Interiorssneak peeks

A Lovingly Restored 1920s Colonial Family Home in Kansas City, MO

by Sabrina Smelko

After growing up in the Midwest and falling in love, high school sweethearts Amanda and Andrew Watters got married and moved to a condo in Kansas City, MO to start a family. But after welcoming their first two children, Stella and Theodore, it didn’t take long before they grew out of their space — a reality that was only amplified when Amanda decided to take a step back from teaching to become a stay-at-home mom. And so the house-hunt began, a journey which ended in lots of disappointment until the family was hit with a stroke of luck. After losing out on countless homes, they stumbled across this three-story, 2,400-square-foot 1920s colonial before it went on the market. “It ticked all the boxes on our wish list so we put an offer on it that night and didn’t look back,” Amanda says. Since then, a lot has changed for the Watters family. They welcomed another child, baby Alfie, and Amanda started chronicling the journey of motherhood, slow living, and the process of restoring their home renovations on the blog Homesong.

As a mother, the goal when it came to decorating their space was function without sacrificing form. “It was very important to us to make each room family-friendly and comfortable for each one of us,” she begins, “I wouldn’t say we sacrificed beauty for functionality, but rather made it our mission to blend the two.” After a lot of moving, re-jigging and tweaks over time, they’ve fostered a calming, simple and welcoming space that oozes with comfort — thanks to Amanda’s mindfulness. “We have found that a little intention and care go a long way,” she says. “We feel like this home is a true reflection of our family… Our life is a simple one, and we love keeping this slow, mindful pace.”

Although the home comes with many original and unique perks — their antique porcelain sink and tub, the crystal chandelier, the heavy doors and pulley windows — restoring it has proven to be a much harder job than they initially anticipated. “Since this house is so old, everything we do must be customized,” Amanda explains. “Shutters, window boxes, doors — all of it is a long process to design and order!” After two years, there’s still lots to do to get the house to where the family wants it to be, which currently means giving their entire outdoor space a much needed facelift. But every task they accomplish adds up to make this house the ultimate family home. “Our little ones enjoy adventuring around the yard, making crafts, helping mama in the kitchen, digging in the garden and playing with their toys,” Amanda shares. “We are thankful for the space this home gives our family each day to do the things we love. It is a calming haven that is full of the most beautiful, airy light, and it is a place that we not only love coming home to, but a place we feel safest.” –Sabrina

This cozy nook in the Watters Family's kitchen is one of Amanda's favorite spots. "As a family, we have most of our meals here," she explains, "it’s the spot everyone gravitates towards no matter the time of day. It gets the most beautiful light and looks into our garden, and gives this space so much warmth." The table is from IKEA and the bistro chairs were purchased from Craigslist. The painting is an antique.
The whole family on their back porch. "We love the big old trees surrounding this property," Amanda shares. "In the spring and summer the kids play outside in our garden, and we light fires daily in the winter. In autumn, our home is draped with a blanket of colorful leaves towering overhead. We are thankful for all of this. It’s truly a magical place to live and is a haven for us. We are thankful to get to do life here with one another. That, in and of itself, is a gift."
The butcher block is the ultimate family gathering space throughout the day. "This big butcher block is a blessing for our family," Amanda admits. "I love to cook and, with all this space, I am able to really cook up a storm in here." On any given day, the kids pull up chairs to watch over Amanda or lend a hand. The schoolhouse lights are from Home Depot.
This big, shaker-style pantry is original to the home. "When I saw it on our first walk-through of this house my eyes widened," Amanda says. "It was rare on our house-hunt to see something so old and beautiful in such good working condition!" The couple uses this space for everyday storage to house plates, cookware, cups and dry goods. On the counter below is an ever-evolving mix of citrus fruits. The cabinets were painted in Whitetale by Sherwin Williams.
"Growing up, we had a window over our kitchen sink and it was always something I knew I wanted when we bought a home," Amanda explains. "It’s a little feature that makes me happy because it lets light in when I am doing dishes and I get to watch the kids run around in the backyard." The chalkboard is an antique, the cabinet pulls are from Home Depot, and the walls are painted in Snow Bound by Sherwin Williams. Through the doorway to the left is the mudroom off the back door.
In the mudroom hang some beautiful housekeeping tools within reach. "This little spot in our home is in constant use as I am always drying something, using our market tote when running errands and sweeping up messes throughout the day," Amanda says. The peg rail was purchased from The Container Store, the wood brushes are from HomeGoods and various general stores, and the dustpan was found at an Amish General Store in Iowa.
The main floor and second-story floor plan of their large home.
"In this season with little ones, [the] dining area is most often used as a big craft table for the kids and I," Amanda says. The couple found the old hutch against the wall at an antique shop downtown: "Andrew spotted it and immediately we knew it was meant to be in our home to store all of our special treasures!" The table is from Restoration Hardware, the Windsor chairs are from Target, the grace painting was thrifted and the walls are painted in Ski Slope by Sherwin Williams.
In the living room are these two blue velvet chairs which were the first pieces of furniture that Andrew’s parents bought after they got married. They have followed Amanda and Andrew into every home they've lived in, adding to the story of their home.
"I really enjoy taking trips to the thrift store, and whenever I do I take a peek in the art section," Amanda says. "Most of the art hanging by wires on our walls are secondhand. I love that someone else was able to enjoy it and then passed it along. I am drawn to the colors of these old prints and the whimsy the gold frame adds to our living space." The linen chesterfield is from Nebraska Furniture Mart, the pillows are from Loom Goods, and the blanket is from Pehr Designs.
Off the living room is this arts and crafts area. "We made this little art station for the kids to create and it has become their favorite place to do crafts throughout the day," Amanda says. "I love hanging up their artwork on the walls and throughout our home. It’s important that they have a place all their own to make things and get messy. This is their corner and it makes me so happy when I pass by." The table is from Design Within Reach.
With only one bathroom on the second level for five people, the goal was to make it as darling and useful as possible. The enamel sink is original, as are the wall tiles. "Getting ready in this little bathroom is like stepping back in time," Amanda says. "My old soul loves that." The enamel storage cupboard was found at a flea market and the towel is from Schoolhouse Electric.
Amanda's grandfather made the cute wood shelf out of old barn wood from his farm. "It has a lot of sentimental value," Amanda shares. "I use it to house my essential oils and homemade remedies." The shower curtain is from West Elm and the plant is a pothos.
Fresh flowers and linen sprays are something you’ll always find on the couple's nightstand. "Waking up to a bit of nature is a lovely way to start the day," Amanda says. The spindle bed is from Schoolhouse Electric, the white bedding is from Target, the ticking pillows are from Loom Goods, and the light fixture is from Urban Outfitters.
Andrew lovingly refers to their bedroom as “The Treehouse” because of the six massive windows in the space. The lamp is from Target, the chair was passed down from family and the curtains are from IKEA.
At the moment, Alfie and Stella share a room. "We originally thought the boys would share a room, but this is how things have worked out best for us up until this point!" Amanda shares. They decided to keep the kids' room fairly simple by using a lot of natural tones to maintain a serene and calm place to sleep and play. The crib is from IKEA and the rug is from Target.
"The loft is a fun space for our family and where our guests get to stay when visiting," Amanda says. "The kids love playing up there and have the best time running around on these old floorboards that we recently painted white." The couch tucked away in the corner is from West Elm, the lighting is from Home Depot and the rug is from IKEA. The walls are painted in Bright White by Sherwin Williams.
"Baskets are my saving grace as a mother of three! We have them in practically every room to store toys and blocks and books."
Nestled between Amanda's favorite knick-knacks is a chalkboard with a message paying homage to the light and love within the family home.

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  • This is all so lovely and thoughtful. Could you please share the material of the white countertop in the kitchen?

  • I’ve been following you on Instagram for a while now, and I can truly say that your photos and account is one of the few that I really look forward to looking at every day. I love seeing tiny glimpses into your beautiful life. Your old farmhouse is a complete dream, and the way you have decorated and curated your slow-living lifestyle is so inspirational! So glad to have stumbled across your Instagram, thanks for sharing!

  • I love your home, Amanda! Love all the little glimpses you share on Instagram and love seeing it all together here.

  • you are creating a home filled with much love and passion..
    i have very much enjoyed the tour …

  • The way this article is written is misleading. The writer says, “restoring it has proven to be a much harder job than they initially anticipated,” and “the process of restoring their home renovations on the blog Homesong.” Proper research would reveal that the subject, Amanda Watters, didn’t do the restoration job. She might be adding to whatever’s there, but she’s not gutting it or anything. Another blogger, Jami Nato, did most of the heavy lifting. How can you document the process of restoring when someone else did it for you, and you just basically moved in?

    • Thanks for sharing this – I totally agree with your comment and the need for an update.

      • This is about someone’s home. So they hired help for a remodel; well done! It’s still their house, their home, their project. To say that D*S should’ve made this about a blogger that executed a client’s vision is a bit far-fetched.

        • If you followed that link, I think it would be clear to you that the owner of the blog mentioned actually sold her home to Amanda. Amanda did not “hire” her to do the renovations, she just bought a fully renovated home.

          • Agree. I always wonder, since I work and have two kids, whether then I have two full-time jobs?

  • It’s a stunning home for sure. I love the light fixture over the kitchen table. But, I do need to address one issue I have with the writer. All mothers are “full-time mothers”, whether we work or stay home. “Stay-at-home” mother is the proper term.

  • I just checked out the above links – this article is incredibly disappointing and misleading if someone else completed the actual renovations and AW merely did some decorative updates and painting. Please make sure to correct this, giving credit where credit is due or updating the verbiage in the article to accurately reflect what she did vs what had already been done. From the original bloggers website, a lot of hard work went into making those renovations.

    • Stella

      We’re looking into this as we speak. This post was written based on information submitted to us, so we’re getting more background now.

      A note to other commenters: you’re welcome to raise questions and concerns, but comments that seek to attack anyone (or name call) personally will not be published. To the person trying to leave the same comment as 3 different names (we can see your email and IP, just a heads up), please rephrase your comment so it contributes constructively.


      • Bravo, Grace! I wish more sites had your standards! Calling something into question is far different than attacking someone personally. And god knows we certainly don’t need more of THAT on the internet!

  • I have to say I’ve not felt so drawn to a home tour on here for a long time. It feels so honest, true to its roots, simple and natural but homely and loved too. I feel at peace just looking at the photo’s!

  • What a lovely home tour. The space feels comforting, airy, and like a perfect reflection of the family Amanda and her husband are raising. I love that they incorporated kid friendly stuff without sacrificing their minimalist aesthetic.

  • Hi there, this is a lovely article. I was well aware of the renovations done by the previous owners and in no way felt as though Amanda was saying she restored the home herself. I think she refers to “restoring” as updating/ replacing things around her home. I can imagine it would be very difficult to repair certain things throughout a home built in the 1920’s… especially if you would like an exact match. Side note: kindness goes a long way.

  • Just because the previous owners did a renovation doesn’t mean the new homeowner won’t be doing some herself. Maybe there are future “renovations” she has in mind. This article read perfectly fine to me.

  • I’ve followed Amanda on social media for a long time and love the aesthetic of her home. It does seem a bit misleading to title this as a “loving restoration” when there have been no restorations/renovations done. And especially considering that someone else did do some serious work AND documented it. That said- I think it’s a deserving home to be featured on DS, maybe instead with more emphasis on decor and less on renovations/restorations. Or even better, a nod from the current owners/blogger to the previous owner/blogger. I tend to think giving credit where credit is due goes a long way in situations like this.

    • Hi Everyone

      We’re speaking with both bloggers/home owners, so stay tuned. We were told in our home tour submission that renovations like stripping paint and old wallpaper and redoing floors were done during Amanda’s time in the home, so we felt the word renovation was apt here.

      But we’re speaking with both bloggers to confirm both stories and will adjust the post accordingly if needed. I appreciate the heads up, but any personal attacks or assumptions about the current home owners here are out of line. Both home owners have put work into this home and the best thing to do is for us to speak to both sources directly to find out what the best terminology to use here is, whether it’s “renovation”, “continued renovation” or “decoration”. Rest assured, we’ve been reaching out to both parties involved since the moment this was brought up in the comment section. Updates will come as soon as we’ve heard from everyone involved.


  • I think it’s a truly beautiful house but not homey. It works well for instagram but not for this forum. I do like the homes here that have life and movement and art-not just bowls of fruit. And I agree-all mothers are full time mothers. I wish people (women) would knock this shit on the head.

  • I think people are looking too far into this and seem more interested in bashing Amanda than anything else. It’s a beautiful home! As a mother and a homeowner I really enjoyed reading this and LOVE her esthetic!

  • What a huge stretch of the imagination! I’m glad D*S is taking steps to correct this, it shows the integrity of this space. Still a fan, I don’t think it’s the fault of Design Sponge at all.

    • Michelle,

      It’s actually not a big stretch. Please read my comment below. I think a lot of people jumped to conclusions here and I’m glad we can finally clear this up.


  • Hi Everyone,

    Some of you were concerned about the way this story was presented and after confirming with both the previous and current home owners, we feel confident that this story was presented accurately. I wanted to share this feedback from Jami Nato for anyone who was concerned:

    “We re-did the kitchen and added the third story, although we really did nothing to the outside, yard, etc. aside from the white picket fence. The dormers were added to the third floor so that did make a difference for the outside. The Watters have painted everything on the inside and are doing the continued restoration to the outside and inside as 100 year old homes require! I was not offended [by this post] in the least. [This home] has been and continues to be lovingly restored by many owners over the years. I’m very glad that someone loves and cares for that home as much as we did! ”


  • Thanks for doing the due diligence here and following up on the concerns presented. Sounds like the original blogger is a first class kinda gal.

    • Stella

      Both of the women involved here are kind and honest- and patient- for dealing with this issue.

      Neither of them spoke inaccurately and both were very understanding of the issues that were discussed here and explained all the details to us.

      It’s never fun when people pop up to question you, your home or your ethics/honesty and I appreciate Amanda and Jami for taking the time to figure this out with us and put this issue to bed.


  • I love the feel of your home. It embraces a richness and warmth with so much character while retaining a clean a airy feel. Thank you for sharing.

  • I LOVE this home. I have followed Amanda for a while on IG and her blogs, past and present. She has done an amazing job with their home. Her vision is timeless and pure/simple, just like the lives she stated they lead. I get an enormous amount of inspiration from her daily. I also LOVE Jami’s home. You should go check it out on her website. She has an amazing IG account as well. Both ladies are super talented and both deserve the recognition!

    All mom’s are full time mom’s. I think all mom’s know this ;) …. coming from a mama.

  • I love this home and love following Amanda on Instagram. She is such a breath of fresh air!

  • Such a gorgeous, peaceful home! I’ve loved following Amanda on Instagram for awhile and am always inspired by her. Thanks for sharing your space with us!