Like many couples looking for a home to make their own, Jason and Mindy Hamilton headed to Prairie Village for its walkable neighborhoods and charming housing stock. They found what they were looking for without competition from other buyers.
“I literally watched people walk in and right back out,” Jason recalls of their first visit to the house when it was for sale. It was owned by hoarders. But somewhere along the little path made among the boxes and even a gymnastics beam, Jason and Mindy saw the house’s potential.
“It made sense to us,” Mindy says. “We wanted a place we would stay awhile. This area is number one, and around here there aren’t a lot of houses with great living space and a two-car garage.”
Jason, a commercial builder, and Mindy, now a stay-at-home mom, bought the house the month they got married and undertook a year of renovations to remove not just the physical blockade of junk but also the house’s palette of brown paneling and wagon wheel light fixtures. “Just picture the late ’70s,” Jason says.
After selling or hauling off the junk, the couple got rid of the hodge-podge floor plan of little rooms by removing a doorway into the great room and living room for open space saturated with natural light. “Style-wise, I like a ton of different stuff,” Jason says. “I felt the architecture of this house fit the midcentury style.”
Mindy also likes modern but wanted to emphasize warmth. She achieved this by mixing whites with woods and dark gray and apple green accent colors in the public spaces, along with saturated orange in a guest room and eggplant in the master bath. “So much of what we decorate with is white that it’s nice to have pops of color,” she explains.
Jason did much of the construction himself and incorporated materials that would otherwise have been trashed from projects his company had completed: aluminum for the fireplace surround from George Brett’s old restaurant; wood from a dismantled New Jersey boardwalk for a vanity; and other salvaged items from a Greensburg, Kan., rebuild and DST’s urban garden at 18th and Broadway.
Jason also made a long table out of Baltic birch plywood that he called “a labor of love” to seat as many friends as possible when they entertain.
With the hard parts done, the house can now evolve naturally as the children continue to grow. You can bet it will maintain its family-friendly vibe. “I’m a big quality-time person,” Mindy says. “It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy. I just want us to all be together.”
“At Home With,” a feature that takes you inside cool and unusual apartments and homes in the Kansas City area, appears in Ink the first and third weeks of the month. Know someone with a kick-ass pad? Send info and photos to email@example.com.