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Empty nesters transform a vintage Colonial in Brookside

In 2017, Colleen and Mark Patterson saw the youngest of their five children off to college. They found a vintage Colonial in Brookside, then sold their five-bedroom, French Provincial home in Sunset Hill and embarked on a new adventure: downsizing.

For the interior designer and her husband, a high-risk business insurance broker, it was time. “We had too much room. Too much stuff,” she says. “We would ask ourselves, ‘Which room should we sit in tonight?’”

From glazed and silvery finishes, oversized furniture, grand chandeliers, and a metallic wallpaper that Colleen hand-mottled, they went for “something completely different,” says Molly Jarvis of Brasstacks Design + Build. Molly and her husband Kevin, known for their “clean, intentional design,” helped the Pattersons navigate toward a new style for this stage of life.

Minimal. Curated. Restrained. Modern.

“Our Sunset Hill home was a little more formal and spread out. I used it as my design showroom. I had tags on everything,” Colleen says with a laugh. “People would come in and say that they loved a chair but they didn’t want to order and wait eight weeks for it, so I would sell it right out of my home.”

The Pattersons kept some things, such as Mark’s baby grand piano, and sold everything else at an estate sale.

With a clean slate, they were ready to co-create a house that lived in a new way.

“I told Molly that I needed to stay focused. I wanted simple, sleek, mid-century, not too much color,” says Colleen.

With their art background, Kevin and Molly Jarvis were able to reimagine the layout and bring a cool, calm, and collected vibe. “We do everything from an artful perspective,” says Molly, “so everything is well thought out and the construction and design process is seamless.”

They paired navy and white with the textures of natural stone, wood, woven fabrics, and leather to make modern meet organic.

“As much as possible, we also tried to use local sources,” adds Molly.

When you walk in the front door, the fireplace by Canyon Stone in Olathe creates a focal point for the pair of comfortable sofas, black-and-white patterned poufs from Ulah, a natural leather chair and throw pillows from Golden and Pine, rug from the Knotty Rug Co., and side tables from Wes Edwin Design. Mark’s ebony piano found a new home in the light-filled corner by a framed Mozart piece created by his uncle, who also designed the Keebler cookie elves, says Colleen.

In the adjacent library, painted navy, a natural leather sofa cozies up to the fireplace flanked with leather sconces from Lostine. The rug over the heated tile floor is vintage from Turkey. The contemporary painting is one the couple found during their stay at a local Airbnb while the house was under construction. “We found several local pieces at art shows,” Colleen says.

In the enlarged kitchen, function is key. “I wanted all the clutter hidden,” says Colleen, “and all the plugs out of sight.” White custom cabinetry by Steve Lee, along with stone countertops and backsplash by Braco Stone, are both sleek and modern. Leather barstools from West Elm gather around the navy island, under classic brass pendant lights from Schoolhouse Electric. Colleen likes to cook, so she chose professional-grade Wolf appliances.

In the dining area just off the kitchen, a handmade table by Unruh Furniture has become a family favorite. A burnished brass geometric chandelier by Restoration Hardware and curvy chairs by Anthropologie add just enough push and pull in the room. A contemporary oil painting, another favorite, adds personality but doesn’t overwhelm.

Upstairs, a quietly graphic wallcovering in the master bedroom soothes rather than jolts. The bold navy on the lower level softens to a pale blue in bedding and carpet. Colleen and her husband may have downsized, but a generous closet with custom cabinetry was still a must.

In the hall bath, a black version of a vintage clawfoot tub is surrounded by a half-wall of black-and-white marble mosaic tile.

A vessel sink sits atop a custom cabinet by Wes Edwin Design and a Pottery Barn mirror. All the sinks, tubs, and plumbing fixtures throughout the house came from Kitchens and Baths by Briggs, also a Kansas City company.

Natural wood cabinets and a large walk-in shower in the master bath take their cues from the design of the lower floor but mix it up just a little bit.

Even the lower level, formerly sheathed in corrugated metal, got a calming overhaul with drywall and a black-and-white theme. “We have two televisions down there, so it’s a great place to watch a game,” adds Colleen.

“This is how we want to live,” she says. “Every room has a purpose and feels good. We can relax and unwind here. Our décor is not about growing a business anymore.” There are no price tags to be seen. Nothing is for sale.

At the end of the day, there is no longer any question about which room in which to sit. “We love to hang out the library, on the sofa in front of the fireplace,” says Colleen. “Something about all that navy and leather is so comfortable and so right for us.”



Unruh Handcrafted Furniture

Interior Design and Space Planning

Brasstacks Design + Build


New Leaf Landscape