Historic Hidden Gem

Clayton sweethearts renovate their dream home in their hometown.

By Tyler Bierman
Photography by Anne Matheis


It took four years of searching — yes, four whole years — but after watching and waiting for the right property to come on the market, Dana Jones, owner of Flavor Dance Studio and professional home renovator, finally found her dream kitchen hiding away in a historic Clayton duplex. And all she had to do to make it perfect was figure out how to navigate the red tape that comes with remodeling a historic home and complete a total conversion of said duplex into one, big cozy home. With the help of interior designer Joni Spear of Joni Spear Interior Design, it was a piece of cake.

The major hurdle to jump in this remodel was certainly the city code on historic homes. Jones had to play quite a bit of back-and-forth with the city and the architect to come to a conclusion on what she could and couldn't do with her new, old home. This ultimately meant that instead of taking out the wall between the kitchen and dining room, she would instead have to widen the opening in the existing wall. In the end, this was only a minor setback and one that Jones and Spear were happy to comply with.

Another challenge in the remodeling process was a pesky second window that made the already smaller space feel awkward and didn't leave enough room for all of the much-needed cabinets. Fortunately, this problem had a rather simple solution: just brick it in and get rid of it.

The end result of their combined efforts is a galley kitchen that is simple and modern. It is furnished with light-gray cabinets, dark wooden floors, a two-tiered, white marble island and contrasting black soapstone countertops.

However, Jones' favorite part of her new kitchen has to be her new, extra deep sink. She gushes, “I love, love, love my new sink. It's a black composite, and it's so incredibly deep. I remember one of the gentlemen putting it in joked, 'Is this the sink or is this the tub?' But the best part of my sink is the placement. It's right off from the family room and the dining room. So, I can be in the kitchen and still be able to talk with my kids in the family room or have conversations with someone sitting in the dining room.”

Jones, who grew up and found the love of her life in this St. Louis County neighborhood, always saw herself returning here to raise her children and give back to her hometown. Today, she is doing just that by renovating homes and rejuvenating the neighborhoods they are in, and she hopes to pass on that passion to her children. You can hear how proud she is of her family and her work when she says, “We like to show our kids that there's always something you can do to be a part of the community and make it better. And we want to be able to show our kids how we are a part of that and how they can use their talents to be a part of it, too.”

Designer: Joni Spear, Joni Spear Interior Design, 314-614-9080
Architect: David Paul Mastin, St. Louis Design Alliance Architects, 314-863-1313
Tile Supplier: Daltile, 314-997-6970
Granite Supplier: Unique Stone Concepts, 314-384-3832
Granite Installer: Stone Fabricators, 314-776-7776
Plumbing Fixtures: Immerse, 314-375-1500
Appliances: Authorized Appliance, 314-429-0972
Lighting: Wilson Lighting, 314-222-6300
Painter: Raineri Construction, 314-667-5913
Cabinetry: Ray's Custom Cabinets, 636-586-6009