The Historic J.G. Peppard Home for the Holidays
This old home has a unique story of its own, and when decorated with holiday spirit, it certainly offers a page-turning appeal.
Story by Ann Butenas | Photography by Matthew Anderson
Imagine being 8,839 miles away from home over the holidays. Imagine being in Sydney, Australia when your family is back at home in the Heartland. Imagine loving the beach and warm weather but realizing it’s just not Christmas without all Kansas City offers during the season: the Plaza lights, the possibility of fresh snow, hot chocolate and cookies; and the opportunity to spend precious moments with friends and family.
While her life had taken her half way around the world, Megan Duma was eager to get back to Kansas City for the holidays two years ago. The only way she could do that at the time, however, was to turn her focus to the internet, looking online for a Kansas City home. She just knew she had to find a way home, even if it meant purchasing one – sight unseen – as a way to get from the Land Down Under back to the Land of Oz.
Born and raised in the Kanas City area, Duma not only has a strong appreciation for all her hometown offers, especially during the height of the holiday season; she is also motivated by all of the unique historic homes that have strong roots here, those grand, older structures that just ooze exquisite stories of their own. She has always been captivated by the one-of-a-kind details and intricate architecture of days gone by, and that unwavering passion for owning a piece of history knocked on her heart’s door, beckoning her to make an investment in one of Kansas City’s oldest mansions located in one of Kansas City’s oldest communiites: the Westside North neighborhood.
Feeling a bit homesick over in Australia that particular Christmas in 2016, Duma hopped on and searched for Grand Architecture “fixer uppers” in Kansas City, and would sit back and simply imagine restoring them to their former glory.
“It was a dream of mine, and it would bring me back to the large family I have in the area,” said Duma. On Christmas Eve that year, a listing caught her wandering eye: an 1887 solid brick Queen Anne Revival Victorian home with a stunning leaded glass turret and woodwork that simply takes one’s breath away.
“My heart skipped a beat, and the wheels in my head were already turning,” she recalled.
Fast forward a few months and Duma was the proud owner of this 131-year-old masterpiece known as the J.G. Peppard mansion, located at 1704 Jefferson. It certainly was somewhat of a legend in the area, about which many page-turning stories could be written, and was once even a boarding house. When Duma assumed possession of it, there was quite a bit of restoration work to be done. It had no modern furnace or plumbing, and the electrical aspects were certainly not up to code. However, Duma was up to the challenge. After investing nearly $1 million and 15 months of blood, sweat and tears to bring this Civil War era home back to its former glory, it was time to unveil its updated look.
“Nearly all of the architectural details were restored and remain historically accurate,” noted Duma. “The plumbing and electric, however, are all brand new.”
In April of this past year, Duma hosted a Grand Opening and has now offered this gorgeous residence as a luxury Airbnb, which is within walking distance of all the wonderful things in the exciting downtown arena, including the Power & Light District, the Crossroads, and the Sprint Center. With eight bedrooms, five bathrooms, a couple of gas fireplaces and three full luxury kitchens, this home has been separated into three self-contained units, a perfect place for visitors to enjoy a relaxing and exciting visit to Kansas City.
Of course, this beautiful home deserves to be dressed up for the holidays, so Duma has taken her experience with the mansion to yet another level. Let’s just say she has all but wrapped this home up in a big red bow for the holiday season.
Collaborating with Duma to bring the holiday spirit to this home was Christy Renner, an interior designer with Picture Perfect Interiors, a full-service interior design studio in Overland Park, KS. Renner was excited to be a part of this project and her talents have left a celebrated holiday spirit throughout various spaces in the home.
“We decorated certain areas of the home based on Megan’s desired areas to accentuate,” noted Renner. Those areas included the grand foyers, the first floor living room and kitchen and the second floor living room with the turret.
“We installed one tall tree in the foyer and two smaller ones in the first floor living room,” indicated Renner.
To accentuate the gorgeous peacock stained glass windows in the home, Renner incorporated peacock feathers, hints of copper and teal, along with green ornaments on one of the trees. She also used sugar pine cones and a dramatic tree topper with peacock feathers and a ribbon. The swag at the Newell post of the main stairs enjoys evergreen garland with pine cones.
“These are elegant swags with long needle pines and peacock ribbon with gold ribbon,” said Renner, who also noted the fireplace on the second floor living area has been accentuated with garland and sliver Christmas tree accessories.
“The first floor living area is very elegant with a woodsy feel, so we used some burlap flowers along with some gold and cream ornaments, rustic snowflakes and blue and cream plaid ribbon to complement the upholstery in the room,” commented Renner.
Watch the Fox 4 morning show this holiday season for a live tour of the J.G. Peppard home.
Renner decorated the living room windows with evergreen wreaths embellished with silver ornaments and large snowflakes on the windows in one of the kitchens. Other accents such as a mirrored tray on the countertop adds to the festive look.
As she reflects up on the adventures she has enjoyed since this journey began, Duma’s heart is overflowing with gratitude. She indicated she certainly learned a lot about the full restoration process and feels blessed for the many angels along the way who helped her get through it.
“I am full of gratitude,” she reflected. “I was humbled by the experience, but what came of it is a beautifully restored Kansas City treasure that I get to share with visitors and locals alike.”