There’s No Place Like (This!) Home

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Layered color, texture and modern design work together to make this Leawood residence a captivating work of art.

Story by Ann Butenas    |    Photos by Matt Kocourek

At just under 3,400 square feet, this stylish and welcoming home at The Manors of Mission Farms clearly boasts its own unique personality. Completed in June, this four-bedroom, three and a half bath stunner, constructed by Ambassador Homes, is the perfect place to entertain friends and family; snuggle in with a good book; enjoy a fun board game; or just relax and take in the awesome view of the backyard landscape design. Located in Leawood, Kansas, The Manors of Mission Farms is a maintenance-provided, upscale neighborhood that has positioned itself as one of Leawood’s most notable addresses.

When the owners of this one-of-a-kind villa were ready to transition from their former residence to a place in which they hope to spend the rest of their lives, they not only wanted this home to reflect their personalities and tastes, but to also allow them to eventually age in place. This meant putting the primary living spaces on the main level – the master suite, kitchen, laundry, bedroom/office, great room, dining room and half bath – so that everything the couple would need is readily accessible without having to navigate stairs or other obstacles, should they eventually need to keep that in mind. The lower level is home to an expansive recreational/TV area, guest bedroom with bath, another home office and an exercise room.

“This is the second home I built for this couple,” noted Craig Eymann, co-owner of Ambassador Homes, along with his brother Keith, emphasizing that this custom-designed reverse story and a half was built to incorporate a modern design, catering to the couple’s desire for something new and different. “They like unique and different, which is what our company likes to do.”

The homeowners were also drawn to the overall ambiance of the neighborhood.

“We wanted to live in a maintenance provided community as I was tired of mowing the lawn,” mused the homeowner. “We had considered remodeling our former home but decided it was just easier to build a new one.”

Interior designer Kathleen Ramsey, Allied ASID, CLIP, and owner of Ramsey Interiors, described this residence as contemporary married with somewhat of a prairie-style appeal. Ramsey began working with the couple at the blueprint stage and transitioned into helping with the selection of plumbing, lighting, tile, countertops and more. She innately gathered a strong sense of what her clients desired and effectively put that into action.

“We incorporated more solids in the furniture while layering color with the area rugs and accent pieces,” noted Ramsey. “We also layered in texture with the tile design and fabric selections.”

The great room is enhanced by a feature wall – a work of art in and of itself. The homeowners took a couple ideas from Ambassador’s artisan home in the same development and from and then worked with Ramsey to evolve them into a plan for the space. Included is a linear, gas-burning fireplace framed by a floor-to-ceiling tiled wall, with floating, three-inch thick walnut shelving on either side plus a floating cabinet. Ramsey helped the homeowners incorporate existing artwork with new pieces to create a focal point when one enters the home.

“The homeowners wanted something asymmetrical, so we used tile on the face of the fireplace and then added some interest with vertical lines,” noted Ramsey. “They also wanted shelving to display photographs and pottery, so we installed walnut wood shelves on either side of the fireplace.”

The couple also had built-in gallery spaces installed to display the husband’s award-winning photography.

“We used lighter wall colors to hold the art work better,” noted Ramsey. “It was important to my clients to display his photography and for her, an avid reader and collector of books, to have a place to display and store her books. I was involved with the space planning for the book shelves on the lower level, which is next to the TV and card playing area.”

A favored color of the homeowners is blue, which has been artfully blended into the furnishings in varying shades, with a heavier emphasis on navy and cobalt blue. Hints of rust can  be found on occasion throughout the home for an extra pop of color.

A statement piece in the home is the open staircase. Originally designed with the idea of using metal cabling, the homeowners opted for glass construction instead, allowing for an unimpeded view of the outdoor landscaping and water feature from the oversized windows, all designed by landscape architect Kelly VanElders and installed by Lawn & Landscape Solutions.

“We have plans to expand on our landscaping in the backyard, and the large windows by the staircase and across the back of the house give us more visibility to enjoy that,” said the homeowner.

Additionally, the staircase is four feet wide instead of the standard three feet, giving it an even more open feeling and allowing for easier transition of furniture and other large items as needed. Beautifully accenting the stairwell is the two-story light fixture.

“We gathered that idea from a model home and it is one of our favorite features in the home,” indicated the homeowner.

Noticeably absent is an abundance of wall-to-wall carpeting. Instead, hardwood floors dominate throughout most of the home, except for the tiled wet spaces, and are richly accented by area rugs and other accent pieces, seamlessly blending in the overall color palette of the home. The master bedroom and closet, however, are carpeted, as is the main level office. Most of the lower level is also carpeted, with the exception of the bathroom and exercise area.

The kitchen, dining room and great room areas are all open to one another, each space subtly defined by their ceiling heights and treatments, a concept from the couple’s architect, Kathleen Fogel, of Webster Architects, inspired by the couple’s open design ideas.

The homeowners did not shy away from leaving their design fingerprints throughout the home, which is truly livable from top to bottom. The kitchen reflects their penchant for solids as opposed to varying patterns. The beautiful custom cabinets sport urban contemporary shaker designed doors with satin glass adorning the upper cabinet doors. The island enjoys a darker dramatic granite top while the perimeter hosts a lighter, cream-colored Caesarstone, with the posts cut to complement the stair’s newel posts.

The master bathroom is a standout with its zero entry shower and dimensional tile running from the floor into the shower and up on a column and a wall by the shower head, which is located opposite the faucet so the homeowners don’t have to get sprayed when turning on the water to prepare for a shower. Heating elements in the floor add to the cozy, warm feeling of the space.

The homeowners enjoy the open and informal ambiance of the home, supported by its clean and simple lines.

“We designed with the idea of entertaining, as we both have large families who gather over the holidays,” expressed the owner.

When asked what part of the home tends to be a favorite of the couple, the answer was somewhat difficult to express, as the entire home offers spaces for a variety of uses and enjoyment. He prefers the great room for its feature wall and shelves by the fireplace. He also enjoys his main level home office with the built-in desk and the stairwell.  She appreciates the lower level book area in which to store her collection, the great room and the dining room, which is easily accessible from and open to the kitchen for ease of entertaining and serving.

Now that the couple is fully settled in, they look forward to using every square inch of the place and are pleased with both the layout and design of their home, giving heavy credit to Ramsey for her design efforts.

“We had several meetings with Kathleen Ramsey, and she came up with so many great ideas,” noted the homeowner. “Additionally, Kathleen Fogel translated our verbal conception of the house into a buildable plan, with a couple of significant adjustments from my wife.”

True to her clients’ desires, Ramsey created a fully livable and functional home with a sense of design and style that truly reflects the story of the homeowners.

“This home is really well-edited and every accessory serves a purpose,” said Ramsey.


Architect/Home Designer: Webster Architects

Builder/Contractor: Ambassador Homes

Interior Designer: Ramsey Interiors

Outdoor Furniture: Amini’s Galleria

Plumbing Fixtures: Ferguson Enterprises

Countertops, Flooring and Tile: Kenny’s Tile 

Cabinets: Profile Cabinets

Furniture, Glass & Mirrors: Ramsey Interiors

Light Fixtures: Western Chandelier

Appliances: Factory Direct Appliance

Audio Video Visual: Applause Video

Fireplace: Midwest Fireplace

Landscape Design: Kelly Van Elders Landscape Architect

Landscape Installation: Lawn & Landscape Solutions

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