Detail-filled custom home in Ladue inspired by French modern design

by decwells
Detail-filled custom home in Ladue inspired by French modern design


By Amy Burger Special to the Post-Dispatch

Anna and Matt Bukhshtaber searched for the perfect home to raise their growing family for over two years before deciding to have one built exactly as they envisioned it.

“We knew what we wanted, and it wasn’t out there,” says Anna.

The couple lived in the city’s historic Lafayette Square for seven years, but increasingly they realized their life outside the home was further west. Matt’s office is in Clayton, his parents live in Frontenac and the kids went to school in the country. They chose Ladue as a perfect central location and purchased a lot in August 2019.

After they had the land, they reached out to NJL Custom Homes after reviewing owner Nick Liuzza’s portfolio and seeing homes similar to what they had in mind. He connected the Bukhshtabers with architect AJ Catlett of Thomas Alan Group, who set about designing their dream home based on their list of must-haves.

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That list included: high ceilings throughout the first level, lots of molding, lots of natural light, hardwood floors and a large three-season outdoor room. Working closely with Catlett and NJL, Anna picked out all the finishes and did all the interior design work herself while documenting the process on Instagram at @homeandstylewithanna.

“I’ve always loved fashion and design. The environment you surround yourself with and what you wear, I think helps you feel a certain way. This was our first project that I had to tap into that intuition and sense of creativity delf, and it really sparked in me the desire to continue with it,” says Anna. “I loved the process so much that I’m now working on an interior design certification.”

The Bukhshtabers moved into the finished 5,500-square-foot home on New Year’s Eve 2021. The design, says Anna, is inspired by French modern style with lots of custom details and millwork.

Twelve-foot ceilings in the foyer and living room and a wall of windows overlooking the pool provide the “wow factor” when you enter the space. Arched doors and wide plank floors in white oak add to the old world feel.







Anna chose to paint the formal dining room black for a dramatic effect. A State chandelier purchased on Overstock.com hangs above RH’s dining table. The room’s focal point is the custom wine wall by Kenrose Kitchen Cabinets.


Anna Bukhshtaber


“I wanted it to feel like it wasn’t a brand new house—timeless,” says Anna. “It feels big but cozy and inviting at the same time. I don’t want anything to just look pretty, but I want it to be really useful and used and lived in. That’s what makes a house a home. I think we achieved that.”

The couple worked with Kenrose Kitchen Cabinets of Arthur, Illinois, in Amish country on all the cabinetry in the home, including the kitchen cabinets, a wall of built-ins in the living room and a wine storage wall in the dining room.

“It’s craftsmanship that you don’t really see anymore,” says Matt about the pieces that look like fine furniture.

The chef’s dream kitchen has a large center island ideal for family meals and entertaining. At 11 feet, it was the biggest they could make it with a single slab of dolomite. Another wish list item was the 48″ stainless steel range by ILVE, an Italian appliance manufacturer. White glazed clay Zellige subway tile by Riad Tile gives the backyard a unique uneven texture.

The kitchen is open to the living room and an adjacent breakfast room, which leads through sliding glass doors to a full three-season room outside. The outdoor living area includes retractable screens and heaters as well as a separate outdoor kitchen/braai area. The pool and large spa are a few steps away.

A wing off the living room houses the first floor primary suite. The 12-foot vaulted ceiling, molding-framed walls and the doorway to the pool create a luxurious atmosphere. Anna went with pale dove gray paint on the walls and pure white linen on the bed.

“I just wanted it to feel calm,” she says. “Our own private oasis away from the kids and the house.”

The adjoining primary bathroom has a heated herringbone marble floor, separate vanities, an elegant freestanding bath and separate glass enclosed steam shower. The bath leads to a large dressing room/closet that looks like a hip boutique with custom shelving designed by California Closets.

Now that they’ve been in the house for almost a year, Anna says, “I feel like it’s turned out even better than we could have imagined. Every detail we look at and think about, we love it, and it makes it so much more special that we chose everything ourselves. It’s really a reflection of our own personal taste.”







At home with Anna and Matt Bukhshtaber

Matt and Anna Bukhshtaber have been living in their custom home in Ladue for almost a year, seen Tuesday, September 20, 2022. Photo by Hillary Levin, [email protected]


Hillary Levin


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