New Leawood Home Embodies the Look and Feel of Luxe Los Angeles Homestead
words Katy Ibsen, photos Nate Sheets
Many Kansas Citians are familiar with home builder Kevin Green and his long history of building distinctive custom homes north of the metro. And if you’re not familiar, then you’ve at least heard of his work with ABC’s “Extreme Home Makeover,” which featured three Kansas City homes in 2007.
But give him a blank canvas in the form of an acre lot in the heart of Leawood, and he’ll build a dream escape that is reminiscent of Los Angeles. It’s as if the home is tucked into in the Hollywood Hills, close to all the amenities of the area, while still hiding in plain sight. The entire property begs to entertain with an open floor plan that flows onto an outdoor terrace complete with more living space, dining and an infinity pool designed by Green that glows with the aqua/turquoise accents of the home. As one enters the 6,300 square-foot home, the north wall of windows showcases the home’s extension to the pool and a small batch of landscaped vineyards.
“We wanted to capture that [outdoor scene] when you walk through the front door,” says Green of the visual design. “People love it. We know when the evening comes, and the lights are on in the pool — it looks pretty vacationist around here.”
Inside, clean, crisp white walls with bold lines and alcoves are a backdrop to a carnival of color and well-appointed design accents throughout every room of the home.
Green and his fiancé, Kim Millican, built the home together — their first collaboration. After moving in this past October, the couple are more than satisfied with their shared efforts. While Green and his team executed the build, which was designed by Kansas City architect Wolfgang Trost, Millican took on the role of interior designer.
“I knew when we were designing this that I wanted the walls white and [Kevin] kind-of balked because it’s not typical of what builds are in Kansas City,” says Millican. “But there are ways to warm it up. I wanted white and black, and brown and a kind of cream … then we went into the pops of color and used the artwork as well to warm it up.”
Throughout the home, each room takes on its own personality with luxurious interiors that will rival any Hollywood home.
The expansive two-story living and dining rooms are illuminated by beams of natural light and three magnificent Restoration Hardware chandeliers composed of 400 crystals each. Warm hues of tangerine punctuate the space in the form of furniture, textiles or artwork. Much of the furnishings and art are from John Elliot Interiors, based at Lake of the Ozarks.
The space folds into a whitewashed kitchen where exquisite cuts of Cambria quartz, in the Britannica pattern, don the backsplash and sprawling island. Knowing they wanted the quartz from the get-go, many elements were designed around it. They include an elevated tile ceiling installation from which glass pendants dangle; hints of tangerine appliances and décor pepper the countertops, and at the end of the island is an indication of the couple’s playful personality — faux fur stools.
“This, as they say, is the gathering place … we’re all sitting around the island here in these chairs and everybody touches the chairs and goes ‘oh my gosh it just feels so good,’” laughs Millican. “I just wanted it to be a place of comfort that everybody could come and enjoy.”
Completing the entertainment area on the first floor are a dining nook and cozy gathering room. Here the couple chose beautiful handmade wood furnishings consisting of a gorgeous petrified wood dining table and stunning natural wood coffee and sofa tables surrounded by a gleaming white hearth and fiery artwork.
In keeping with the couple’s design-aesthetic, every bedroom maintains its own vision. Of the three bedrooms upstairs, each include en-suite bathrooms and are furnished with a unique design concept.
“I think with a custom home you don’t want to see everything all the same,” says Millican. “So, we tried to have a different theme or feel to each room.”
The white room boasts a clean palette with an oversized DIY headboard, designed and built by Millican (with a little help from Green!). The wood room is rustic with an entire wall featuring reclaimed wood; the visual continues into the bathroom which hides behind a sliding barn door. The black and white room pays homage to the California vibe with hints of neon pink and an elegant bathroom featuring geometric tile made of laser-cut stone from International Materials and Design and a custom iron shower door.
The main floor master suite, which is located on the western side of the home, is once again an exhibit in simplistic yet lush design. Millican again flexes her creative muscles by designing and building a custom headboard. The 20-panel installation matches the fabric from their Restoration Hardware bed. A beautiful chandelier hovers above and artwork from John Elliot Interiors dons the walls.
The en-suite master bath rivals anything one might see in a Las Vegas penthouse, according to Green. They proclaim that they both wanted an elegant and spacious bathroom, where they often unwind. Elevated vanities bookend a magnificent circular tub in the center of the room with the most spectacular lighting fixture overhead.
A glass wall separates the open shower from the rest of the space, and in one corner a sauna completes the spa-like bath suite. Of course, the piece de resistance — a violet velvet couch. “That’s the most-asked question, why is there a couch in here,” laughs Green. In a frank response, they agree, why wouldn’t there be.
No detail of the 5-bedroom, 6-bathroom home was overlooked to maintain a shared vision. The deviation from Kansas City’s well-known formal aesthetic makes this property a rarity. But more so, it was a test in blending two styles into one, which makes for a successful home build.
“Based on the design and what the end result was with the outdoor space, how it incorporates the indoor space, and the look of the home, the feel of the home,” says Green. “That’s pretty much her vision and our vision together.”