Regal Magic

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This metro area home presents a timeless elegance in landscape design, seamlessly blending unique architecture and style.

Story by Ann Butenas    |    Photography by Matt Kocourek

If the Royal Family ever had to stay in the metro area and required accommodations worthy of such regal status, then perhaps they should check into this stunningly renovated home situated in the Sunset Hills/Stratford Gardens area in Kansas City, Missouri.

Purchased sight unseen by Adam Kincaid and Michael Noonan when they were living in Chicago, what began as a renovation headache in 2021 has beautifully transformed into a veritable masterpiece. It was actually Kincaid’s parents who saw the home first and strongly encouraged Kincaid and Noonan to put an offer in.

“After we purchased the home, we did not expect to do as much to it as we did, but it has been worth it,” expressed Kincaid. 

While Kincaid and Noonan completely rejuvenated the interior of the home, the exterior received a generous helping of attention, as well. After all, curb appeal is a must for this home, and it needed to put its best foot forward in order to keep pace with the savvy design style of its owners. Granted, it took a lot of sweat, tears, and muscle to get to this place, but every overturned stone, uprooted tree, new light feature, perfectly placed planter, and intentionally selected piece of limestone was worth the effort.

Balance + Harmony = Gorgeous Presentation

“I’m a symmetry person,” expressed Kincaid, who enjoys the simplicity of the overall landscape design of his home, as it is in such simplicity that great detail can be found. As one who expressly desired a white and green palette from which to work, Kincaid’s vision has proven that simplicity is the ultimate form of elegance and sophistication.

“I didn’t just want grass,” noted Kincaid. “I also wanted layers and textures.”

This expansive outdoor project made efficient use of all of its green spaces with entertaining at top of mind. Working in conjunction with Jason Opheim, Landscape Designer with Rosehill Gardens, the homeowners successfully captured the updated personality of the space in many elevated ways.

Among the extensive “to do” list for the exterior of the home included painting the house white, upgrading the sprinkler system, installing ample landscape lighting, getting a new front door with a new window just above, completing some stucco repair, and more. It has definitely been a work in progress, but each completed step offers breath-taking rewards.

“I drew out everything for the yard and asked Jason to give me options,” noted Kincaid.

Welcome to our home!

A path formerly led from the street to the front door, but Kincaid jokingly suggested that might be a bit “too inviting.” As such, he and Noonan created what they refer to as their “Covid patio,” which they used for gatherings with family and friends during the height of the pandemic.  

“Since we loved our Chicago stoop so much, we decided to build an oversized patio on the front of the house,” noted Kincaid. The 24’ x 40’ landing is set in bluestone with three pathways meeting at the center. A table was placed at the intersection of those pathways and is adorned with a centerpiece of flowers.

And that is just the opening page of this amazing outdoor plan.

“Because he is an interior decorator, Adam had a lot of input in this project,” noted Opheim, referring to the many layers, textures, and styles evident throughout the entire design.

Getting down to the business of landscape design

When initiating this project, Opheim removed overgrown boxwoods and yews, along with seven trees.  He then added 28 more as part of the landscape overhaul, which included some gingerbread clump maples, white redbuds, and hornbeams. He also added a nice mixture of greens with varied textures to create a wall of privacy which also serves as a gorgeous backdrop for the 200+  stunning white hydrangeas that were planted along the drive.

“The sides were landscaped to frame the home and provide a layer of privacy,” noted Opheim, who also thickened the east and west sides with more viburnums, dogwood trees, and big evergreens mixed in.

Making sure to fully maximize the green space, the owners even added a cornhole game area, which is accented by limelight hydrangeas.  

For the overall design, Opheim relied on many natural grasses mixed with a clean lawn, a boxwood garden, and design savvy architectural features, such as stacked limestone steps.

As a result of all of the intentional design elements, each space stands on its own stage without one overpowering the other. Instead, they work in concert to provide a beautiful visual symphony.

“I really enjoyed working on this project,” stated Opheim. “We were not stuck to a piece of paper or design, and for a project this size, it worked great.”

After all the design work was completed, Opheim and his team re-sodded the front yard for that simple yet sophisticated finished look.

“This was definitely a fun project,” smiled Opheim.

Kincaid and Noonan are equally thrilled with the results.

“The landscape around this house is always changing and evolving,” emphasized Kincaid, whose favorite part of the yard is the initial drive flanked with vertical hornbeams. Perhaps that makes sense, as when one moves onto this property, they are on the first page of a magical story with page-turning elements that never cease to captivate and inspire.

“This is a great place to call home,” smiled Kincaid.

Project by Rosehill Gardens

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