Joy to the World

Classic red and green with a minimalist’s expert touch bring holiday cheer to the Siebert home.

 

By Kim Hill

Photography by Anne Matheis

 

Last year’s holiday season was especially celebratory for Jenna and Jason Siebert and their teenage daughter. They’d spent two years extensively renovating their new home, a 1926 bungalow in Webster Groves, and Christmas Eve of 2018 was the first time they’d hosted Jenna’s entire family in what felt like forever. On top of that, they’d accommodated 1,300 visitors during the Webster Groves Holiday House Tour earlier in the season. “During the renovation, the house was a mess,” says Jenna. “When we could finally host again after it was all done, we felt like we were part of the holiday season again.”

The Sieberts are busy even when they’re not undertaking a whole-house renovation. Owners of The Sweet Divine boutique bakery in Soulard, Jenna and Jason are Food Network “Cupcake Wars” winners. In addition, they run J&J Design Team, with Jenna handling styling and much of the design, and Jason tackling demolition, creating custom pieces and building pretty much anything he or their clients can dream up.

For their new-to-them home, the couple wanted a laid-back California vibe. Jenna describes their styles as “vintage with a modern edge, with a little Boho thrown in to keep things interesting. The whole Cali-cool style is a little different in the St. Louis area,” Jenna adds. “It’s very earthy, lots of plants, simple and fun.”

Before they could bring that vibe to their new residence, the bungalow needed some renovations to make it work for their family. The Sieberts reconfigured two existing bedrooms on the main floor into a master suite. Seeking a bit more privacy for the master “wing” of the house, Jason installed antique pocket doors over the opening leading to the master suite. He left the track exposed “for something really cool and different,” Jenna says. In the master bedroom, Jenna painted the walls a deep navy blue — a moody canvas for white club chairs and the white duvet dressing the four-poster bed. This time of year, she drapes garland accented with red berries and adds a red table runner to bring holiday hues into the room. On one wall, Jenna has positioned an old buffet. “I bought this piece with cupcakes,” Jenna laughs when telling the story. Cathy Weldon’s boutique The Porch (now closed) occupied space on 9th Street just a few doors from The Sweet Divine, and Jenna had admired the buffet Weldon had placed outside. “It was completely unfinished, and Cathy asked if we could do something with it,” Jenna recalls. “I loved it just how it was, and I wanted to know how much she wanted for it. Cathy said she would just trade me cupcakes for it.”  “I really didn’t know what I would do with it, so we just sort of put it in our bedroom,” Jenna adds. “It just felt right where it is. I can never get rid of it, even if I wanted to, because that’s the piece I got with cupcakes!”

In the master bath, Jason installed floor-to-ceiling subway tile and added a freestanding soaking tub. For the Webster Groves holiday tour, the couple had the idea to whimsically “drown” two elves in the tub by having four legs sticking out of a bubble bath. “We thought it would be really fun for kids, but everyone loved it from the feedback we got,” Jenna explains. She used polyester fiber fill for the “bubbles,” pulling the fiber fill apart and fluffing it. “It was so much fun, I went two weeks without taking a bath because we just left it up,” she laughs.

Jenna used touches of black mixed with white throughout the home. In the kitchen, Jason again installed subway tiles to the ceiling, but a long wall leading to the family room needed a different design treatment, according to Jenna. She found a black/white sago palm print wallpaper in gray scale. “The organic vibe just spoke to me,” says Jenna, a self-processed “plant mom.” Jason added black to the concrete for just the right shade of charcoal for the island. “The dark concrete anchors the kitchen,” says Jenna, adding that the butcher block selected for the galley wall countertops are almost the same color as the wood floor. “This makes the kitchen feel bigger.”

Over the years, Jenna has experimented with holiday décor in different hues, but she invariably comes back to red and green. Red throws and joyful pillows add warmth and texture to the white sheepskin throws Jenna loves for topping benches, sofas, chairs and beds all year, no matter how hot it is outside. Wreaths, candles and tabletop décor are often sourced from Pier 1 Imports or her personal favorite, Home Goods. “I’m a huge fan of those stores,” says Jenna.

“I’d describe our holiday style as vintage Christmas,” she says. She takes a minimalist’s approach to décor, both for the holidays and the rest of the year. This is evidenced by her table settings. “We use simple white dishes every day, and I saw these Christmas-red plates and thought they would be so pretty with just the white bowls on top,” she says. “Then I found these evergreen chargers at Pier 1 Imports, and later I found the centerpiece that matched it all exactly, bringing the white candles and the red berries to tie it all together in simple, classic colors. We used this table setting the entire season.”

They won’t be welcoming more than 1,000 guests to their home this holiday season, but it’s still their favorite time of year. “Our daughter starts listening to Christmas music in August — that’s no joke,” says Jenna. “When the house is decorated inside and out, there’s just something magical about it. Part of me always has that child-like feeling when it comes to Christmas, so maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to red and green as the classic colors. They’ve always been used and always will be. Christmas is just that spirit of happiness and having the decorations up really brings us joy.”

 

Resources

Appliances: KitchenAid 

Builder: J&J Design Team 

Interior Designer: J&J Design Team 

Cabinetry: IKEA

Plumbing Fixtures: Delta Faucets