First place Fireplace at St. Louis At Home Architect & Designer Awards 2015

We were excited to be a finalist and now we’re thrilled to be a winner of the St. Louis At Home Magazine Architect + Designer Awards!

Our residential fireplace design won first place. It is an honor to be mentioned among the best in St. Louis. We love working with clients to enhance their visions and create a space they’ll love!

winner design fireplace design extra st. louis at home award

A little more about the design….

After living with the builder grade finishes for ten years, the Martens decided it was time to give their living space a new image. Striving for a functional and inviting space, the Martens goal was to create a focal point with a dramatic fireplace upgrade. The asymmetrical design of the fireplace created the unique, custom feel that the Martens were hoping to achieve. The clean lines of the smooth shaker style cabinetry by Allen Graham anchored the room and created functional storage spaces. The fireplace surround, mantel, and hearth, crafted in concrete, added a strong modern element to the space. Lighted alcoves created the perfect backdrop for the owners to display some of their favorite accessories. Whether the Martens are spending an evening watching a movie or entertaining guest, the functionality and comfort in this space will not disappoint.





Texture Tuesday- Bricks

Bricks convey a certain look but recently we’ve seen them around in many different contexts- modern city lofts, country chic kitchens, renovated offices, etc

We have exposed brick in our office, an old building in Lafayette Square. When we moved here over a year ago we had the option to dry wall over it and add insulation, paint it again or leave it. We choose to leave it the painted white it was- adding to the character of the building.

Looking around the past few days, I’ve noticed more brick that seems to blend in seamlessly to the interiors around us. Living in the city there are many cobblestone roads, red brick exterior homes and some of these red bricks are carried to the interiors of these homes. Looking online at bricks in interiors, I was pleasantly surprised at all the things I saw from red bricks to more natural stones. Take a look!

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Historically Green Design

Historically Green Design- Published in the October 2010 Marquis Newspaper in St. Louis, MO

“From Main Street to your street, the greenest building is often the one that is already built.”
The National Trust for Historic Preservation

One of the things Design Extra loves about Lafayette Square is the naturally eco-friendly qualities of its homes and businesses. No matter how ‘green’ and environmentally friendly a new building might try to be, it is undeniable that the new construction of homes and businesses is still draining our resources and creating large amounts of waste & harmful emissions. The demolition and construction associated with creating new buildings accounts for 48% the United States greenhouse gas emissions! Just by living and working in the historic Lafayette Square you are doing your part to create a more sustainable world. Now, what if we want to take this one step further?
When we choose to buy new products and finishes for our historic buildings, we can keep this same mindset. Not just the production of new materials, but the actual transportation and installation of new materials can be equally damaging on our air quality and our environment. When working with a historic building the most eco friendly thing you can do is to work with your existing materials. Pull up old carpet and see what floor awaits below. Sand down and refinish your existing cabinetry to update your kitchen. Use a great piece of furniture as the base for a kitchen island or a bathroom vanity. Taking a creative look at what you have helps you find a solution to your design dilemmas that is unique to you and your one of a kind home. The buildings in Lafayette Square were created with such detail and care; you would be hard to find a new product that has the charm and longevity.
While refinishing and reworking existing finishes is always the ‘greenest’ option, sometimes this just isn’t an option. Or, sometimes you just do not care for your pink and brown master bathroom tiles no matter how much you try to work with them. And that’s okay. There are an abundance of salvageable materials out there that might work perfectly for your home. In the world of green design this is called using a post consumer material. You can look for local building and construction material on the City of St Louis’s website ( under the building and construction materials link. This is a one stop shop for finding salvageable material in your area. And, get creative with your search! Beautiful old wooden doors can be turned on their side and used as a dining room table top or wainscoting for your walls. Scraps and pieces from a stone fabricators shop can be used for window sills, end table tops, or shelving. If you have something you need in mind, search our local resources and see what ideas you can come up with.
When used won’t do, we still have new products that lessen the environmental impact. Magazines and retail stores are flooded with products that are eco friendly. The names are familiar; bamboo, wool, cotton, linoleum, strawboard and cork. A great green word to see is ‘rapidly renewable product.’ This means that the product is made from a natural source that can grow and be ready to harvest again within 10 years. All the products above meet this criteria. The location of harvest & manufacturing is another point to consider. The closer to your home a product is harvested and produced, the smaller of an environmental impact it will have. Strive for a product that was made within 500 miles of St Louis.
While there are so many different ways to be green, it is good to know that before your project even starts you are already living green just by living and working in the historic Lafayette Square. All of these tips and ideas are meant to help you become a couple shades greener!
Design Extra Studio specializes in green interiors for residential and commercial spaces. Whether it is a full ‘green overhaul’ were we create a team of architects, contractors and energy auditors, or simply updating and remodeling with an environmentally conscious mindset, Design Extra Studio is a team of designers ready to help!

Winning Eco-Friendly Powder Room


In the first floor renovation, the powder room was a neutral escape from the depth of color used in the rest of the space.  A spa atmosphere influenced the design with natural tones and eco-friendly solutions.  The modern floating vanity with a concrete top and integrated sink takes on an organic feel.  An intriguing, horizontal wall tile with bamboo references was chosen to accent one wall and helps create texture. This innovative wall tile is made with 40% recycled content.  To accentuate the ceiling height, slim lights were placed on each side of the tall, slender mirror.  Carrying the natural theme to the floor, a distinctive cork was selected. The unusual crème and grey cork pattern brings a featured dimension to the space.  Cork is an eco-friendly product used as it is a rapidly renewal solution.

Props to the following products and providers….

Cork Floor: Crème Marmo  by Nova (Rapidly Renewable)
Wall Tile: Mikado Bambu Listelli (40% Recycled Content)
Vanity Top: CK Designs
Cabinetry: Allen Graham
Lighting Consultant: Enerco  Electric
Media and Sound Consultant: Sound Around
Painter: Pete Vogel