A local duo turns a former motorcycle workshop into a modern retreat space

Photography by staff.

Jordan and Emily Fox bought their home on Southwest Boulevard in 2017. The house had an attached garage with a dirt floor that had previously been used as a motorcycle workshop. After four years of renovation, the Foxes debuted the former garage space as the Garden House (@gardenhouse.kc) this summer. Now, it serves as an intimate event and nightly rental space. 

Photography by staff.

It’s no secret that the pandemic encouraged the downsizing of gatherings and parties. But there has been continued interest in a return to the quiet and private. What started out of necessity has turned into a full-blown revival of intimate venues and unique micro spaces. The revival has been rooted in art, craft, attention to detail and the notion of retreat. 

Photography by staff.

The Foxes aren’t strangers to any of those things. The duo formerly ran a cactus shop in the space, and Jordan runs a design studio called Foxtrot Studio (@foxtrot.studio), which he calls a “lifestyle shop.” Foxtrot started with handmade leather goods and now offers menswear and home goods. Garden House, he says, incorporates what he’s learned about hospitality through running the studio and plant shop.

Photography by staff.

“We drew a lot of inspiration for this project from the Southwest,” Jordan says. Garden House has a modern desert theme and is complete with a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and lounge area that opens into the backyard garden space with a small courtyard and string lights. The entire space is brimming with plants and local goods.

“It’s like a lived-in boutique,” Jordan says. “We have our own products in the space, and you can take them home with you.” In the lounge area, you can shop for mugs, candles, coffee and other small items that are a part of staying at Garden House. 

The Foxes have also made efforts to incorporate local art and craftwork into the retreat space. Garden House features prints from a local graphic designer, dinnerware from a local ceramic artist, and furniture pieces and cabinetry from a local woodworker, among other things. 

Photography by staff.

Garden House was initially intended as a place for nightly stays, photoshoots and private parties. There have been small, intimate weddings in the backyard, where the Foxes have supplied plants and other decorative touches. But the modern venue is flexible. More recently, the space has been envisioned for other intimate events. “We’re getting inquiries about hosting yoga classes, brunches and dinner parties,” Jordan says. “I’ve even been thinking about cooking classes.”

Social Media

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to our newsletters

Kansas City magazine keeps readers updated on the latest news in twice-weekly newsletter. 

On Tuesdays, Dish brings you food news and our critic picks. 

On Thursdays, The Loop offers exclusive news reports and our curated events picks.