Even this kids’ rooms in this glam Leawood home have a spark of Hollywood regency
The first thing most new visitors to Megan and Jay Wombolt’s Leawood house do is express their surprise that two young children also call it home.
“Visitors are always so worried that their kids are going to ruin something in our house, but everything in this house was picked with kids in mind,” Megan Wombolt says. “We really believe that you can have the look you want but still have kids.”
In fact, the house itself was chosen with children in mind: The couple’s move to Leawood—to the very neighborhood that Megan Wombolt grew up in—was prompted by the arrival of their first child, Louise, now 3 years old.
For the young family (the couple now also has an infant son, John), the most important consideration was having multiple bathrooms and a spacious, open-plan living area. This house, with the high-ceilinged living room separated from the eat-in kitchen only by a narrow, double-sided fireplace, fit the bill perfectly.
“We always gather in the kitchen—that was one of the main sell- ing points of this house,” Wombolt says. “When friends bring their kids over, we have to have this kind of space. We want them to be able to pull up a high chair to the kitchen table, and we love the bar for the toddlers to sit at.”
The family started to put their stamp on their new home before they even moved in, exchanging its former Tuscan design scheme of deep brown and tan paint colors and wrought iron fixtures for a lighter and brighter look.
Wombolt initially took on some of the decorating herself (she chose much of the furniture and the Designers Guild wallpapers seen in the master suite and dining room), but last year, with their second child on the way, she wanted help bringing in some interesting elements.
Enter designer Katy Sullivan, who was a sorority sister to Wombolt at the University of Kansas. The two hadn’t seen each other in many years but immediately clicked when Sullivan came over for the initial consult.
“Megan already had a great start. She knew that she wanted to step-up her place, but she wasn’t sure how,” Sullivan says. “It’s like she had an amazing dress, but she didn’t have the shoes, bag or belt to style it.”
Having grown up spending part of her years at her family’s Palm Springs vacation home, Wombolt already was a fan of the Hollywood Regency style. She and Sullivan worked together to incorporate its hallmark features: bold colors and patterns, oversized accessories and a touch of glamour.
“Megan’s joke term for her home’s style is ‘chic Hereford House,’” Sullivan says. “She loves cows and she’s very down to earth.”
That practicality shows in the home’s balance of glamour with the (sometimes messy) realities of family life.
The latter played a large role in the choice of materials that Sullivan and Wombolt chose: The leather-seated Hancock and Moore chairs at the kitchen bar can easily be sponged clean, as can the chairs at the kitchen and dining room tables, which have all been covered in easy-care fabrics.
“My kids can smear their hands all over them and it just wipes off,” Wombolt says, referring to the kitchen chairs that bear slipcovers in the “Peacock” print from Trina Turk’s indoor/outdoor fabric collection for Schumacher.
When it came to the children’s rooms, Wombolt says she wanted them to be “juvenile, but not cheesy.” To this end, she and Sullivan filled baby John’s room with playful accents and a nod to mid-century style. The Jonathan Adler zebra-print rug, illustration of the iconic Eames rocking chair and oversized chrome jack by mid- century designer Bill Curry are pieces that won’t be outgrown.
Including elements that their children could continue to enjoy as they got older was important to Wombolt. It’s almost a family tradition.
“It’s hard for me to buy pieces that they can’t take with them,” she says. “I have a lot of antiques that my mom and grandmother passed on to me. I still have my first big-girl bed.”
Those handed-down pieces perfectly assimilate into the family’s contemporary home, by virtue of some clever updates. For example, a rocking chair that has been in Wombolt’s family since the 1870s now looks just right in daughter Louise’s bedroom, thanks to an update with ebony woodstain, Schumacher upholstery and a cheery Jonathan Adler throw pillow.
This synthesis of fresh, modern style with objects that hold deep personal significance to the family are the hallmarks of the Wombolt home.
In the master bedroom, it is the enlarged photos of the couple as children and of the edifice of The Parker, the Palm Springs hotel where they married, that add punch. The same is true in the dining room, where the brightly colored Versace plates they received as wedding gifts are displayed on the dining room wall. Throughout the home, bold colors and patterns mingle with family heirlooms and artwork created by family or friends.
“If I have something on the wall, I want it to be personal,” Wombolt says. “I wanted to have meaningful things because, well, you’re looking at it all day.”
Katy Sullivan Designs
Profile 913-492-5057 (Lenexa) or 913- 722-5867 (Mission Road)
Studio Dan Meiners