A classic remodel, with the kitchen and master bath as centerpieces, lends a boutique hotel ambiance to a family home in Overland Park.
Without a doubt, Aimee and Mark Beemer lead busy lives. With four children ranging in age from 7 to 14, they decided four years ago to renovate their Overland Park home with a warm, inviting and functional redesign.
They had lived in the house 10 years before that happened and realized that, rather than moving into a new home, they wanted to stay in their current one in their beloved neighborhood in the Wilshire Woods subdivision near 127th and Grant streets.
When their redesign project started, they knew first and foremost that they wanted an updated kitchen with an open feel. However, that plan quickly snowballed into a massive entire-house renovation to accommodate their large family and love of entertaining. They called upon design consultant Julia Haseltine for advice and help in making it all happen.
“Julia was the perfect person to help us hammer out our thoughts and provide direction,” says Aimee.
For Haseltine, making her clients’ dreams a reality is paramount.
“I call it the ‘magic wand syndrome,’” she says. “Let’s do it and figure out how to do it.”
To open up and add space, the Beemers ended up virtually gutting their two-story house, built in 1998. Renovations included bumped-up ceilings, upgraded windows, walnut floors to replace oak ones and reconfigured living space. They added 500 square feet of space in each of their three floors, including the basement. Originally planning to live in a hotel for about six weeks while the renovations took place, the family ended up living there for six months. But the entire project took another six months, so they moved into the basement and other areas of the house for the duration.
Now, after living in their “new old” house since 2012, the family couldn’t be happier with the end result.
“It is great to have something that looks beautiful, but it is even better that it functions so well,” Aimee says.
Because they frequently entertain friends and family, the kitchen remodel was a priority. Mark, an agricultural processing consultant, found just the right cabinets on the cover of a magazine while on a business trip to Toronto. Haseltine and Aimee took a trip there to meet with cabinetmaker Guido Doria to design custom Bellini cabinets, including a butler’s pantry.
“Their framed cabinets and door tolerances are tight,” Mark says. They were made off-site, and a local professional installed them.
“Julia has vetted and had experience with who is good and could do good work on a project like this,” Aimee notes.
The kitchen features a custom copper range hood, marble backsplash, a large island in thick antique brown granite, pendant lights and distinctive chairs in a zebra-print pattern. Aimee insisted on having two dishwashers, a decision she is so happy she made.
“I would tell every single person that that is one of the best things if you have a family that you can do because you will use them every day,” she says.
Another thing she’s glad they did: order enough granite for the island to accommodate seating for six, even if it meant having a visible seam to get the necessary size.
“Over and over again, we’re so glad we didn’t care enough about this stupid seam,” Aimee says. “At the time you think it’s going to be this huge deal, but no, it wasn’t.”
Aimee’s favorite place in the house is cooking behind the island while her friends sit enjoying a glass of wine.
Upstairs another favorite spot is the master bathroom, which is large enough to accommodate on opposite ends his-and-hers vanities with a mother-of-pearl tile backsplash, a curved bank of windows that mirrors the one directly downstairs, a marble-tile shower and a chandelier over a stand-alone tub. The room’s dark slate floor provides a nice contrast to the soothing blue walls, making the room feel like a fine hotel or spa.
“The style is a very classic style. This is Ward Parkway style. This is East Coast style,” says Haseltine as she stands in the master bathroom. “This is tried and true. Marble will never go out of style. The dark floor doesn’t jump out at you. It leads you to this wonderful oasis at the end of the hall.”
Haseltine, who specializes in designing new-home construction and remodeling projects, says part of her job is communicating between the homeowner and their suppliers and subcontractors. She stresses that no one has to settle for cookie-cutter design by homebuilders.
“The builders are getting it now,” she says about the need to address the homeowners’ vision. “They cannot dictate the design of the home. They have to let professionals come in and generate that team. But this has only happened in the last handful of years. I tell people, ‘This is your money. When the subcontractor leaves, you’re going to be the one living here.’”
Haseltine says good design is available at every budget.
“There is no reason in any income level that you cannot create an environment that’s inspiring,” she says. “It’s important to do.”
Cabinets – Bellini Cabinets, bellini.ca
Local cabinet installation – Dennisbilt Custom Cabinetry, dennisbilt.com
Cabinet paint color – Benjamin Moore CC30, benjaminmoore.com
Walnut floors – Citywide Flooring
Windows – Pella, pella.com
Marble and granite – Kenny’s Tile, kennystile.com
Appliances – Thermador from Nebraska Furniture Mart, nfm.com
Sink – Blanco, blanco-germany.com
Faucet – Hans Groe from Costco, costco.com
Zebra chairs – Nebraska Furniture Mart, nfm.com
Paint - Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue, benjaminmoore.com
Sinks, Toilet and Shower Fixtures – Kohler from Ferguson, ferguson.com
Tub, Vintage Tub and Bath – vintagetub.com
Tile – The Tile Shop, tileshop.com
Cabinet installation – Ken Kesselring
Mirrors and faucets – Restoration Hardware, restorationhardware.com
Lighting – Wilson Lighting, wilsonlighting.com
Cabinets – Miller Cabinets, millerscabinets.com
Shower door – Olathe Glass, olatheglass.com
Windows – Pella, pella.com
Gray slate floor – The Tile Shop, tileshop.com