Kelly and Dave Open Up a Fixer-Upper

Kelly and Dave Open Up a Fixer-Upper

Regina Yunghans
Jun 27, 2015
(Image credit: Regina Yunghans)

Name: Kelly and Dave; son Litton ("Lit")
Location: Lawrence, Kansas
Size: 3,200 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years; Owned

When Kelly and Dave purchased their split-level home back in 2012, there were months of renovations ahead of them. The neighborhood is what initially drew them to a house that, as Kelly put it, "was an ugly eyesore! Asbestos tiles! Wood paneling EVERYWHERE! I have some before pictures if you care to see," (which we will share in more posts to come). Their renovations cured all of that. Most of all, the work opened up the house by creating views from space to space, eliminating the chopped-up layout, and allowing for more contemporary use of the kitchen, living, and dining rooms.

(Image credit: Regina Yunghans)

Three years in, the couple and their adorable son, Lit, are enjoying that neighborhood that beckoned to them in the beginning. Moreover, they enjoy the home they were able to create by purchasing a "fixer-upper" that had room for improvement. Buying a home that needed work allowed the couple to open things up and create a layout that works for their lifestyle.

(Image credit: Dave Dumbauld)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style (from Kelly): Being creative with what I have. Blending different periods and old and new. Balancing form and function.

Inspiration: My parents, both grandmothers, and Dave’s mom. I also really love design blogs, including Apartment Therapy and Little Green Notebook.

Favorite Element: I love all the windows in the house. I love how we opened up the floor plan. I love how my dad’s landscaping ideas totally changed the outside appearance. I love the deck and the backyard, especially the huge hedge tree. Most of all, I love that it is in Lawrence and close enough to downtown to walk there (which we do, all the time).

Biggest Challenge: The place was almost falling down when we bought it. That’s an exaggeration, but not much of one. We fell in love with the neighborhood and this house, which had not been remodeled since the 1950s and had been empty and on the market for over two years- which was how we could afford to get in. When my parents first saw it, they thought we had lost our minds (but then they were super helpful in providing ideas and advice).

What Friends Say: They compliment how open it feels and they don’t believe us when we tell them what a mess it was when we bought it.

Biggest Embarrassment: How stressed the remodeling period made us. I wish we could have relaxed and enjoyed the process more.

Proudest DIY: We hired a general contractor who did most of the work (Roger Haverstad of Integrity Building. He is wonderful.). But we did all the tiling in the house ourselves (except for in the master shower). It was incredibly physical and difficult. We fought- a lot. But it turned out great. I’m also very proud of the dining room table, which my mom and I refinished. It is a Heywood-Wakefield table from 1954. It belonged to Dave’s grandparents. In the 1970s, Dave’s grandma painted it avocado green. My mom and I refinished it to be slightly darker than it was originally, which is more my style. I really love it.

Biggest Indulgence: Probably the butcher-block countertops. Dave’s mom has them in her kitchen and I have always been in love with them. Dave Miller of Castle & Cottage, LLC in Lawrence did a wonderful job. I adore them.

Best Advice: Have fun! It’s just decorating! I love thrift stores and antique shops. I love to decorate with elements that are meaningful to our family.

Dream Sources: I have relatively inexpensive tastes. I would like to spend more money on art, perhaps. My husband, who is a car geek and really good at working on mechanical things, would probably say he would like to trick out the garage, install a hydraulic floor jack, premium flooring, automatic compressor, etc.


(Image credit: Regina Yunghans)


  • Entry: Benjamin Moore Lodge
  • Living Room: Benjamin Moore Capilano Bridge
  • Dining Room: Benjamin Moore Lodge and Capilano Bridge
  • Master Bedroom: Benjamin Moore Capilano Bridge
  • Kitchen: Benjamin Moore Capilano Bridge
  • Family Room/Office: Behr Cranapple
  • Nursery: Behr Cathedral
  • Bathrooms: Benjamin Moore Putnam Ivory
(Image credit: Regina Yunghans)


  • Welcome decal: by Shauna Murray.
(Image credit: Regina Yunghans)


  • Deer head: Uncommon Goods.
  • Couch and rug: Nebraska Furniture Mart.
  • (Almost) everything else: thrifted- my grandpa found the lamp in a trash bin.
(Image credit: Regina Yunghans)


  • Lamp: I fought off several older women for the lamp at an estate sale.
  • Bar: part of the Heywood-Wakefield dining set that belonged to Dave’s grandparents.
  • Bookshelf: (pretty obviously) Ikea- it was a big deal when we bought it and we’ve been toting it around with us every time we’ve moved since graduate school.
    (Image credit: Regina Yunghans)


    • Dining set: Heywood-Wakefield
    • Parsons chairs: eBay
    • China cabinet: from my parents- my mom got it at an estate sale in the '80s and refinished it.
    • Tea cart: belonged to my grandmother
    • Big round plate: found by Dave at an antique store in Kansas City
    (Image credit: Regina Yunghans)


    Cart: thrifted- I wanted an island for entertaining.

    (Image credit: Regina Yunghans)


    • Headboard: WayFair
    • Mirror: family heirloom
    • All other furniture: thrifted (except the mattress)
    (Image credit: Regina Yunghans)


    • Teepee: House in Habit.
    • L: made by Dave
    • Polaroid: I made it at Office Max from an original Polaroid of the CJ Renegade that Dave and I used to own when we lived in Hotlanta during grad school.
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