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Featured Article

Let the Light In

Article by Brad Zollars

Photography by Laurie Kilgore Photography

Originally published in Leawood City Lifestyle

In simplest terms, a home is a collection of memories. Some become part of the house itself—the stacked, pencil-drawn lines on the edge of a wall, marking your children’s growth. That scuff in the wall from when you moved in. Some are physical objects that hold personal meaning. A prized keepsake from your grandmother. A trinket from your honeymoon.  

These souvenirs of time and place transform a house into a home.  

And for interior designer Stephanie Stroud—of Stephanie Stroud Interiors—incorporating personal memories into every room of this south Leawood stunner was paramount. The owner, a world traveler, grew up overseas, acquiring numerous unique and meaningful pieces throughout her life, both through her adventures around the globe and hand-me-downs via her extended family. 

“I’ve acquired and inherited so many pieces of furniture, artwork and accessories over the years,” says the homeowner. “Incorporating them into the home’s design was very important. Stephanie helped us blend it all into our existing style. Seeing something of my grandparents on a wall or tucked into a bookshelf is very special.”  

The house, a coastal build, is open and airy while remaining warm and intimate. Expansive rooms come in handy when you have a family of seven. The extra space was also conducive for hosting friends and guests, a key focus of the owners as they approached the home’s design.

“I have several favorite spaces in my house, but I absolutely love the sunroom,” explains the homeowner. “It’s a place where our family and friends come to relax and spend a fun Friday night kicking back or Saturday afternoon soaking in the sun. It’s comfortable, sunny and beautiful. It just makes me happy.” To highlight the room’s natural light, the walls were painted white, and the ceiling a light sky blue—the homeowner’s favorite color. Wicker furniture was added with accessories and pillows in hues of cream and blue.  

The owner, a preschool teacher, and mother of five boys, certainly has her share of hectic days. So, incorporating spaces that induced calm was a focus for Stephanie.

“I’ve known this family for a long time and have worked with them on their previous home,” Stephanie says. “I knew creating a few spaces with more of a feminine feel was a key goal as the homeowner needed some personal space. We worked on the sitting area—just off the primary bedroom—as a place where she can work, read and relax. The sunroom was another one of those spaces. It’s just as welcoming for a girls’ night as for a party-of-one, at the end of a long day with a cup of tea or glass of wine.”

So how do you turn a house into a home? If the owners of this Leawood gem are any indication, it’s all about celebrating the past, the present and those memories yet to come.