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Historic Holly Hills Home Gets New Bathroom

The South City area of St. Louis is known for its rich and diverse array of historic architectural styles—and it’s not uncommon to see these iconic spaces undergo renovations that preserve their classic appeal while offering modern-day conveniences. This was the order of the day when homeowner Lisa Herr began plans to renovate a full bath in her history-filled home. “This bathroom was really outdated,” remembers Aptitude President Matt Mierek. “This really was a refresh.”

Mierek and the Aptitude team worked closely with the homeowner to determine what architectural elements to retain as part of the home’s character, and which were ready for a change. “The homeowner wanted to do an all-white color scheme with black accents,” says Mierek. “The hardware and accessories—the tile bar, the toilet paper holder—were oil-rubbed bronze.” This color scheme not only offered a clean, classic feel, but also nodded to the home’s heyday in the early 1900s. “I really think it's a modern take on what [the bathroom] would have looked like back then—because subway tile was very popular. This is kind of a modern interpretation of a 1920s design,” Mierek says.

But bathroom trends weren’t the only thing that was cyclical in this space. The unique round window in the tub area made quite an impression—and became a key source of inspiration for the rest of the project. “We worked with a designer at Henry Kitchen and Bath who was the one to suggest doing something to break up that subway tile,” Mierek recalls. The half-circle accent tile became the perfect way to call back to the round window, while adding personality and a pop of contrast to the sleek space. By the double vanity, the tiles appear again, this time echoing the dual round mirrors.

The resulting bathroom is a perfect balance between historic influences and modern character, incorporating styles that are trending both at our current moment and echo the fads of the 1920s. As such, it feels cohesive in the context of the home as a whole, but also checks off the in-demand updates any homeowner would want. Classic yet contemporary, understated yet unique—it’s a fresh look that will surely stand the test of time.


Lisa Herr


Holy Hills



90 Square Feet


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