A Painter and Coffee-Lover’s Kansas City Shirtwaist

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Lifelong Midwesterners, Jaime and Tyler Rovenstine love the character and architectural details of older homes. As an artist and museum professional, Jaime’s eye for thoughtful contrast and composition is evident in each room of their early 20th-century home and her dreamy work spills color onto the walls. Tyler is an award-winning barista and coffee consultant, so it’s no surprise that the space is full of vintage furniture and soft light to enjoy a cup of comfort. The active couple also owns a coffee bar called Monarch, opening this spring in Midtown, Kansas City, MO. Evenings are often spent at home painting, planning and enjoying time with their spunky two-year-old, Frances, and Merle the dog.

While expecting their daughter, they searched for a longterm space that would provide a studio for Jaime and something within proximity to their jobs and friends. “Because we share one car and often bike to work, we wanted to shrink our circle of living.” They landed a 1900 “Shirtwaist” style house — a residential architectural term that is unique to the Kansas City region. Shirtwaists are marked by a first level made from brick or stone with wood siding on subsequent levels, a steep roof and symmetrical layout, built between 1900 and 1920. This house had all the details they wanted; hardwood floors, wood molding and original pocket doors. But owning an old home isn’t all historical charm and beauty. Jaime and Tyler would love to replace the old windows to improve the energy efficiency of the house and renovate the bathroom that had been added as an awkward addition to the original structure. After painting almost every room, tiling the kitchen backsplash, updating fixtures and a handful of other necessary home improvements like replacing gutters, they still feel like they are in the process of creating a home and have tried to tackle projects at a slower pace that allows them to prioritize time with Frances.

Jaime’s workspace is nestled in only one room, but her palette is carried throughout the house with blushing pinks and a keen balance of shapes and forms. Her goal for every room was to craft a space that reflected their personalities, while generating warmth and comfort for hosting friends and raising Frances. Each object has been carefully sourced from antique stores, handed down, or created by an artist they know to collectively show who they are. Jaime and Tyler love how these meaningful pieces tell their story and wouldn’t mind living in this house forever. “We have a great front porch that overlooks an active block in the middle of the city. The first week we moved in, we ate outside every night and just grinned because we were so excited to be there. We still feel the same way.” —Bethany

Photography by Kaley Cornett

  1. Emily says:

    Aw this little home is adorable. I especially love their room!

    -Emily coatandcoffee.com

  2. Haley says:

    It sure would be nice to see an exterior shot of this house, considering its significance in Kansas City’s residential architectural history (as described in the introductory paragraph).

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      Hi Haley

      Most home owners don’t feel comfortable sharing exteriors when they could easily identify the house from the outside. We always ask, but I understand why not everyone is open to it.


  3. Krista says:

    Hi guys! From a fellow Midtown KC Shirtwaist owner, your home is lovely!

  4. Jaime says:

    Thank you so much, Bethany & Grace!! ❤ So honored to be featured.

  5. Cindi M says:

    After I replaced my windows, I learned that the replacements have a lifespan of 15 years. Yikes! If you can glaze the windows yourself or find someone to do it, they will last much, much longer. And any gaps can be sealed with caulk. Some caulks can be peeled away in the summer so you can open the windows. Wish I had known this 4 years ago.

  6. Alex says:

    That painting in your dining room is amaze!

  7. Jen says:

    Beautiful art work and I love that plant shelf in the kitchen across the top of the window. That was smart thinking!

  8. Aidel.K says:

    Beautiful home with a lot of character. Also, I’d never heard the term “shirtwaist” used architecturally. I love Jaime’s artwork and would love to find out more about it. Do you have an online shop or gallery affiliation? (All the other art is carefully sourced, so I’m figuring not–but I had to ask!)

    1. Jaime says:

      Thanks, Aidel! Yes, my site is linked in the post above: http://jaimerovenstine.com. :)

  9. Rachel says:

    As Cindi M mentioned above, new windows don’t have nearly the lifespan of old ones. Nor the charm, in my opinion. I’m planning to add Indow window inserts (google them) to my 104-year-old windows when I can afford it, you might want to look into them as an alternative to replacing old windows.

  10. Jill says:

    Love to see people in my hometown featured! The home is quite lovely, but the artwork is definitely the gem here! Your color palate is gorgeous and all of the work featured here is just beautiful. Your daughter is adorable and so lucky to have such creative parents. She’ll need her own little easel in no time I am sure!


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