Home Is Where The Art Is

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The owners of this unique Lake Quivira residence enjoy many artistic adventures without ever leaving home.

Story by Ann Butenas    |    Photography by Matt Kocourek

Located in the City of Lake Quivira, this charming home has fun and delight written all over it. Built in 1947, this second tier home that faces the lake definitely has some deep-rooted history and some decidedly good bones, but its owners – Julie and Chip Wood – who moved into this place 31 years ago – have truly put their own stamp on the residence in unique and artistic ways.

As you approach the turquoise-colored door, painted, and glazed by Julie, and admire the nearby Adirondack chair, also painted by Julie, you are immediately made aware that this is just an initial presentation of the delightful and engaging artistic treasures and influences that call this place home.

As an artist, Julie has always appreciated a place to work and flex her creative muscles. While she and Chip at one point looked elsewhere to live, they both love the ambiance that envelopes Lake Quivira and decided to renovate this old stone house. Over the years they have made both significant and minor changes to the home, enhancing its already charming personality every step of the way. At one point, the couple initiated a big remodel that has since changed the way they use the home.

“We re-did the front yard of the home and installed a circular driveway and a large water garden made by our son Justin,” noted Julie.

Julie and Chip added a garage next to the street level art studio, and while the garage is still at street level, it is now attached to the house and has an interior entrance to the house.

When they began the remodeling project, Julie wanted the master suite on the main level. Originally there were two bedrooms upstairs, including the master suite, and three smaller bedrooms on the main level. However, when they approached a subsequent remodeling project, Julie wanted the master bedroom on the main floor.

“The house had a smaller bedroom on that level towards the front and a sunroom,” said Julie. “We converted that   bedroom to the master bedroom, which opens into the sunroom. We also converted another smaller bedroom into our master bathroom, knocking out some doors in the hallway.”

Later on, Julie used the third small bedroom on the main level as an office but eventually the couple built that one out and converted it to a closet and laundry room, opening up to the master bathroom.

“It worked out great,” expressed Julie.

No matter where one travels throughout the home, however, art of all kinds is enthusiastically on display. A huge fan of expressing herself via many mediums, Julie has no preferred style or color. She simply creates as she is inspired to do so in the moment.

“I painted the wall mural leading up the staircase the first year we moved in,” she recalled. “I love the blue periwinkle color of it. I stood on a ladder to do my part (not on the stairs), but when it came to painting the ceiling, I had to hire a guy to finish that part.”

Further, a painting in the upstairs hallway wall was inspired by a photo Julie saw in a newspaper out of Estes Park, Colorado.

“I liked the image of this ranger-led nature hike, painted it, and had it framed and hung,” Julie said.

The Woods also built a dining room on the main floor of the home that is joined by a cozy sitting area, complete with a daybed. The exposed rock wall in that space was previously the side exterior of the home and part of an outdoor fireplace. The adjacent stairs leading down from that room lead to Julie’s in-home art studio, a definite must-have for her, as well as an attached garage.

“As an artist, I needed a place to work,” emphasized Julie. “At the time we did this remodel, I was a potter and was working in a bedroom studio. I like having this studio downstairs now. Plus, it provides close access to the garage whereas before we had to go outside to get to it.”

The kitchen area is another captivating space. More than 23 years ago, whenever family and friends would visit during their big remodel at the time, Julie had them draw a story tile. Julie ended up collecting 92 of these tiles, many of which make the unique backsplash in her kitchen that frames the window above the sink. The extra tiles that did not fit in this area were placed in her studio. 

Chip’s office, which is situated between two bedrooms upstairs, presents with its own outstanding personality with its black and white painted wood flooring and expansive picture window that provides a striking view of the lake. It seems each room in this home has its own flavor and style, but together they create a comprehensive, flowing, and beautiful tapestry.

Many other eye-catching art pieces abound throughout this home, such as the checkerboard tile framing the fireplace in the living room, which Julie purchased and installed, as well as an old dining room hutch she acquired from an antique show and refinished herself. Chip’s artistic influence can be found in the built-in dark walnut-stained shelves in the living room.

And not everything Julie has on display has been fashioned from her or Chip’s hands. The all-wood round coffee table in the living room, for example, is from Restoration Hardware, and the art on the mantle above the tiled fireplace in the living room was purchased at the Plaza Art Fair one year.

“If I like something, I just get it,” she mused. “I tend to be eclectic in that regard.”

Additionally, the talent of others is also on display in their home. A carved cedar sculpture entitled “prairie fire” was created by their son Trevor and put on a base for display in the living room. And an American flag, made by a friend, proudly hangs in the sunroom.

“Every button is handsewn on it,” admired Julie.

Will Julie and Chip make any further changes, additions, revisions, renovations, or unique artistic touches to their home in the coming years? Only time will tell. Julie has a bit of a restless artistic spirit within her, so one never knows what the future will hold.

“I’m always doing something to the house,” she smiled.

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