A switchback course of abrupt stops and sharp turns led to the design of Bill and Joan Koman’s St. Louis home. “It all began 12 years ago in Colorado, where we were thinking of buying a ski condo,” says Joan. “We saw a unit designed by Marshall Watson, and I was so taken with it that I told Bill we had to retain him to design ours.” Her love-at-first-sight experience was soon validated in a phone conversation with Watson. Like a couple of teenagers, they talked for nearly two hours. When the Komans’ priorities schussed in a different direction, leaving their plans for a ski house behind in a spray of snow, Watson kept pace, designing two other projects for them. By the time they bought their current home—a stately but poorly aging house in St. Louis—he could nearly read their minds.
Bill and Joan Koman’s seven children and 13 grandchildren love the living room’s sink-down comfort, seen here.
Text by Candace Ord Manroe
Photographs by Alise O’Brien
Produced by Mary Anne Thomson
Interior designer: Marshall Watson, Marshall Watson Interiors, 105 W. 72nd St., Suite 9B, New York, NY 10023; 212/595-5995.
Decorative painter: Judy Mulligan, through Marshall Watson, 212/595-5995.
Upholstered sofa and chairs; tea caddy: Lewis Mittman, 212/888-5580, ef-lm.com, trade only.
Pillow fabric (discontinued): Clarence House, 800/803-2850, trade only.
Console table (Irish Georgian reproduction); side table: Baker, 800/592-2537, bakerfurniture.com.
Bronze urns: Lee Calicchio Ltd. Antiques, 212/588-0841.
Mirror: Mirror Fair, 212/288-5050.
Obelisk: Lexington Gardens, 212/861-4390.
Chinese vintage urn: John Rosselli International, 212/772-2137, trade only.
Lampshades: Abat Jours, 212/753-5455. Fauteuil: Agostino Antiques Ltd., 212/533-3355, trade only.
Chair fabric (discontinued): Quadrille Wallapers & Fabrics, 212/753-2995, trade only.
Drapery (velvet): Nomi Fabrics inc., 831/728-4335.
Drapery hardware: Blome Corp., 800/875-0042.
Coffee table: Mrs. MacDougall, 212/688-7754, trade only.
Carpet: Darius Antique & Decorative Rugs, 212/644-6600.