The Century Home
“I bought the couch and chairs at a Paris Flea Market,” says Joanna Glaze of her Ward Estates home in Kansas City, Mo. “I was there with a friend. She was building a house over
in Mission Hills and so she had it all worked out with a Kansas City store.
“The biggest thing is shipping, right? She had a whole container ready to go and all we had to do was fill it … It was so much fun!”
Joanna’s ornate furnishings are just one of the many tributes to yesteryear, as she and her husband have many collections, heirlooms and antiques in their 100-year-old home.
“Of course, when you get to be this old, anything that comes in, something’s got to go out,” laughs Glaze.
The couple bought the home roughly 16 years ago only after wavering on whether or not to pull the trigger on this beautiful six-bedroom, four-bathroom home.
“We sat out front for, like, three weeks, just going, ‘Should we do this?’” she says.
It was eventually the billiards room that sealed the deal.
“We wanted our kids to bring their friends here and it’s really proven to be the best decision," she says.
STORIES TO TELL
There are so many amazing collections to see - with so many stories.
In the sitting room off the living room, Joanna points out small reminders from the past. Over the radiator are custom-built tables, different in each room, also making the essential utility functional.
“They are different in every room,” she says. “They built these little tables on top of them, which just makes it really nice.”
Behind the home is the garage with an upstairs apartment that was originally the carriage house — horses on the left and carriages on the right.
“On the right side, there is this huge metal plate in the floor that has another little hook to turn the carriage around after you’d unhooked the horses,” she explains with a sense of wonder.
This small sitting room holds the couple's first set of furniture, matching green wicker couch and chairs found in Brookside shortly after they moved in.
“We bought this a week after we bought this house because we were totally freaked out because we were coming from a much smaller house,” laughs Joanna.
And instead of buying new rugs, she turned to eBay.
“I like a rug that maybe was in Grandma's attic," she says.
Moving through the home, one almost gets the feel of a museum, because there are so many amazing collections to see — with so many stories.
On a living room table are tiny little antique wheels and such showcasing diamonds, hearts, clubs and spades symbols. When the game of Bridge was originally known as Whist in the 1800s, a trump was selected for the game; here before us is a collection of Trump Indicators. Joanna has found them all over, including in London.
“I like little collections and I like to get to a point where I have one service — when I have a little thing — then I am done,” she says. Among Joanna’s compilations are Carrie Nation pins, Toby mugs from London, crosses and vintage pictures.
Meanwhile, husband Larry is the keeper of clocks and posters, and one standout piece is the first sight in the living room. Beautifully framed, an original poster from the 1939 Cannes Film Festival — the first ever — hangs with a certain sense of mystique.
"After the first day, somebody had already shot the Arch Duke and World War II broke out,” says Joanna of the antique found in Chicago. “So the film festival lasted one day.”
Joanna shares the stories of their treasurers as if they are children’s accomplishments. She knows the history, details, surprises and more. Alongside the enjoyment of seeing these gems, it’s a mesmerizing experience to hear her speak of them.
REFLECTIONS OF THE PAST
The dining room, which overlooks the beautiful, stately front lawn, is especially unique thanks to its ornate ceiling. Swirls decorate the ceiling underneath a chandelier dripping with crystals.
“Normally you would look at this and think it was plaster," she says. "It’s not; it’s bent wood.”
Bending wood is a labor-intensive process that includes soaking the wood, bending it to shape, and then nailing it to the ceiling. The effect is grand and subtle all at the same time.
Unfortunately, the previous owners took a chandelier with them, but when Joanna found one she fell in love with, there was no changing her mind.
“I found this at 45th and State Line and my husband said, ‘No, that’s too much money,’ so my daddy bought it for me!” she says with a grin.
The dining room is also set apart from the rest of the house as it’s the only room with custom drapes.
“Drapes are such a big girl thing,” says Joanna. “It’s just so hard to make those decisions.” That said, the dramatic effect is appropriate in the room and they curtain another unique radiator table.
The flow of the home is what one would expect from a residence built in the early 1900s. The first-floor rooms are open with passageways highlighted by stunning crown molding. A grand staircase leads upstairs from the foyer, while another one descends into the kitchen.
Here, Joanna and Larry have made minor updates to embellish the cozy space.
“We just did enough to spruce it up,” she says.
Blonde wood cabinets were changed to white and stunning white marble tops the counters and island. A custom-built hutch was put into the open nook where a long, slender antique table begs for delectable meals.
The table, found in New Jersey, is propped up on two Egyptian-like bases, something Joanna suggests is, circus-esque.
“The guy thought it was from the ’20s maybe and he thought it had been on a circus wagon,” says Joanna. “Egyptian — I guess a lot of things had just been discovered in the ’20s and Egypt was a big motif.”
Having once seen it in a copy of Architectural Digest, and contemplating buying two years in a row, they finally went for the sale.
THE POOL TABLE'S SECRET
A small passageway skims a wet bar, which was formerly an elevator and leads into the billiards room. Here the Glazes entertain, play pool and during their formative years, was where the children played.
A massive pool table, which came with the house, is the focal point of the room. A set of French doors open to one of the patios while antiques, collectibles and mementos celebrate the room.
Adding to the home’s story, the table was recently re-felted, which presented a touching experience for Larry and Joanna. Below the felt is slate and when a table is re-felted, the individual doing work on the table signs the slate.
“When the guy took the felt off, his father had signed it three times, like in the ’40s and in the ’50s — and he didn’t know it until he took it off,” she says of the surprise. “And then he signed it himself.”
The mantle is yet another tribute to the game of pool. The Glazes had lived in the home for nearly a month before they noticed two pool cues and a cue ball had been laid into the wood. Resting on top of the mantle are two old pictures of the home, which Larry had found at UMKC’s Linda Hall Library during some research. Their home and the one next door are similar and believed to be built at roughly the same time.
“They were built at the same time and the people had the same last name," says Joanna. "So it was either father and son, or maybe brothers. But look back there [as she points to the landscape in the picture]. It’s just fields.”
A far cry from the scenery of today — a mere 100 years later.