A pair of serial renovators finally find a place to settle in Corinth Downs
If the names Joanna and Jack Beal sound familiar, you aren’t imagining it: The couple’s last home was featured in the November 2014 issue of Kansas City Spaces. In that story we called them “serial renovators,” so the more dramatic title of this story might well be Return of the Serial Renovators.
The nickname makes Joanna Beal chuckle, but she doesn’t deny it: “We’ve been married 35 years now, and I think we’ve lived in 15 homes together,” she says. “It’s kind of in our blood, I guess.”
In the time it would take many of us to get used to which cabinet we’d put the wine glasses in or remembered where we put the boxes with the holiday decorations, the Beals found their next home—almost literally a stone’s throw away in the Corinth Downs area of Prairie Village.
“When our offer was accepted on this house, I thought: ‘Here we go again,’” Beal laughs.
But this time it’s different, she says. This time, the couple believes they’ve finally found what may be their forever home. The Beals already were impressed with the upkeep, landscaping and neighborly spirit in their community, says Beal, but there’s more to their desire to put down roots than that:
“We have three grandchildren and a fourth on the way,” she explains. “We want them to have memories of going to grandma and grandpa’s house for Halloween parties, Christmases and that kind of thing.”
Finding their new home may have been straightforward, but there was still plenty of work to be done before it would be just right.
For this house, as with their last Corinth Downs house, the Beals worked with designer Patrick Kappelmann, who’s perhaps best known for his landscape design.
“We’ve worked with him for more than 10 years on landscaping projects, but he’s just as phenomenal when it comes to interior design and was the lead designer on our two most recent homes,” Beal says. “Sometimes I just shake my head in wonder. I don’t how he comes up with these great ideas and solutions I could never see.”
The key goal of the renovation was to make better use of the home’s square footage. Some of the updates included moving a door leading out to the courtyard from the living room into the dining room, moving a small downstairs powder room to enlarge the kitchen, and creating a master bathroom from a generous bedroom closet (a new closet was created from an unused nook in the master bedroom instead). They also raised and widened doorways everywhere possible and had hardwood floors installed throughout the house.
The changes, Beal says, really improved the flow of the house from room to room, making it a great space for entertaining family and friends—something the couple loves to do.
When you enter the foyer, you’re greeted by a dramatic circular staircase leading up to a balcony landing, with a guest bedroom at either side. Step behind the staircase and it opens up to the living room and dining room; turn left to the kitchen; turn right and you’ll find yourself heading toward the master bedroom and the couple’s home office.
The home’s transitional style benefits from Kappelmann’s expertise in finding unique pieces, such as the oversized vintage chandelier—which once hung in Kansas City’s Carriage Club—that anchors the living room, along with some of the Beals’ own finds and family heirlooms, like the partners’ desk in the office, purchased at an estate sale in Harrisonville. The couple also purchased some pieces, including the kitchen table, at the estate sale of the home’s previous owner.
Stark white walls and pops of red from the carpets lend a fresh edginess, balancing the home’s traditional furnishings. An eclectic collection of art, which includes contemporary paintings by the late artist and Kansas City Art Institute professor Lester Goldman, as well as quirky vintage finds from estate sales, contributes to the transitional style.
“We have very eclectic tastes, and we’ve collected a lot of great pieces over the years,” Beal says of their approach to creating a home. “I think the key is simply to buy things you enjoy looking at. As we get older and spend more time with these things they gather more meaning—not as mere ‘possessions’ but because of the memories attached to them. That’s what a home is all about.”
Now that the Beals have completed the renovation and decoration of a home they plan to stay in, have their collecting days come to an end?
“We’re not on the hunt anymore, but if I happened to find something I just had to have, I would,” Beal says, laughing. “Never say never.”
Parrin & Co.
Bergamot & Ivy Design
RENOVATION AND INTERIOR DESIGN