Kansas City is filled with cool homes, that’s for sure.
There are Tudors and bungalows lining the streets of Brookside, Victorians in Pendleton Heights, Greek Revivals along Ward Parkway and even Italianates in pockets of Olathe.
And in a few spots around the city, you’ll find a Drummond. The mid-century home style by builder Donald Drummond, characterized by a flat roof (known as “flatties” and inspired by Bay Area builder Earl W. “Flat Top” Smith), is typically ranch or split level, has an open floor plan and has big glass windows against post-and-beam structures.
There are just over a thousand Drummond-built homes in the city, all constructed between 1946 and 1964. They usually come in batches.
“These homes were built for the sports car-driving, pipe-smoking, wine-drinking enthusiast,” Kansas City real estate broker Scott Lane told CA-Modern magazine, which is part of the Eichler Network. Joseph Eichler, a builder out of California, is known to be the godfather of these modern homes in the mid-century. “These homes were for the owner who read The New Yorker magazine and had a refined appreciation for modern living.”
Realtor Missy Price recalls a time twenty years ago when Drummonds were a tough sell.
“No one was that familiar with them,” she says. “It doesn’t have a basement and storage is limited. They have flat roofs. There are some things that are kind of scary that are not really the norm for Kansas City.”
Two years ago, Price and her partner, Julie Inman, were in the market for a home—specifically for something more modern than the traditional homes they’d previously lived in. They got lucky when they landed their Drummond in Overland Park, just as popularity for the home style was growing.
“A friend of ours actually told us about it when it went on the market,” Price says. “That weekend, there were multiple offers on it. We were the lucky ones.”
Price and Inman say there’s always a steady parade of cars to check out the lineup of Drummonds on their street. “Even I used to do that!” Inman says.
Both Price and Inman have furniture-finding abilities in their blood: Price’s grandparents were antique dealers, and Inman’s mother, according to Inman, is a “dumpster diver.”
“We sold everything traditional that we had in our homes prior,” Price says. “We knew we couldn’t just put a normal sofa and furniture in here. Everything needed to be a little bit sleeker and lower. We both just kind of like to collect and look and play and see what works and what doesn’t work.”
Most of the items in their home are from Facebook Marketplace, including notable vintage designer pieces like Lane Acclaim walnut tables and Gunlocke chairs.
Along with scouting vintage steals on Marketplace, they like sourcing furniture from West Elm, Populuxe, Crate and Barrel and the West Bottoms.
Since they moved in, Price and Inman have barely touched the kitchen—including the cable track lighting system with modern pin lights. “[Lighting is] really kind of hard to do because we don’t have a space between the roof and the ceiling,” Price says.
The bright orange backsplash is actually a painted wall with glass over it. The laundry unit sits in the corner of the kitchen; because Drummond homes don’t have basements, this is something you’ll see a lot of in his work.
Outdoor living spaces are a common—and virtuous—feature of Drummond homes. This sheltered, open-air outdoor seating area is decked with comfy furniture and an electric cone fireplace. Concrete slab pavers throughout the yard lay on top of Mexican beach pebble.
The couple purchased the trailer last fall, and Inman has been busy renovating the interior, using her expertise as an electrical engineer to gut the electrical and start fresh.
“This had an old propane heater and I didn’t feel comfortable using it,” she says, so she equipped the trailer with an electric heater along with an icebox, oven, stovetop, bunk and pull-out bed.