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Country Kitchen, Southeast Kansas

A beautiful piece of empty land located in southeast Kansas provides the backdrop for a client’s home. Clients in Portland, Oregon purchased a family farm in Kansas that they wished to use as a wildlife sanctuary.

The clients wanted to build a home that would reflect the surrounding community’s style, as well as withstand the numerous windstorms and tornadoes that blow through the area each year.  The home would  become headquarters for an international nature conservancy group in the future.

The clients selected a gambrel roof home–one shaped like a Midwest barn–and chose a builder familiar with the construction processes needed to build a structure appropriate for the extreme Kansas weather.  After a preliminary discussion with the owners, it was decided that the entire interior of the two-story home would be based on a beautiful western lodge located in Barttlesville, Oklahoma.

The client brought the designer a Pendleton Woolen blanket, and stated that she wanted to use  the colors in the blanket throughout the house, and that she wanted it to be a knock-your-socks off project.  Hand made tiles, barn-like colors, antiques and accessories collected over a lifetime, and natural materials would dominate the kitchen. On the set of house plans, the kitchen was simply shown as an open space. There was no layout of any kind.  Additionally, all items to be purchased locally, including cabinetry and appliances, had to be selected long distance.  The client also stated that she wanted to select appliances that could easily be repaired locally. Finding someone to lay a granite counter top in southeastern Kansas could also prove difficult.  Materials appropriate for the area became an important consideration.

Now finished, the kitchen exudes  sought-after charm as well as a high impact look with the use of  bright red cabinets.  Cold, winter Kansas mornings become tolerable when the owners make fresh-ground coffee from the built-in coffee center, and then enjoy a view that continues for miles in all directions, no matter what the weather.

Client Testimonial

Shirley was asked to develop the character of a barn house interior resembling Timberline Lodge and Woolaroc Lodge in Oklahoma for 80 acres deeded from the Osage Land Trust. Tile for 3 bathrooms and the kitchen were specially fired with designs of pond, buffalo, grasshopper and to match the barn red cupboards in the kitchen that I had always wanted. Paint colors were very carefully selected, and predominantly Benjamin Moore, my favorite paint brand, and change with light in the barnhouse. It was a very difficult project due to its remoteness and worker issues, but Shirley somehow pulled it together to perfection.
– Connie Tyson