A Period Piece for a Modern Homeowner

The Murphys' historic home gives them the best of both worlds thanks to Period Restoration.

By Tyler Bierman
Photography by Anne Matheis


Rebekah Murphy loves everything antique and has from an early age. She had pieces in her collection hidden away for years just looking for the right classically styled home to suit them. Rebekah explains it best by saying, “I’ve always loved old homes and antiques and reading. When I read period books I love that feeling of being in a different time in history. It’s almost like I was born in the wrong era. On top of that, my parents would drive great distances to find incredible antiques and a lot of that has been passed down to me.”

Greg Murphy, however, was interested in the exact opposite, preferring a house that was a bit more modern; something along the lines of a West County suburb style. Seems like a recipe for disaster for this couple, doesn’t it? Lucky for them, this kitchen and bath designer at Karr Bick Kitchen & Bath and attorney at Carmody MacDonald finally found their perfect match and—believe it or not—it brings together everything that they both wanted and it’s all thanks to Period Restoration.

Period Restoration is a preservation company that does restorations of historic homes in the greater St. Louis area. It’s a niche market for homeowners, but one that is growing in popularity thanks to the work they do. Randy Renner Jr., the owner of Period Restoration and designer of the Murphys’ home, explains the appeal like this, “Most people love the charm and the character of old houses but hate all the old components like plumbing and electrical. We offer a turnkey home that’s been replicated and duplicated, so the person who buys the house has all the peace of mind of a new home with that old style.”

But restoring a house that’s as old as this one comes with its own challenges. Mainly, how to keep the style of the time intact, while balancing modern-day amenities. Renner explains, “It’s easy to gut a house and fill it in with all new things. It’s much more challenging to get certain things—plumbing, wiring, safety features—into a house that never had it. That and finding guys who can do things that just aren’t done anymore. These guys still exist today, but it’s taken us years to build up the contacts that we have now to really tackle these jobs and hit every facet of these homes.”

As for the Murphys’ home and what really blows them away about it: As you can guess, there are tons of features that Rebekah Murphy loves about her home — lots of big windows for natural light and beautiful stained glass windows to accent, mahogany flooring, high ceilings, a newly opened up kitchen/dining room and a whole wall of built-in book shelves that made her “heart skip a beat” when she saw them.

However, one of her standout favorites is something she added herself and is unique to her own antique style, “From my recent travels to Paris I knew that was the kind of feel I wanted in my home, so I added this black-and-white striped awning with spears in the front over the beautiful, restored front door. It’s an amazing accent piece. We always get neighbors who say things like, ‘That was the perfect touch.’ We liked it so much that we added that same type of awning on the back.”

When Murphy talks about her home you can hear in her voice how happy she is with the work that Period Restoration has put into it. She finishes up by saying, “Randy isn’t just the owner of Period Restoration, he’s a friend. I would highly recommend Period Restoration both personally and professionally. He has integrity within himself and he brings that to his company. I’m really proud of how successful he’s become.    

Period Restoration, 314-704-5146
Tile: The Tile Shop, 314-778-5256
Flooring: Blake Floor Co., 636-680-2300
Closet: St. Louis Closet Co., 314-781-9000