A recycled ranch sports a sleek, new look and green sensibility in Leawood
When real estate agent Andrew Bash showed a traditional 1960s Leawood ranch to a client, he had a light-bulb moment—“This house could go modern very easily.”
He even brought in architect Matthew Hufft of Hufft Projects to show the client how the load bearing walls were all on the outside, so the inside could be opened up. Even so, the client passed on the house. But Andrew and Courtney Bash saw the promise—and bought it.
“We both like ranches,” says Andrew. And they both had very specific ideas on how they wanted to transform it.
Courtney, a Cerner sales training manager, wanted to work with her childhood friend Hufft. Both Bashes wanted to pull in Tim Butt of Black Bamboo for the interior design.
And they both wanted to recycle what they could—as much of the original footprint of the house as possible—yet achieve the “tree house” effect they loved in their former house. With two active boys—Oscar, 4, and Auggie, 3—and a baby on the way, they wanted their home to be open, friendly, as “green” as possible—and family-oriented.
“We have recycled as much as we could and used environmentally safe products as much as we could, but cost and timing some- times don’t work out,” admits Courtney.
“However, it’s possible to train your children to live the way you want to live,” says Andrew. Adds Courtney, “With this house we have less clutter and less commotion, so it’s great for our family.”
Andrew and Courtney Bash wanted—and got:
• A private master bedroom with a tree house feel and lofty ceiling.
• Open living areas for “how we want to live as a family,” Andrew says.
• Huge refrigerator.
• Lots of light.
• An inside/out house.
Today, their house is, as Hufft has dubbed it, “modern with a side of ranch.” Materials used on the exterior carry through indoors. The house is soaring yet cozy, open yet private.
Adds Butt, “It’s a cool, modern house for a young, hip couple.”
Steel-framed commercial windows with custom white shades, strié-patterned rectangular tiles that go from porch to interior entryway, and a mix of dark wood siding and original brick painted a charcoal gray start the design conversation as soon as you walk in the front door.
Neutral colors throughout, modern furniture with Asian twists, and an emphasis on clean lines put the accent on the people who live there.
In the living room the fireplace has been opened up to the back patio, so one structure serves two purposes. Above the fireplace hangs the vivid Aileen Chong painting “Barrido del Fuego” from Blue Gallery. In the mix are a pair of white Hugo chairs, a 19th-century Chinese daybed used as a coffee table, a modern sofa and chaise recovered in nubby Knoll fabric, and hand-embroidered pillows by local artist Judy Ross.
In the dining room, salvaged rosewood from Thailand forms the dining room table while a huge wooden “Super Bowl Buddha”—so named because the Bashes found him when they were shopping on that day—looks serenely over all. Make Studios, an adjunct of Hufft Projects, crafted the media cabinet and the entry wall that stylishly delineates the dining space.
A wealth of windows plus strategically placed lighting, much of it from Museo, means the house is flooded with light.
In the kitchen, sleek cherry cabinetry and Thermador appliances combine form and function. PaperStone, a recycled material formed by multiple layers of paper, creates countertops that have the look and feel of black soapstone.
The original porthole window in the powder room sets the theme for the spa-like space. Penny round tile and a round vessel sink plus a pale aqua bioglass countertop made from recycled glass show the quality materials used throughout the house.
In the “tree house” section, the master bedroom with its soaring ceiling and huge expanse of window is “our family’s favorite room in the house,” says Courtney. “We all hang out here.” Above the bed hangs a series of framed ink on mylar works in the “Biomass” collection by Anne Lindberg from the Dolphin Gallery. Shades of soothing gray and a wall of cabinetry keep the look simple yet sophisticated.
A “floating wall” separates the bedroom from the marble bath with its large walk- in shower and multiple sprayers where, of course, the kids love to splash around.
Upstairs, biodegradable wool Berber carpet and thick padding help create a cozy and quiet space for the boys. Oscar’s bedroom, in burnt orange, features his favorite Warhol print of monkeys. Auggie, who is “all about cozy,” says mom Courtney, has a chocolate brown room with a favorite nesting spot on the floor.
The kids’ bathroom is sensible yet stylish, with bands of pale blue, taupe and cream tile on the floor—a design by Butt— Corian countertops, a dual flush toilet, and a large vessel sink big enough for two to brush their teeth.
And to corral all the toys is a light and airy playroom—up, up, and away yet within sight and sound of anywhere in the house. Outside the playroom, a flat roof is waiting to go “green.”
The last word comes from 4-year-old Oscar. “I love this house,” he told his mom and dad soon after they moved in. And that’s kid with a side of style.
Hufft Projects and Make Studios
321 West 40th St. 816-531-0200 hufft.com
1815 Wyandotte St. 816-283-3000
3021 Main St. 816-531-3537
Studio Dan Meiners
1700 Wyandotte St. 816-842-7244