Customized Elegance

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By incorporating pieces of their past into the current design of this home, the homeowners have created a unique design style that showcases a uniquely custom home with all the right personalized touches.

Story by Ann Butenas   |   Photography by Matt Kocourek

Building a customized home takes work. It also takes a lot of innovative thought and inspiration when it comes to the full interior design landscape. In this newly-built Riss Lake Reserve custom home, one will encounter a harmonious balance of elegance, imagination, inspiration and style, all of which flow effortlessly through its beautifully-tailored spaces. At roughly 3,900 square feet, which includes six bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms, this Don Julian-built home has a decided personality all of its own.

When breathing in its stunning curb appeal, the exterior of the home, with its wrought iron details, brings to mind a castle-like presence, which greatly appealed to the homeowners.

“Castles have always been appealing to us,” expressed the homeowners, which is why they chose to incorporate wrought iron appointments that lead one from the outside in. “We wanted the home to have as much as an impact on the exterior as it does on the interior.”

The magnificent custom iron door at the entryway was actually one of the first statements this home expressed.

“We chose the style of the front door before we even built the home,” noted the homeowners. “When we found that door, we knew we had to have it.”

For the homeowners, the customization of this home is discovered in the details, which they feel are often overlooked. That is why all of the details in the home mattered to them when they were building it, which included the iron door, the iron chandelier in the great room, and the iron stair spindles.

“We built this home knowing it would be our final home, so everything – all of the details – were so important to us,” said the homeowners.

While this place offers a vast palette of new décor and furniture items, the homeowners also ensured to keep a bit of their past into the overall design scheme. The stunning chandelier dancing above the entryway of the home, for example, was purchased for the owner’s newlywed wife over 30 years ago. It is a blend of Swarovski Crystal and 24-karat gold plated details.

“Having various design pieces and pieces of furniture from our other homes and bringing them into this home was important to us, as we wanted to incorporate them into the current design,” stated the homeowners. Describing the home as transitional in terms of design style, the homeowners have a decided penchant for the classic meets modern look in terms of interior ambiance and style.

“We believe a lot of the older design style is coming back as art,” noted the homeowners. “And it was important to us to balance the design elements, especially in the main areas of the home. Several of the décor pieces in the house have great meaning for us.”

On the main level of the home are three bedrooms, one of which can also be used as an office/study. As the homeowners anticipate retiring in this home, they chose this particular floor plan as the master suite, complete with a spa-like bathroom, resides on the main  level. Downstairs are two additional bedrooms. While the original floorplan called for just one downstairs bedroom, the homeowners added a second one to the original plan and added a sixth bedroom after moving into the home. Also on the lower level is a family room and kitchen area with bar.

“The bar was one of Don’s designs we loved, with its inlaid glass and back lighting,” stated the homeowners, who are currently in the process of adding a 100-bottle wine cellar with a four-slider door that opens into it.

When it came to the overall design of one of the most important spaces in the home – the kitchen – a substantial amount of sweat equity and keen ingenuity were integral parts of bringing it to fruition. It was essential this kitchen could operate like an open concept, gourmet kitchen.

“We expanded the original design and took a bit from the dining area in that regard,” indicated the homeowners. “We also redesigned the cabinetry from its original design. We wanted all of it to be on one wall, including the stove and the sink, so we changed the whole design of the wall to accommodate the customized cabinets we wanted.”

Another standout in the kitchen is the expansive island. 10 feet in length and 4 1/2 feet wide, it is the perfect place for the family and their five grown kids to gather. It also has a utility sink for production.

Additional upgrades throughout the home point to the homeowners’ desire for optimal detail. They upgraded most everything in the home, such as the tile, the flooring, the knobs and pulls (“like jewelry”), the faucets, the sinks, the lighting and even the toilets, further emphasizing the overall theme that the custom aspect of the home is truly found in the details.

“We specifically chose the lighting we did so that as you transition from the entryway of the house to the kitchen, all of the light features complement one another,” explained the homeowners.

The exterior of the home does not disappoint, either. The backyard offers copious amounts of stone finishes, along with an expansive patio area. The elements of earth, wind and fire are at play here, as well, coupled with detailed landscaping that invites a vacation to one’s senses in terms of sight, scent and sound. Accent lighting dances along the entire perimeter of the home with large stones that are perfect to just sit upon, hang out, and enjoy the evening air.

“We see this home as a form of a staycation, as we wanted a home that reflected a resort lifestyle,” reflected the homeowners.


CORE TEAM: Architect/Home Designer: Don Julian Builders    |    Builder/Contractor: Don Julian Builders    |    Interior Designer: Maryann DeJesus    |    Project Designer: RD Mann

HOME: Appliances: Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery / Factory Direct Appliance    |    Cabinets: Profile Cabinets    |    Central Vac: Midwest Vacuums    |    Countertops: SCI Surface Center    |    Doors: Midwest Iron Doors / Pella / Pacific Mutual Doors    |    Flooring: Floor & Décor / RD Mann / Tile & Stone Warehouse    |    Flooring Carpeting: RD Mann    |    Flooring Hardwood: ACME Flooring    |    Furniture: Restoration Hardware / The Design Gallery at NFM / Furniture Mall of Kansas / Crowley Furniture    |    Hardware: Locks & Pulls    |    Interior Accessories / Furnishings: Samsara    |    Light Fixtures: Wilson Lighting / Rensen House of Lights    |    Stone Company: Canyon Stone    |    Tile & Carpet: Johnson Floor and Home    |    Windows: Pella    |    Window Coverings: Superior Drapery & Interior

OUTDOOR: Landscaping / Hardscaping: Roseland Landscape and Design     |    Landscape Lighting: Roseland Landscape and Design    |    Outdoor Firepit: Restoration Hardware    |    Outdoor Furniture: Restoration Hardware    |    Sprinkler System: Roseland Landscape and Design     |    Stone Company: Canyon Stone

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