A beautiful blend of classic style spiked with sleek modern accents makes the perfect empty-nester haven for this Kansas City couple.
Story by Jeanne de Lathouder | Photography by Matthew Anderson
Downsizing was a natural progression for Bill and Carol Kumpfer, but it didn’t mean sacrificing the home of their dreams. With a passion for home building in their blood, these empty nesters — who are also part of the Wynne Homes, Inc. family — had an added advantage when they started to contemplate moving to a smaller-scale dwelling. Over the years, the couple had the opportunity to look at many different floor plans, amenities, features, and beautiful neighborhoods they knew they could someday tap into when they built their next new home.
“We occupied our previous two-story home for close to 25 years, raised our two children there, and loved it dearly,” says Carol. “However, we were contemplating a downsize for some time following the empty-nester syndrome,” she adds, “and after finally pulling the trigger, we were full steam ahead. We decided to stay in our same Overland Park neighborhood corridor just four miles away. This setting was the logical choice with the opportunity for a new home build within a small 50-home development with a walk-out lot,” she notes.
Living for years in a traditional home, the couple was ready for a change of scenery. The desire for a more modern look balanced with a touch of classic sophistication guided their selections. It was key to choose elements they both loved while supporting the overall style they were trying to achieve. Their preference for breezy alfresco spaces also prompted them to design an upper covered deck and an inviting lower patio perfect for family get-togethers.
“An under-deck ceiling keeps the lower patio dry and allows us to sit outside even on a rainy day,” says Bill. “We wanted stair-steps leading down from our upper deck without destroying the lower view, which inspired us to build a spiral staircase. It fits in beautifully and our spry six-year-old pointer has mastered the steps without issue,” he adds.
“When we first started the planning process, I had a vision of how I wanted the finished project to look,” says Carol. “We then used our wonderful resources and subcontractors to inquire about specific products. At each stage along the way, their knowledge and expertise helped us fine tune the special features we wanted to include. Setting a budget and trying to stay close to it is challenging because there are so many beautiful but costly options that must be prioritized,” she adds. “Budget aside, you also have to keep in mind that every element and idea you love can’t always be used together—you must choose some and leave some behind. Those special touches you just can’t live without will add the jewelry to your home,” she notes.
To create a neutral yet warm and welcoming backdrop for their home, the couple selected natural elements including stone, hints of warm woods, travertine floors, translucent quartz with unique under-lighting in the lower bar area, and quartzite solid surfaces in kitchen. An abundance of windows throughout floods each space with natural light, and soft accent lighting and dimmer switches supply multiple lighting options for every occasion. An open concept floorplan visually connects the kitchen, dining room, and great room to create a seamless flow from any vantage point. In the kitchen, subdued taupe-hued cabinets embellished with glass upper shelves highlight eye-catching objects the homeowners love.
“Our new interior spaces include a mix of classic pieces brought from our previous home as well as new finds that help to create a more modern transitional look of sophistication,” says Carol. “I tried to make sure my selections, color scheme, and furnishings would stand the test of time and allow us to fluctuate between cool and warm tones without having to make major changes to flooring, solid surfaces, and cabinets. Decorative accents can easily be changed to achieve a fresh look,” she adds.
Special signature touches appear throughout the couple’s entire home. Their unique accents include a captivating LED-lit arched wooden-plank ceiling in Bill’s office. Mixed metal tones and linear-burn fireplaces both on the upper and lower levels emit a sleek modern vibe. Off the kitchen, a large butler’s-style pantry with a coffee bar features a swinging door for effortless access. A powder room for guests outfitted in black and gold hues brings an unexpected splash of modern glamour.
At the other end of the house, a spacious and airy master bedroom allows access to the covered upper deck and creates a serene and welcoming respite for the homeowners. His-and-hers closets are as welcoming as they are functional with LED-lit back shelves and built-in dressers. Infused with charm and sophistication, Carol’s closet features a luxurious chandelier overhead. Bill’s closet conveniently connects to a laundry room area. In the master bathroom, a soaking tub with LED lighting and a glass tile shower wall with an illuminated built-in niche ensures a comforting and relaxing private space.
“Although hating to admit it, the thought of a first-floor master bedroom and living area was the logical next step as we age,” states Carol. “My goal was to have a soothing and inviting feel with a touch of sophistication along with the quality and longevity of a very comfortable and lived-in home,” she says.
On the lower level, a bar and pool table area make an ideal space for family entertaining. Plenty of plush seating, a large-screen TV, and a cozy fireplace flanked with floating shelves exudes casual elegance. A custom cabinet under the stairs supplies wine storage while a featured LED-lit stacked shelf under the bar TV displays varying spirits. Two bedrooms — one of which is a private master suite guest room — and two spacious bathrooms create a comfy private haven for overnight guests.
Outside, Bill implemented three maintenance-free nine-foot garage doors with upper beam supports and no posts. He also included epoxy garage floors to lend a much cleaner and more finished feel to the overall space. At the front entry of the home, the sound of an outdoor fountain gives a calming effect and is complemented with a flagstone porch and a stamped-concrete border along the sidewalk and driveway.
“The step-by-step process of choosing elements that you really love and knowing the overall style and look you’re trying to achieve are key to your satisfaction in the finished product,” says Bill. “Our family all had roles in helping this come together. Our son’s ideas and suggestions for unique features, our daughter’s support and thought-provoking questions, and our son-in-law’s attention in keeping the timeline flowing all worked to help decrease the stress that, without fail, goes along with the building process,” he adds.
“It was a dream come true once we moved in,” says Carol. “Our children and their families visit for family dinners every Sunday and the open concept spaces in both the upper and lower level areas accommodate perfectly for this. After settling in for about a year now, we are still excited to come home every evening and enjoy all the special touches,” she adds. “We often talk of feeling like we are on vacation in our new home. We still pinch ourselves every day hoping that this ‘vacation feel’ never ends!”
- Builder/Contractor: Wynne Homes
- Architect/Home Designer: Viewpoint
- Appliances: Factory Direct Appliance
- Audio/Video: Harder Low Voltage
- Cabinets: Shamrock Cabinets
- Hardware: Locks & Pulls
- Countertops: Rock Tops
- Doors: Kansas City Building Supply
- Electrician: DS Electric
- Fireplace: Complete Home Concepts
- Flooring: Legacy Flooring
- Framing: AC Construction
- Furniture: Ethan Allen and Madden McFarland
- Garage Doors: Raynor Garage Doors
- Garage Floor: ESC
- Glass & Mirrors: Gaylord Glass
- Heating & Cooling: Mike Bryant Heating & Cooling
- Landscaping: Images of Nature
- Light Fixtures: Wilson Lighting
- Lumber: Sun Lumber
- Outdoor Stone: Canyon Stone
- Paint: Sherwin Williams
- Painter: Shields Painting
- Plumbing & Fixtures: Garrison Plumbing
- Roofing Contractor: Century Roofing
- Staircase Railings: Kansas City Building Supply
- Tile: Legacy Flooring
- Trim Work: Trim Brothers
- Windows: Kansas City Building Supply