Dr. William and Bridgid Kinney’s Spring Creek home is a seamless mixture of contemporary design and traditional elements.
Dr. William and Bridgid Kinney’s home is a study in balance. Contemporary design mixes seamlessly with family heirlooms. State-of-the-art technology lives undetected amid traditional design elements. And the minimalist interior invites the outside in at every turn. In other words, their home strikes the perfect balance between design and practicality, beauty and warmth, form and function.
As you walk into the Kinney home, before you notice the white ash wide-plank flooring, the floating gas fireplace or the steel cabled banister, your eye is drawn outside to the stunning views through the large unadorned picture windows that line the back of the house. The home, which sits on a cul-de-sac in the Spring Creek subdivision, backs up to a large wooded area that extends the length of the view. The result is a very private setting and a tree-house feeling when you are inside looking out.
“This,” Bridgid says as she gestures to the beautiful view, “is why we don’t have window treatments and why we will never have window treatments. When you look out here, you feel like you could be anywhere in the world.”
The spot is so beautiful, in fact, that in May of 2011, Bill and Bridgid chose to be married on their back patio with the woods as their backdrop — just three weeks after moving in.
The best-laid plans
The building process was a true collaboration among the Kinneys, builder Jeff Herigon of Hercon Construction and interior designer Stephen Rust. The Kinneys found house plans online but wanted to make some changes.
“We worked together — the whole design/build team — to modify the plans in order to customize the home to their specific needs,” Herigon says. “It was a team effort from the start.”
Bridgid agrees: “I cannot overstate how helpful Stephen [Rust] and Jeff [Herigon] were. They were both so open and committed to helping us create the home we really wanted.”
The family that cooks together…
At the center of the home is the open-plan gourmet kitchen, meticulously designed to indulge Bill and his son Will’s love of cooking. Contemporary elements such as the stainless steel appliances, cherry cabinetry and wood floors warm black granite countertops. One of the most eye-catching elements in the kitchen is the open shelving unit that Bill custom designed himself. He worked off of a picture he found online and researched how to recreate a similar shelving unit for their kitchen.
“The concept is almost like those old industrial commercial roller doors, but he updated and modified the design,” Rust says. “He has quite a good eye for engineering and was able to use the glass and light in just the right way to create mystery in the kitchen. It’s very cool.”
The shelves are lined with LED strip lighting mounted in grooves at the base of each shelf. When the light filters through the glass on the sliding doors, the result is a soft glow that illuminates the entire space. This plays nicely against the funkiness of the Italian mosaic glass mounted on the wall behind the Wolf range, Sub-Zero refrigerator and additional cherry cabinetry. The combination of materials, shapes, textures and colors results in a space that is beautiful, unique and above all functional. “There is no wasted space in here,” Bridgid says. “We use everything in this kitchen every day. We are a family who loves to cook and eat together, and this space works perfectly for us.”
A space for everyone
The Kinneys have three children: Will, 17, Sarah, 13, and Helen, 7. “The kids were involved in the design process from the beginning,” Bridgid says. “We wanted them to each have places in the house they could use individually but also lots of family spaces where we can be together.”
Helen has her bedroom upstairs and a craft room right off the kitchen where she can draw and create, all while being near the center of the home. Sarah enjoys an entire suite upstairs with a bedroom, a small balcony overlooking the backyard and a Jack-and-Jill bathroom that connects to her own “hang out” room with comfortable seating, funky design and all the high-tech elements a teenage girl could want. Will has his bedroom suite in the lower level of the family home, just steps away from the state-of-the-art, high-definition, 1080p front-projection system with a 110-inch motorized screen, a pool table and a workout room. Even the family’s dog kennel has its own customized system that allows the dog to “let herself out” onto the patio when the need arises.
The master retreat
The Kinneys master suite sits on the home’s second level and is accessed through two wide double doors that open into a short hallway lined with Asian-inspired textural wallpaper and sculpted carpet. To the right is the master bedroom, which is decorated in sumptuous beiges, browns and muted metallics. These colors complement the gorgeous view of the woods through the six large undressed windows in the room.
To the left you will find the master bath, which is at once luxurious and unexpected. Finished with rich brown cabinetry, porcelain tile and accents of glinting glass and mirrored surfaces, the room evokes a spa-like vibe. In the center of the room sits a stunning white freestanding tub with no bulky faucets or platforms in sight — the essence of minimalism. The faucet was actually mounted into the ceiling, and water flows down from that height to fill up the tub. To add to this effect, the ceiling is painted sky blue, which creates a gorgeous contrast with the neutral color palette that runs through the rest of the bath.
As manager of the August Systems division of Marathon Building Environments, Bridgid has helped hundreds of people in Columbia plan and implement technology into their homes during the past 15 years, so it’s no surprise that when it came to building her own home, technology played a major role. “We wanted state-of-the art, but aesthetics are very important to us as well,” she says.
Each room in the Kinney home has a touch-screen keypad mounted on the wall. From this control center, a person can access all electronic features of the home such as audio, video, home theater, lighting, security and climate. “All of our electronics are housed in a rack system in the basement, which allows us to watch or listen to nine different sources in eight areas,” Bridgid says. “Sarah can be listening to iTunes in her room while I’m watching high-definition satellite in the kitchen and someone is listening to the Cards game on the deck.” The sound from any of the sources plays through the flush mounted speakers in the ceiling, offering the benefit of the sound and technology without seeing big black boxes and wires everywhere.
Rust adds that using this kind of technology actually makes the home easier to decorate. “We didn’t need furniture to house electronics or even any light switches on the walls, which left more room for things that are beautiful, like artwork,” he says. “It allows for a less cluttered look.”
Bridgid adds: “We also benefit from the energy savings that comes from easily being able to control the electronics, lighting and heating and air from our room or on our iPhones. It really means that we aren’t leaving lights on in empty rooms, nor are we heating and cooling areas of the house when they aren’t in use.”
In the home’s lower level, there is a large family media room, a workout facility, a glass-door wine cellar, a wet bar complete with a built-in tap for Bill’s home-brewed beer, a pool table and Will’s ensuite bedroom. The décor in these spaces remains contemporary but is definitely cozy as well. “Part of the problem with contemporary design,” Rust says, “is it can sometimes have a hard edge. We used radius curves, textured soft furnishings and things that speak to nature to soften the place and give it a homier look.”
The Kinneys have created a home that is highly customized but doesn’t feel quirky. They knew what they wanted and hired the best professionals to help them make their dream into reality. “It was a great experience,” Herigon says. “The Kinneys’ understanding of the building process and their clear vision of what they wanted made the project go as efficiently and as easily as it could, even though we were doing it during the worst winter in Missouri history.”