Making This House Their Home

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Multi-purpose functions meet congruency in this multi-faceted whole house redesign.

Story by Ann Butenas     |     Photos by Julie Legg Photography

If you don’t believe in love at first sight, then perhaps this particular home could change your mind. Located in southern Overland Park, Kansas, this 11-year-old home boasts roughly 8,700 square feet of living space that in some ways takes   you over the top, but in many others, makes you realize this all boils down to simply incredible and strategic design ideas that bring the utmost in functionality and purpose to the footprint of this residential masterpiece.

What the current owners formerly described as a blend of European and French country influences with respect to the style of their home now aligns more with an eclectic personality. In the past three years since they moved in, transforming this home has been somewhat of a mission for this couple, but there is purpose in everything they do.

“We use every single room in the house,” expressed Janna Maher, who appreciates how the flow of the home is perfect for entertaining. “We fell in love with it instantly when we first saw it.”

When they began to tackle the whole house remodel, Janna and her husband Scott did not stutter when it came to why they wanted to be a part of a significant project.

“We wanted to make the house our own and we wanted a place for our four kids to be with their friends,” indicated Scott, who added with a laugh, “And I think we did a good job on that end, as they spend a lot of time here now!”

Working in collaboration with Amy Krause, Principal Interior Designer and Owner of Amy Krause Design, LLC, the homeowners began an interior remodeling journey that would end with breath-taking results. Krause delivered perfection at each and every turn, but credits contractor Damon Rau of Damon Rau Construction out of Trimble, Missouri, for his creativity and expertise.

“While Damon and likely Scott’s ideas were the beams, stone and brick applied to the ceiling and expansive door, I had appreciable input on how to plan the space and integrate the decor, consulting on nearly every aspect,” stated Krause. “It was a true collaboration as our individual areas of expertise, coupled with the homeowners’ vision and enthusiasm that really brought this whole project to such stunning fruition.”

a room with a view

Located contiguous to the formal living room and kitchen, the hearth room takes its cues from neighboring spaces, which highlight its blue and off-white color palette refreshingly balanced with myriad wood finishes that effortlessly draw the spaces together.

“The architecture was already in place in this room; we added the decorative touches,” noted Krause, who introduced modern / transitional furnishings and accessories to correspond with some of the existing artwork and furniture the owners already had. This room presents as an informal and rustic space with a touch of modern flair. It delivers a strong whisper of sophisticated elegance coupled with a nod to the home’s overall aesthetic.

retreat to a luxurious master suite

“The walls in this room were originally painted apple green and the floor was carpeted, making it extremely traditional,” indicated Scott. “We wanted to change it up.”

Krause heeded the call for change and pulled out all the stops to inspire this timeless master suite. Utilizing a soothing neutral color palette with soft greens and golds, traditional motifs, and antique inspired accessories and furnishings she created a sophisticated yet relaxed version of modern French country design.

“The carpeting was replaced with medium-toned reclaimed hardwood flooring in keeping with the other spaces on this first floor,” noted Krause. “The vaulted beamed ceilings were accented with a large and graceful chandelier. Gold-accented wallpaper creates a sophisticated, yet understated backdrop, while a grand, carved wood framed bed is the focal point and grounds the space.”

Krause continued the look into the master bathroom, incorporating neutral floral wallpaper, new window treatments and a soft green ottoman and area rug, all of which serve to elevate the space and seamlessly connect all elements of the suite.

losing that basement feel and creating a dream entertainment space

What began as a project to convert a basement playroom into a family room and its closet into a bathroom ultimately became a deluxe multi-purpose entertainment space perfect for this social family who loves to play.

“We took a complete diversion in this area from the former design and layout,” indicated Scott.

And the results speak for themselves. What was once a child’s play stage adorned with green carpet and painted clouds on the wall, has now been transformed into a seamlessly-flowing relaxation and entertainment area. Krause and her team created a beautiful and functional family room complete with fireplace and kitchenette that opens fully to the backyard, exterior kitchen and pool area.

“The new spaces retain the rustic feel of the home, with the use of existing materials such as stone, brick, wood flooring, ceiling beams and architectural elements such as arched doorways and hallways,” explained Krause. “As the family room provides the main access from the lower level to the backyard, this space and the bathroom take on an indoor-outdoor character, and by way of a long, charming hallway, provide a cohesive transition into a darker and moodier game room.”

“With the envelope maintaining the original rustic character of the home, we were able to take a more modern, eclectic approach with the furnishings and accents to achieve a fresh, updated and playful space in an otherwise heavily traditional French country home,” expressed Krause. “The neutral color palette, play of contrasts and natural materials and finishes provide the setting to create the indoor-outdoor feel the owners desired.”

Bringing unity to the outdoors and the indoor space are the large exterior stackable sliding doors. Guests and family can come and go from the backyard to the inside without feeling they are missing out on any of the fun. The adjacent bar height console and additional seating is the perfect place to watch the game. The sleeper sofa is outfitted with high-performance fabric that will stand up to wet towels and soaked swimsuits.

In the game area, Krause employed ingenuity by installing a stacked laundry area with folding center into the custom cabinetry alongside an extendable game table.

The hallway that leads to the one-of-a-kind bathroom between the family and game room had to follow a narrow footprint due to structural limitations. Working in creative partnership with Damon and the homeowners, Krause applied a brick veneer barrel ceiling with fiber optic twinkle lights to give the appearance of an outdoor corridor.

the “au natural” bathroom

The small bathroom with its expansive shower defines its role as a pool bath. What was once a small closet has now become a room in and of itself. Upon entering, guests will notice an indoor/outdoor feel to the space and will be embraced by the curved pebble stone shower, vintage artwork, a neutral color scheme, with contrasts, a copper sink, natural materials and related motifs that are reminiscent of a European outdoor patio. A rain head shower projects from a rustic wood beam above.

Another delight on this level is the reading nook with custom built-in shelves beside the stairs. Simply curl up in the leather chair and select your favorite title for some fun reading after swimming in the pool.

The Mahers seem to have found a home that will keep them in place for a while. It has everything they want, and Janna definitely doesn’t see herself packing up her things again in the foreseeable future.

“I definitely would love to stay here for a long time,” she smiled.


  • DESIGNER: Amy Krause Design
  • CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR: Damon Rau Construction
  • TILE: Sunderlands
  • LIGHTING: Wilson Lighting
  • PLUMBING FIXTURES: Kitchens & Baths by Briggs

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