History Redesigned

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Remodeled 1928 Tudor creates spaces now treasured.

Story by Judy Goppert     |     Photography by Matt Kocourek

This lovely Brookside Tudor home suits its Texas couple to a T! 

They made the move from their beloved Lone Star state on July 1, 2020, to be near their darling grandchildren. The relocation was timely as both have recently retired. She from being an elementary teacher and he from his career as a civil engineer.

“We moved up here from Fort Worth to be close to our daughter and her family after our first grandson was born. Since the move, a granddaughter has joined the family. We are enjoying spending time with them as they grow up!”

The two came up and were looking for homes when their Realtor told them this English Tudor was coming on the market. Ironically, the couple that owned the home were moving to Dallas! They drove by the house on the Sunday before Easter, the homeowner invited them in, and they fell in love with it as they walked through. The couple lived in the house for a year before deciding what they wanted to do. 

“A neighbor told us that rumor has it the home was built in 1928 by J.C. Nichols for his secretary,” she shared. “We love the location in the Armour Hills neighborhood, in the Brookside area. It is a neat part of Kansas City. And the trolley trail is nice and handy!”

“One thing we knew we needed to do was put a powder bath on the first floor so guests did not have to go to the second floor. That’s my favorite room now. I really like how that came out,” she continued.      

Elizabeth Rishel, and the team at Orion Design, worked with the contractor, Remodel Moore, to make this couple’s dream a reality.

Elizabeth added that the core goal of the entire project was making sure any and all renovations maintained the original character and feel like they have always been there. The tile details for the bathrooms were unique. They were gutted to the studs, and Orion designed the Hex floor tile integrating some of the homeowner’s favorite colors and had it manufactured. So, it is truly unique to them. As are charming elements, including the millwork around the doors and windows. 

“The contractor made sure to have custom shelves made to match the original millwork. In the hall bath the homeowners love the pedestal sink, which also feels original to the home,” Elizabeth added.

The homeowners expressed, “The kitchen is small, and we discussed taking down the wall to the adjacent formal dining room to create a larger space. This would have required removing the beautiful cove ceiling in the dining room and we didn’t have the heart to do it. We decided to leave the kitchen the same size. Elizabeth did a wonderful job of making a small space so functional with a lot of storage and created a small peninsula for us to sit and have breakfast or dinner. The kitchen floors were totally rebuilt and replaced with hardwoods and the ceiling was raised to provide additional space for cabinets.”

There was no pantry so the decision to remove the back staircase meant they had room for a pantry, and room upstairs for the primary bath. The goal was to maintain the charm of an older house.     

The butler’s pantry is a dark green color and leads to the casual dining room where they put a huge table that seats 10. The Terrazzo floor in the informal dining room is a unique showstopper! Terrazzo, which means terrace in Italian, was originated several hundred years ago, and is made by pressing stone chips, quartz, and glass into clay or concrete. Since it was already there, they simply built on it when styling the room. “Those spaces were stunning to start, so all it took was paint and we added some mustard gold drapes in the informal dining room,” Elizabeth explained.

“That butler’s pantry area was simply a pass-through and we utilized some of that space to put in the powder bath then added pretty William Morris wallpaper,” Elizabeth noted. “You can walk by that bathroom and not know it’s a bathroom. You just see a window and beautiful wallpaper. It feels private. It is lovely how it settled in there. The butler’s pantry was totally rebuilt with custom cabinetry, and we rebuilt the cove plaster ceiling and reintegrated it into there. That required some extra work. Arch display cabinets with an antique mirror in the back are a lovely addition. It also provides nice storage for some of her serving pieces. There is counter space so she can set food in there for serving.” 

The homeowner continued that the new cabinetry and millwork blend seamlessly with the rest of the house. 

Now to the upstairs guest bathroom. The homeowner noted although it did have quaint charm, she and Elizabeth agreed the old pink and green colors needed to be updated. It now has a massive shower and is a nice space for guests. 

Elizabeth noted that for each project they always start with layout, function, and interview the client, so they understand what they need from their spaces.

“They were great to work with! She wanted a primary suite so we kind of surprised her and reshaped that second level to create one. They had turned one of the bedrooms into a den, so we suggested they move their bedroom there, and took two tiny bathrooms and an office out to create their primary bathroom and closet,” Elizabeth mused.

To showcase their new digs, this couple is having around 22 family members visit from Texas for Thanksgiving. “I know we will definitely make use of the kitchen to congregate, as well as the casual dining room and the adjacent living room,” she expressed.

The patio on the side of the house was replaced to provide a new, larger area. If the weather allows, they plan to spend time with family out by the firepit. 

This next generation is nurturing the personality and lore of this nearly century-old masterpiece, which is warming their hearts and welcoming them to create memories inside.


  • Interior Designer: Orion Design
  • Contractor: Remodel Moore
  • Architect: Lo Design
  • Appliances: SubZero Wolf, Kitchenaid, Zephyr, GE Café and Miele
  • Cabinets: Cabinets Designs LLC 
  • Closet: California Closets
  • Countertops: Legendary Stone, Daltile
  • Flooring: Signature Flooring
  • Glass & Mirrors: Olathe Glass
  • Hardware: Top Knobs, Emtek
  • Light Fixtures: Rejuvenation, Pottery Barn, Lightology
  • Paint: Sherwin Williams
  • Painter: C&R Painting
  • Plumbing Fixtures: Newport Brass, Delta, Moen, Elkay, MTI and American Standard
  • Tile: Roca Tile, American Restoration Tile
  • Window Coverings: The Shade Store
  • Windows: Quaker

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