The accent is on color in accessories and art in this sophisticated, neutrally grounded family home
There are times that a symmetrical brick Georgian house seems imposing, but nestle it in a neighborhood chock-full of families that has quiet streets and wide sidewalks and it takes on an easy air. Flood the space with natural sunlight and a casual vibe and you have a home without a hint of formality.
“When our oldest daughter was ten days old we walked by this house and my husband said he thought we should see it. Little did he know that I had already been stalking it online,” says the wife of the Sunset Hill home they purchased together five years ago. There was an instant connection when they saw it for the first time. “The light is what I love about this house,” she says.
Indeed, front to back, upstairs to down, the home is awash in natural light. Beyond that, this two-career couple has lovingly given it a bright and airy feel. “We weren’t going to do anything. Then we were just going to do the kitchen,” she relates. “You know the story. Then we ended up doing the whole thing.” Still, it was a careful renovation.
They took care of the infrastructure first–plumbing, electrical and the like. “But we didn’t change the floor plan at all,” she notes. “We wanted to keep the floors, the plaster and the moldings as they were.”
The two passed on the now popular kitchen-with- family-room setup and chose to keep those spaces separate, but close. The all-white kitchen is in keeping with the era of the house, though it’s a modern-day version. The family room is just around the corner; close enough to hear their two children but maintaining the kitchen as working space.
As the kitchen was the first step of the project (her father is an architect in Tulsa and on seeing the plans said, “I don’t know why you don’t do the whole thing,”) and its neutral backdrop carries through the rest of the downstairs.
Pale walls and floors with a not-too-dark stain amplify the light. Larger upholstery pieces in the living room, sunroom and family room are neutral colors allowing accents to live on smaller pieces.
While she did most of the decorating herself, the wife took advantage of the consultation of her friend and Parsons School of Design graduate Mindy Day. Day helped with fabrics, which do the work of keeping this older home young and fresh.
The artwork here is striking, and it is endearing to learn that the couple buys a painting every year on their anniversary. Many of the pieces are by Tulsa artists, as the Oklahoma city is the wife’s hometown.
“We commissioned a piece for our fifth anniversary,” she says, pointing to a painting that contains children’s blocks with their daughters’ first initials and the family’s antique rattles. “This is a favorite, too,” she says of a large piece at the bot- tom of the stairs depicting candy in jar. “We got it for our fourth anniversary; it’s called ‘Stick Together.’”
The house was built for four adult siblings, so each bedroom was originally identical in size, each with a bath and a sitting room.
During a previous renovation the room now used as a guest room surrendered its sitting room to provide space for a generous master closet. The master, again, is outfitted in soothing neutrals to allow the shaking off of busy days, the sitting room providing a cozy spot for reading or watching television.
One might think that with two careers and two children, the family might choose to spend their off time hunkered down, but they like to share their home with friends. “We love to entertain, but we keep it casual,” the wife says. Sometimes we just have people here for drinks before we go out. We love to have friends in our home.”
Joey O’Connor’s Consignment Shop
4740 Rainbow Blvd. 913-384-2424
114 Southwest Blvd. 816-283-3000
Bergamot & Ivy
520 W. Pennway 816-561-5599
Mindy Day Designs