Ted and Kathee Kramm have lived in Kansas City for the past thirty years.
When the couple built their home in Overland Park’s Farm at Garnet Hill, they were hands-on in every step of the process. This home is as custom as custom gets—everything from the geothermal heating and cooling system to the pool was hand-picked and tailored by the Kramms themselves.
“Some of the inspiration came from our across-the-street neighbors at our old house who had built a contemporary house,” Ted says. “We just loved it and loved how unique it was and how open it was. We also wanted to build a home that was relatively maintenance-free on the outside. We didn’t want to have to spend our summers painting the outside of the house and doing a lot of work. So the materials we selected were very resilient to the weather.”
See how the couple decided to lay out and equip their dream home.
Kathee dabbles in art, and she enjoyed picking out pieces that were specifically structurally interesting. Art in the house ranges from paintings and rugs to sculptures and exclusive furniture pieces. “Jacob Burmood did the sculpture on the fireplace out of sculpted aluminum,” Ted says. “At the time, we had three dogs, and that was kind of his vision of our three dogs.”
The home takes “open concept” to a new level—the glass doors and windows and spaces between floating stairs make it so that there’s a lot of visibility inside the house.“It was really designed so when you do you walk in, there’s this huge window that drops all the way down,” says real estate agent Kristin Malfer. “The stairs are not offensive at all—you can see straight through and see the background, where there’s the lake and the pool.”
There’s an artist in Kansas City named Brady Legler,” Ted says. “I had gone to New York to buy a piece of art that he had done at a gallery there. When we got back, we had an opportunity to meet with his father. We didn’t know that he made rugs at the time, and we decided to order these two really cool, bright rugs that make a great contrast with the white floors and the white walls.”
The custom kitchen table is underlit and can be changed to different colors. The inspiration for this came from when Ted was visiting the bar at the Delano Hotel in Miami Beach. “You can make it whatever color you want,” Malfer says. “So if you have a Chiefs party, you can make it red or blue for Royals.”
Kitchen Cabinets and Counters
In Ted and Kathee’s old house, they had dark colors in the kitchen, so they decided to opt for the reverse in this house.“With dark counters, you can’t really see if they’re clean,” Ted says. “Now, because everything’s white, we have the goal of keeping it clean and clutter-free.”
The Kramms have a house in the Virgin Islands, so a big part of their design inspiration came from the open-air houses typical of the Islands. The back of the house is made up of glass sliding doors, and the infinity pool and pool deck were built into the foundation of the home, which looks over the lake. “With the pool, the outdoor bar, fireplace, barbecue, porch heaters—you’ve got a whole home outdoors in open air that opens to the pool,” builder Brett Standard says. “It’s a warm setting that can be used nine months out of the year.”
Automated and Eco-Conscious
Standard says that what made building this house unique from many others was the strong desire that the homeowners had to make it energy-efficient.
“It’s more sustainable, from the solar panels on the roof to the geothermal heating and cooling system to the radiant floors throughout the main level,” Standard says. “It uses a whole lot less energy than a normal house of that size.”
The home is also completely automated—everything from the shades to the lights can be controlled by the swipe of a finger on an iPad.
Architects John Mackaman and Weston Carlson of Elswood Smith Carlson helped Ted and Kathee establish this distinct feature on the home, which they call the “fin.” “The fact that we did it out of limestone, I think just adds that much to it,” Ted says. “We call it the fin because we are Jimmy Buffett fans.”Ted says that another huge distinguisher of their home’s exterior are the giant purple planters that sit on either side of the entry—in the fall, the couple puts mums in them to mimic Patrick Mahomes’ hair, and at Christmastime they put Santa hats on them.