Location: Prairie Village
Details: 5,800 square feet including finished basement; common area that includes kitchen, dining room and living room; 6 bedrooms; dressing room; 5.5 bathrooms; TV room; office area/mudroom
The owners: Rowdy Meeks and Tiffany Melton Meeks
Builder: Hufft Projects
Architectural details: Hufft Projects christened the Meeks’ home the Merge Residence for two reasons: First, Tiffany and Rowdy got married during the design process, creating a blended family with four kids ages 12-15.
“The charge was to create a home for the needs of the family and to bring them together to live under one roof for the first time,” said Dan Brown, lead architect on the project.
But the merging didn’t stop there. Brown had to figure out a way to satisfy penchants for two different styles.
“Tiffany’s more traditional in her space and style and was looking at older houses. She liked some of the bungalows and smaller footprints,” Brown recalls. “Rowdy was a modernist and took a lot of cues from white box architecture.”
Through his design for the home, Brown went with what he calls a Prairie Village bungalow vernacular and “stark white box insertions” on the exterior.
“Instead of throwing those styles into a mixing bowl and blending, it’s celebrating both with those insertions,” he says. “That extends to inside as well. The home has very distinct heavy dark wood masculine details offset by lightweight maple objects to bring light and softness in.”
Brown was careful to consider some level of contextual design. He knows Prairie Village residents are protective of their neighborhoods, and Hufft Projects wanted to make sure the Meeks would be proud of their home and that neighbors would enjoy being around it.
“It should be a house that people drive by and have to stop and back up and think about. Not something that they slam their brakes on because it jumps out,” he says.
Rowdy had been intrigued by Hufft Projects after reading a story about its founder, Matthew Hufft.
“I felt a need to talk to him, so I contacted him. And he said, ‘You need to go find a lot.’” says Rowdy.
After finding one, he called Hufft and said: “This is what we want: a big open area with tall ceilings, a kitchen with big counters with lots of storage, lots of natural light and a tall shower.”
That last request was a necessity. Tiffany, a fashion model, is 6 feet tall; Rowdy, a lawyer who played basketball at Cornell University, is 6-feet-7. The master bath has a 9-foot-high shower head.
Several areas in the home, including a large TV room in the basement, were designed to bring Tiffany’s son and daughter together with Rowdy’s two sons. An office space/mudroom accessed from the garage has four open-faced lockers, one for each child to dump his or her stuff when they enter the house.
A second-floor hallway has a long maple counter with a workspace for each of the four kids to do homework, and a nearby room with a washer and dryer “just in case any of the kids ever decide to do their own laundry,” says Tiffany.
They also got the “super usable outdoor space” they wanted: a chic modern backyard with a swimming pool, cooking area and several seating areas.
“It’s a space where we can entertain and where our kids and their friends can spend time, so we know where they are at all times,” says Rowdy, with a mischievous dad grin.