House Hunters

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Reality TV Show Helps Seal the Deal for this Local Couple

Bringing two unique styles and tastes together isn’t always easy when searching for a new home, but it can be done when some common ground is found.

Story by Ann Butenas     |     Photography by Matt Kocourek


Blending two individual styles in one home together can be tricky. After all, it’s rare that a couple will share in the exact same tastes and design styles, so the best way to approach this situation is to find the common denominator and work from there.  Finding out what both individuals agree on can set the stage for creating the overall foundation of the interior design style of the home.

For some couples, however, that may also mean turning to something even greater to help them find the perfect home in which to live that reflects both of their unique tastes without one dominating the other. Enter House Hunters, an American reality television series that airs on HGTV, giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look as people discover what to look for when searching for that perfect home.

When newly-married Alex and Jared were searching for their new home, they struggled with differing opinions as to style, design, and, admittedly, budget. When the opportunity to partner with House Hunters presented itself to them, it was a no-brainer.



“It was a fun experience,” noted Alex. “It was hectic, yes, but it is something we will remember and cherish forever and it was something we could share in with our family and friends.”

While both gentlemen knew they wanted an expansive backyard and a swimming pool, Jared was leaning towards a modern, contemporary home with clean and simple lines while Alex was pushing for a more rustic appeal, along with a butler’s pantry (a decided must have!) and a grand, majestic staircase. The 50+ hours they spent filming the House Hunters episode was not without its chaotic and stressful moments, but it did help to narrow and define the couple’s search, as they soon settled upon their new home. However, the choice did not come without a few stumbling blocks along the way.

“Jared tends to be very budget conscious,” smiled Alex, who tends to have a greater reach when it comes to leaning outside the budget window. “He usually has to reign me in, as I am all over the place.”

Alex and Jared spent five, 10-hour days filming their episode of House Hunters, which took them all over the metro area as they looked for the perfect home in which to start the next chapter of their lives.



“From what I know, we were actually the first LGBT couple to be featured on House Hunters in Kansas City,” noted Alex.

It was equally fun and stressful, but when the episode eventually aired about one year later, the big reveal was not disappointing.  They successfully landed on a home with a modern, farmhouse vibe and that large backyard they desired.

“This house has such amazing design,” expressed Alex. “It’s truly unique.”

And unique it is. This 3,200 square foot story-and-a-  half home has five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and a finished basement, all of which are bursting with exciting expression. However, Alex admitted they had a bit of help when it came to choosing the design colors.

“Since we are both color blind, Sheri Delp, Interior Designer with of Legacy Flooring Contractors, helped us pick out the colors, especially for the kitchen, the playroom and the guest bath. She was so wonderful and helped us through the entire process,” he explained.



While hardwood floors dominate the entire main floor level, carpet is used in the upstairs and lower level spaces. The couple opted to turn a portion of the attic into a finished playroom, which Alex described as “perfectly imperfect.”

“It’s compromised of 1 x 6s all around, and you can see the grooves, gaps and nail holes throughout,” he indicated.

Then there is the glorious master bedroom suite, complete with a relaxing en suite and a door that opens to the patio. The breakfast room also provides access to the patio, which is great for the couple’s trio of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, all of whom can easily hop outside and romp around the beautifully fenced-in backyard.

Other design elements include a bounty of hexagons that can be seen parading throughout the home in a few fun places: the breakfast nook, above the fireplace (which also has a stunning barnwood mantle), and in the backsplash above the gas stove.

“Once we started using the hexagons, we just sort of rolled with it,” smiled Alex.



The open concept between the kitchen and the great room is perfect for entertaining or just relaxing after a long day at work, and the butler’s pantry for which Alex longingly pined has become a strong focal point of the home, with a second oven, a microwave, a built-in coffee maker and a double, side-by-side freezer/refrigerator.

While not everything was in order when they moved into their new home, they have since enjoyed incorporating some exciting improvements to their little slice of Heaven on Earth.

“We changed the front door to double doors, which I really wanted, added a swimming pool and also put in a movie theater with a 120-inch screen with surround sound in the basement while finishing the entire lower level,” indicated Alex. “We really enjoy hanging out down there with our friends to watch football or movies.” The basement also boasts a bar area with a mini fridge and microwave; and a guest bath with shiplap appointments. The entire basement is cozy and comfortable, perfect for a relaxing night in.



Jared’s favorite feature in the home is the theater room, in which the couple hosted a Super Bowl party this past Winter.  Now that the seasons have changed, they look forward to entertaining in their outside area, complete with covered deck, fireplace and grill, and no doubt have a few pool parties planned for the summer months.

As for what the guys truly love about the place, Jared summed it up beautifully.

“It’s home,” he reflected.

Alex, on the other hand, with his forward-thinking wheels in motion, sees this from a similar perspective, but with a twist.

“It’s home, but I am always on to the next project,” he commented.



Resources

  • Room Finishings and Deck: FRB Contracting
  • Front Double Doors: Great American Building Materials
  • Landscaping: Putnum Landscape
  • Interior Design: Sheri Delp/Designer, Legacy Flooring Contractors
  • Flooring, Tile, Carpet: Legacy Flooring Contractors
  • Pool: Esther Williams
  • Cabinets: Shamrock Cabinets
  • Appliances: Nebraska Furniture Mart
  • Countertops: Rock Tops
  • Outdoor Furniture: At Home
  • Lighting: Wilson Lighting
  • Painter: First Impressions
  • Nursery Animals: Lauren Alexandera

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