The Evolution of Style

Designer Jacob Laws welcomes us into his classically modern bungalow.

 

Interior designer Jacob Laws has helped countless clients create the living spaces of their dreams. So naturally, when he invited us into his Compton Heights condo, we were eager to see how the designer utilized his talent in his own surroundings.

Although Laws has called the space home for four years now, he’s constantly revamping the second-floor bungalow, breathing new life into a charming space that’s the perfect size for him and his rescue dog, Henry. Purchased after a year of house-hunting, the residence has been restored from top to bottom, making it the perfect blank canvas for Laws to work his design magic.

“It was basically a white box when I bought it,” the designer says. “The first thing I did before moving in was paint all the walls black.” After changing the light fixtures and purchasing a minimal amount of furniture—including a beautiful antique Mongolian cabinet he uses as a media credenza—he admits that the busyness of his schedule didn’t allow him to spend much time on the other decor at first.

“I lived like a bachelor for a while,” he says. “Since I design for a living, all I wanted to do was come home and have a glass of wine. Decorating was put on the back burner for quite a while.”

A Curated Collection

Over time, Laws’ selection of fashionable home goods has become a collector’s dream. When entering the space, one can’t help but feel the need to poke around and ask questions. Every item has a story. His living room is dotted with heirlooms and a menagerie of items that have sentimental value. The walls are a mismatched, yet perfectly balanced, collection of fine works of art juxtaposed with vintage decor and family portraits. One of his favorites is an oil portrait his grandfather had commissioned of his grandmother in Italy in 1952. Other key pieces include a vintage B&B Italia modular chair that Laws restored and reupholstered, a square coffee table featuring a collection of boxes filled with mementos, and a large painting by notable St. Louis artist Ted Collier. The effect is both impactful and minimal, exuding an air of sophistication without sacrificing comfort.

The evolutionary state of the space is an asset to its charm. Laws’ upholsterer even stopped by mid-interview to pick up a pair of French Regency chairs—which once belonged to his grandmother, Winnie—to be refinished in gray wool Army survival blankets that Laws selected on the spot. “I have an obsession with chairs,” he admits. “I have over 25 in storage. It’s ridiculous.”

Room to Live

The entire layout of the space is open and airy. The centerpiece of the dining room is a large, eye-catching light fixture by Serge Mouille and a Renée Raub-Ayers painting from the Houska Gallery. Functional and practical, the piece is one of Laws’ favorites, adding a contemporary edge to the dining area.

Although admittedly not a cook, Laws has transformed the spacious kitchen into a foodie’s paradise, boasting plenty of counter space and cabinets galore. The area doubles as both an entertainment spot and office, featuring an exceptional little collection of Jonathan Adler statues, all given to him by friends.

The designer’s treatment of the hallway is another standout. The malachite-printed Fornasetti wallpaper adds flair to a typically forgotten area of the home. Styling is minimal but powerful. “I like a wild wallpaper in any small space,” Laws explains. A pair of firework-shaped light fixtures give the hallway a modern edge, while vintage, gold-gilded footstools—also heirlooms from his grandmother, upholstered in gorgeous Chanel caviar leather—bring a classic vibe.

“Every room is a collection of things I love,” says Laws, as he enters the master bedroom, where his favorite wooden Eames chair resides. He quickly switches gears to draw attention to the bed, a wish list Oly Studio he purchased from Niche Home Furnishings.

Although the process is ongoing, Laws admits that he is happy with the constant evolution that takes place in his home. “I didn’t even plan on being here as long as I have been,” he says. “I just started to fall in love with it, and it began to work for me spatially. As I started to acquire things and utilize items that belonged to my family, the whole space came together.”

 

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Photos by Wesley Law

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Photos by Wesley Law

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Photos by Wesley Law

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Photo credit: Wesley Law

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