The luxury is in each detail, but the feeling of being comfortably at home is in the homeowners’ welcoming presence.
Story by Ann Butenas | Photos by Matt Kocourek
As a second feature in a series focusing on the Prairiefire Villas at LionsGate golf course in Overland Park, Kansas, this particular residence pulls out all the stops when it comes to innovative design and one-of-a-kind elements that immediately draw you in to celebrate the spectacular vision the homeowners had for their home.
Built by Lambie Custom Homes in conjunction with Bickford + Company Architecture, the homeowners colored outside the lines and truly reflect the unique, genuine, welcoming and engaging personalities of the owners themselves.
Coco Chanel once noted, “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise, it is not luxury.” Apparently, Jay and Teri Brown, owners of this stylish and innovatively-designed villa, understand that sentiment. There exists a strong whiff of elegance and great taste within this home, yet there is also a steady feeling of casual comfort, a place where you can come in, sit down, and stay for a while without feeling as if you are ever over-staying your welcome. The Browns wouldn’t have it any other way and are more than happy to invite you over for a refreshing beverage, a light meal, an evening of karaoke or even a night with a live band. Anything goes for this upbeat and energetic duo, as evidenced by the whimsy of design within their home that blends harmoniously well with their upbeat and fun-loving personalities.
“This is our own place – a personality home,” beamed Teri, who noted this as a huge departure from their prior residence, which, as she indicated, “was dripping with drapery, gold and wrought iron.” In an effort to go in a completely opposite direction from their former Tuscan-style home, it’s safe to say the Browns accomplished that goal. Partnering with experienced designer Erin Mankameyer, owner of Groover Interior Design, the Browns relied on Mankameyer to bring their vision to light.
“We knew what we wanted, but it was Erin’s expertise that brought it all together,” expressed Teri.
The open floor plan provided a terrific canvas from which to work, and Mankameyer wasted no time digging in to meet her client’s wishes and needs in exquisite form.
“Teri and Jay are fun, social people who love to host parties and entertain friends,” she said. “They definitely pushed me to do something unique, bringing their ideas to the table but also giving me the freedom to bring those ideas to life. A lot of thought went into this design to make it the fun place it is.”
Walking in the front door of this reverse one-and-a-half story home that boasts roughly 6,000 square feet and includes a master suite, an office, two additional bedrooms with full bathrooms, a separate powder bath, pet shower area, and even an elevator, you may wonder if you have entered a luxury hotel or resort, as within mere steps a welcoming bar awaits, complete with a live edge walnut bar top, alpaca fur bar stools, a well-stocked wine room, and a salt water aquarium (Never underestimate how much fun you will have while here!).
“It’s always Saturday at five in the afternoon here,” joked Teri.
For Jay, a significant part of the creation of this home was simply watching his wife enjoy the journey.
“I loved watching Teri’s vision and her ideas come to life, along with the brilliance of Erin,” he stated. “I love living in their creation.”
With so much to delight the eyes and engage the senses, it can be difficult to know where to begin, but it’s safe to say one’s eyes might instantly gravitate towards the two hanging sofas in the living room, a reflection of the Brown’s passion for outdoor living.
“I wanted an outdoor porch swing,” said Teri. “However, our patio would not accommodate that, so I decided we would bring that concept inside.”
Cue: Mankameyer and her innovative mind, creating the outdoor vibe Teri desired without compromising the interior elegance.
“We cut the feet off two custom sofas and constructed bases for them,” explained Mankameyer, noting the extra support installed in the ceiling before the sheet rock was completed so the swinging sofas can readily hold appreciable weight. “They are extremely stable and sturdy.”
The undeniable eclectic vibe continues in the one-of-a-kind kitchen boasting whimsical pendant lighting, a herringbone patterned wood floor, beveled mirrored backsplash with aged mercury for a smoky effect, and purple chairs at the counter. A smaller auxiliary kitchen and pantry are located behind the main kitchen.
The master suite reflects Teri’s favorite color, turquoise teal, as evidenced in the teal geode effect of the wall paper behind the headboard. In fact, vibrancy abounds in this place and the Browns are clearly unafraid to color outside the lines with the bold incorporation of eclectic colors and patterns into their home, including an orange couch, lime green chairs and even purple ottomans. But the fun is just beginning…
The lower level is where a great deal of the action takes place, and is where Jay’s influence comes strongly into play. A self-described quasi-amateur musician, this is clearly his playground, and for good reason, mostly because of the integrated sound system that is truly music to his ears.
“The ears are also thoughtfully considered in this house,” Jay explained. “Integrated Electronics design expert, Derrick Potts, worked with us to provide a high-fidelity music experience via 20 nearly invisible speakers, two sub-woofers, two Apple TVs, eight control zones, a Rega turntable with Macintosh amplifier and Dali speakers, perfect for Album Night events.”
The raised stage designed to accommodate an entire band has become a popular home to many weekend activities, including live bands the Brown’s commission to play for various parties and events they host. The upholstered wall and engineered hardwood floors absorb the sound so the neighbors are not disturbed. Various spotlights, some with colors and swirls, provide a dance club atmosphere. There is plenty of seating for everyone down here, and if you feel the need to escape, there is an exercise room located behind the rolling barn door.
A cornucopia of music memorabilia dominates the décor and leads you to yet another popular gathering spot – the bar – where the glass bar top is truly a centerpiece in and of itself. Accented by strings of LED lights, it can change colors on a whim to match the mood of the occasion. Designed and installed by Stew Langer and staff of Custom Glassworks and Design, a division of Jakobe Furniture, it was created with clear intentions.
“I designed it to make it look like ice,” noted Langer, who referred to it as ice glass. “Seeing through the layers is like looking through the surface of a frozen lake.”
Assembling the glass top required dedicated attention and time. In addition to the top, Glassworks also designed and installed the support system, the lighting shroud, and wired and installed the LEDs. Weighing in at nearly 400 pounds, the bar is comprised of three pieces of glass put together.
“We made it in slabs and had it machined and polished by a local granite company,” said Langer.
In addition to his passion for the lower level, Jay also points to the patio as a recipe for relaxation. Mix a custom fire pit, a gorgeous sunset, a glass of wine and a few friends, and you have an instant hit on your hands.
“This is where I love to sit and relax at the end of the day, and I appreciate the way Erin created it to appear as an extension of the indoor living area,” said Jay.
“We took our time planning this home and made sure every ounce of space is usable,” smiled Teri. “And we are having a blast here.”
Jay concurred, “This home is super-efficient and is perfectly designed to meet our needs for the rest of our lives.”
Builder: Lambie Custom Homes | Architect: Bickford + Company | Interior Designer: Groover Interiors
Appliances: Factory Direct Appliances | Audio/Visual: Integrated Electronics | Aquarium: Paradise Aquatics | Basement Bar Top: Custom Glassworks and Design | Cabinetry: King Cabinets | Carpet: Carpet Direct | Ceramic Tile: Pro Source | Electrician: Teague Electric | Elevator: Access Elevator Lifts | Faux Stone: Canyon Stone | Fireplaces: Complete Home Concepts | Front Door Units: Pacific Mutual Door Co. and McCray Lumber | Front Fountain: Van Liews | Garage Doors: Accent Doors of KC | Granite: Evolve | Hardwood Floors: Kenny’s Hardwood | Landscaping: Land Art, Earth Designs and Next to Nature | Light Fixtures & Hardware: Wilson Lighting | Marble Tops: Complete Home Concepts | Mirrors & Shower Doors: Complete Home Concepts | Patio Design: Nature’s Touch | Plumbing Fixtures: Pflumm Plumbing | Stereo/Security: Sound Bytes | Thin Veneer/Real Stone: Semco Stone | Wine Cellar Glass: Complete Home Concepts