June 24, 2024
This St. Louis area interior designer imbues sentimentality into her home’s interiors


Photo by Lisa Mitchell

It’s hard to pinpoint one specific reason why entering Ashley Obradovits’ house in Webster Groves feels like coming home. Perhaps it has something to do with the bright collection of floral artwork displayed above the living room couch or the welcoming aesthetic of the kitchen’s sage green cabinets, original cast iron sink and colorful pottery. Regardless, guests are sure to find charm and warmth around every corner of this well-loved, 1930s-era home.

“I try to design my home with a sense of nostalgia and things that are sentimental and spark memories,” Obradovits says. “A lot of the featured pieces around my home were inherited from my parents that I made my own.”

Obradovits, a local interior designer for Karr Bick, graduated with a degree in architectural design and grew up fully immersed in the world of interior design thanks to her mother, the late and accomplished St. Louis interior designer Sonja Willman. Obradovits credits her mother, who passed away in 2020, as the inspiration behind her passion for design. And like mother like daughter, Obradovits clearly shares her mother’s innate ability for making every space feel special and beautiful.


Photo by Lisa Mitchell

Stepping through the open-concept foyer and into the living room, guests find themselves cocooned in a warm space layered with memory. Obradovits, who shares the home with her husband Michael and daughters Piper and Lottie, began a major design overhaul on the house in 2020, layering the living room with pops of color, framed artwork and custom drapery that elevate the inviting, yet eclectic, atmosphere of the room. Other featured items, such as a collection of vases and pottery from her mother, help the space feel even more personal.

“Even though my mother is no longer here with me, being able to design my home with pieces that belonged to her really helps me to feel her presence,” she explains. “For example, in each of my daughter’s bedrooms I’ve used pieces that were included in my childhood bedroom. In Piper’s room, she has a needlepoint wall hanging that my mom made for my first birthday; in Lottie’s room, she has a ceiling light from one of my childhood bedrooms.”

Obradovits’ personal style began by erring on the side of rustic and traditional but has since evolved into a more colorful, feminine, whimsical mixture of old and new. Hardwood floors, antique furniture and vintage artworks adorn many of the spaces in her home, such as the dining room, which bursts with color featuring a bright, blue-patterned wallpaper. The space features a beautiful wood table built by Obradovits and her husband, a display of majolica pottery, a checkered rug, and one of her favorite pieces in her home – a painting from her childhood.


Photo by Lisa Mitchell

“The painting was done in 1974 by an artist named Pater Plamondon; my parents bought it when they were living in California in the ’70s. It was in our breakfast room growing up, so I remember looking up at it every day and studying the colors and patterns,” Obradovits says. “It was the inspiration behind the dining room – the blue walls, the green mirror, the yellow for the lamp. The walls are all traditional with a farmhouse feel so that everything feels approachable.”

Adjacent to the dining room is the kitchen, a similarly homey space with soft sage green cabinets that complement the original farmhouse sink. One of Obradovits’ favorite rooms in the home is her youngest daughter’s nursery, a whimsical space that makes fairytales come to life. She designed the room to include a blend of the past and the present, using nursey-rhyme illustrations taken from her own childhood books, imaginative wallpaper and coordinating shades of pink, white and green. It was important to Obradovits that her home be both beautiful and functional for her two daughters to feel safe to explore, create and play. “I love showing that our house is not just for adults,” Obradovits says. “We had to create a space that was functional and approachable for our kids. You can’t be scared to live in your house!”


Photo by Lisa Mitchell

Although Obradovits would say her personal style is typically traditional and whimsical, working at Karr Bick has allowed her to expand her creativity and adapt to the preferences, styles and personalities of her clients. Getting to know clients to help them discover their own personal design aesthetic is one aspect of her job that she finds particularly rewarding. “I think that’s what sets Karr Bick apart from other designers,” she explains. “Other designers have a specific style that you go to them for, but at Karr Bick, you can come to us with any style in mind and we adapt to your needs and the aesthetic you’re aspiring to have.”

Obradovits’ home is a space woven with meaningful and unique personal touches that help every room come to life. “Surround yourself with things you love,” she recommends. “Don’t design for a specific trend or what you think other people want. Make your space as personal as it can be because when you design with things you love, you’re going to be happy and grateful for that decision.”

Karr Bick, 2715 Mercantile Drive, St. Louis, 314-645-6545, karrbick.com