Real estate agent Andrea Saxion was in the process of trying to sell a south Kansas City home to clients when she and her husband Jim, who also works in real estate, suddenly realized that they should buy it.
“The more we talked about ideas, the more I saw the vision,” Andrea says.
The house had had one owner since it was built in 1978 and was still decked out in the glory of the day. The kitchen was a time capsule, with its heavy dark wood cabinets and rust-colored appliances. On the other side of one wall was a vaulted living room with a fireplace and a screened-in porch shaded by trees. The space had potential — if they could open it up.
Up to this point in their lives, the Saxions had been traditionalists. Andrea’s family had been in the antiques business, and she had inherited many old pieces that she now wanted distance from. The couple refinished the basement to house the relics and made an about-face on the main level.
“Jim and I decided we wanted to be as minimalist as we could upstairs, with no clutter,” Andrea says.
While researching interior designers, Andrea was drawn to Karin Ross’s work, especially her contemporary remodels.
“I loved what she had done, and when we interviewed her, I immediately liked her,” Andrea says. “We told her our vision, and she took off with it.”
Andrea started the design process by selecting the Italian-made Hallman dual-fuel range with double ovens. Karin ordered it in a 40-inch width double-oven version with a rotisserie function.
The designer reorganized the kitchen’s perimeter by closing off a door to the dining room, which now functions as Andrea’s office. She also removed the wall and cabinets separating the kitchen from the living room, significantly changing the feel of the space.
A large, black-base island features a seamless white quartz top and waterfall edges, a visual contrast to the black counters and white cabinets along the perimeter.
Gold hardware and fixtures pop against the background, with a few copper accents mixed in. Andrea knew she’d go this direction when she walked through Wilson Lighting and saw the pendants that reminded her of Christmas.
“I don’t know how long the gold trend is going to last, but I don’t care, I like it,” Andrea says.
In addition to updating their style, upgrading their technology was key. Andrea selected an LG InstaView refrigerator, which has a glass front that lights up when you knock on it, plus a video camera inside and a phone app for checking to see whether there’s any milk left when you’re already at the store.
“I like tech-y things,” Andrea says.
The home’s entry was also enlarged for better flow, and an industrial-style cable handrail adds to the open, contemporary feel. Combined, the upgrades have significantly enhanced the Saxions’ lifestyle.
“It feels simple and yet, elegant,” Andrea says.
Design: Karin Ross Designs
Lighting: Wilson Lighting