When San Francisco transplants Alan and Deborah Leerkamp decided to lay down roots in the Midwest with young daughter Samuelle, they knew they’d be hard-pressed to find an open-concept home in a neighborhood where the vast majority of homes built in the 20s and 30s have remained untouched. Instead, they focused their efforts on finding a house in the best location: a place close to school and work with a strong sense of community, where they could walk or bike just about anywhere they needed to go.
Just a few miles north of a vibrant, rapidly shifting downtown Indianapolis, IN lies Broad Ripple Village, a walkable community long known for its tree-lined streets and traditional homes with coffee, groceries, breweries, and a great spot to brunch right around the corner. After finding a 1920s Craftsman in the heart of the neighborhood, Deborah, an art director and designer, began planning and sketching an entirely new layout that worked for their family and lifestyle — although you’d never guess such a colorful, open space was behind the front door of the quaint bungalow.
With the help of a local architect, Deborah’s vision for a welcoming, modern home came to life. By opening up the attic, exposing beams, and tearing out walls, she created a unified space that invited conversation and quality time for the close-knit family of three; a lively home where Samuelle would love growing up. The couple added unexpected, playful elements they dreamed of having in their own childhoods: a secret treehouse loft accessed by a rope ladder and a big yellow tube slide from the main level to the basement playroom for Samuelle and her friends (and sometimes adults, too!). The main living quarters consist of the open-concept great room, two bedrooms, bathrooms, and an office that feels proportionate to their family on a daily basis, but their nest can expand when the family needs a little extra space. A creative room with soaring ceilings connects the main house to a private guest loft for visiting family and friends.
The Leerkamps have created a home that is honest, approachable, and so uniquely them — a home that not only serves their needs, but one that brings them true joy. Their home is a reflection of who they are: welcoming, genuine, and warm people who seek a life well-lived. It serves as a reminder to break the rules sometimes, to create homes that truly represent who we are and make us smile when we open the door after a long day. —Kate