Carefully Curated

In this Prairie Village home, the white walls let the furnishings do the talking

Built in the mid-to-late ‘80s, the home’s interiors were stuck in the era of florals, chintz and pastels. Interior designer Patrick Kappelmann, owner of Arcadian Design, was called in to help straighten things out.

The dining room, a large congregation spot and main pass-through, was only accessible through small entryways, so Kappelmann dug in, widening and raising doorways for better flow and a more modern feel. The rest of the room fell into place, showcasing favorite belongings and an eclectic palette.

“I like a more layered feel, which ends up looking a little more curated,” Kappelmann says. “I never really pay attention to age or style. It’s really about how the pieces relate to each other.”

In this dining room, a varied collection is anything but ordinary, starting with Kansas City artist Lester Goldman’s colorful abstract painting. With the approval of Goldman’s wife, Kathrin, Kappelmann turned the painting on its side for added interest. While Goldman’s is titled “Untitled,” the horizontal painting to the left by Greek American artist Theodoros Stamos is ironically named “Color Field.”

Dinner with family or puzzle time with grandkids is spent around the Henredon dining table, a piece that is as functional as it is vintage. And the 20th-century painted French chairs don’t seem to mind the wear and tear either. Overflow guests can find a quick seat in the vintage Asian chairs in the corner, also not just for decoration.

“This room feels authentic, comfortable and lived in,” Kappelmann says. “The owners bought what they liked and brought it home. Even if it’s quirky and weird, if you love it, it’ll work.”

Why it Works

This room isn’t about trendy fashion or preferred styles. It works because it incorporates pieces—in every design form—that are truly loved. “Life isn’t polished, and I don’t think a room should be either,” Kappelmann says. “The thought that something might not relate is what makes it work.” That’s why vintage Asian figurine lamp bases, in pristine condition, pair well with new sconces and the mirrored buffet.

There’s no doubt that Goldman’s colorful abstract painting in the center of the room is what draws people into the space (other than dinner being served). It’s a vibrant oil on canvas that “has so much energy to it,” Patrick says, and leaves you to your own happy interpretation of its abstract content. Collaged with pattern paper in 1995, its massive 6-foot by 5-foot presence commands—and deserves—attention.

This room soars 15 feet high and reaches 15 feet wide, but it was brought back to scale by mixing and matching dining room necessities. Paying homage to the pieces collected and curated for this room, Kappelmann kept the background sweet and simple, replacing carpet with dark hardwood floors and leaving the walls white. It’s the lack of color—and the stark contract—that allows the diverse art and furnishings to do the talking. “In a lot of cases, more is just more,” Kappelmann says. Simply put, don’t overdo it and use what you love.

Get the Look


1. Made in North Carolina, the Lynnwood dining table at Ethan Allen features graceful lines in its tapered legs, oval top and ribbon-stripe mahogany border.


2. John Ochs’ “Tag You’re It” at Blue Gallery is sure to create a buzz in its colorful shellac. At 72 inches by 60 inches, it’ll compete for—and win—all dinner conversations.


3. Featuring clean lines in a vintage frame, the caned dining chair from Mission Road Antique Mall color coordinates with the buffet above.


4. Kincaid Antiques and Interiors is home—for now—to a pair of antique Asian armchairs. Made of willow wood, they originated in the Shandong region in 1860.


5. The Hooker four-door mirrored console in our inspiration room is available to order from Seville Home.