Interior designer Annie Anderson mixed family treasures with contemporary color and pattern for a young family’s forever home
Newlyweds Caroline and Wiley Curran were happily settled in their Prairie Village house. They weren’t looking to move. They were so happy that they had plans drawn up so that they could make a few changes and stay serenely settled. And then…
“Then this house came on the market, and we had always loved it,” remembers Caroline Curran. “Wiley said, ‘Well, we could just go look.’” A year and a half later the plans and the construction and the oh-so-rightness all happened to the new house in Fairway.
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The 1936 brick two-story home had great bones even if it needed a little tender loving care. The Currans wanted to restore the home’s gracious floor plan while upgrading some finishes and truly making it their own.
“We basically took everything to the studs,” says Curran. The couple started drawing up plans and thinking through the changes they wanted to make to suit the house and their lifestyle. The project was underway when they brought in local designer Annie Anderson to help them make the house their home.
“When we started talking we agreed that it was a good idea to design the house so they could grow into it for years,” says Shelton. “We stuck with a classic sensibility while being aware of trends. It will be relevant for years and years.”
The high gloss walls of Farrow & Ball’s Dix Blue in the living room provide a rich background for the couple’s entertaining. The geometric pattern from the Phillip Jeffries paper on the ceiling is a dashing note. The couple finds themselves hosting friends and family more and more, and this room is particularly inviting. “We’ll put the Christmas tree in here, and with the fireplace I know we’ll spend a lot of time in here this winter,” says Curran.
The house offers several options for gracious entertaining. The renovation included a complete kitchen remodel. “A previous owner had opened up the original dining room and kitchen and made it more of a great room,” says Curran. “We took the dining room back to the original configuration and extended the kitchen to make the family room there.”
The crisp, clean white kitchen gives way to an engaging family room alive with colorful prints and an antelope-patterned carpet that will camouflage the mishaps of canines and humans alike. The couple and their rescue dogs, Grace and Grover, spend most of their time here, so Anderson used sturdy and easy to clean fabrics to stylishly manage the daily wear.
The Currans and Anderson wanted something really special for the dining room but originally thought it may need to wait. Wiley’s parents saw the perfect opportunity to make something of a housewarming gift. “They suggested we have their decorator, George Terbovich, consult on a mural for the walls,” says Curran.
The couple showed artist Michael Jeran a picture from a memorable vacation to Carmel, and he created the stunning scene that envelops the room.
The charming mix of old and new keeps the space both grounded and fresh. “The table came from Wiley’s parents, too. When it was delivered we realized they sent the wrong one,” says Curran. “Oh, no,” Anderson immediately responded. “This table is perfect. It’s not going anywhere.”
With Anderson’s help the couple made smart changes to Caroline’s office and a complete basement finish. “It’s better to just get all the work out of the way if you can,” says Anderson.
Upstairs the team applied the same philosophy to bedrooms, baths and closets. Everything received the best kind of facelift: decidedly fresh but conscious of the age of the structure. White tile and marble with classic nickel fixtures give the baths a classic foundation, while paper and fabric keep things lively.
The master bedroom is a serene dream in calming neutrals, even as the oversized Chinese dragon fabric on the bed provides dash and whimsy. The original plans did not include the cove ceiling, but Anderson made a subtle suggestion. “Caroline and Wiley are both tall. It just made sense. Now it’s like being in a treehouse up here,” says Anderson.
A year and a half later the house is finished and the couple is settled. Only one space in the new home has bare walls with samples of paper and fabric tucked into moldings and scattered on floorboards. “This is the nursery,” says Curran of the room that awaits the couple’s baby, which is due in March. She doesn’t seem a bit concerned that more decisions need to be made. “We’re just so lucky we had Annie to help. There were times when she was here everyday.” No one is worried that it will all work out beautifully.
Jeran Decorative Painting
Randy Neal Floral Design
Annie Anderson Design