Fall 2023

Eclectic Modernism

Words by Andrea Glinn  |  Photos by Josie Henderson

A refreshed ’80s-era MCM-style home at Lake Quivira melds minimalist tendencies with Hollywood glam.

J

en and Justin Wood have established a pattern of buying and remodeling a home every five years at Lake Quivira with this—their third—home makeover. But they claim this time is their last.

When we featured their modern farmhouse in our Spring 2022 issue (see it on the cover in the bookcase below), they had already sold that house and were near closing on this one—a mid-1980s gem built in the mid-century-modern style. They hadn’t intended to flip their previous house, but when a neighborhood friend informed them of the possibility of this home—with its connection between the indoors and outdoors, maximal daylight and mix of glass, steel and natural materials—coming on the market, the couple quickly switched gears.

With the home’s horizontal lines, wraparound porches and copious amounts of glass (that allow a visitor to see straight through the home), its fundamental design was already compelling. The Woods bought it from the children of the original owner, and—while it was well-maintained and had great bones—the couple envisioned making the home better for entertaining and more livable by today’s standards.

The original home included a sunken living room, an open entryway stair, irregular slate flooring, vaulted main-level living spaces and ample floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. Plus, it touted nearly two dozen sliding doors. Though they reduced the number of sliding doors to a mere fourteen, all of the notable design features remain.

Local architect Brandon Froelich of McHenry Shaffer Architecture spearheaded the architectural design of the renovation. His priority was to figure out how to completely open the kitchen to the living and dining rooms, which involved removing walls and a structural column as well as reinforcing the roof structure with a laminated beam. Brandon also enhanced the exterior living spaces by adding another level of outdoor terrace that features a custom, Corten-steel wood-burning stove (crafted by Justin’s company, Dimensional Innovations) and a beautiful, board-formed concrete wall that mimics the horizontal lines of the home beyond.

For the interior, Jen wasn’t too worried about being true to the mid-century design aesthetic, given that the home was built in the 1980s and also that she has more of an eclectic, loose decorating style than a rigid, purist approach. However, she did respect the original architecture and incorporated the MCM style into some of the furnishings. In the entry foyer, for example, Jen added a cluster of period-true Nelson bubble pendants and kept the floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelves intact.

On the other hand, the living and sitting rooms have a distinct farmhouse feel, exemplified by the natural cleft limestone hearth and shiplap wall boards. And most of the rest of the house—namely the kitchen, dining room, primary bedroom, powder room and office—exudes a notably glamorous vibe, with the dramatic use of color, heavily figured and polished stone slabs, floor-to-ceiling velvet drapes, and gold light fixtures and hardware throughout. In other words, Jen took liberties to make the space her own and had fun doing it.

The kitchen—which was previously a bit sad, drab and sparse—became the heart of the home when Jen opened it up to the surrounding spaces and designed it to meet her family’s specific needs. She replaced some of the perimeter casework with a central island, where the whole family can sit and play a game or share a meal. She also added a wet bar and coffee station that features a black granite backsplash and countertop, contrasting the rest of the kitchen’s light quartzite surfaces and making it feel like a separate space within the space.

But often, it is the small moments that bring us joy, and one of Jen’s favorite design elements in the kitchen is the open shelf running the length of the refrigerator wall and around the corner into the adjacent sitting room. The objects on display are her way of adding a personal layer to the home and interest to the space.

Organic decor juxtaposes the vintage, industrial vibe of the yellow counter stools, as well as the high-contrast stone and wood cabinets and gold-accented cabinet hardware and light fixtures—all reinforcing the eclectic design language used consistently throughout the house.

Another highlight of the remodel—the primary suite—involved downsizing the bedroom to enlarge the bathroom and walk-in closet to enhance functionality. Aesthetically, both rooms are equal parts minimalist modern and Hollywood drama. In the bedroom, a set of repeating, oak acoustic wall panels and an Eames lounge chair represent the machined aspect of the modern age. Meanwhile, the full-length velvet drapery, gilded-gold accents and emerald jewel-toned color palette suggest a more decadent side of contemporary life.

The gold-adorned ensuite features an ample, frameless-glass steam shower, porcelain faux-marble flooring and custom wood cabinets with reveals cut into the face to mimic slat panels. The organization of the space is straightforward and anchored by a view into the woods, while the decor trends more maximalist and femme, creating a place where minimalist modern mixes with opulence and ease.

With masterful precision, Jen has created a home that is welcoming and warm, modern without being cold, and luxurious without being ostentatious. And, most importantly, she has designed a home that accommodates the lifestyle of her young, social, ever-busy family and looks good, too.

 

Designer: Jen Wood Interiors,  @jenwoodinteriors

Architect: McHenry Shaffer Architecture, @mchenryshafferarchitecture

Contractor: Schmitt Remodeling

Resources

Engineer: Apex Engineers, Inc.
Landscaper: Justin Wood; PLAID collaborative; KC Concrete; Dimensional Innovations; Standard Sheet Metal
Appliances: Factory Direct (Sub-Zero and Wolf)
Art: Michael Snodgrass; Glenna Adkins; Julie Wood; Jane Gallagher; Kaiser Suidan; Mike Dargas
Cabinets: Parks Cabinets
Countertops: Stone Surface Inc.
Electronics: Fuzion Audio Video–Brandon Brooks
Flooring: Acme Floor Company
Rugs: CB2; West Elm; FLOR; Vintage Oriental
Furnishings: RH; West Elm; Golden & Pine; Design Within

 

Fabrication: Wine Rack–Janssen Glass and VintageView; Custom Dining Table and Entry Console–Dimensional Innovations
Reach; Crate & Barrel
Accessories: Golden & Pine; Virginia Sin; Etsy; Family Tree Nursery; Crate & Barrel
Hardware: Top Knobs
Plumbing Fixtures: Ferguson–Kohler
Lighting Fixtures: Design Within Reach; Arhaus; Crate & Barrel; West Elm
Wall Coverings: Drop It Modern
Windows: Andersen Windows & Doors

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