The Brookside Renovation Series – “The Final Reveal” Part 1

Nine months ago I teamed up with Cody Brown and Tom Larkin to bring you the story of their latest renovation project in the Brookside area of Kansas City.  Cody and Tom gave me complete access to the home at all stages of the renovation process so that I could bring this final product post to you!  I am so excited to have been able to share their work with you through my account on Instagram (@brooksideonmain) and, more extensively, through this space.

Exterior of the home in its original appearance.

The stately old home, located in Brookside’s Morningside Park neighborhood, had been under the same ownership for many years.  While meticulously maintained, it had not been updated in decades.  As ownership passed to Cody and Tom, the two had quite the task of transforming this old diamond in the rough.  “Our goal is to make our homes ready for the next 100 years,” Cody said.

After several months of construction filled with many highs and a fair share of set-backs (such is the story of any renovation project) I am so pleased to be able to share the final product of Tom and Cody’s vision in the complete transformation of this home!  This post will be the first of a 3-part series, displaying the home, floor-by-floor, with all the before and after goodness!

In this post we will take a look at the exterior transformation and the first floor of the home.  I hope you enjoy following along as much as I have!

The enclosed porch was re-opened to return the gracious covered porch to its original state.

The original third floor dormer was widened and raised to create a lavish Master Bedroom retreat.

Cedar shake siding is utilized to make the new dormer a focal feature of the home.

A new color palette of cool grey, black and white modernize the home’s exterior.  New landscape design, consisting primarily of bright greens, pop against the black brick.

The new, updated exterior.

Photo: via Cody Brown

Upon entering the front door of the home you come into the formal living room. Formal living room as it originally appeared.

Photo: Cody Brown

Living room during demolition stage.

The entire home was gutted down to the studs in order to create a new floor plan.

Photo:  Melissa Field

Post-renovation a bright new entryway leads into a gorgeous formal living area that flows into the newly relocated formal dining room.


A stunning art installation in the home’s entryway by Cody Brown was made from window weights, original to the home, that were salvaged as the windows were replaced.

In each of Tom and Cody’s home renovation projects Cody creates a piece of art for the home with salvaged materials.  This piece, “is my absolute favorite,” Cody said, “It turned out much better than I expected.”

Photo: Melissa Field

Window seating flanking the fireplace, with a newly built-out mantle, create additional seating for the living room.

A set of brass bald eagle bookends, owned by the home’s previous owner, take up residence on the new fireplace mantle along with a layering of framed photos and Federal style mirror.

Photo: Melissa Field

Photo: via Cody Brown

Beyond the formal living room was a small den.  The den as it appeared originally in the home.

Photo: Cody Brown

Den during the demolition phase. Next to the den was a small wall and staircase to the second floor.

With the addition of French doors and a dark wall color the den is transformed into a sleek and modern dining room.

Photo: Melissa Field

A modern crystal chandelier, artwork by Cody Brown and dining table decorated with chess pieces complete the dining room’s contemporary feel.

Photo: via Cody Brown

The original dining room of the home (as seen as it appeared originally) was adjacent to the formal living room, opposite the front door of the home.  A wall separated the dining room from the kitchen, which took up space at the back of the home.


Photo: Cody Brown

The dining room during demolition.


The original dining room is transformed into a cozy sitting area opening into the sleek new kitchen.

A large, front facing bay window frames the room and fills it with natural light.

Photo: via Cody Brown

The original kitchen featured a small eat-in area and faux brick wall.

Photos: Cody Brown

The original kitchen in the early demolition stage.

The wall between the original dining room and kitchen is removed to open and enlarge the space.  (View from original dining room towards original kitchen space.)

View from original kitchen towards front of home, where original dining room was located.

The new kitchen layout begins and drywall goes up.

Kitchen fixtures continue to be installed as floor color samples are tested.

Photo: Melissa Field

A gorgeous, state-of-the-art kitchen takes the place of the cramped, multi-room former kitchen space.  The new kitchen design’s large center island provides ample seating and great entertaining space.

Photo: Melissa Field

Warm wood butcher block counters complement the sleek quartz island counter.  Matte black and gold pendant lights mirror the matte black cabinet hardware and matte black and gold faucet.

Photo: Melissa Field

A new powder room (the home originally lacked a first floor bath) was constructed off the kitchen.

Built in shelving provides storage for towels and displays for decor and art.

A salvaged antique door opens into the new powder bath, decorated with layered mirrors over the vanity.

“Our big changes on the main floor involved maximizing the size of the kitchen, which eliminated one of the exterior exits to the backyard and adding a half bath,” Tom said, “Adding the centrally located powder bath helped us keep the circular flow of the main level intact.  Both Cody and I are really happy with how the placement of the powder bath worked out.”

Cody echoes Tom’s statement by saying, “We have a good mix of casual yet we maintain a formal feel with the placement of the dining room.  It still feels open and intentional but it was kind of unintentional in how well the flow worked out.”

By eliminating an exterior exit to the backyard, originally located off the kitchen, as mentioned by Tom, allowed for a new exit to be added to the formal dining room.  Tom said, “The existing two exterior entrances were redundant so it was a logical choice that worked out.”

Photos of the back of the home during the demo phase, a back door leading into the mudroom still exists.  A side door off the kitchen has been eliminated.

Floating decking is added off the new dining room French doors.  The Japanese inspired deck “pads” offer a modern twist that leads to the new outdoor entertaining space.

The covered patio area received a coat of paint, newly designed pillars, custom chandelier and built in serving station.


Double barn-style garage doors salvaged from Tom and Cody’s previous 56th Street renovation project serve as a wall enclosing one side of the patio area.  The doors served a functional as well as decorative purpose.  While running into problems with where they were going to mount electrical for the home, the doors provided a camouflage for the utilities while also serving as a stylish privacy wall.  The addition of this “wall” makes the patio space feel like an outdoor room and extension of the home’s living areas.


A signature Cody Brown decor element of turning the ordinary into art is displayed on the patio table.  “Rock, Paper, Scissors” take a playful turn in glass canisters.


Impressed yet?  Well there is so much more to show!  Stay tuned for Part 2, coming tomorrow, as we take a look at the before and after on the second floor.  A LOT happened up there that you will not want to miss!


All photos and content are created and owned by Courtney Payne unless otherwise credited.

1 Comment

  1. Sam
    November 19, 2018 / 7:04 am

    Phenomenal 🥂stunning 💍

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