Chapter and Verse

With a passion for Italy, antique architectural elements, and homes with integrity, homeowner Michael Maude brings it all together at Mio Macigno

At a time when many 60-somethings are considering downsizing their homes or moving from a traditional house to a more compact apartment or condominium—Michael Maude decided to think outside the box in a big way. He’s now living out his “Third Chapter” with a renewed vitality and by embracing all kinds of new challenges, including remarriage and a brand new home in Lawrence, Kansas.

“As I approached my 65th birthday,” says Maude, “a friend gave me a copy of sociologist Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot’s book, Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50. It proves that there is still life—lots of it—to experience after adulthood and middle age.

“I’m having a great time.”

Maude’s Tuscan-inspired dwelling—designed by Dan and Nicole Sabatini and built by Huston Homes—is a solid structure constructed of locally quarried limestone. Maude and his husband, Randall Wallace, even gave the house a fitting name: Mio Macigno, which translates roughly as “My Rock.” (Macigno, pronounced MASS-Eenio, is more of a boulder than a stone.) Asked if the term refers to the strength of the new house or his relationship, Maude said “both.”

Michael Maude in his studio.

Maude, who spent most of his career working in the nonprofit field, knew he wanted the house of his Third Chapter to resonate with the area of Umbria he had fallen in love with in an earlier stage of his life. “I had lived in older homes. I had built a home before. My children are grown. I couldn’t find an existing house with the character that I wanted, so I turned to Dan and Nicole Sabatini and we decided to build what I wanted.”

In the library, a painting by Spanish artist Jordi Salart hangs above a 19th-century Italian mantel.

Even before the first shovel of dirt could be lifted to build the new home’s foundation, Maude—who was raised in a “standard Overland Park tri-level” in Johnson County—had already ordered a shipping crate filled with the unique components he wanted to use in his new dwelling: an antique floor salvaged from an Italian home, ceiling tiles, a wellhead for the courtyard, a 19th-century wood mantelpiece. Majolica tiles for the kitchen. Marble sinks.

The dining room table, purchased from Mercato Antiques, was the first piece of furniture Maude bought for the house.

“When the materials arrived,” says Maude, “not a single thing was broken. The masonry expert we hired to work with all the stuff scratched his head at first, but once he got into it, he had so much fun with the project. It was a real collaborative affair. I stained the beams and did the plastering myself. I like having a part of myself in the house.”

Maude says the thing that he and Wallace “absolutely required” for their new home was “the patina of old age…of having been lived-in for some time already.

Antique Italian majolica tile serves as both backsplash and floor tile for the powder room.

 

The guest bathroom features a wide antique Turkish sink from Christopher Filley Antiques.

“When people step into the house, I want them to feel immediately at ease. It’s a space filled with warmth and light. There’s no formal dining room in this house. I wanted a kitchen big enough to cook and to entertain in.”

The open-air loggia features a grilling fireplace and, above the long bench, an architectural fragment incorporated into the stone wall.

Maude calls Mio Macigno a “perfectly imperfect” house.

Maude applied pale-blue tinted plaster in the master bedroom.
Two antique marble sinks are set into the tile counter in the master bath.
Two amphorae by Maude’s son, Marshall Maude, a professor of ceramics at the University of Kansas, hang in the master bath.

“A lot of things are not perfectly done. To me, that just becomes part of the character of the house. The house is on a third of an acre, but doesn’t face the road. It’s in a little valley. We have three full baths, a kitchen, a library, and a studio where I work with glass and jewelry and make prints.

“It’s the best house in the world for celebrating the third chapter of a wonderful life.”

Seen and Noted

Antique architectural elements give the new home a patina of age.

In the library, antique Italian leaded glass doors from Mercato Antiques swing open to the outdoors.

 

The coat closet doors were salvaged from a Tuscan farmhouse. The open grate above allowed for air flow.
The walls leading into the library are framed with carved limestone architectural fragments depicting books and scrolls.

SOURCES

ARCHITECT
Sabatini Architects Inc.

CONTRACTOR
Huston Homes
785-887-6573

RECLAIMED WOOD
Elmwood Reclaimed Timber

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