See Why This Kansas City House is Called “The Boozy Bungalow”

updated Oct 17, 2019

See Why This Kansas City House is Called “The Boozy Bungalow”

updated Oct 17, 2019
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Name: Emily Farris and Kyle Hopkins and their son, Teddy
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Size: 1,600 square feet (but they occupy only half)
Years lived in: 5 years, owned

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If you want a stiff drink and a look at the best thrifted finds Kansas City has to offer, this is the place to be. Emily and Kyle’s turn-of-the-century home is the focus of Emily’s blog and Instagram account, in which Emily hilariously and candidly walks us through her home renovations—struggles and all—usually while enjoying a cocktail, and always sharing the recipe (for real, I made her beer margaritas and they did not disappoint). Following her has been totally great, not only for design inspiration without the facade, but also for some expletive-laden laughs.

Walking into her home was a perfect extension of that. The 1916 bungalow, in person, is filled with Emily’s renovation projects and carefully sourced thrifted pieces. Eclectic but thoughtful, she mixes well-made furniture and antiques with fun pieces like art prints with quippy sayings, usually designed by friends. And even though there’s a bar stacked with whatever you might fancy, it’s kid-friendly (for her sweet 2-year old son, Teddy) in a total approachable, realistic, but also design-savvy way—and isn’t that the dream?

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our style: Eclectic Maximalist? Is that a style? Well, it is now. And I’m pretty sure it just means ALL THE THINGS, but I like to think they’re cool things. A few years ago, I got on the KonMari train and tried minimalism for a minute, but then I just started to collect all the beautiful things that all the minimalists have, which kind of defeats the purpose—and I like to change things up on a whim. The only real constant has been that I love mixing vintage from different eras with modern or industrial pieces, then filling it in with plants. Okay, maybe my style is more eclectic collector with carnival chic/plant lady vibes? I don’t know, it’s all over the place but somehow it works, at least for us.

Inspiration: I find inspiration everywhere: Instagram, magazines, other people’s homes, store displays, the list goes on! I’m often more inspired by a single element or piece than a whole look—though I remember even as a kid being most enchanted by lived-in old homes with heirloom pieces, lots of books, and gorgeous rugs. I know my home is never going to look like anyone else’s, or like a showroom or set, and I don’t want it to, but it’s always nice to be inspired by them. I love all things Justina Blakeney, but put together, it would be too much for me. I’m equally attracted to Leanne Ford‘s spaces, but I need more color (and collected chaos!) in my own home.

Favorite element: Currently, it’s my black dining room ceiling! I feel like it really creates a center in our home, where before that the room felt like more of a pass-thru.

Biggest challenge: The lack of closet space. Our “master” bedroom doesn’t have a real closet (just a hole in the wall with a door) and most of our clothes are in a dresser and clothing rack (and in some piles, and some baskets) in the basement laundry area. I’ve gotten used to it, but I will never get used to finding a spider in my underwear drawer. Never. And then there’s toy storage! We’re already lacking closets, and we don’t have a playroom right now. Luckily, I had a happy accident with Teddy’s bed. I excitedly bought it off of Facebook Marketplace (and painted it yellow), then ordered an eight-inch memory foam mattress to go on top, without realizing how high it would be (way too tall for a two-year-old!). I freaked out for a minute, especially when I realized it was too vintage to properly hold a bed rail. But then I put a big pool noodle under the sheets, got an IKEA step stool that was magically the perfect height, and it’s been totally fine. And now we can store almost all of his toys underneath, and there’s still room for him to play down there and pretend it’s a fort.

What friends say: Usually some version of, “Wait, something’s different!” I’m constantly changing things up around here—whether it’s rearranging furniture, painting a wall (or a ceiling!), swapping out a light fixture, or adding a new rug or vintage piece. Often, when I wrap up a big project (which always results in a huge, but temporary, mess) Kyle asks if I’ll ever be “done” decorating. But what’s the fun in that? I wanted an old house so I could do projects. And this 102-year-old Arts and Crafts bungalow provides endless opportunities for that. (Sorry, Kyle!)

Biggest embarrassment: The decades of sloppy paint jobs on the wood trim! Someday, I’ll strip it all and start fresh, but that’s one project I’m actually not looking forward to. I also always get a little sheepish when people ask what’s behind the door in the dining room. It leads to an entire second floor we don’t use for anything but storage and the occasional unfussy guest—yet! There are three bedrooms and a half bath up there. The rooms all have sloped ceilings, and the powder room is tiny, but the closets are huge (at least comparatively) so that’s definitely my next project. So far, all I’ve done is rip up the awful ’90s carpet, but there’s a lot more to do to make it livable. The plan is to eventually move the bedrooms upstairs, and turn our current “master” into a playroom and make Teddy’s room my home office again. You’ll have to come back in a few years when we have a whole different setup!

Proudest DIY: The kitchen! I renovated it myself, with the help of my friend Shawn of Noble & Oak. He was here three straight weekends, doing the cutting and heavy lifting—and making sure my shelves wouldn’t fall off the walls! I thought I was really going to do the whole thing myself, and originally I just asked him to help me install the countertop. Looking back, without his help, I likely would have ended up crying and cradling a bottle of whiskey in a pile of plaster and broken backsplash at 2 a.m.

Biggest indulgence: Vintage rugs. I’m really picky about rugs, and also obsessed with them, so when I find one I love, I can’t help myself (I mean, as long as it’s not thousands of dollars). At this point, I have more than enough. I even have some in protective custody until we move up to the second floor. Oh, and then there’s the Delta Trinsic kitchen faucet (with matching flange!) in Champagne Bronze in our kitchen. If I would have actually made a budget for my DIY kitchen renovation, that definitely would not have been in it (so it’s a good thing I didn’t make a budget!).

Best advice: Have fun with your decor and showcase the things you really love. Your home should be a reflection of your personality, not someone else’s Instagram feed.

Dream sources: Even though Kyle thinks I spend way too much on housewares, I’m actually pretty thrifty with my purchases (though I guess sometimes I’m purchasing at a high-ish volume). Honestly, if I could just be first in line at the old-money estate sales, I’d be pretty happy. I also love a good thrift store or flea market in the middle of nowhere, preferably one with lots of industrial salvage. But if you’re bending my arm to buy new: Someday, I’ll get my leather couch(es) from Article. And there’s a store here in Kansas City, Golden & Pine, that’s kind of dangerous for me to walk into because everything is so gorgeous and it’s all ethically made and sourced. It’s one of those buy-all-the-things-all-the-minimalists-have stores.


Rug — Overstock
Desk — Vintage, it belonged to my uncle
Marquee sign — Vintage, found at Sparks Flea Market
Blanket basket — Target
Mirror — Thrifted, vintage
Macrame owl — Vintage, a gift to Emily from Kyle
Table/cart — DIY
Gold shelf brackets — Home Depot
Vintage baskets and planters — Thrifted
Ferris wheel Toy — Petit Collage
Desk lamp — IKEA
Ceiling fan — Lowe’s (plus this light)

Couch — Macy’s
Chair — World Market (though I’m about to replace it with this one from Article!)
Floral throw pillows — Made by my stepmom with vintage barkcloth
Pintuck throw pillows — Etsy
Red velvet throw pillow — Vintage, thrifted
Rectangular gold velvet throw pillow — Vintage, thrifted
Coffee table — Originally a Target base, but I replaced the top with a slab of plywood
Rug — Vintage
Rocking horse — Vintage
“Brass” hanging planter — DIY
White vase — The Object Enthusiast
Map — Vintage
Child’s chair — Vintage
Canvas — Great BIG Canvas
Brass wall accents — Vintage, thrifted
Floor lamp — Target (Similar)
Window shades — IKEA
Floor pillow — World Market

Table — Vintage legs that came with the house! The top (which has a leaf!) was made by my friend Shawn of Noble & Oak
Black wire chairs — World Market
Chrome chair — Thrifted
High chair — Bloom Fresco
Waterfall bar/buffet — Vintage
Rug/runner — CarpetTown on Etsy
Light fixture — Amazon
Gold shelf brackets — Home Depot
Green cabinet — Vintage
Plant stand — Antique/vintage
Window shades — IKEA
Kids table — IKEA
Hexagon table — Target

Shelf brackets — Closetmaid, Painted
Countertops — IKEA
Stainless cart — Home Depot
Butcher-top cart — IKEA
Faucet — Delta/Home Depot
Trump, Man What a Dick! print — Hammerpress
Ceiling light — Vintage, found at Sparks Flea Market
Sink light — IKEA
Clamp light — IKEA
Hood — Home Depot
Rug/mat — Vintage, Etsy
Pantry Table — Noble & Oak
Pantry Plant Stand — Vintage, found at Sparks Flea Market

Bed Frame — Facebook marketplace, spray painted with tractor paint
Robot sheets — Target Pillowfort
T-Rex pillow — Target Pillowfort
Rug — Overstock
Bedside Table — DIY
Blue shelf — Habitat Restore
Barn shelf — Thrifted
Play kitchen — IKEA
Streamers — DIY (It was the backdrop from our wedding, then I trimmed it)
Curtains — Tuesday Morning

Headboard — Vintage
Curtains — Handmade by a friend with Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Yarrow Fabric in Yarrow
Curtain rods — Home Depot
Throw pillows — Target
Sheets — Target
Blanket — Home Depot
Striped blanket — Purchased at a market in Mexico
Rug — West Elm
Shelf — Vintage, procured at Sparks Flea Market
Painting — Bison, Warm by my friend Meg Knappenberger. It’s on loan and when it sells, I’ll replace it with a (smaller) reproduction.
Nightstands — They belonged to my parents, who divorced when I was three. Somehow the pieces managed to stay together, though.
Bedside clamp lamp — IKEA
Brass lamps — Target
Ceiling fan — Lowe’s (plus this light)

Shower curtain — Target
Towels — Target
Stool — Vintage
Mirror — Vintage
Light fixture — Amazon (it’s supposed to point down, but installing it was a whole thing — which I explain in my IG stories)
Medicine cabinet — IKEA
Rug — Vintage, found at an estate sale
Kid’s stool — IKEA
Towel rack — DIY
Basket — Vintage
Accordion rack — Vintage
“Brass” hanging planter — DIY
Ceramic hanging planter — Thrifted
Wall rack — Urban Outfitters (years ago)
Should I Wash My Hair Today? Print — Chipper Things
Welcome to the Shit Show banner — Matriarch Handmade

Thanks, Emily and Kyle!

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