Riss Lake Elegance

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A magnificent waterfront home on Riss Lake blends effortlessly with its luxurious neighborhood and charming natural setting.

Story by Jeanne de Lathouder     |     Photography by Paul Bonnichsen

Located in the exclusive gated community of Westshore Estates, this exquisite home on Riss Lake is a dream come true for a Kansas City couple, their three teenage boys, and their three rescue dogs. Upon entering the idyllic neighborhood setting, you are welcomed by a stone gatehouse and a series of tranquil waterfalls and reflective ponds. Illuminated by a trail of authentic gas lanterns, a brick road winds through this serene paradise nestled within the heart of Parkville. Built by Casa Bella Construction in 2019, the gorgeous custom home offers more than 10,000 square feet and sits on more than an acre of land that backs to the area’s beautiful 134-acre fishing and sailing lake. The homeowners, a veteran Marine who now works in manufacturing, and a homemaker, who is also an avid volunteer for several animal rescue shelters, purchased the lot in 2015.  

“I have loved interior design all my life, and before building this house, I spent a few years collecting photos and doing research on everything we wanted for our home,” says the homeowner. “I had our files and photos all organized before my first meeting with our builder, Russ Groshans, of Casa Bella Construction and our architect, Byron Sawyer. By the time we started the building process, I was ready and so excited,” she adds.

The spacious floorplan is traditional with a modern twist yet emits a decidedly homey feel. All the rooms were designed to flow together gracefully for entertaining and day-to-day family use. Large windows — some of them floor-to-ceiling — allow lots of natural sunlight and bring the beauty of the outdoors inside. The exterior façade was crafted with beautiful stone that blends in with the nature around it, and the driveways are lined with brick that was repurposed from an old train station. A lush, sprawling lawn complements the setting and includes trees lining the back edges where you can capture views of the lake. The property also features a quaint pathway that leads down to the lake.

“This home is in a very unique and private enclave aptly named West Shore,” says Russ. “It sits along the western shore of beautiful Riss Lake in Parkville on a gated drive lined with some of the area’s largest and most exquisite luxury homes. The house was designed by Byron Sawyer, an amazing architect with whom I have been fortunate to have collaborated scores of times over the past couple of decades. In addition, many of the materials for the home were sourced by the homeowners from suppliers throughout the country,” he notes. 

During the build, Ann Arkebauer of Ann Arkebauer Designs worked with the homeowner to help select the engineered wood flooring on the main floor, doorknob and hardware selections, and other interior elements. Ann, along with Kay Roppe at ProSource, also assisted with other flooring selections as well as the tile products.  

“Sometimes I knew I loved the color or texture but didn’t always know how well they would hold up with our busy family,” says the homeowner.  “I am so thankful for their expertise,” she adds.

Upon entering through the front double doors with clear glass, you immediately experience breathtaking views of the backyard through floor-to-ceiling windows and the stunning beauty of the formal dining room and living area. The walls are painted in one shade to ensure a satisfying continuity and seamless flow, with the ceiling and trim painted in a lighter complementary hue. 

“I wanted the furniture and the lighting to make the space,” says the homeowner. “Lighting is the jewelry of the home, and I made spreadsheets for each room. It was one of my favorite things to choose for this home — you don’t want it to overpower the room,” she sums. 

The spacious gourmet kitchen features a Wolf double-range free-standing gas oven, a Sub-Zero refrigerator, and everything the family needs for cooking and entertaining. Custom cabinetry ensures plenty of storage and keeps the kitchen free of clutter. The homeowner had over 25 pages of drawings and worked with Dana Hayes at Miller’s Custom Cabinets to create them. 

“I brought in all my photos, and he brought the cabinets to life,” says the homeowner. “The organization in our home is key to our busy life.” 

In addition, there is a walk-through pantry from the kitchen to the mudroom, and just off the hearth room, there is a screened deck with a gas grill.  

“My husband and boys love to cook,” says the homeowner. “We just love to sit out on our screened deck, watch TV, and enjoy nature — and all the deer — in the backyard,” she adds. 

The lavish master bedroom includes a Tiffany brick-blend fireplace from Old Texas Brick. The blend contains a subtle aqua tint that matches the Cambria natural quartz countertops in the master bathroom. A dazzling chandelier from Currey & Company creates a captivating focal point, and a coffee deck just outside provides an idyllic spot to enjoy breakfast or a nightcap. Luxurious his-and-her closets incorporate a charming walnut library ladder, custom cabinetry, and Cambria quartz surfaces. An elegant yet simple gold-arm chandelier befits the space without overpowering. 

The main floor includes his-and-her offices, one of which doubles as a craft room with an expansive island, organizing drawers, and a wrapping paper display that stretches to the ceiling. This office was intentionally designed to be both functional and beautiful. 

“Carrie McColgan from Seville Home and I worked together for what seemed like days on the furniture, fabrics, and rugs for the main floor,” recalls the homeowner. “Carrie is amazing and helped me immensely. She is now helping me select outdoor furniture as we are designing a pool out back. We’ll eventually have a fence surrounding our yard, so I am hoping to create a large space with agility equipment for our rescue dogs,” she adds.

The basement is ideal for entertaining and includes a bar, a full hidden kitchen behind the wall, a custom wine room, bedroom suite, theatre, golf simulator, and a gym with an infrared sauna and steam shower. To create an industrial look for this space, the homeowner incorporated two fireplaces — a stainless steel linear fireplace in the main rec room and a floor-to-ceiling antique black fireplace from Old Texas Brick in the game room — a glass wine cellar, and a rustic barn   door by Chris Owings. This space was the perfect place to cheer on the Chiefs in 2019 when the family hosted more than 130 people for the Super Bowl. Before the party, the homeowner called on Jennifer Surface of Surface to Surface Design to help add a few items to the basement. She also commissioned her to paint an incredible portrait of the trees and the lake they hung downstairs.  

“This home is perfect for entertaining — it didn’t even seem there were that many people here,” jokes the homeowner. “We get so many compliments on our home, and working with Russ Groshans was incredible — I have known him for 14 years. When we first came to Parkville, we moved into a Casa Bella home, and that is when our relationship started. I have so much respect for him as a builder and a person. He met with me each Friday on-site and helped me design ceilings and things I was really unsure about,” she notes. “He has the most incredible eye and is so passionate about every home he builds.”

“Working with these clients on this home was a marriage made in heaven,” says Russ. “We had amazing fun and truly never disagreed about anything. The homeowner was so involved in every step of the process, and she has amazing taste! We shared ideas back and forth and almost always agreed on every detail. When one of us didn’t immediately see the vision being presented by the other, we would just operate on trust, and we were never disappointed with the result,” he adds. “It was a collaboration that builders dream of.”


  • Development: Riss Lake
  • Builder/Contractor: Casa Bella Construction
  • Interior Designer: Ann Arkebauer Design
  • Project Designer: Apex Engineers
  • Architect: Bryon L Sawyer Architects
  • Appliances: Factory Direct Appliance, Ferguson Bath Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
  • Audio/Video: Absolute Audio
  • Brick: Old Texas Brick
  • Cabinets & Wine Cellar: Miller’s Custom Cabinets
  • Countertops: CKF
  • Countertops: Signature Solid Surface
  • Custom Barnwood Door: Got Barn Wood
  • Doors: Morgan-Wightman
  • Drywall: Wallboard Specialties
  • Electrician: Platinum Electric
  • Elevator: KC Elevator & Lift
  • Excavation: Larry Brown Excavating
  • Fireplace: Midwest Fireplace
  • Flooring: K.C. Tile and Flooring
  • Flooring Carpeting & Hardwood: Pro Source
  • Foundation: Pope’s Foundation
  • Framing: Square Deal Framing
  • Furniture, Outdoor Furniture & Firepit: Seville Home 
  • Garage Doors: Raynor Garage Doors
  • Garage Floor: Desco Flooring
  • Garage Storage: FECO Flatwork
  • Glass & Mirrors: Fountain Glass
  • Golf Simulator: Midwest Golf Innovations
  • Hardscaping: Keith Scott
  • Hardware: Locks and Pulls
  • Heating & Cooling: Apex Heating & Air Conditioning
  • Home Security & Home Theater: Absolute Audio
  • Kitchen Ceiling Beams: Scott Swift Custom Trim
  • Landscaping & Landscape Lighting: Hermes Landscaping
  • Leaded Glass Window: Leaded Glass Studio
  • Light Fixtures: Best Lighting
  • Lumber: 84 Lumber
  • Masonry: Bordner Stucco
  • Paint: Sherwin Williams
  • Painter: Loper Painting
  • Plumbing: Hampton Plumbing
  • Plumbing Fixtures: Neenan
  • Pool Table: Nebraska Furniture Mart
  • Roofing: Century Roofing
  • Specialty Painting: Loper Painting
  • Sprinkler System: Lawnworx 
  • Staircase Railings: Morgan-Wightman
  • Stone Company: Architectural Masonry & Restoration
  • Tile: Pro Source
  • Trim Work: Scott Swift Custom Trim
  • Window Coverings: Affordable Blinds and Shutters
  • Windows: Pella Products of KC

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