Writer Brooke McGrath came by and visited with our Chief of Operations Jim Kiely and had a great visit with us. We were given the opportunity to show some of the homes' beautiful design aspects, and took advantage of discussing some of the energy efficiencies the group prides itself in.
A MODEL (HOME) CITIZEN
This custom spec home in The Enclave at Mills Farm was marketed just right, showcasing appealing design aspects, quality materials and fashionable interior design—which is why it sold in record time.
Story by Brooke McGrath | Exterior photo by Paul Bonnichsen | Interior photos by James Maidhof
Taking roughly a year to build, Larson Building Co.’s European chateau in Mills Farm, with 6,800 square feet of finished space, had its last stone laid the evening before the doors opened for the HBA’s 2015 Spring Parade of Homes, where it was chosen as the American Dream Award’s Grand Award Winner. After touring the house, which boasts a total of 11,242 square feet including the unfinished basement, it’s easy to see how it sold after only two days on the tour (and with multiple offers)—and it wasn’t for sale during construction.
To create a plan that blended well within the Mills Farm community and their target budget, owner Lance Larson and Jim Kiely, chief of operations at Larson Building Co., came up with “The Interlachen,” named after a popular resort town in the Swiss Alps, a brand-new floor plan with details and distinguished architecture that made this home the talk of the tour.
“When you build a true custom home, you are able to get exactly what you want, eliminating the things that you don’t want,” Kiely says. “This allows for nicer spaces in the areas that you live in the most. Eliminating the spaces that you don’t need also helps greatly when trying to meet the client’s budget. Each home that Larson Building Company constructs is a home that is built for the very first time. Because of that, you will find a lot of opportunities during the build that can be taken advantage of. Our homes are designed by us, with the expertise of a professional architect, which gives our clients the distinguished architecture they expect to receive when building their dream home.”
Architect Gerald Janssen at Elswood Smith Carlson Architects was presented with the conceptual plan, where “he put his own spin on the floor plan and gave the exterior a lot of interest and eye candy,” Kiely adds, while designer Erin Mankameyer, owner of Groover Interior Design, created a classy, elegant interior with designer furnishings and a timeless color palette. “It’s an Old World European chateau feel but with a sophisticated, modern twist,” Mankameyer explains of the interiors. “There are natural, rustic elements mixed with clean, simple lines and a color palette that’s light, bright and soft.”
Architectural and interior design features aside, energy efficiency is also a main priority when building a Larson home; this one has an HERS rating of 49 (the lower the number, the more energy-efficient the home). Wrapped in high-quality, energy-efficient Marvin Integrity windows, with 96-percent efficient, 16-seer HVAC equipment and an extreme level of insulation and sealing, the home is estimated to cost only $202 a year to cool.
The exterior, with a porte cochere, motor court and five-car garage, features travertine, stone and 100-year-old brick pavers, a combination of materials that also flow through the interiors and out to a covered backyard patio, built-in fire pit and seating wall. The 1.5-story, with five bedrooms, five full- and two half-baths, and an unfinished lower level (that has big finishing plans!) combines subtle faux finishes with colorful wallpaper, trendy fixtures and custom design details that’s suitable for the family of seven that is taking up residence in September.
If you weren’t one of the 10,000-plus to tour the home during the Parade, here’s an in-depth look at some of the home’s most prized features.
An Entry That Truly Welcomes
If you want to make a statement, you add a turret. It’s a defining feature on the outside that can make an even bigger impact inside. Larson, Kiely and Janssen shared design ideas that materialized into the circular beam design that presently shows off the height of the turret inside. Custom wrought iron stair spindles, inspired by the front door design, plush designer carpet and a dazzling Currey & Co. chandelier round out the entry aesthetics.
This is the main kitchen, one of three in the home. It’s the “pretty but simple” kitchen, as Kiely calls it, with its Wolf range, Quartzite counters, custom cabinets, brushed bronze fixtures and Crystorama pendants. Directly behind it is the scullery, a caterer’s kitchen, built to handle the mess that comes with cooking.
This working kitchen, with marble tile backsplash and travertine flooring with a marble border, is equipped with all the necessary Wolf/Sub-Zero appliances needed and has direct access to a wine room located right outside one of the sliding barn doors, which flank the space, keeping prep and clean-up out of sight.
Running the Floor
New to KC, the wire-brushed, rift-and quarter-sawn white oak hardwood flooring with micro bevel throughout the main floor and travel corridors is extremely durable and stable underfoot. An engineered product, you can actually see and feel the texture in each board, though no two are alike. To complement the look, Larson's skilled craftsmen installed rough-sawn white oak flooring on the ceiling of the dining room, adding architectural interest with hand-carved crisscross beams, also a functional element that hides the seam.
Sweet, Stylish Dreams
To get to the master suite, you must first go through the rotunda, a transitional space that's dressed in a silk wallcovering with a dome ceiling finished in a metallie silver foil. Above the bed is a complementary dome ceiling inset, as a subtle yet well-done Venetian plaster walls are carried from the bedroom into the bath. In the sitting room a cast-stone fireplace complements a travertine surround.
Additional features and rooms includes
*Nanny, in-law or college student suite over the garage with its own kitchen
* Mother's retreat over the porte cochere
*Second-floor loft space
*Panelized knotty alder wainscoting in study on the mail level
*Three laundry rooms: two on the main level, one upstairs (one on the main is located in the kid's craft room, which is adjacent to a funky, colorful powder bath that features colorful fish wallpaper by Cole & Son.)
Itching to see it in person? We don't blame you. A Larson Building staff member will open the home at 15908 Cody St. Overland Park, KS, to the public on Thursday and Friday afternoons from 2-6 p.m. through the summer. It's also available for private tours by appointment. Call 913-908-0209 to schedule a tour.