Designer Laura Norton has had such a long relationship with Carrie and Matt Condon that they almost feel like family. The women began working together ten years ago when the Condons bought a house in the quiet Fairway neighborhood. “The house had been renovated and we decorated it,” says Norton. But as the Condons’ family grew—they now have three girls and a boy—they needed more space. After careful consideration they decided to add on. “We really love the neighborhood and didn’t want to move,” says Carrie Condon.
The couple wanted more living space but was not looking for something grand. “They didn’t want a double-height entry or anything extravagant,” says Norton. “All the images they showed me reflected a California lifestyle. Modern, with rustic finishes. Definitely relaxed.”
Norton and Condon started from the ground up. Matte pale maple floors, the color of a West Coast surfer’s hair, lay the foundation for the house’s relaxed and welcoming vibe. A serene and understated entry opens to the dining room through a barn door reimagined in frosted class and stainless steel. Pale gray wallpaper punctuated with a metallic nail-head design accentuates the subtle play between polished and rough-hewn.
The kitchen just beyond is both functional and sophisticated. Crisp gray cabinets are outlined by white-quartz countertops. Both Norton and Condon are committed to using local craftsmen. A manufacturer in Hays, Kansas that sells to Williams-Sonoma crafted the island butcher block. Custom tile from International Materials of Design creates a stunning backsplash.
The barrel-vaulted family room just beyond is where the family relaxes and entertains. There were a few things that both designer and client knew were right for the room. Custom bi-fold doors open to the patio and backyard; a screened porch with motorized screens makes the room functional for three seasons.
“Still, it’s good to let the room evolve,” says Norton. The built-in cabinets flanking the fireplace are a good example. “We weren’t sure what should go there at first, but after using the room for a while we realized storage was important.” Easing the effort of entertaining led to a plan for a new bar for the opposite wall.
The master bedroom and finished basement, also part of the new addition, are tucked onto the back of the house. The subtle grays and whites of the master provide a soothing oasis from the couple’s very full life.
Norton wanted to provide a spa environment for the pair and spent painstaking hours designing and managing the completion of the bathroom. The single sink, the mirror which is inset into the stone of the countertop that runs up the wall, the gentle arc of the faucets, were all designed to make the elements feel as if they were floating. A steam shower completes the spa experience.
The finished basement is home to a wine cellar, television and workout room. “They did want to entertain down here,” says Norton. “But they didn’t want a massive bar. Instead the focus is conversation and, yes, a television, with the bar discreetly along the back wall.
“I love this house,” says Carrie Condon. “And we love working with Laura. She just takes care of everything.”
Norton agrees. “It’s all about trust. Once you establish that trust you just know it’s going to be a great project.”
Craig Sole Designs
Laura Norton Design