For years prior to buying their midcentury fashionable residence within the Sugar Creek Ranch Historic District in Kirkwood, Eric Pirtle and Karie Linke-Pirtle had coveted the quiet enclave. They transformed a bungalow in Glendale, the place they lived for 18 years, however longed for extra privateness, house and nearer proximity to nature. The subdivision, designed by famend native architect Ralph Fournier and constructed in 1954 by Burton Duenke, gives spacious, wooded tons and low roofline houses that mix into, fairly than hinder its park-like views.
“Over an acre in Kirkwood is difficult to return by, together with the privateness of the lot and the timber,” says Karie. “We’re each nature lovers and really feel like we’re in nature however nonetheless have the comfort of downtown Kirkwood and the park a brief bike experience or stroll away.”
After discovering the neighborhood in 2010, the Pirtles checked out a couple of houses there, together with the one they ended up shopping for, twice. They initially seen the home in 2015, when it got here available on the market for the primary time since its unique homeowners, in the end deciding that it required an excessive amount of work. 5 years later, in 2020, the home was again available on the market, this time with quite a few updates made by its second homeowners, together with a brand new patio, an expanded driveway, a further separate two-car storage with connected work-at-home workplace, a brand new roof and refinished plumbing, electrical and home windows.
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Whereas there have been nonetheless modifications the couple needed to make to the format, the time was lastly proper to make their dream of residing within the subdivision a actuality.
“We knew that main work had been executed to the house, however we might need to improve the kitchen and residing areas and open the house up so while you walked within the entrance door you appeared out into the timber, which was the principle draw for the particular home for us,” Karie says.
The Pirtles rapidly consulted with their contractor, Gary Dyer, who labored on their earlier residence transform, about their concepts and plans earlier than shopping for. As soon as they confirmed he may work with them on the mission, they made a proposal, which to their nice shock, was accepted.
They moved in that Halloween and labored with architect Tracy Winters to find out precisely what they might and couldn’t do to open up the house whereas retaining as a lot of the house’s unique architectural integrity as doable. By December 2020, they started the principle residing space renovation, totally opening the house and creating a very new and expanded kitchen in what was initially a den and small galley kitchen.
Accomplished in April 2021, the brand new kitchen is clear and fashionable in white with walnut veneer cabinetry and walnut floating cabinets.
In addition they opened up the entry lobby, elevating the ceiling and eradicating the partitions that closed it off from the kitchen and front room for an unobstructed view of the timber by means of the floor-to-ceiling home windows on the again and aspect of the home. Leaving a pair of structural beams in place, they opened the beforehand enclosed staircase to the decrease degree, including customized metallic railings and a mounted bar alongside its aspect with stools for further seating.
“I’m a giant a fan of the type of structure and fashionable décor. On no account are we aficionados, and we’re studying by trial and error, nevertheless it has been enjoyable designing and adorning one thing out of our consolation zones,” Eric says. “Piece by piece, it comes collectively.”
The completed walkout decrease degree features a mother-in-law suite with a non-public bed room and full bathtub usually utilized by Karie’s mother, who lives in Illinois and visits incessantly.
“In the course of the strategy of our transform, our neighborhood acquired a historic district distinction, and it was very thrilling to be contributors in that,” Karie says. “That gave us a chance to satisfy our neighbors and are available collectively and have a good time this thrilling time for everybody. We hope to grow to be stewards of this home and of this neighborhood.”
With the inside renovations full, the Pirtles just lately had a brand new concrete patio poured off the decrease degree walkout with stairs resulting in the higher patio and added some new landscaping, simply in time for summer time.
“After over a yr and a half of transforming in building, we lastly really feel like we’re in a position to breathe and benefit from the view and one another and the neighbors,” Eric says. “It’s a great pleasant group that we’re proud to be part of.”
Photographs: At House with the Pirtles of Kirkwood