A Cheerful, Creative Home in Kansas City, MO

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Lauren Phillips and Frank Norton are proud to have been a part of the evolving creative community in Kansas City, MO for the past six years. “When we graduated college, it seemed like most of our friends left the Midwest for larger coastal cities — this wasn’t entirely true, but it felt that way.” The couple chose to set roots and have since discovered a voice in the local creative culture. “Sometimes, younger people will ask us for advice about their careers. Most people’s first impulse is to say, ‘Move to New York,’ but if more unique and creative people chose to push and grow the culture here, it would become a more fertile territory for young artists and designers.” Frank is a graphic designer and illustrator, currently working as an art director at Boulevard Brewing Company, and Lauren is a local art teacher. They made the conscious decision to be a part of a community that is already bursting with inspiring artists and designers by purchasing a home in Kansas City one year ago, instead of relocating.

They chose to search for a house in Waldo, a family-friendly neighborhood that is home to a handful of Kansas City businesses, parks and community events. Because of the competitive market in Kansas City, the couple searched for months and their offers were often turned away for buyers paying over the asking price in cash. “When we finally walked into this house, we knew it was the one.” They purchased a 1927, 1,700-square-foot house and immediately started with a fresh coat of white paint to best display their burgeoning art collection. The couple focused on simple details that were true to the style and time period of the house, while adding a crisp facelift with a few kitchen renovations. “Since we don’t have kids to think about, we wanted to create a place where our local and out-of-town guests felt welcome and comfortable.”

Lauren and Frank love to create and collect the work they display in their home. “We kept all of the walls very neutral to make the artwork stand out and have tried to build a relaxing, not overstimulating space.” Each of the thoughtfully placed pieces adds color and whimsy to the composition of the home, and the couple added personality by creating the work themselves or collecting from family members and friends. “Some things have been handed down from relatives, some things are from flea markets, some things we order online,” Lauren shares. Their attention to detail and lighthearted taste make the space inviting, inspiring and full of quiet moments of a designer’s enchantment. —Bethany Joy Foss

Photography by Lauren Phillips

  1. Holland says:

    Happy place! Love the pooch.

  2. Emmy says:

    Oh my goodness, I LOVE the bathroom illustrations. So wonderful.

  3. Jag Nagra says:

    Those bathroom illustrations are incredible!

  4. carrie says:

    Can you please share the source for the sconces in the master bedroom? Love em

  5. Karen says:

    Too cute! I love all the bright whites with pops of color and personality.

    I live in the area and would love to know who your contractor was for your kitchen. I love the clean, simple style and am looking for someone for a similar job :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Philly Lass says:

    Love, love, love this place! Any info on sources for the sink in the kitchen and the rug in the living room? Thanks!

  7. Alyce says:

    But from where did you get the bed? Love all the art!

  8. Beverly Duncan Wagner says:

    Frank and Lauren,
    Absolutely loved reading this. In fact, some places brought tears to my eyes. So creative. Loved reading the descriptions. Beautiful place and so peaceful.
    Rick and Beverly Duncan Wagner–Frank’s second cousin

    1. Frank says:

      Rick and Beverly — so good to hear from you both. Thanks for the nice words about our home. We always enjoy sharing our space and stories. Hope you’re both doing well.

  9. Ruth says:

    So inspirational!Thank you.

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