Spring 2023

Weekends in Weston

Words by Andrea Darr  |  Photos by Brynn Burns

A restored century-old farmhouse provides a comforting respite for an overworked restaurateur.

IT

is well-known that running a restaurant is a stressful career choice. Jo Marie Scaglia runs three: two locations of The Mixx, and Caffetteria at The Shops of Prairie Village.

While her primary residence is in KC near her work, on weekends, she and her daughter, Star, make the 45-minute drive up to Weston, where Jo Marie renovated a century-old farmhouse with as much ease as she makes a salad.

Both chefing and designing are natural extensions of her love for entertaining and the good life. In fact, she launched a third brand to merge the two passions—Midwest Maven.

“For me, creating food and spaces are whole processes of being surrounded by wonderful things—and the moment something is created, I can share it with others,” she says. 

The same is true of her private getaway, although it’s more of a respite for her to recharge.

“I never relax, but here I can,” Jo Marie says.

She knocked out every wall in the four-room footprint to modernize the house while salvaging its essence.

“I was originally just going to raise the kitchen ceiling, but if I’m doing one, I might as well do them all,” she shrugs, adding, “When I get an idea in my head and see a carrot, there’s no stopping me.”

She also ripped out all the old wiring, plumbing, systems and floors so that it’s essentially a new house. The newly reorganized floor plan includes luxury lifestyle elements like a mudroom/laundry room and a large screened-in porch across the back of the house.

“It was an organic process that moved quickly,” Jo Marie says. “It took about 10 months during COVID.”

Built in 1922, the house is not listed on the historic registry—as so many homes in the vicinity are—but Jo Marie is active with the Weston Chamber of Commerce and local community.

Chamber vice president/director Lorri Stanislav, who puts together many of the city’s homes tours, has taken note of the extensiveness of Jo Marie’s renovation. “No one has done it to this level,” Lorri says.

White oak floors and gallery-white walls support Jo Marie’s varied art collection, which runs the gamut from local artists like Jennifer Janesko and the late art dealer Tom Deatherage, to found objects, such as spoons dug up in the yard preserved in a shadow box and an aged map of Missouri framed in the living room. The prominently displayed Opera Singer, made of Lake Superior driftwood by artist Amy Lansburg, nearly matches the kitchen’s painted cabinets around the corner.

Jo Marie’s objects collectively and individually tell stories about her, and about the past. 

“There’s a lot to absorb here,” she acknowledges. “There’s something from every decade, every era, all in one place. If it didn’t belong to my parents or grandparents, it’s reminiscent of that.”

Jo Marie brought up nightstands from her old house, worked in her grandma’s wedding gifts, and gave new purpose to things discarded or forgotten. She is a major collector of pretty tea cups and vintage glasses that showcase beautifully in open shelves in the kitchen. Whereas many former brides are releasing these delicate dinnerware items, Jo Marie scoops them up—and uses them on a daily basis.

“I’ve been collecting ice buckets lately,” she adds. “And I definitely have a plate problem.”

The decor being a true mélange, Jo Marie loves playing high/low, pairing the nostalgia of a good Brown Button estate sale find with the comforts of Crate and Barrel purchases. A king-sized mattress and pima cotton sheets—always best fresh—help her get that much-needed rest.

She always has a bottle of champagne cooling in the fridge, ready for a quick cocktail, and Green Dirt cheese selections for making a board to enjoy on the porch. 

After working 100 hours a week for 17 years, on some weekends at least, she doesn’t miss the din of clanging bowls or serving 1,000 customers a day. It’s just her and Star and quiet.

“When I come up here, it’s hard to leave; it’s a special place,” Jo Marie says. “This is therapy for me.”

 

Follow them on Instagram:

@mwmaven

@jomariescaglia

Resources:

Kitchen Cabinets + Bathroom Vanities: Builders FirstSource
Electrical: Empowered Electric
Plumbing: Lexington Plumbing
Appliances: Fisher & Paykel
Wallpaper and Fabric: Sourced with Wells Design Studio, KDR
Marble: Rocktops
Landscaping: Norman Landcraft
Furnishings: Crate and Barrel

Vintage furniture: Brown Button Estate Sale; 200 Main Vintage
Glassware and accessories: Else-Wares
Bedding: IKEA
Bathroom Tile: Wayfair
Black Herringbone Porch Tile: Floor & Decor
Plumbing Fixtures: Kohler
Fireplace: Fireorb Doors: Windsor Doors
Windows: Marvin Windows
Window Treatments: KC Blind Guys

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