Labor of Love

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When remodeling a home increases its value in terms of love for family, neighborhood and community.

Story by Ann Butenas     |     Photography by Matt Kocourek

When owners Nick and Lindsay Schulze purchased this 43-year-old custom built home in Prairie Village 10 years ago, they did so with the intention of updating it to create a space that truly reflected how they wanted to live. Moving to another home was out of the question as they love their neighborhood and the school district in which they live.

“When we bought this house, we did a full remodel and ripped out everything right away,” expressed Lindsay, recalling the original orange linoleum floors, wood-paneled walls and closed-off spaces that gave away the time period in which the home was constructed.

For the past decade, the Schulze family, which includes three children and two dogs, have enjoyed making this home their own. However, this past year inspired the couple to roll up their sleeves and tackle once again yet another makeover. 

“What sparked the second round was that we had two bedrooms on the main floor, two upstairs and one down in the basement, and we wanted to get all the kids upstairs together now,” said Lindsay. “We decided to do an addition and add a bedroom for our son and two bathrooms, one for the girls to share and an en-suite bath for my son’s sanity.”

Overall, this second facelift brought about an additional bedroom, two bathrooms, outdoor kitchen, and full house renovation with furniture. However, this required a great deal of work and a heaping helping of patience. The Schulzes even had to rip out the entire garage to restructure their home.

“It started out as just an addition that would not affect the rest of the house,” laughed Lindsay. “We eventually moved out the entire first floor and bedrooms and were living in the basement. Needless to say, I was not my family’s favorite person at that time.”

Lindsay brought in a crew of people they trusted, many coming from their past experience of flipping houses, some from Lindsay’s Real Estate rolodex, along with some newbies. Overall, it was a perfect mix for this total team effort. 

Lindsay and Nick brought on contractor and friend Lori Horwater of H&L Design Renovation; Maureen Lindstrom of ML Designs to tackle some of the interior design elements; and Scot Fuester with Skyton Lawn and Landscape to bring their dreams to reality. With such innovative and creative talent at their disposal, the remodeling project continued  to move forward in exciting fashion. They began by repainting the living room and then turned to remodel the kitchen and then installed wainscotting on the first floor and then turned a daughter’s bedroom into a walk-in master closet and master bath renovation. In short, the project essentially took on a life of its own.

“Maureen was so helpful with our design selections of pillows, rugs, the eat-in kitchen table and the ottoman for the living room, and Lori is an amazingly spectacular contractor,” expressed Lindsay. “I don’t know what we would have done without them. Lori did the entire addition and whole house remodel of this 4,500 square foot home all in three months. We designed it with her and she oversaw the whole project. She is like a little unicorn.”

In remodeling the kitchen, the Schulzes installed new backsplash, lighting, a sink, countertops, and range hood.  They also repainted all of the cabinets and ripped the old tile out replacing with white oak, which is found throughout the first floor and some of the second floor. 

“We wanted consistency on the first floor, so all the tiles got ripped out in the kitchen and entry, allowing the space to flow,” noted Lindsay.

When reconfiguring the kids’ bedrooms, Nick and Lindsay made a daughter’s former bedroom into a walk-in closet for the master suite. The bathroom that has the brick wall now was formerly their daughter’s bathroom, and the brick wall is actually the back side of the living room fireplace. The Schulzes remodeled this and now have an extra full bath on the main level for guests.

Their son’s room with its tent-like ceiling and unique adventure-like appointments is a big hit with their young man. 

“He feels so good in his new room,” expressed Lindsay. “Our son’s room is like an apartment suite. As the only boy with two sisters, we decided it would be nice for him to have his own private bathroom, which, in reality, is nicer than ours.”

With a color palette of grays and whites, Lindsay appreciates how her home can calm her down at the end of a busy day after selling real estate. She also appreciates that Nick can flex his culinary muscles in the outdoor kitchen as she puts up her feet after running crazy all day. 

“He is the cook. I burn water,” she joked. “It is great. Our family has a perfect mix. He is Italian so it is in his blood to cook. I am in real estate so I love the dynamics of the house functionality and enjoy all yard work, mowing and home repairs and remodels. I know our house is not a showstopper, but it is what we have created for our family.” 

While moving was on the top of their mind, the couple couldn’t bear the thought of taking their kids from their magical street.

“We have the best mix of kids who are all like brothers and sisters and incredible neighbors. This street of friends has become our family,” reflected Lindsay. “So while I want more space, newer construction and a third car garage, it is not in the books and that is fine. Older homes give you a pallet to make better and still have an amazing established neighborhood. Moving away from our friends was not an option, so in turn we changed our entire house.”

When asked if there are any other remodeling projects on the horizon for  this home, Lindsay did not hesitate when she said, “I think I got it out of my system, maybe!”


  • Builder/Contractor: H&L Properties
  • Interior Designer: ML Designs
  • Countertops and Flooring: Global Stone LLC
  • Flooring Hardwood: Mariono Gutierrez
  • Furniture: ML Designs
  • Framing: EDIT Construction
  • Light Fixtures: Wilson Lighting
  • Landscaping, Landscape Lighting, Outdoor Kitchen: Skyton Lawn and Landscape


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