On April 15, 2008 we closed on a 1955 Mid-Century Modern home in Merriam, KS that was custom designed by the late Donald R. Hollis of Hollis + Miller Architects. We will be sharing our journey as we update the house to make it our own, while trying to stay as close to the original design as possible.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Snowy Weekend = Progress

It's been a while since I wrote anything in this blog. My sister's called this afternoon to complain that my last blog entry was on March 1st. She really motivated me to post today. I wanted to post last weekend, but we went on a road trip to Cape Girardeau and Memphis. LD's MOTF-1 teammates were scheduled to take their FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Canine Evaluation so we decided to drive out there, do some training, and support them.

Alot happened that weekend, I went to the hospital, Katy got to train, and LD got some great photos for the team. It all ended very well despite my trip to the hospital (delayed concussion from a car accident earlier in the week). Congratulations are in order to Lynn and K9 Max, Erin and K9 Pickles, Cathy and K9 Malachi, and Erica and K9 Star. All of them passed their evaluation and are now deployable. We are really proud of all of them! MOTF-1 now has 8 FEMA certified canines!!!

This is the type of rubble that Katy and the other FEMA certified dogs work on. Lynn and Max are in this photo.

The spring snow we had yesterday kept us captive in the house, which meant that we had no choice but to work on the house.

Our plan for this weekend was to continue stripping the cabinets. But somehow we managed to find other jobs that needed to be completed. As you can see, our new cabinets remain unstained and the old ones remain unstripped.

I managed to almost completely replace all of the electrical outlets and switches. I even replaced a couple of phone jacks. I was on a mission to get rid of all the grimy switches and outlets. And LD managed to paint most of the downstairs level.

LD has the soffit face left to go. At first she had decided to paint it maroon, then a bright white, but then decided that there was not enough contrast with the white. Then she got this crazy idea to paint it a pukey blue (it's the Home Depot no VOC paint called Dragonfly). Given that I have no eye for color I have to let her make most of the color decisions, but I had to draw the line on that one. She called it whimsical, but I don't think it works well in the room. She still thinks it does, but compromise is the best solution.

LD became inspired during her run today, and figured that the Dragonfly blue might not work in the room especially if we are going to buy tile for the kitchen backsplash. Then she came up with the idea of using one of the colors in the mosaic tile (urban camouflage). So now she is trying to decide between three shades of the burnt sienna color, which I am okay with.

In case you are wondering, we managed to finish installing the bathroom sink. Now all we have left to do in the bathroom is to hang the mirror, install the towel ring, and decide on some baseboards. Hey, at least we now have a second bathroom.


  1. Looks comfortable and simple!
    I Buy Lights

  2. Howdy, I found your blog while researching Don Hollis and think it's great what you're doing with your place. My husband and I were very interested to buy Don's last residence in Overland Park until we realized that we can't take on a project of that size at this time. I'm posting about it here in the hope that someone reading your blog and having some of your same interests will see fit to pick up the property and restore it. We want to do it, but have a small child and we need a place we can rehab while living in it. This is not that place.

    Anyway, this was Don's house when he and his wife died in the plane crash. I suspect he designed and built it, but don't know for sure. It was built in 48 and looks like nothing else in its neighborhood. Unfortunately, it's been a rental and is now a bank-owned property. It's of sound block construction and the concrete floor looks to be free of major settling issues. It will need new sheetrock throughout, repairs to the roof and soffits, complete restoration of bathrooms, and of the south "sunroom". It's not a small project.

    The address is 7642 Hemlock, OPKS. Here is a link to the MLS listing:
    If this blog has readers who are interested in acquiring MCM properties and restoring them, this would be a good candidate. I'd hate to see it deteriorate more or be demolished.