Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

At Home: Couple's Webster Groves Home Evokes Memories of Their European Honeymoon

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

At Home: Couple's Webster Groves Home Evokes Memories of Their European Honeymoon

Article excerpt

Retired teacher Florine Porter was widowed and living in a small town in Central Illinois when she decided to start anew by relocating to the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis. Her grown daughters, however, were worried about their mother not having any friends or family in the city.

Florine's oldest daughter arranged a lunch meeting for her with Joe Porter, a local attorney and friend of a co-worker who was around Florine's age, simply to learn her interests and introduce her to women she might enjoy making friends with. Instead, sparks flew between the two, and in 2013, Joe and Florine were married. "I found a true friend and companion for life," Florine says.

The couple spent two weeks honeymooning in France and Italy before returning to St. Louis to find a new, larger home they could share and that their blended family of four grown children and six grandchildren could regularly visit. When they set foot inside this lovely French Colonial in Webster Groves, it reminded them of one of the villas they'd stayed at in Tuscany, and they were sold.

"It had the potential for us to make it our own," says Florine. "This was a house where we could create memories with our children and grandchildren."

The house was built in 1906 by a New Orleans businessman as a wedding gift for his daughter and her French husband. Sitting back from the road, its long and inviting front porch overlooks an expansive and lushly landscaped lot filled with mature trees.

The front door opens into a combined living/dining area that features unique original details like terrazzo floors that were shipped from Italy and installed in the 1920s. Exposed wood beams across the ceiling are embellished with patterns painted on by the home's Bavarian builders, adding yet another touch of European charm.

"The most important thing that caught my attention about this house was the light. …

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