied the sun's angles and designed the deep overhang on the southern facade. The kids' bathroom is one of my favorite spaces in the whole house. We have a saying at Studio Lark that is borrowed from a past mentor; "Happiness is a yellow wall." In this kids' bathroom, happiness is a yellow shower. You'll just have to tour the house to see for yourself. 

Nick Liuzza, Owner of NJL Custom Homes


We design homes to fit in and stand out. 

We want the house to stand out but not overpower the other homes on the street. We want the neighborhood to be proud of the home. It's an interesting balancing act. Clients in Kirkwood want an updated version of the look and feel of the traditional historic homes. We worked with architect Tim Hollerbach for this house on Clay. I call the style 'transitional colonial,' meaning the home is mainly masonry with colonial features, but we've updated the exterior with decorative brick and herringbone details. 

Families want a functional and inviting home. 

Families want a large kitchen that flows into the rest of the house. People place a lot of emphasis on their children's lives, so we design rooms for arts and crafts, gaming, and recreation. It's a win-win how families live - the kids get their own spaces, and their "creative stuff" stays in those designated rooms. Mudrooms are customized to fit sports equipment, musical instruments, and hobbies. Today's families know everyone gathers in the kitchen, so the main floor is the house's focus. But we take that one step further and incorporate access to outside spaces for additional living areas. This house has two outdoor covered areas and a mechanical pergola that opens and closes depending on the weather and the sun. The outdoor spaces can be accessed from the great room and the hearth room. 

Technology infrastructure is essential. 

Homes need to be appropriately fitted to broadcast wifi throughout the house because everyone in the family is always online. It's much easier to install technology in a new home than try to retrofit an older home. Older homes typically need more outlets to support the family's electronics and extra refrigeration to accommodate multiple drink stations throughout the house. 

Building for the future. 

We build in Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Glendale, Des Peres, Town and Country, and Ladue. Clients often want to renovate an older home. But it's like fitting a square peg in a round hole. Families will end up spending the same amount of money or more and still not get the functionality they need. The family has to make concessions to make the renovation work. Or they can spend less money and get exactly what they want with a custom home. We are as invested in building for new families as we are in maintaining the high-quality standards of families living here for generations.

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