Architect Lauren DuCharme, with goldendoodles Miette (left) and Diesel, has got some skills. She stamped her individualistic style on her Parkville home through its design, reconstruction and decoration. Roy Inman | Special to Ink

Contemporary style meets midcentury (and older) finishes in Northland getaway

Lauren wanted to build the bed frame for their room, but Mike convinced her that she didn’t have to do everything for the house and ordered this one from Etsy. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
The great room feels welcoming in its clean styling and natural light. In the summer, the DuCharmes can’t see any neighboring houses through the forest canopy. In the winter, when the tree leaves drop, the couple say “the drapes fell off.” Roy Inman | Special to Ink
An open kitchen concept incorporates the dining table — a former Framework conference table — into the linear space plan. Ikea cabinets gave the DuCharmes a customizable and economical route to a much-needed new kitchen. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
The porch and siding treatment on the front exterior was voted in by users of a Facebook group. Lauren started with 25 versions, then she and Mike couldn’t decide among seven remaining designs, so they let others make the final decision for them. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
The couple’s collections of skulls and octopi can be noted throughout the house. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
Antiques and vintage pieces warm up the cooler vibe of the contemporary design. This midcentury console in the kitchen conveniently acts as a bar. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
An unusual snack holder graces the DuCharme great room. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
A full-sized restored filling station pump is an eye-catcher in the DuCharmes’ bottom floor. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
The basement is a casual hang-out spot for watching TV, working out and gathering with friends. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
The upper floor hosts two bedrooms separated by an open balcony. The transitional wall features old black-and-white photos of the couple’s parents and grandparents. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
Everyone asks Lauren if the art in the entry is of her, but it isn’t. It’s called “Morning Star” by Ruben Ireland. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
Colorful fabric swatches add a rainbow of color atop the wardrobe in the master bedroom. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
Attic space was transformed into a massive walk-in closet. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
A light fixture imposes a cool design of its own on an otherwise monochromatic stairwell. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
A saturated green emboldens the master bathroom. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
The master shower is so deep that a door to protect the floor from water damage is unnecessary. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
David Bowie keeps an eye on guests in the upstairs suite. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
A walkway overlooks the great room. Roy Inman | Special to Ink
Multicolored birds decorate on an indoor tree. Roy Inman | Special to Ink

Lauren and Mike DuCharme work long hours, so when they arrive home, they want to relax. Fortunately, their newly remodeled home in Parkville is a peaceful, calming environment for doing just that. But it certainly didn’t start out that way.

The DuCharmes purchased the property in foreclosure, and they had more than cosmetic fixes on their hands. In addition to unloading furniture, boxes of stuff and construction debris into six dumpsters, the couple say, they had to evict raccoons, bats, woodpeckers and squirrels living inside the house.

Lauren, an architect at Travois and her own firm, Framework Design, and Mike, the VP of talent and promotions for AEG Midwest, both work tremendous hours yet still tackled much of the remodeling decision-making and labor themselves.

The newlyweds’ biggest move was to invite their out-of-town contractor to live with them in the spider-filled basement for three months — during their first year of marriage! — to keep progress in the works 12 to 16 hours a day.

They designed as they went and kept to a strict budget, splurging strategically — the gray bamboo floors — and saving in others — simply painting rather than overhauling the ugly red brick fireplace.

The DuCharmes made up their own name for their personal style: modern woodsman.

“We’re both more contemporary, in general, but we like old pieces too,” Lauren says.

Her dad, an antiques dealer, passed along a number of interesting vintage items, from midcentury to the 17th century, including a chopping block and a dress-pattern cabinet.

As an architect with craftsman skills, Lauren wanted to be hands-on with everything, although Mike proved to be the voice of balance: “Maybe we can get out of our overalls for a couple of days and just go out to dinner.”

Lauren will never give up enhancing the house through painting or rebuilding projects, but she’s content with the level of “doneness” for now.

The experience has been exhausting for them both but well worth it.

“It feels like we’re living in a vacation home,” Lauren says. “You don’t hear anything or see anything. We really like being here.”

“At Home With” takes you inside cool and unusual apartments and homes in the Kansas City area. Know someone with a kick-ass pad? Send info and photos to