It doesn’t seem possible for a house to be both truly grand and seriously cozy, yet that is exactly how this almost seventeen-thousand-square-foot home in Leawood feels.
Despite soaring ceilings, marble floors and a dedicated laundry room larger than most bedrooms, there still seem to be plenty of spots perfect to curl up with a book and a cup of tea or sip a cocktail and chat the evening away with a few friends. An alley of trees line the stone driveway leading to the French chateau-inspired home, which is built entirely with corner-cut limestone imported from an Indiana quarry.
The extensive gardens not only include a pool and large lawn but also winding paths, a creek, bridges, a gazebo, a putting green and a pickleball court. Several wind sculptures by Lyman Whitaker dot the grounds.
It is obvious that the home was built with both family life and entertaining in mind. Constructed a little over twenty years ago, the owners, who wish to remain anonymous, have delighted in sharing it with friends and family.
The homeowners are lovers and collectors of art, and it’s apparent as soon as you walk through the double doors into the massive white-marbled entry hall.
A life-size and extremely realistic sculpture of a man dressed as a butler instantly catches the eye. Created by a friend and made with a polymer resin, the sculpture is so realistic that it requires a double take. Then to the right, an oversized, limited-edition book of famed photographer Annie Leibovitz by art book publisher Taschen sits on a specially designed stand, becoming a work of art in its own right. This is all taken in before the eye gets pulled up to a massive spherical chandelier made of tiny glass circles. The foyer opens up directly to a massive hallway that leads to all areas of the house and straight to the dining room ahead and a wall of windows framing the garden beyond.
The library, which also serves as an office with a hidden bathroom, bar and spiral staircase in the corner, seems as if it came right out of the Wayne Manor of Batman fame. The staircase leads to a second-story dressing room adjacent to the primary bedroom.
Everything an office should or could have seems to be here—there’s a large fireplace flanked by deep leather chairs, a custom-designed L-shaped desk, a billiard table and a built-in fish tank.
The wood-paneled bar is set off in an alcove with an elaborate bronze-hued tin ceiling. Black and gold Art Deco-inspired wallpaper and African mahogany hardwood floors with matching wood moldings and built-in bookshelves make it feel as if you’re in a private city club where a three-piece jazz band would play.
One of the home’s showstoppers is a circular ceiling mural of a vibrant sky above the family staircase toward the back of the house. It’s a hidden gem that not everyone might get the chance to see.
Handpainted by married artists John Hulsey and Ann Trusty, the swirling mural of blues and golden clouds adds a bit of unexpected drama. Small LED lights were installed throughout the mural to mimick stars in the form of constellations.
The kitchen opens up to a traditional “hearth room.” Its dramatic vaulted ceiling is lined with skylights that have been fitted with retractable shades. Between the skylights and a wall of windows looking out over the back terrace and pool, the space is filled with light.
Adjoining the hearth room is a second dining area with a fireplace and French doors leading out to a walled stone courtyard for a little al fresco dining if the mood strikes.
The living room is large and gracious, with light pouring in from floor-to-ceiling windows that offer views of the garden. Holding court in one corner of the room is a grand piano that was given as a gift when the owners’ first son was born. Everyone in the family plays and loves music. A sound-proof music room was built on the lower level.
Recently updated, the kitchen is a study in white. Large rectangular marble tiles make up the backsplash and reach to the ceiling. And although the homeowner laughs that not much cooking is done in the gourmet kitchen, she does love the latest kitchen appliances: The space has been outfitted with a wolf range and matching stainless steel hood and warming drawer. A special treat is the built-in Miele coffee station with a cup warmer and milk frother.
Primary Bedroom And Closets
The primary suite is bright and airy, with walls of windows and a private balcony. A fireplace serves as the focal point of the bedroom, which connects to a large bathroom with a beverage station. The bathroom connects to his and hers dressing rooms and closets.
Stepping into the temperature-controlled wine cellar is like being transported into a private tasting room. The cellar has floor-to-ceiling built-in wine storage and display areas, a lattice-looking wood ceiling matching the shelving, and leaded glass doors and windows that overlook the main entertaining space.
The lower level is designed for entertaining. Apart from the main entertaining space with a two-tiered movie theater, pool table and open kitchen with a bar station, there is a gym and a full bathroom that includes a sauna and steam shower.