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'There’s a story behind every wall' | St. Louis couple restoring home built in 1892

It is nicknamed "The Onion House” because of the large onion-like towers in the front

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis is home to a lot of ambitious people including a couple in the Tower Grove South neighborhood.

A few of years ago, they took on a huge renovation project and are now seeing some amazing results.

The house used to go unnoticed.

“It was hiding behind a huge Spruce tree. We cut that down, people on the neighborhood Facebook page started to blow up about, ‘where did this house come from,’” Kirsten Kohm told 5 On Your Side.

The home had actually been there for a very long time.

“One of the first houses in this area. It was built in 1892,” Kirsten said.

It is nicknamed “The Onion House” because of the large onion-like towers in the front. But for Kirsten, it’s also the Onion House for another reason.

“For the ability for it to make you cry cause it costs so much, so much money sinking into it,” she said.

Kirsten and her husband Patrick Kohm got married on the lot next to the house. Now they are restoring the home.

“Bring back the life that used to be in it,” she said.

Credit: KSDK

The interior looks great these days, a far cry from how it appeared back in 2019. The place was dusty with holes in the floors and walls, but Patrick was up for the challenge of the renovation.

“The idea of an old house didn’t really scare me necessarily,” he said.

“I thought he was crazy,” Kirsten said.

She got on board with the project later.

“I purchased it and she fell in love with me,” laughed Patrick. “I had no option,” Kirsten added.

They began the transformation of their 4,000 square-foot home together.

“It’s great that we have a large canvas,” Kirsten said. “The original plan was to fix it up piece by piece,” said Patrick.

Credit: Kirsten and Patrick Kohm
Credit: Kirsten and Patrick Kohm

They’re doing the work while keeping everyone up to date on their progress.

“Created an Instagram account that also has people expecting us to do something with it,” Patrick said.

Each day they seem to uncover something from the past.

“There’s a story behind every wall,” Kirsten said. “Found some really weird things in there,” Patrick laughed.

They are keeping many of the things they’ve found including some hand-painted wall coverings. The two are creating their own history in the Onion House for today and for tomorrow.

“We’re definitely emotionally attached to it. Really a part of a lot of our dreams for the future,” Kirsten said.

You can follow along with the project on the Onion House Instagram page.

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