Loch Lloyd Living
For many, an “empty nest” translates into a time to flip to a new chapter in one’s life. For Connie and John Murphy, that chapter is being written in the prestigious community of Loch Lloyd.
These two wasted no time in writing the next phase of their lives in what has long been considered one of Kansas City’s premier residential areas.
“We moved our youngest to college in August and we moved here in September,” says Connie with a laugh.
Just a year later, it’s everything they could have imagined.
Prime and pristine real estate
After reading an article about Loch Lloyd opening new lots, the pair took a look. They were only the second homeowners to explore the newly developed area, on Loch Lloyd’s western side, giving them cream of the crop selection options.
“We were fortunate that we found out about it early and looked when this was just woods,” says John. “We fell in love with this view and that was really the first thought: ‘Wow, we could actually have a sunrise in the east.’”
Today, their east-facing home rests on the new 14th and 15th holes of the Loch Lloyd Country Club, where wooded shade veils the open backyard while a view of the small glimmering lake beckons during morning hours.
Builders Bryan Cecil and Ryan Ray of Cecil & Ray Homes, Inc., worked closely with the Murphys on their custom four-bedroom, four full- and two half-bath home in this coveted community. Having stumbled across the builders via a real estate agent, Connie and John toured another home built by Cecil & Ray Homes and discovered just the right amount of inspiration.
As first-timers at building a home, the couple agrees on one point in particular.
“It was a lot easier tweaking a proven design than starting from scratch,” says John.
Brian Cecil says he enjoys building in Loch Lloyd because of the unique and sophisticated resort-like atmosphere.
“The Murphys’ house sits on a golf course lot with amazing views,” he says. “The design of the Murphys’ home was created with expansive windows to capture the beautiful scenery.”
The open floor plan on the main floor is flooded with light from a bank of five windows overlooking the home’s backyard. The room is anchored with a beautiful stone hearth while tones of gray, blue and light brown pepper the space.
“We wanted a total change from our prior home which was a very Tuscan look,” says Connie. “I wanted something fresh and new, and I liked the grays and the browns.”
The Murphys kept a formal dining room just off the great room and kitchen. Connie notes that they love to entertain. They even hosted 16 family members last Thanksgiving. Naturally, the space is perfect for such gatherings.
An oversized galley design, the kitchen showcases striking granite, pendant lights hovering over the bar and a breakfast nook surrounded by windows.
“Gas! All I wanted was gas!” says John, indicating his culinary interests. The state-of-the art gas range is almost a focal point in the room under the faux-painted vent hood.
Despite being in a new space, this couple paid homage to their pre-empty nester days by incorporating much of their existing furniture, except for one chair found in the master bedroom.
A powder room off the living room exhibits the talents of faux painter Suzanne Lynch. The walls, a bronze gold, appear antiquated with a punctuated design. A mosaic mirror hovers above the floating sink, and the room is steeped in warmth. Recommended by their builder, Lynch also painted the columns in the living room and details in the master bathroom.
“I just really loved her work,” says Connie.
The master bedroom and bathroom, rooms recalled as a busy thoroughfare while raising their family, are now relaxing, elegant spaces for the couple.
Windows draped with a series of soft gray curtains and an elevated ceiling impart the impression of airy environs in the bedroom and master bath — a truly sensational retreat.
The opposite side of the residence houses the guest bedroom. The Murphys’ one stipulation when building the home was having a guest bedroom on the main floor for elderly parents and other family members.
Also on this end is an oversized laundry room, a handy and versatile mudroom bench and an office nook that can be closed off from the rest of the house.
“We like this little office, versus the big formal mahogany office, because we can have this and can just shut it off,” says John.
Connie says much of her inspiration came from Houzz.com, a home website that provides ideas, furniture and information on local contractors. She completed her look with artwork from Seville Home Furniture and items from Wilson Lighting.
Off the kitchen is a small lanai where Connie and John like to unwind after a long day and enjoy the breeze from the collection of trees surrounding the home.
“We just love being out there as much as possible,” says Connie.
Lower level amenities
With two college-aged children visiting often, combined with the couple’s penchant for entertaining, the basement was designed to be the pulse of the Murphy home. The open space features amenities such as a pool table, other games and plush bar stools from Amini’s, an expansive bar and California-esque sliding doors to the patio.
Creating a wine room was also a must on the wish list, and the couple created anything but an ordinary one. On one side, a collection of fine wines and favorite blends; on the other, slat-board paneling with a handful of guitars suspended and on display.
“I thought it was a good idea — I didn’t realize, she realized — she could get all my guitars from every place in the house into this one place,” laughs John.
The basement’s recreational points of interest are always on standby for leisurely moments, and the bar’s built-in, sliding refrigerator below suspended Edison bulb pendants helps ensure the stylish space is an ideal hang-out spot.
In warmer months, the backyard patio, with its stunning view of the fairway, serves as an ideal spot for company. An outdoor kitchen, complete with a pizza oven, grill, sink and bar, is on constant rotation as John channels his glory days of being a pizza chef in high school.
The nearby fire pit complements a perfect backdrop when the sun sinks and star-gazing is in order.
“The fire pit is really popular when we get a bunch of people sitting around,” says Connie.
When asked about their favorite spots in the house, the couple finds it hard to choose.
“Well it depends on the day,” says Connie. “Sometimes it’s the lanai.”
“The kitchen hearth,” chimes in John.
“The family room,” adds Connie.
“And if it’s outside, we love that fire pit,” finishes John.
It seems clear that having an empty nest suits this vibrant couple just fine in stylish Loch Lloyd fashion.
photos: William & Jill DiMartino