Dave Selph has built an empire and an estate, although neither seem as extravagant as they may sound when you learn more about this California native and his growing family.
Selph’s Leawood home is a spectacular take on the old family home. After years of living and working in Kansas City, he decided it was time to spring for that big family home that would last a lifetime; a place where he and his children would connect and play.
Despite having plans for a home in the Timberstone development in 2007, he happened upon something better.
“I was riding my Harley, I came by this corner and I saw their sign and the house was just framed, the main part,” he says. “I called and I said, ‘Hey, I want to buy this house,’ and I just visualized how I’d do it. At first they said no, and then I talked them into it.”
Today Selph appears more than content with his six-bedroom, nine-bath home. Not to mention the space for eight cars (a hobby and a necessity for Selph and his kids).
Leading up to the secluded home is a finely landscaped drive with a bubbling water fountain and outpouring of sweet potato plants, soon to be mums. The home’s facade is stunning and inviting — all at the same time.
Selph notes the outdoor entry was a small victory after redesigning it not too long ago. The drive, originally shared with the neighbor, was completely reconstructed to create a new driveway to the street. After plans upon plans and debates with the city, Selph would eventually construct his own bridge over the ravine, which also serves as a floodplain, to make the property just a little more exclusive.
“I liked the privacy; I liked the yard — it gives you kind of a feel you’re at the lake when you’re not,” he says. “You don’t feel like you’re in the middle of Leawood.”
Selph and his main squeeze, Jenn Carter, will soon make this house their home. A somewhat modern “Brady Bunch” story, so will their children. Therefore this blending of families inspired the 2011 addition.
“We knew as our family gets older, we’re going to need more car space,” says Selph. “So all we were going to do is just build a garage. But then my builder said, ‘Why not utilize the space?’”
What came next, with the help of Tim Cunningham Homes, was a four-car tandem garage and guest suite. For now, the garage is filled with toys while the upstairs is a relaxing one-bedroom studio complete with a kitchen, living room and luxurious bathroom.
The décor hints at the main home’s style, with Old World accents and a little bit of flirt, all designed by Selph’s girlfriend.
Between the two living spaces is one of Selph’s favorite “toys,” a small basketball court on which the kids can often be found.
“I’ve gotta show it to you because you’ve never seen a basketball court like this — I know you won’t like it,” says Selph of his Raiders court.
Delighted by his favorite team, he appreciates the manner in which he’s paid homage to the Oakland, Calif., football team — in Kansas City.
The main home, also built by Tim Cunningham, was styled by Amber Gardner and finished by KC Surroundings after being built six years ago.
Of the style, Selph says, “I like to think it’s Old World, but I don’t know if everyone would agree with that.”
Old World appears to only be a fraction of the home’s style, as hints of ornate and detailed tile are sprinkled throughout, stained glass beams appear in unexpected rooms and a bank of windows invites the outdoors inside.
The open kitchen and family room are, at the moment, a popular retreat for Selph. An ideal place to kick up your feet after a long day, the room is anchored by a beautiful bar and retreat to the patio. The space is flooded with natural light and at night, it beams with lighting from within.
“The house at night lights up like a candle so the lighting is amazing — especially with the backyard,” he says.
A beautiful staircase, detailed with tile and flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows, takes guests down to the home’s entertaining basement or up to the children’s wing.
Accenting the windows is a beautiful stained glass piece designed by Jamie Jones of Leaded Glass Studio.
“I told him what colors I wanted and then he did the design,” says Selph.
Room for Living
Entering at the front door, the elegant formal living and dining rooms capture Selph’s appreciation for the finer things.
“The formal dining room we never use,” he says, laughing. But Selph enjoys its presence in the home he had been dreaming of.
Off the foyer is Selph’s office, which showcases stately Brazilian furniture and French doors punctuated with the same stained glass seen elsewhere in the home. Also of note in the office are the faux-painted walls, which are a consistent element throughout the home. Textured and patterned, no wallpaper was used in the décor; instead it was all completely hand-painted by Michelle Kelly Creative Faux Effects.
Around the corner is Selph’s favorite room — the master bedroom.
Wanting his own hideaway, he designed the room himself. Stately and warm, the room features distinctive Marge Carson furniture, an escape to the backyard and soon, a collage wall of all the children.
The master bath, however, has taken on a life of its own — expanding little by little. First it was a new vanity for his gal, and now it’s the closet.
“Her shoes don’t fit in here,” he says with a serious look.
So Selph is building a new dream closet complete with two chandeliers and plenty of shoe space. A girl’s dream come true.
The basement is often abuzz with youthful energy. A six-seat home theater becomes a popular spot in the cooler months as everyone gathers for movies.
“We live down here in the winter,” he says.
An expansive gym features a variety of machines which everyone tends to use. Even the kids.
And colorful art by Steve Widlund adorns the walls. His work is also found in the rec room where a KC skyline mural captivates attention and a portrait of Kid Rock hangs over the bar.
In the garage, Selph’s Service Station is painted on the wall, paying tribute to his work in the oil business.
Also in the rec room is a video suite complete with the latest and greatest games along wtih a ping pong table, darts and a couple arcade games.
“The kids use it,” says Selph. “The first two years we came down here a lot but I don’t come down here as much. I leave them alone and they leave me alone.”
The backyard remains a coveted retreat during the summer.
With four acres of enclosed land, the kids can romp around on the swing set, the trampoline, the basketball court and in the saltwater pool. Boasting a striking infinity waterfall, the pool was added after the home was complete and is nestled up to the house.
“When the waterfall is running, it’s really pretty,” says Selph.
The outdoor patio serves as another living room, as the couple enjoys entertaining. Featuring a fireplace, television and plenty of seating, the covered stone patio is ideal any time of the year.
Lush landscaping for this tropical outdoor sanctuary was originally designed by Land Art, Inc. and is now maintained by Anything Outdoors. Potted plants bring color to the patio and various lights illuminate the designs at night.
Basking in the bounty of his dream come true, Selph couldn’t have planned the home any better for a future that would hold family, friends, (cars) and plenty of entertaining.
“It’s a big home, but you don’t feel like it’s overly big,” he says.
photos: William & Jill DiMartino