The Kansas City Modern Home Tour is only a little over a week away and it’s shaping up to be a great tour. With homes like this one designed by StudioBuild, how could it not be? The designer of the home, Jerad Foster, was kind enough to introduce me to the homeowner, Damon Heybrock. Damon went on to give me some background information on just how this 1890s home transformed from antiquated masonry to beautiful, modern home.
1. How did you manage to remodel the interior of a home that was built in the 1890s with such a modern design while keeping to that masonry heritage?
The first time Kari (my wife) and I walked through the home, it was a wreck but we immeadiately thought there was potential for open spaces and a flow for living.
There is a lot of square footage, but it is all contained in this very simple rectangular box so it feels very livable for a family of 4(soon to be 5) and is great for entertaining 150 people (as we like to do). The other thing about the rectangular footprint is the freedom it allows inside for creative and imaginative design. The box gives something to push against. Respecting the stone was key — it had been very sloppily tuckpointed over the years, so we had every grout line ground out and redone . . . it became a new home in exposing the rich stone. The stone is one of the great insulators for our very passive energy home and then provided the depth for the birch framed window wells — each becoming a window seat.
2. What function did you want the home to have once it was remodeled? What sort of homeowner was the remodel designed for?
As mentioned above, a growing family of 4 who love to host and gather friends and neighbors. A young family that wants to grow together in the house over a lifetime. Most of the life occurs in the open kitchen and seating area, the second floor is a a little more intimate with bedrooms and then there is the surprise of third floor — infinite possibilities and likely the space that will change the most over the years.
3. Wood is used predominantly through the house it looks like. Can you explain a bit more about its role in the home’s redesign?
Wood offered the best surprises and solutions throughout the house. The floors — maple on the first and pine on the second — refinished beautifully and are an ever present reminder of the home’s history. We patched the areas where walls were removed with whatever the floor guys had and it serves as a map of the previous footprint in the house. The mantle wall down stairs and the dramatic black first to third floor stair wall and roof are salvaged from the original 3rd floor flooring. Great design solutions and features. Then the walnut and birch throughout bring warmth to the simple white/black walls.
4. What place do you think contemporary architecture has in a city like Kansas City?
An important one — especially considering my desire for urban living. Reusing, revitalizing, reinventing spaces for today — bringing a new chapter to the city’s life.
Don’t forget to purchase your tickets for the Kansas City Modern Home Tour so you can see 9 stunning examples of contemporary architecture including Damon’s home. To see more projects by StudioBuild, head over to their website here.