High and Low

Two Kansas City design pros mastered the high/low mix in this modernist home

You might suppose that you’re familiar with most of the houses that border Ward Parkway, that dreamy, curvy, tree- lined boulevard that runs through the center of some of Kansas City’s prettiest residential neighborhoods. But there is a tiny jewel tucked among the branches that you might have missed, despite the bright orange door.

Kristin Goodman is a Kansas City native who has spent some time away from the city of her birth, though she is a Midwestern woman at heart and by residence. Until recently, Kristin and her husband, Marty Peterson, lived in Minneapolis (another city with a split identity). When they moved to Kansas City they were committed to finding a modern home near downtown.

“We were in a loft in Minneapolis. Originally, we thought we might be north of the Plaza. We considered the Westside, but I was stalking houses on KCModern.com, and I kept coming back to this one,” says Goodman.

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The couple committed to a complete renovation, though they maintained the original structure of the house. “We removed the wood paneling and the green slate in the entry and opened up the kitchen, but the high door openings and the sky- lights — the modern bones — are all original.”

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Not unusually, the design conversation began in the kitchen. Formerly a galley that presented a long wall opposite the entry, the new design is sleek, svelte and open.

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The home is flooded with sunlight, despite the architecture not being overpowered by windows and glass. Its edited floor plan— kitchen, living room, dining room and office downstairs, with two bedrooms up—basically imitates the couple’s loft in Minnesota.

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One of the noteworthy original features is the stone fireplace that spans one wall of the living room. Both modern and organic, it resembles the stacked stone fences traditional in the rural areas of the region. “It’s basically the whole reason I loved the house,” says Goodman.

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They began the renovation last February, and they agree that it was largely a positive experience thanks to their contractor, Dave Haggard. “Dave started out studying architecture, so he really understands the process,” says Peterson. Haggard had worked with Kristin’s late father, Cary Goodman, a local architect, so it was like doing business with extended family.

Growing up the design world provided Goodman with an aesthetic second language, and she built her own career on that foundation. The kitchen and dining room both feature lighting from HighTower Group, where Kristin and Marty both work.

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The rest of the home is enhanced by the work of design icons like Warren Platner and Marimekko fabrics.

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From the upstairs Goodman and Peterson enjoy views of the neighborhood and the Plaza beyond. “You really do feel like you’re living in a treehouse,” says Goodman.

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Six months for a soup to nuts renovation seems like quite a whirl, but the couple is serene. “We love Kansas City; it was always our plan to get back here. My family and friends are here. I didn’t think I was going to be able to find a modern house that I loved,” says Goodman.

But they did.

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