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St. Louis, Missouri is known for a lot of things. The Arch, the Cardinals, T.S. Eliot, and Tina Turner, just to name a few. What it’s not known for is cutting-edge architecture and interior design . . . at least not yet. S&K Interior Design, a mother-daughter owned design company located in the city’s Central West End neighborhood next to Forest Park, is working to change the perception that St. Louis is stuck in the last century. It’s a design firm that is enjoying a renaissance that’s reflected in the Gateway City itself, a renaissance that has residents on both sides of the Mississippi beginning to embrace the contemporary modern style that has been S&K Interior Design’s hallmark style for over a decade.


A Passion for Interior Design

Enter Shirley Strom, the mother of the mother-daughter partnership that founded S&K Interior Design. With previous experience managing non-profits and “million dollar budgets,” Shirley decided it was time to follow her passion. “I got into it because I love design,” she says, “I have my whole life, even though I’ve only owned my own business for the last 9 or 10 years.” During that time, Shirley has designed award-winning office spaces, restaurants, homes, apartments, and condos, from New York to California, and everywhere in between, as well as in her native St. Louis.

Her daughter and co-owner, Katie Marvin, is no slouch when it comes to design, either. She was a finalist for the Fresh Faces of Design award given by HGTV, and already has more than a decade of design experience under her belt, while finishing her degree in Interior Design from Meramec College. Together the two have gained international acclaim for their work, with designs featured in publications out of Dubai, Beijing, and France, among others. What makes this team so special when it comes to interior design? Looking forward in a town that is often seen as stuck in the past has a big part to do with it.


Interior Design in St. Louis: Making an Impact

“St. Louis is a pretty conservative city,” says Shirley, noting that St. Louis’ conservative, Midwestern bent extends to how its residents choose to design their homes, businesses and work spaces. S&K Interior Design, on the other hand, has made its mark utilizing a contemporary modern style that has started to catch on throughout the city. “I’d say the region seems to be moving more contemporary modern over the last 6 years,” Strom says, “and the fact that it’s leaning more towards that trend has been great for our business.” Contemporary modern aside, Shirley emphasizes that she doesn’t necessarily push clients to embrace a specific design philosophy, so much as she pushes them towards making a statement. “It’s not so much pushing them to a certain style,” she points out. “It’s painting a powder room black. That’s high impact. It’s high drama. And you can do that whether your overall design is contemporary or conservative. It really doesn’t matter.”


Interior Design that Pushes Boundaries

Essentially, S&K wants its clients to open their minds to possibilities they might not have considered before. “Our overriding principle,” said Strom, “is that we want to make sure that when people come into a space we’ve designed, they say, ‘Wow!.’  We don’t do it mediocre, or want it to look like everybody else’s home.” And to accomplish this, Shirley and Katie often have to give their customers a nudge in a new direction. “We have to push our clients,” she says, “get them out of their comfort zone. ‘No guts, no glory’ is kind of our motto. And it works. The most common response we get from our clients is ‘I never would have done this on our own.’


Why Hire an Interior Designer in St. Louis?

There are a host of reasons to hire an interior designer in St. Louis. Those reasons range from functionality, style, and turning heads, to having a project manager to communicate with contractors and tradesman, and saving money on large remodeling projects (believe it or not, an interior designer’s professional contacts and experience in project planning can actually save you money on supplies and labor, and by eliminating costly rookie mistakes as you move forward).

When it comes to the advantages of hiring S&K Interior Designs, you can check off all of the above.  They take on jobs of all sorts, from simple bathroom upgrades to full-scale gut-and-remodel jobs.  Case in point, the penthouse loft that required them to convert four separate apartments into a single, jaw-dropping, luxury living space. “We did the entire space, rooftop pool, guest rooms, bedrooms, great room, you name it. We do the design, the project management, all that sort of thing.” The Penthouse loft also included a home theater, two kitchens, a game room, a dining nook, and spacious bathrooms, all remodeled in the contemporary modern style that is S&K’s trademark.  In the words of the client, “(Shirley and Katie) converted our raw space into our dream home! They had to be involved on every level with every person (developer, architect, construction people), and they were just completely on top of everything!!” To make a long story short, if you’re looking for an interior designer to make a splash in St. Louis, S&K Interior Design is the firm for you.


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