Couple savors family, friends and the Kansas City scene with chic ‘spare condo.’
Story by Rachael Hedgcoth | Photos by Gary Rohman
After her illustrious career flying the United skies as a flight attendant and his 29-year post as principal and ultimately superintendent with the Hays, Kan., school district, Sharon and Will Roth have finally settled down.
Well, sort of.
She still flies to visit girlfriends and the couple are both very active socially and enjoy traveling domestically and internationally, but their lives are now defined more by leisurely pursuits rather than by professional demands.
Married for 33 years, both Sharon and Will grew up in Iowa, but their path eventually led to Hays where they resided for nearly 30 years and raised their children.
After Will’s retirement in 2013, the couple relocated to a two-bedroom condo they had owned in Denver, Colo., since 2006.
Along with their little pup Gucci, the pair divided their time between Denver and a vacation home near their children in Kansas City which they purchased in 2010, gutted and completely renovated.
Both the Denver condo and the century-old Kansas City home proved great opportunities for Sharon to explore her increasing affinity for interior design.
She received tremendously positive feedback on her dashing Denver condo as well as the antique décor she incorporated into the Kansas City Bell Street residence. In fact, many friends assumed Sharon had hired an interior designer for both residences.
Her interest and confidence in designing stylish living spaces continued to grow.
Upstairs … And Down
In recent years, Sharon and Will reevaluated their long-term housing plans and decided to move closer to their children and grandchildren in Kansas City. Once again, they were faced with finding a new home, and once again, condo living seemed ideal.
“As we are nearing the later years of our life, my husband and I decided it was important to live a minimalist style,” explained Sharon. “We wanted no yard care, no basement, no stairs, less room – so we would be forced to rid ourselves of ‘stuff’ – and a community garage so we wouldn’t have the sole responsibility for the upkeep but would maintain the warmth and safety of a closed area for cars.”
The couple zeroed in on Kansas City’s signature shopping district – its Seville-inspired Country Club Plaza. They sold their Denver condo, as well as their Kansas City home, after finding a residence in the elegant high-rise Carlton Plaza Condominiums.
Upon closing, Sharon was again afforded the opportunity to delve into color combinations, lighting options and furniture elements.
When the dust settled after a complete renovation, the Roths’ 812-square-foot unit was dressed in a modern fusion of cherry wood, walnut trim and sleek furnishings.
Sharon and Will moved into their second-floor home in the 12-story, 60-unit Carlton Plaza in 2014.
As luck would have it, they soon had the opportunity to purchase the condo located a quick elevator ride beneath their second-floor unit. They planned for the additional condo – also a one-bedroom unit – to be their designated entertainment space and guest quarters. Purchased in January 2015, Sharon affectionately calls the 879-square-foot first-floor condo their “party place.”
Concrete And Steel Charm
The couple toyed with the various ways they could style their second unit and discussed how to most efficiently use the space.
Always eager to branch out in new design directions, Sharon and Will decided an urban spirit would suit their “spare” condo.
“After studying different designs, we felt that industrial would fit our needs the best,” said Sharon. “We found a very innovative contractor who was willing to try new and different ideas. Dan Malone was on board the whole time – demolition through reconstruction. Our main priority was lots of storage space and a great entertaining opportunity.”
Embarking on yet another extensive remodel, they had the bedroom walls removed, choosing instead to redefine the entire space in a way that merged kitchen basics and conversation areas with sleeping solutions and bath essentials.
From the curved cherry wall in the entryway to the exposed duct work, electrical conduit and steel décor, the condo showcases a distinctly industrial-contemporary persona.
“I just wanted to do something different,” said Sharon.
She chose to blend raw, stripped-down elements and a utilitarian sense of form and function – hallmarks of this sophisticated style.
She incorporated stained concrete flooring throughout the condo which captures the coarse essence of industrial design through its mottled, rusty appearance.
“I didn’t want the floor to look perfect,” said Sharon.
The condo also features concrete board ceilings which add visual interest thanks to subdued block patterns and shades of gray.
The kitchen and dining area, or “party room” as Sharon and Will call it, feature pared-down appliances including a microwave, Wolf warming drawer, an under-counter and full refrigerator, a U-Line wine cooler and a dishwasher – but no stovetop.
“One of my strong philosophies of designing is ‘get what you want’ whether it is what the books suggest or not,” said Sharon. “For example, every kitchen appliance I have is from a different manufacturer, and at some time, I will probably find a unique antique piece that I will slip into my industrial-designed condo.”
A granite composite Blanco sink, white-glass-front cabinets, pendant and track lighting, exposed brick and a custom steel art piece round out the kitchen area which cheerfully welcomes good food and good company.
A flat-screen TV, suspended by adjustable chains, and remote-controlled Napoleon electric fireplace create an engaging setting for dining at the expansive quartz-topped eat-at island, square quartz table and glass bar table.
In the cozy living area, a white leather sectional, Kandinsky artwork and a wall of windows framing idyllic Country Club Plaza views merge in an uncomplicated synthesis of upscale panache.
“Obviously, I am definitely into minimalist design,” said Sharon. “And I firmly believe in ‘if you like it, go with it!’”
Less Is More
When out-of-town friends visit or a grandchild wants to sleep over, the first-floor condo serves as the perfect sanctuary thanks to a sizable bed, small office area and spacious bath.
“We love to hang out and sleep down here,” said Sharon of her grandchildren’s visits. “We have so much fun!”
A steel-covered pocket door opens to the spacious bath’s tangerine accent wall, antique polished-bronze fixtures, track lighting and extra-large concrete shower – all intentionally low-maintenance.
Further, Sharon worked with contractor Malone to utilize five massive sliding barn doors to conceal the generous closet space in the sleeping and office area.
While the Roths may have whittled down their living space from what they once had, they find that their two condos serve them well.
As relatively new residents of Kansas City, they now enjoy the Plaza up close and personal, take strolls through area parks and attend shows at the Kansas City Music Hall and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Additionally, they cherish the time they can now spend with their nearby children and grandchildren enjoying everything from festive birthdays, youth basketball games and weekend sleepovers to random get-togethers and Kansas City events.
Perhaps the only question that remains is, “What will Sharon design next?”
Contractor: Infinity Home Innovations | Interior Designer: Sharon Roth | Appliances: Factory Direct Appliance | Cabinets: Cabinets by King | Countertops: Cambria | Electrician / Light Fixtures: Pro Circuit | Glass & Mirrors: Precision Glass | Plumbing: Full Nelson Plumbing | Plumbing Fixtures: Grandview Winnelson | Furniture: Room and Board | Fireplace: Napoleon Products | Window Coverings: One Stop Decorating | Floor Finishing Products: Decorative Concrete Supply | Light Fixtures: Rensen House of Lights