Designer Infuses a 1950s Ranch House With Personal

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Real Estate

Sometimes life throws a curveball, and that was the case for interior designer Joni Spear and her husband, Dan. They had moved to Virginia from St. Louis and renovated what they thought was going to be their forever home. But family circumstances called them back to St. Louis, so they pulled up stakes and moved into a rental house while they searched for a new forever home in Missouri.

“I thought I’d find a Victorian or something else older and full of character for us, but the housing market was too hot,” Spear says. As it turned out, something quite different was available: a spare 1950s ranch that had remained pretty much untouched by updates for 70 years. “The house was full of oppressive elements like heavy draperies, orange wall-to-wall carpeting and lots of dust,” Spear says. “But I could envision that we could make it our own and knew that a ranch would be great for aging in place.” Architectural salvage treasure hunts, unique vintage lighting finds, inspiration from a British pub and a 150-square-foot addition all played a role in giving the home the character the couple craved.

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