Personal Space: Jamie & Ted Kilgore
This couple’s cozy Holly Hills bungalow has a throwback vibe that’s as functional as it is comfortable.
Some homes seem to transcend the present day and exist in a different time altogether, like Ted and Jamie Kilgore’s South City bungalow. Nestled between neat brick neighbors on a shady tree-lined boulevard in sight of Carondelet Park, the exterior of the house looks much the same as when it was built in the early 1950s, and the interior evokes the Eisenhower era as well. The kitchen still sports the original metal cabinets and countertops that were new when Elvis made his first record. Since moving in a few years ago, the couple have fitted it with period-correct ap- pliances, like a 1954 Magic Chef stove and a 1955 Hotpoint refrigerator, for an even more 50s feel. The dining room table and sideboard are both original mid-1950s pieces as well, and a vintage post-war stand-up bar graces the finished basement.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, the home’s mid-century theme wasn’t the result of a con- scious desire to take a trip to the past. According to Jamie, "We just buy what we like." And they tend to gravitate toward timeless quality and style, epitomized by items that came out of the early years of the Cold War.
Since Ted and Jamie are both professional mixologists (at Taste by Niche in Benton Park and Terrene in the CWE, respectively) it’s only natural that they have an extensive collection of cocktail memorabilia. The couple’s various prizes, like recipe books, shakers, martini pitch- ers and glassware, are on display throughout the house. And the collections are more historic than kitschy; one of their antique cocktail tomes dates back to 1887. Ted and Jamie found a lot of their favorite pieces by frequenting local shops like TFA in South City and Treasure Aisles Antique Mall in Richmond Heights. They’ve also scored some great eBay finds, and some of their pieces, like the metal, sword-shaped garnish skewers, are actually family heirlooms.
Despite the vintage vibe, the Kilgore’s home isn’t a time capsule, or an homage to an era, and it’s certainly no museum. "We like to enjoy our things," Jamie says. "We definitely use what we have." There’s zero retro-hipster cache to be had at the Kilgore’s. Instead, the space is gracious, inviting and comfortable. Miles away from modern? Maybe, but the home exudes that thing so often missing in more contemporary spaces: a sense of place and home.
Photography by Jennifer Silverberg