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

Anna and Matt Bukhshtaber spent more than two years searching for the perfect home in which to raise their growing family before deciding to have one built exactly as they imagined it.

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

The couple had spent seven years living in historic Lafayette Square in the city, but more and more they realized their life outside the home was farther west. Matt’s office is in Clayton, his parents live in Frontenac and the kids were going to school in the county. They chose Ladue as a perfect central location and purchased a lot in August 2019.

Anna and Matt Bukhshtaber recently completed their custom-built home in Ladue. The 3-year process was enjoyable, says Anna, and the interior decor they personally chose sparked a new interest for her future career. Video by Hillary Levin

Hillary Levin

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

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That list included: tall ceilings throughout the first level, lots of molding, plenty of natural light, hardwood floors and a large outdoor room for three seasons. Anna worked closely with Catlett and NJL picking out all of the finishes and doing all of 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 got to delve into that intuition and sense of creativity, and it really sparked in me the desire to continue with it,” says Anna. “I loved the process so much I’m working on an interior design certification now.”

The Bukhshtabers moved in to the completed 5,500-square-foot home on New Year’s Eve 2021. The design, Anna says, was inspired by French modern style with loads 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” upon entering the space. Arched doorways and wide-plank floors in white oak add to the old-world feel.

At home

Anna chose to paint the formal dining room black for a dramatic effect. A statement chandelier purchased on hangs above the dining table from RH. The room’s focal point is the custom-built wine wall by Kenrose Kitchen Kabinets.

“I wanted it to feel like it’s not a brand new home — timeless,” Anna says. “It feels grand but cozy at the same time and inviting. I don’t want anything to just look pretty, but I want it to be truly 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 Kabinets out of Arthur, Illinois, in Amish country on all of 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. 

“That’s craftsmanship that you don’t really see anymore,” Matt says of the pieces that resemble fine furniture.

The chef’s dream kitchen features a huge center island that’s great for both family meals and entertaining. At 11 feet, it was the largest they could make it using a single slab of dolomite. Another wish list item was the 48″ stainless steel range by ILVE, an Italian appliance maker. White glazed clay Zellige subway tile by Riad Tile gives the backsplash a unique uneven texture.

The kitchen is open to the living room and an adjoining breakfast room, which leads through sliding glass doors to a complete outdoor three-seasons room. The outdoor living area includes retractable screens and heaters as well as a separate outdoor kitchen/grilling area. The swimming pool and oversized spa are a couple steps down.

A wing off the living room houses the first-floor primary suite. Its vaulted 12-foot ceiling, walls framed in molding and door opening to the pool create a luxurious vibe. Anna went with pale dove gray paint on the walls and pure white linens on the bed.

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

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

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

At Home with Anna and Matt Bukhshtaber

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

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