When Shauna Ward and her husband walked into their future Weatherby Lake home, they looked past the floor-to-ceiling beige walls, past the matching oak floors and cabinets and out to a bank of windows framing the cove beyond.
It was practically perfect, Shauna says, and they knew it would work for their growing family.
“When we first saw our house, we both loved the views and the layout,” says Shauna, who has been the designer and project manager for her home’s complete renovation. “I saw a lot of potential, and we agreed to make some changes.”
Before they purchased the home, Shauna was a full-time pharmaceutical salesperson, and although she loved decorative arts, she was not a professional designer by trade.
It was her home’s renovation that brought her into the design world. The Wards purchased their home a little over three years ago, before the pandemic, while Shauna was pregnant with their son.
Initially, the Wards hired a general contractor to implement their vision, but after he completely demolished the interior, he quit.
“He called on a Sunday and told us he was in over his head and was walking away,” Shauna says. “At that time, the house was completely demoed, and we had to come up with a plan to get it completed ASAP. We were living with my parents with all three kids, including our baby who was three weeks old.”
So Shauna threw herself into the renovation. “I did all the design and managed the project from July through November. We completed the house and moved in Thanksgiving weekend 2019,” she says.
Shauna started posting about her projects on Instagram, and people started noticing her work, wanting to hire her for their own projects. Then the pandemic hit and everything changed. Shauna Ward Interiors was born.
“If the pandemic never happened, I don’t know if I would have ever changed professions,” Shauna says. “It’s hard to manage three kids and take this kind of plunge.”
She credits her education in journalism and marketing and her willingness to take risks for getting her business off the ground. One such risk was the decision to paint her bedroom ceiling orange. It helped her designs get noticed. The orange bedroom ceiling grabbed the attention of Kansas City Instagram influencer Breahn Vokolek (@overanalyzedthat). She hired Shauna to renovate her kitchen and posted about the project. “Things really started to take off after that,” Shauna says.
From a black ceiling in the piano room to turquoise cabinets in her children’s bathroom, Shauna is continuing to take design risks.
Right off the foyer is a room built as a formal dining room that Shauna is instead using to dramatically showcase a baby grand piano from her childhood.
“My parents bought it for me as a child when I was taking lessons,” she says. “No one is really playing the piano now. But it is nice to have, and sometimes when people are over, someone will play. It’s fun.”
The charcoal black ceiling and traditional black lacquered piano dramatically contrast with the room’s white walls. It sits in the middle of the room under a dripping modern gold chandelier.
The piano and a daybed from Anthropology strewn with boho pillows and a white and black macrame-looking wall hanging create a traditional yet eclectic space.
Nestled off to the side between the piano room and mudroom is a dramatic jewel box of a guest bathroom. Dark blue-black walls frame a wall of light gray and white tiles set in a herringbone pattern. The classic tile choice compliments the engineered marble vanity top.
And like most of the newly installed cabinetry in the Wards’ home, it’s not custom but bought prefabricated.
“I didn’t even change out the hardware,” Shauna says, adding that she has had a lot of success finding stylish, well-built cabinets at affordable price points. She often uses the install-ready cabinets rather than custom-made, not only for her own projects but for many of her clients too.
The brass geometric pendant lighting flanking the mirror creates a low, moody glow. Shauna found the pendants from Dounia Home while scouring Instagram. The pendants hang above the campaign furniture-inspired vanity.
Shauna decided to take a risk in the master bedroom and painted the ceiling a dusty orange, subtly bringing out the earth tones that are sprinkled throughout the room in various textiles.
The tall white headboard, reminiscent of an Indian carving, is the room’s centerpiece and the first thing visible through the room’s double doors. A low-hanging black basket chandelier adds to the bohemian feel.
Shauna completely transformed the master bathroom, creating basically a “bathing room” by enclosing her bathtub inside an extra-large glass shower. Marble tiles in various sizes were used to create different patterns and add subtle detail. The room is flooded with natural light from skylights.
Main Living Room
Like most of the house, the living room got a fresh coat of white paint. Shauna also redid the fireplace wall, removing the built-in oak cabinets and creating a sleek modern fireplace wall using large white marble tiles. Shauna’s use of modern furniture is softened with lots of textiles in various textures and colors.
Shauna and her husband are both fans of Freddie Mercury, so Shauna had a piece of art made to hang in their living room with the Queen frontman’s quote “All you have to do is fall in love.”
Like much of the lake-facing rooms, the kitchen has great views of the water. Shauna used white paint, tile and countertops to keep the kitchen light and airy, despite using black cabinets for the island and a deep dusty gray-blue for the cabinets. Brass hardware and a chandelier made with quartz crystals over the dining table add a glitzy touch.
The childrens’ bedrooms and family room are located on the lower lake level. In the recreation room, Shauna opted for a wood-like tile that could handle muddy, wet lake feet. To enlarge the space, she took down a wall that was concealing an unfinished storage area. She finished it off and added a bar.
Built-in oak cabinets flanking the fireplace were removed, and a black modern fireplace wall with a television nook was created.