Spring 2024

Outside the Basement Box

Words by Meghan Craig  |  Photos by Josie Henderson

A design team brings upscale lounging to the lower level of a Leawood home.


hen John and Stacy Gresham moved to the Pavilions Estates of Leawood in late summer 2022, they knew they wanted to modernize and reconfigure the basement to better suit their family’s needs.

Interview with Orion Design and MSC Enterprise

They started with Weston Coble of Elswood Smith Carlson Architects to redesign the framework of the basement. Then they brought in Orion Design’s Elizabeth Rishel and Alex Huckins in January. Construction began in March 2023 and was completed in late October.

“The goal was a cohesive basement that would flow but for each space to have its own individual personality,” says Orion designer Elizabeth. “We wanted guests to be wowed at every turn and for it to be a feast for the eyes!”

Stacy feels her goals were definitely achieved.

“We are thrilled with how everything came together, with the colors all flowing throughout and tying each room to the other,” she says. “Elizabeth and Alex gave us the confidence to stay the course on what was outside the box for us, with these deep, saturated colors washing all the walls, ceilings and cabinetry. The end result is stunning, and we are appreciative of their gentle guidance to trust the process.”

As for the standout feature of the design?

“No question,” Elizabeth says, “it’s the cowhide wallpaper that we used in the theater room, as well as the two dart board niches. We were able to work with the vendor, Kyle Bunting, to customize the design to exactly what the client was looking for, and even had custom dart boards made from the material.”

“Elizabeth and Alex brought the Kyle Bunting leather hide idea to the table, and we immediately fell in love with the colors and texture,” Stacy says. “It is such a unique piece of art for the accent wall, and carrying it over to the dart boards was a nice touch.”

Another aspect the Greshams—particularly John—especially enjoy is the 150-inch theater screen (perfect for Chiefs and Sooners games) and whole-home sound and lighting control through the Savant system, all installed by Simplex.

Overall, the basement has become a space perfectly tailored to the Greshams’ needs.

“When you are in this space, you feel like you could stay forever,” Elizabeth says. “It is completely relaxed and divine and just ready for a good time!”

Stacy loves the upscale lounge feel of the basement and appreciates that it also feels like a cozy space for entertaining.

“From poker games to workout sessions to movies and pool playing, we now have a space for our whole family to make memories and share with our friends and family,” she says.


Architect: ESC Architects, @escarchitects
Interior Designer: Orion Design, @oriondesigninc
Contractor: MSC Enterprises, @msc_enterprises_kc

Home Walk Through


Interior Designer: Orion Design 
Contractor: MSC Enterprises 
Accessories: Crate and Barrel; Brown Wood 
Appliances: Fisher & Paykel 
Countertops: Cambria 
Electronics: Simplex KC; Brown’s Electric 
Fabrication: Summit Stoneworks KC 
Flooring: Centaur Floor Systems 
Furnishings: Crate and Barrel 

Hardware: Top Knobs 
Lighting Fixtures: Visual Comfort; Relative Lighting 
Painter: Fritz Painting & Drywall 
Plumbing Fixtures: Delta; Blanco; iPlumbKC 
To-the-Trade Showrooms: ASMI Surfaces; Grandview Winnelson; Signature Flooring; Weber Flooring; Design & Detail 
Wall Coverings: Kyle Bunting; Dayna Wunderlich Peacock 

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