There comes a point in every apartment-dweller’s life when he asks himself whether it’s time to move on. That moment came this past fall for Bradley Petzold, whom we met for an Ink at Home With just last January at his midtown apartment. “My lease was coming up and going up. I had to decide if I was going to keep renting or start building equity,” Bradley says.
Having recently turned 30 and transferred to a new position within his company that wouldn’t require as much travel, Bradley decided it was time to make a long-term commitment to a house. He snagged this three-bedroom, two-bath home in the Western neighborhood near Brookside the day it was listed. “It was only on the market five hours,” Bradley says. “I saw it for 10 minutes, made an offer and they accepted 30 minutes later.”
His design decisions moved at that fast pace, as well. “I had it all in my head how I wanted it to look,” Bradley says. “That made it challenging in a way because I wanted it to get done faster. The first two months I stayed up until 2 or 3 a.m. working on the house because I can’t live out of boxes.”
Everything from the roof to the appliances had been newly updated and the walls painted white — a blank slate for Bradley’s paint picks of grays, blues and greens, which he and a friend slathered on just hours after getting the keys to the house.
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Most of Bradley’s apartment furniture and art relocated with him — his piano, obviously, prominently placed in the living room, but his signature single orange chair relegated to the guest bedroom. He sold one futon and stored another in favor of more “grown-up” seating and transitioned away from the black and metal pieces that dominated his former apartment.
His style feels warmer now, in part because of the house’s wood floors compared to his apartment’s gray carpet, but also because he has evolved. Everything is still clean-lined but more organic than industrial.
One aspect that remains steadfast, however, is his love for prints of cityscapes, personal photos, recital posters and heirloom mementos that make his house of a mere four months feel like a well-loved home.
Now that he has planted roots figuratively, he’s going to do it literally. “I’ve always wanted a garden,” Bradley says. He has steadily been saving kitchen scraps for compost and plans to overhaul a lifeless backyard this spring.
Of course, there is a lawn to mow and any number of maintenance setbacks homeowners experience. In fact, two days after he moved in, a branch broke off Bradley’s backyard ash tree and took out his neighbor’s power lines. Bradley had to pay to restore them, but ever the gentleman, he did so graciously and with a bottle of wine.
“Owning a house keeps you very busy; there’s a lot more things to take care of,” Bradley comments. “But it’s definitely better than living in an apartment. There’s a bigger reward at the end of the day.”
“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.