The Making of the Zimmerman House: Visit the Des Peres Dream Home | REMAINS
By Bethany Christo
“Luxury is about what you feel, not what you see,” Jessie D. Miller Interior Design’s namesake sums up on her “Zimmerman House” redesign.
The stunning Maison Des Peres was built in the 1960s, partially burnt down in 1983 and then slightly renovated by the previous owners. However, after this recent four-month project ended in July 2020, the space was transformed from a mismatched house filled with randomly adopted heirloom furniture into an organized, cohesive and comfortable space, complete with artwork selected from Miller’s own collection.
“The owners’ stories reminded me of all kinds of precious treasures that I’ve treasured for years,” says Miller. “The Zimmerman art collection has come to include everything from vintage equestrian paintings and sketches, editorial photography, and even an oversized black-and-white abstract that my mother, Janet Miller, painted for me when I moved into my current apartment.
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Miller felt so connected to the stories and backgrounds of Zimmerman’s owners because of his professional process — as well as a bit of serendipity. After meeting the couple at a Christmas party held at the home she had previously designed for another client, an instant connection was made and Miller set to work to find out how the couple met. , why they chose their home, cultures and families. they grew up around the music and restaurants they love and, of course, “a snooper in the cupboards,” according to Miller.
“The landlords are pretty much my dream customers,” she says. “They are a fun-loving, down-to-earth, athletic yet fashionable married couple with three young sons. Working with this family was completely effortless; throughout the process they were open communicators. witty, adventurous, yet realistic and direct.
Owners echo that sentiment at Miller: “I’m thrilled with the way Jessie has transformed our home,” said one owner. “She really understands what her client is saying, and she was able to incorporate many of our heirlooms and investments, while giving our home a brand new look that turned out to be even better than we could have ever dreamed of. .”
For the Zimmerman redesign, the pair were completely open to Miller’s creative direction and only asked that she incorporate a number of their existing pieces into the new design. These included sentimental heirloom pieces, like the antique round side table in the entrance hall, which was given a contemporary and brilliant makeover in collaboration with the team at The Resplendent Crow in University City, as well as existing statement pieces like a monolithic sofa-scale leather section or a pair of cashmere-upholstered Louis-style club chairs, all of which might have posed a challenge to a less skilled designer.
“With strategic spatial planning and intense textile research, a group of accidental furniture found its friends and a perfect, neat design was created,” says Miller.
Miller says that, without a doubt, her favorite aspect of the new design is the hand-painted mural in the master bedroom, with its brushstrokes of soft whites and neutrals simultaneously evoking movement and calm, which has been complemented by Miller’s friend and colleague, local artist Susan Greene of Paint Imagery.
“The result is one of my all-time personal favorite spaces I’ve ever run,” says Miller. “Customer envy is something I rarely feel, but oh, baby, I’d love to fall asleep and wake up in this room.”
While the stunning mural tops his list, Miller also highlights some of the more subtle design elements that have just as much impact in the home – for example, the grasscloth wallcovering in the living room. . Miller explains that while it costs more, it has incredible color dimensions that painted drywall could never compete with. Miller also gave special treatment to the previously solitary entryway and often overlooked front doors (because most families enter through the garage) which she sees as defining moments of the entire home.
“They act as an opportunity to greet visitors with an immediate visual impression of what your family is like,” she says.
The crown jewel of the Zimmerman project is what Miller calls “the big daddy” – the black Calacatta marble fireplace mantle in the living room. “This sexy beast replaced a puny builder-grade mantel that couldn’t hold up,” Miller says, adding that it serves as a physically and visually heavy architectural element to anchor and anchor what was once a narrow room. and unorganized.
As for the owners’ reaction to the project, it matched their relaxed, grateful and down-to-earth vibe. Genuinely grateful, impressed and proud of the work, “the fun-loving couple sipped cocktails by the pool as we scrambled to complete the installation,” says Miller. “When they were allowed to go home for the scheduled reveal, they were still in their bathing suits. How fabulous is that?”
Jessie D. Miller Interior Design, jessiedmiller.com