With a fresh interior look, the Home for Little Heroes is ready for its new family.
Story by Ann Butenas | Photography by Matthew Anderson
Recognized as the largest new-home builder in the Kansas City area, Summit Homes has donated in excess of $1.1 million to various charities in the past year alone. This year, however, ushers in yet another era of charitable giving, as Summit Homes partnered with Children’s Mercy to bring to fruition the first ever Home for Little Heroes, a single family, custom built home that will be sold with all of the proceeds donated to help support Children’s Mercy’s non-profit mission of bringing support to kids and their families. Through the generous donations of individuals and companies like Summit Homes, Children’s Mercy provides an estimated $172 million annually of uncompensated care to patients, and these generous donations allow the hospital to treat all young patients and their families as VIPs. Hence, the Home for Little Heroes name.
Focusing on a fresh look for this home, professional stager Helen Bartlett, HSR Certified, RESA Professional, and owner of Refined Interior Staging Solutions, enthusiastically accepted the offer to apply her home staging expertise to the house. First of all, this was the perfect canvas for her to showcase her talent and experience as a professional home stager. On a more personal level, however, Bartlett knew she had to do this project. For her, it was a cherished opportunity to give back to the community in some way. In 1988, her son was born six weeks premature and as a result suffered many health issues. His overall prognosis was quite grim, leaving Bartlett feeling anxious and uncertain.
“I remember being scared and not really knowing what to expect,” recalled Bartlett, who at the time lived in Pennsylvania and did not have access to a hospital like Children’s Mercy. “I know there are other parents out there in similar situations who are scared, and here in Kansas City they can count on Children’s Mercy. I knew I needed to do this as a small part of helping those other parents out.” Coincidentally, Bartlett’s son, now an adult, works at Children’s Mercy, so she shares a bond with the hospital now and fully appreciates how much it helps patients and families alike. With a crown jewel such as Children’s Mercy right here in the Kansas City area, excellent care is provided for patients and their families around the clock. The proceeds from the sale of this home will bring the needed support to the patients, as well as raise further awareness about Children’s Mercy.
As part of the re-staging of the home, Bartlett worked with the entire first floor, which consists of the library, the master bedroom suite, an office, the dining room, living room, kitchen, hearth room, guest bedroom and bathroom.
“Because of its open concept, buyers know within 15 seconds if they are interested or not, so it is important to address all of the areas people will see,” noted Bartlett. “By staging a home, it allows buyers to connect emotionally with the space so they can visualize their lifestyle there. They can see how they will live in this space.”
Bartlett relied upon her expertise to show purpose for every room she staged. For example, she set up furniture by the fireplace so potential buyers can see themselves enjoying a relaxing evening there. Proper staging is intended to elicit an emotional response from buyers. While decorating a home is about the details in the home and the family that lives there, their lives, their interests, their family, etc., staging focuses on the architectural features, focal point of each space, defining a purpose for each space and how the rooms flow, allowing a buyer to see the potential for themselves living there. Staging focuses on the house rather than all the personal details of decorating.
Bartlett enjoyed staging this home which she described as one of a modern farmhouse appeal with a bit of rustic charm. The warmth and charm she gave each room she addressed reflects that appeal, creating an overall relaxed, warm and inviting space.
From the eight-foot front door opening to a grand foyer to the spacious great room, library and designer chef’s kitchen, this unique design offers plenty of personality for the family that will ultimately make memories here. A light palate of color adorns the interior walls, boasting shades of white, stone details and natural elements. Old school trim touches are paired with clean lines to evoke that modern farmhouse vibe. Over-scaled light fixtures add decided personality throughout the home, as do the wide-planked Hickory wood flooring found throughout the main level of the home.
Summit Homes hopes to sell this home to a family that realizes they did indeed purchase a fabulous home, but they also understand those dollars will go on to accomplish something far greater: making a difference in the lives of so many families and, above all, in the lives of so many children. No matter the cost, however, this home is priceless in terms of the love it gives back to all who have been touched by it.
Builder: Summit Homes
Home Stager/Home Stylist: Refined Interior Staging Solutions
Charity: Children’s Mercy