Bringing Form, Function & Family Together

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This beautifully remodeled Leawood home is a creative space you’d love to live in yourself!

Story by Ann E. Butenas   |   Photos by Matt Kocourek

If a picture truly does speak a thousand words, then consider this article a mere supplement to the accompanying photos.

When Laura Suhr, an ASID professional member and NCIDQ certified designer, owner of Suhr Interior Design, rolled up her design sleeves and jumped into this project in southern Johnson County, she clearly took her skills to new heights.

Kathy Richman-Wallace and Travis Wallace, the owners of this charming home in south Leawood, wanted a place to truly call their own. Kathy and Travis sought after a place where they could start from scratch, bring their families together, have access to quality schools, and that comfortably accommodated their family of six. They also desired a home where the kitchen opened up to some land with space to entertain and play.

The project was certainly a significant one, especially given the fact that the family actually lived in the home while the remodeling was in effect. However, Suhr had no problem making it all work, as she was blessed with amazing clients with a flair for fun and no fear of coloring outside the traditional lines of interior design.



“Travis and Kathy have excellent taste,” she noted. “And they are not afraid to take a few risks by incorporating some fun and funky design elements into the scheme.”

While Travis leans more towards an industrial and rustic look, Kathy favors a more glamorous appeal, and Suhr successfully married those two tastes with seamless transition.

Formerly a 2,740 square foot home, the end result created a 4,004 square foot residence, and the journey to get there was very involved, as it not only required the construction of a whole new façade, but also the addition of extra bedrooms and bathrooms, a larger garage, and a brand-new master suite and kitchen while simultaneously giving the whole   interior a significant facelift.

Choosing white, silver and grey colors as the primary theme throughout the home, Suhr also threw in pops of unexpected color to reflect the owners’ engaging personalities and each part of the home reflects their personal tastes and unique styles.

The heart of the home – the kitchen – is a true work of art in this home, where carefully crafted form meets impeccable function with style and ease.



“We pushed out the original kitchen and added eight feet in width,” said Suhr. “This provided the opportunity to create a dream kitchen for entertaining with a sleek and airy feeling while still offering all the amenities and storage that Kathy and Travis desired.”

Double wide sliding glass doors lead out to the backyard pool and the natural light from those doors complements the white color in the kitchen.

A custom island with seating for six and extra storage space evokes less of a bar feeling and more of a family dinner time arrangement. Storage space had to be intentional, so Suhr incorporated walls of open shelving along with several cabinets that had drawers of varying depths. Two trash pull outs, two dishwashers, and a walk-in pantry (for her!), a wider gas stove (for him!), a beverage fridge on the living room side, tall cabinets, and a bar height desk make this kitchen worthy of any master chef or entertaining event.

The adjoining living room formerly had a 1970s style brick fireplace that has since been replaced by porcelain tile that has a stone look, which is durable and easy to clean. Metal tile trim framing the fireplace and the crushed glass bottom provides that sleek, modern effect, as does the metal ceiling fan resting above the room.

“We maintained the original beams and vaulted ceiling, painting the beams gray to tie in with the overall color scheme,” said Suhr.



The dated carpet on the main floor was replaced by wide plank oak flooring for a more modern feel. The custom dark brown stain enjoys a hint of grey.

The master suite is the pièce de résistance with its spa-like atmosphere. The soft grays and whites used throughout the room are accented by subtle wallpaper that has a raised metallic pattern that creates a subtle sparkle when the light captures it at just the right moment.

The accompanying master bathroom offers a sleek, modern vibe as it pairs with the warm walnut custom cabinetry and floating walnut vanity. Sliding custom doors that are a modern take on barn doors lead into the bathroom and beautifully frame the entryway.

“We used every inch of space in the bathroom, putting big drawers in the middle of the vanity and adding a built-in linen cabinet in the toilet room that doubles as a towel cubby,” said Suhr.

The gorgeous walk-in shower with its pebble stone floor and fold-down teak bench give any reasonable person a good excuse to shower at  least twice a day! And when the owners are ready for bed, they can access the in-ceiling television screen that comes down at the foot of the bed with a touch of a button!

The master closet boasts an unexpected striped carpet that has subtle hints of yellow and lime green, which is carried up on the adjoining shoe shelf to add a fun splash of color. The funky light fixture above the dresser is a nod to the owners’ sense of personal style.

“We worked with architect Mark Lieb on that phase of the project, and he not only brought some incredible ideas, but also was very flexible in working with Travis and Kathy,” noted Suhr.

For Suhr, the end result is very rewarding.

“It’s fun to create a space you’d love to live in yourself,” she smiled. “This home fits their needs, lifestyle and tastes and is one they will enjoy for years to come.”



Architect/Home Designer:  M|C|Lieb Designs    |    Builder/Contractor:  Befort Construction (addition & main areas), Miles Building (master suite & dining)    |    Interior Designer:  Suhr Interior Design    |    Appliances:  Factory Direct Appliance    |    Cabinets:  Precision Woods    |    Countertops:  AMC Custom Tile (Cambria from Trendstone)    |    Fireplace:  Mike Brown Contractors    |    Flooring:  Flooring Resource (carpet), KLC Flooring (hardwood flooring)    |    Glass & Mirrors:  Fountain Glass (master suite), Hayes Co. (addition)    |    Light Fixtures:  Lamps Plus, Wilson Lighting and West Elm    |    Paint:  Benjamin Moore & Sherwin Williams    |    Painter:  P&JP Painting    |    Tile:  Key Distributors    |    Windows /Doors:  KC Buildng Supply    |    Wall Paper/Wall Coverings:  Designers Library    |    Wall Paper Installer:  The Wallpaper Guy

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