Plaza-area condo made for entertaining

The light-filled living room contains Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams sofas and chairs that allow for comfortable, easy gatherings with friends. The coffee table was designed by the homeowner's nephew at Salmon Studios in Massachusetts. Aaron Leimkuehler

A Kansas City couple with a love for art and entertaining reimagines a simple and modern Country Club Plaza condo.

Sometimes life is a combination of happenstance and good instincts. The homeowners of this lovely Alameda Plaza condominium have benefited from both.

Busy executives, the couple found each other through their building manager. The first date at Cafe Trio lasted three hours and they’ve been together ever since.

When it came time to create a home together, they settled on a lovely building with beautiful views. They had a vision for the space, but it would take some work.

The space had originally been designed in 1989 and not updated since, except for new kitchen appliances. The homeowners reached out to Geri Higgins of Portfolio Kitchen & Home looking for information on their Thermador appliances and ended up enlisting Higgins’ design studio in the the renovation.  

Flanking sofas and chairs, also Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, are accented with a custom bench designed and upholstered through Portfolio.Aaron Leimkuehler

 

The designer was delighted they had chosen a great place to start. “The unit is stunning,” Higgins says. Understanding the great bones of the space, Higgins wanted to focus on providing a sophisticated, yet calming environment for her clients. “These are busy, successful people. She is so elegant and warm. We wanted to channel that into their home,” says Higgins. But first, they needed to be smart about the space.

“All good design starts with smart space planning,” Higgins says. “Once we sorted the details of how the space would work, we got deep into the details.”

Higgins understood that beyond loving to cook, the homeowners like to engage their guests—in food preparation and in conversation. To accomplish a dream kitchen fit for both cooking and entertaining friends, a complete remodel was in order.

Portfolio designed the custom cabinets to meet the cook’s specifications. The New Freedom cooktop is by Thermidor and the Italian hood is custom. Chairs and barstools at the chef’s table are House of Denmark.Aaron Leimkuehler

 

“They like people to be involved,” Higgins says. The kitchen was designed to accommodate a large group at the dinner table with the island serving as chef’s table. The couple had no need for a formal dining room, but knowing that future owners may not feel the same way, designed a television room nearby that could serve as a dining room if a future occupant demands it.

The couple has a passion for art and wanted that to be a focus. “We thought the neutral palette would create a fluidity throughout the home and elevate the art collection,” says Higgins.

Aaron Leimkuehler

While the den, a cocoon of rich colors and textures, was designed as a private spot for relaxing and watching TV, the living room is more formal. The furniture is primarily low silhouettes with clean lines and few sharp angles. This allows the outdoor scenery to shine. “They have such beautiful views of Loose Park and the Plaza,” Higgins says.

The homeowners wanted something sophisticated with a soothing vibe. To this end, the team worked in calming colors and kept surfaces clean—there’s a place for everything.  

Higgins understood the pair’s demanding professional lives and worked to provide a spa-like feel in the master his-and-her bath. “We wanted together-space and private-space, says the homeowner. “It’s a big bathroom and we were able to make a statement with the marble-wrapped walls.  It’s very functional, but I wanted it to feel like a sanctuary,” Higgins says.  

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