We chose an exterior mix of Centurion manufactured stone and James Hardie shingle- and lap-style siding to add Kansas City shirtwaist charm to our Hyde Park home. (The style's hallmark is a siding "shirt" tucked into brick or stone "pants.") James Hardie fiber-cement siding looks like wood, but is nearly impervious to Midwest weather, making it a practical, yet beautiful, choice. Double-hung Jeld-Wen wood windows, with distinctive, deep green aluminum exterior cladding, add color and no-maintenance detailing. A subtle, two-tone paint job adds architectural definition. Our favorite part of the front exterior is the aesthetically pleasing porch, where both a curved screened porch that keeps bugs at bay and a covered entryway invite outdoor living and neighborly interaction. Small touches add subtle ambience to the front of the house. Stone ledges offer space for flowerpots, and the charming copper downspouts resonate with softly cascading water when it rains.
Read about our other 2005 Idea Home, Longview Manor 
Calm, soft colors, clean style and up-to-date innovations create a home of ease, sparked with a sheen of sophistication. Step inside the entry and see how well Hyde Park lives for today.
While measuring only 12x14 feet, our kitchen looks bigger because of smart choices. A distinctive barrel ceiling offers visual height, and a light frost glaze on the upper Aristokraft maple cabinets and island maintains an open feeling. Richly stained dark maple lower cabinets anchor the room. We designed the island on legs for a contemporary furniture look. Its see-through construction gives it less visual bulk. Two bar stools can tuck underneath out of the traffic flow, and the island's built-in shelving and cabinet offer dish display and additional hidden storage. Our empty nesters don't cook big meals every day, so we chose compact, efficient appliances from Fisher & Paykel. A convenient gas cooktop offers a simple look. Two dishwasher drawers at counter height are easy on aging backs. We placed less-used ovens out of the work triangle and placed them in a wall "pantry" featuring tall upper cabinets that come down to meet the counter.
Just steps from the kitchen, the dining room offers organized simplicity and flexibility with an Asian-inspired, lacquered-wood table, mix-and-match seating and an Arts and Crafts-influenced sideboard.
The roomy 16x20-foot family room and kitchen open seamlessly into each other for easy everyday living and entertaining. An oak floor in both rooms, colored with Cabot stain, visually connects the two. The soft gray color in this room gets a lively boost from the sparkling, mirrored-tile fireplace surround. A leather-topped coffee table offers a soft spot to prop feet, yet hides clutter below. Across the room, chrome-shaded lamps repeat and balance the fireplace's shine. Nature's driftwood and shells soften manmade metal and glass accents. Small touches of color and pattern add contrast without distraction. Pink and leopard-print pillows echo and balance the colors in the abstract oil painting that inspired this room's color scheme.
Long gone are the days when living rooms served as untouched displays with no daily function. Our new "living" room acts as media central. This room was a natural for TV/movie viewing: It gets less sun during the day because of the porch overhang out front. A slightly deeper color choice on the walls encourages cocooning with a favorite book or DVD. A cushy gray flannel sofa and chairs, an Asian-style media cabinet and a modern slatted coffee table/bench, all from T. Orman's Furniture, make this the perfect place to unwind. A skyscraper-like wire étagère displays a collection of colorful art glass, and those hues reappear in the contemporary silk patchwork pillows tossed on the sofa. Wide moldings around the window and a coffered ceiling add classic architectural dimension.
Throughout the house, oval-shape, brushed-nickel doorknobs from Schlage are easy to turn and look distinctive. We injected the powder room with extra style (it's the only bathroom visitors will see!) by installing a Stone Forest vessel sink with wall-mounted faucet and a mother-of-pearl framed mirror.
The master bedroom continues the cool, relaxing palette and silver accents that appear throughout the home. Clear glass tile surrounds the pewter-accented Lennox gas fireplace and suggests water's serenity. We repeated geometric shapes in this room for visual continuity. Square shapes appear in the tile, patchwork quilt and throw pillows. Circles show up in the mirror, vase, chair pillow, side table, large rug and matelassé bedding. The surprise? The faux zebra rug steps up the impact of black as a grounding accent in this room.
The master bath serves our empty nesters with four distinct areas. A generous walk-in closet sits across from two his-and-her pedestal sinks on either side of a sunny window. The water closet is hidden next to a spa tub and walk-in shower outfitted with a stimulating water experience by Brizo. Both have surrounds made of smooth, cool-toned Corian for easy maintenance.
A popular space with more and more homeowners is a flexible room that can change as families move through stages. We imagined that our empty nesters might want to run a part-time business out of their home. We created an office in our third-floor space just for that purpose. This level also features a full bath and additional storage. Rather than filling our office with lots of furniture, we used Aristokraft cabinetry systems to create a two-person, two-sided, built-in center desk with matching credenzas.
Hyde Park Idea Home 2005 floor plan.
Hyde Park Idea Home 2005 floor plan.