From A Ho-Hum House to an Amazing Abode 7

One Leawood family trusted their faith 
and vision and lovingly built a home 
that’s the talk of the neighborhood


“It’s hard for us to express just how much more we like all of the house now that the addition is in place,” says Brandon. “It really did take the whole house up a notch.”

When Katie and Brandon Oakes first laid eyes on their Leawood South house back in the summer of 2007, what they saw was pure untapped potential—“a diamond in the rough.” And in the ensuing years, this brave twosome transformed a ho-hum house into an absolutely amazing abode. While their family has grown, so has their home, and it’s the talk of the neighborhood.

“We wanted something we could completely overhaul and make one-of-a-kind,” says Katie. “This beautiful corner in Leawood South with the huge oak trees and a half-acre of space gave us the perfect backdrop. Like most projects, we never imagined it would take the better part of eight years to accomplish our goal. When we started, our oldest daughter, Macy, wasn’t even two yet, and life was simpler.”

Thankfully, Katie says she and Brandon have the perfect pairings of talents with minimal overlap, so together they tackled 90 percent of the work themselves. “I stayed home to take care of our Littles during the day, and then on nights and weekends we would crank through the various phases of renovation one room at a time,” she recalls. “Looking back, we can’t figure out how we put in such long and physically grueling days, but we blame it on our youth.”

The Colonial-style house’s two garages were blown out and the laundry room was relocated upstairs in order to make room for 1,400 additional square feet of living space, including a recreation room, expanded master suite, a three-car garage, and an adorable covered front porch, which absolutely beckons friends to come and sit for a spell. Still, as Brandon adds, that’s just the big picture. “The thousands of little details include all new flooring, cabinetry, trim, doors/windows, paint, light fixtures, ceilings, hardware and landscaping. We left no stone unturned.”

This fortunate family of four can’t pick a favorite spot in the completed abode. “We love and use every space just about every day, which means it’s the perfect size and functions right alongside us,” Kate says. “When friends or family come to visit, it’s all about the spread in kitchen and dining room or the entertainment in the rec room or backyard. When the Littles have friends over, they stretch out upstairs between their bedrooms, the playroom and the family room…It’s our own little blessed corner of the world.”