Form Follows Function

A Ladue couple redefines their main-floor living areas to create a contemporary environment fit for family.

By Melissa Mauzy
Photography by Anne Matheis
Floral Styling by Artistry Florist


After years of living in their Ladue home with three young children, this vivacious couple decided a main-floor overhaul was necessary to better accommodate their active family. They called in experienced husband-and-wife builder/designer duo Randy and Davey Mayer, who have been in the business for more than three decades and partner together at RJ Mayer Development Corporation and Davette J. Mayer Design, to tackle the project.

In addition to renovating their kitchen and laundry room, the plan included an update to the family room and unused living room, creating a more contemporary, unified and usable main level. Before a single nail or screw was touched, the Mayers spent countless hours planning and talking through the project with the homeowners. “We had them list all of their wants for the project,” Davey explains. “Then we factored in how the family lives. They love to entertain and have young children, so the space had to function on many levels.”

While the main-level footprint did not change, several structural changes were made with the aid of Mitchell Wall Architecture + Design.  A wall separating the kitchen and family room was removed, making it easier for the wife to keep tabs on the children from the kitchen. In addition, the wall dividing the family room and living room was opened up to unify the spaces while still providing separation. “This allows for adults to have their own space in the living room, while the children can play in the adjoining family room and still be visible to their parents,” the homeowner says.

Maple flooring in a warm taupe set the tone for the basis of the design. While the couple’s style is contemporary, they did not want their home to feel too stark. Davey’s solution was to incorporate varying shades of wood in the cabinetry and on the walls to warm the space. With the help of Beck/Allen Cabinetry, who provided the cabinetry and wood panels, the ideal blend of hardwood and soft furnishings successfully achieved a warm, contemporary style.

In the family room, a wood-panel wall in a sunwashed gray makes a statement. The idea for the paneling took deep thought and planning, as the designer and homeowners did not want any seams showing.

The previous family room was not functional. The TV was too far from the sofa, and the wet bar was hidden so guests never knew where to go. A Thayer Coggin curved sectional from KDR Designer Showrooms facing the paneled wall creates a cozy seating area for family movie nights. The existing fireplace box remains, but was given a more modern look with an eramosa vein-cut-marble surround as well as glass rocks by Gas Appliance Service. Floating stainless-steel shelves display elegant accessories from Savvy Surrounding Style and complete the contemporary look.

Prior to the renovation, the living room was unused. In the new space, the homeowners wanted to create a bar/entertaining area that was dramatic with a lounge feel. The window wall naturally created three separate bar areas. The two outside feature open shelves lit to display the homeowners’ glass collection. The middle area includes a sink and beverage center. Maple cabinets by Crystal and from Beck/Allen are stained in a rich slate with pewter highlights. Two window seats between the bar areas add a homey touch. Black-cloud onyx bar tops are underlit to give the room another element of drama and light.

A cozy seating area is created with a chocolate sofa facing two of the homeowners’ chairs, recovered in a soft and durable fabric. “Before purchasing new, I always ask homeowners if there is anything they own that we can keep or rework through reupholstering or restaining,” Davey says. “This keeps them connected to the new space.”

Now loving their newly refreshed main-floor living area, the homeowners credit Randy and Davey’s forward thinking and innovation for their comfortable, contemporary family and living rooms. “A huge advantage to working with Davey and Randy is that they come as a package deal,” the homeowner explains. “You don’t have to pay for hourly design time. This really allows you to think through selections and decisions to get what you want.”

The dynamic design duo enjoyed the opportunity to challenge themselves while tackling a contemporary project, but they don’t take all the credit. “Our subcontractors are absolutely essential to the success of our projects – especially this one,” Randy says. “They aren’t afraid to try new things, and their attention to detail makes all the difference.” 


Builder: RJ Mayer Development, 636-220-9044

Designer: Davette J. Mayer Design, 636-220-9044

Achitect: Mitchell Wall Architecture + Design, 314-576-5888

Cabinetry: Beck/Allen Cabinetry, 314-677-6713

Appliances: AUTCOhome, 314-373-2000

Lighting: Metro Lighting, 314-963-8330

Plumbing fixtures: Immerse by ATLAS, 314-375-1500

Sound: Audio Visual Lifestyles, 314-657-7089

Flooring: ProSource, 314-739-7799

Stone: Unique Stone Concepts, 314-432-7522

Tile: Westport Tile & Granite, 314-942-8590

Furniture: KDR Designer Showrooms, 314-993-5020

Accessories: Savvy Surrounding Style, 314-432-7289

Rugs: Rugs by Saga, 636-227-8555