Balancing Act

Custom concrete and cold-rolled steel mix with antiques and midcentury-modern finds for a creatively cozy home

Bungalows often have a quiet but assured presence about them. They are not formal and polite as Georgians usually are or edgy and angular as moderns. Their low-sitting rooflines are neither aloof nor imposing. Rather, their front doors, tucked under overhanging roofs, are quietly inviting. This is certainly the case for Cody Hogan and Peter Crump’s Waldo bungalow; the same could be said of its creative owners.

Hogan, who is chef de cuisine at Lidia’s Kansas City, has lived in the house since 2001. It’s fair to say that every space, both inside and out, has been touched since he moved in. “I started with the outside first,” he remembers of the structured garden, the bounty of which grace the dishes that he makes at home. (Ed. Note: The garden was featured in Spaces in August 2011.) But the latest addition is the pizza oven, which Crump built. That they are still improving what already appeared to be a perfect spot is no surprise; they are incorrigible tinkerers.

The kitchen is both beautiful and efficient, but it was something of a fluid path from before to after. “Six years ago we basically opened a bottle of wine and tore everything out. At that point we were committed,” says Crump. The couple cooked with a hot plate and a toaster oven in the basement while their vision came together.

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All the original walls came out, and a generous island was constructed. Crump crafted the concrete countertops and the cold-rolled steel floor. “It’s really set up as a professional kitchen to accommodate the same way Cody works at Lidia’s,” says Crump of the easily accessible knives and pans that grace the north wall. A clever trap door alleviated the need for basement stairs and allows for plenty of out-of-the-way storage. The pair recently added French doors to the rear of the kitchen, and that now serves as a gracious entrance to the garden.

A large, round table in the adjoining space accommodates dining a deux or for gatherings with friends. Vintage pottery cookware, wood serving bowls and ceramic platters create an artful display, their earthy textures a dramatic contrast to the crisp modern shelves on which they sit. The couple has made smart use of shelves and cabinets in nearly every room; the original breakfast room nearby serves as pantry and storage for necessary, but less frequently used tools, such as the KitchenAid mixer.

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The couple added bookcases along the back wall of the living room, too, which houses Hogan’s large collection of cooking and gardening books as well as his music. Before he began his career as a chef, Hogan received his master’s degree from the Conservatory of Music at UMKC. The piano was a gift from his grandmother.

The gracious living room is where the couple hangs out and relaxes and is filled with equally personal pieces. “When Peter moved in we each got rid of a lot of stuff and started buying together,” says Hogan. They go to estate sales and antique shops together to ferret out comfortable furniture with an edge. “Museo is also a favorite,” says Crump of the modern shop on Main Street. Their aesthetic is also captured in the bold, yet organic feel of the concrete fireplace surround that Crump crafted.  “It’s wood burning, too,” he notes. “We cook in it all the time.”

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In fact, the couple has put each inch of space in the house to use. They added a railing to create a loft office on the second floor. (The stairway wall holds a gallery of pictures, though some frames are empty. “We need room for what happens next,” says Hogan.)

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A bright and efficient bath exhibits well-planned space. The couple removed the tub and added a glass shower, which opened the room considerably. “But really, it was the skylight that made the key difference,” says Crump.

The master bedroom was two rooms until the wall came down a year and a half ago. The bedroom lives under the eaves with built-in storage tucked against one wall. The renovation made way for a cozy sitting room. Here, too, lives one of Crump’s creations—a sculptural table—tucked between the two chairs. “Sometimes when we can’t find what we’re we looking for, I’ll make a piece to fill in,” Crumps says.

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The entire house seems so well-planned and well-fitted, it’s difficult to imagine what the couple could do next. But creative spirits like these do not rest for long.


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