The House Silpada Built
Ginny Fiscella will be the first person to tell you that her family’s home is the “home that Silpada built,” and she’s proud of it.
Having been with Silpada Designs Sterling Silver Jewelry — the Kansas City-based jewelry company — for 13 years, the now sterling director fuses home and office in the family’s six-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath Wilshire Farms home in Overland Park.
Sharing the spacious and active home with her husband, Doug, and their two daughters, Caroline, 16, and Molly, 14, it’s easy to see that inside these doors a few passions existed beyond a successful career.
The Fiscellas were in the market for a new home. Their former neighborhood had become less of a family destination and Ginny was in search of a house with a blueprint that featured the master suite on the main floor.
“I didn’t need a big home to make me happy,” says Ginny. “But it got to a point where I walked through that first model, and I had this feeling come over me.”
Visitors to the Fiscella home may notice a unique bronze in the entry by artist Bret Delka. When Ginny met Bret, he was still attending Johnson County Community College but she had an idea that needed executing.
“I had this idea in my head that I really wanted to do something with my children and my hands,” she says.
Taking impressions of their hands, Ginny had a vision of a tree that would sprout with their hands. When Bret returned with the wax mold, it was nothing like they expected.
“I was like ‘Ew, I don’t like it,’” she says of the piece that stood on Ginny and Doug’s hands as the girls’ came out of the top of the trunk. “It looks really creepy.”
So they asked Bret about his vision.
“It’s so interesting when an artist talks to you,” says Ginny. “He said, ‘I didn’t do the bottom the way you wanted it because I felt like yours and Doug’s hands, you are the roots of the tree … out of this came your children’s.’ Now I am looking at it and I am saying ‘Oh my gosh, what a great idea.’”
The piece displays anything from new Silpada jewelry to Christmas ornaments and Easter eggs. As a result of their relationship, Bret was later commissioned to create achievement awards for Silpada, which he continues to do today.
Upon the suggestion of an acquaintance, Ginny toured the model, told Doug about it, and the rest, you could say, is history. Today, the family’s beautiful home with its stone façade and punctuated landscaping is a pleasant deviation from its neighbors.
“My husband wanted a treed lot so when we built, we planted 22 trees — and we planted big ones,” says Ginny. “In the spring, you can’t see any of our neighbors.”
Hidden from view for the better part of the year, the residence offers a three-season room on the back of the house. Originally conceptualized after having a similar room in their former home, Ginny and Doug wanted the room for entertaining and, most importantly, enjoying a glass of wine.
“This is like the chick room, the serene quiet room,” says Ginny. “You bring your laptop out here in the morning and drink your coffee.”
The open family room and kitchen feature all the accoutrements of a bustling family. Big lazy sofas beg to be snuggled in after dinner, and the spacious kitchen is Doug’s landing spot as he is master chef in the Fiscella home.
“Marry an Italian man and that’s what you get — someone who loves to cook,” says Ginny with a giggle, adding that a good cook needs the best.
The state-of-the-art appliances are a treat for any aspiring chef and, to honor the heritage, a beautiful backsplash showcases scenic hand-painted Italian countryside.
Flowing into the formal living room, the relaxing space offers a soothing ambiance thanks to robin’s egg blue walls that have been accented with a stunning gold faux finish.
Most spectacular in the room, however, is the three-panel work of art hanging above the sofa.
After meeting Eva Krahn (pediatrician by day, artist by night) on an airplane, Ginny commissioned her to create a piece for her living room.
“I’m a big guru of fine art or any art,” she says. “So when I meet someone who’s an artist, I enjoy talking with them.”
Collectively the hand-painted piece creates the scene of a wooded area with a lake, fall trees and some wildlife.
“All of it is done with papers and she paints over the papers,” says Ginny. “She’s a cool gal.”
Resting under the piece is a delicate afghan that was created by another artist after seeing Krahn’s piece. She pulled from the same color palette of the living room and the art to create the treasured tapestry.
“She said, ‘You need an afghan’ and what this woman does is that every time she’d stitch they’d pray for your family,” says Ginny of the throw.
Adding to the hustle and bustle of the Fiscella home are Ginny and Doug’s teenage daughters. Molly and Caroline occupy the upstairs and are treated to high-styled rooms that pull from today’s popular design trends.
“I support women in everything they do,” says Ginny. “So my neighbor decided she wanted to go into a room-decorating business so I hired her, and then she picked out all the linens and went shopping. She was just great.”
The result is any girl’s dream. In one room an accent wall was completely hand-painted into a purple and teal paisley pattern. A small alcove shines with bright Tiffany blue walls. In the other room, a chic emblem pattern is painted on one wall underneath a large script monogram.
Also upstairs is the original “hang-out” room.
“We didn’t finish our basement until afterwards so we had to have a place for the kids to come,” says Ginny. Still utilized by the girls, the loft-like room features tile for art projects, a big comfy sectional and a bathroom — a perfect retreat for doing homework or watching a movie.
The Fiscellas eventually finished the basement, and thanks to its walkout patio and additional entertainment destinations, it’s the new “it” girl in the home.
A stately bar beckons visitors into this open space. As wine aficionados, Ginny and Doug found a business online that would shellac their favorite wine labels onto tile.
Sprinkled among the backsplash, the effect is fantastic, as is the wine cellar.
“Of course we love our wine,” says Ginny. “This was wasted space so we built underneath the stairs and decided to do a little cellar.”
A pool table, theater room and small gym complete the downstairs retreat, but most notable are Ginny’s many awards from Silpada that are calling for more shelves. When asked about her accolades and successes, Ginny is modest, simply saying, “I am very blessed and very thankful.”
Words to live by
Throughout the home, whimsical sayings are appliquéd to the walls or found in frames and various little nooks.
For Ginny and Doug Fiscella, living with two teenagers and working from home is no easy feat, but they manage to keep a strong relationship with their girls, despite clean or dirty rooms.
Ginny offers this advice to parents and teenagers, which she’s found pretty darn useful:
“I love that kind of stuff,” Ginny says.
Most important, however, are two items in her office off the entry.
“My father taught me the three magic words ‘want to enough,’” says Ginny. “So I had an old ladder and I hired an artisan to paint that, because I think that anyone can do anything they want, if they want it bad enough.”
Looking around the space and the home, it’s clear that Ginny’s success is the result of wanting it bad enough.
Complementing her father’s words is a famed quote by motivational speaker Zig Ziggler: “You can get everything in life if you just help enough people get what they want.”
As Ginny echoes, if you’re a giver, you will receive.
“I say it was the house that Silpada built,” says Ginny, “because if I had not built up to that, and not had those women help me to get to where I am, it would have never happened. ”
photos: William and Jill DiMartino