The quest for the most-perfect house is no longer about searching for one that fits your needs—it’s about dreaming up one that does, and finding a custom homebuilder who can make it a reality. For our Homes of the Year contest, we invited local builders to show us some of the most extravagant, innovative, one-of-a-kind homes they’ve built in 417-land. We received a healthy selection of top-notch projects, then chose the four homes that were the cream of the custom-home crop. From one-of-a-kind architecture and hidden bookshelves to custom mouldings and fully decked-out media rooms, these houses are unlike any others we’ve ever seen in southwest Missouri. See photos, find inspiration and meet some of the most talented builders in 417-land.
Overall Winner: $1 Million Plus
Builder Adrian Rhoads mixes traditional craftsmanship and modern industry to create a home that re-defines functional aesthetics.
CATEGORY: $1 Million Plus
Winning Builder: Adrian Rhoads, Rhoads Design & Construction, 417-889-6000, rhoadscompany.com
Photographer: Bradley E. Wilkinson
Open floor plans are very much on trend right now. In this custom-built home, builder Adrian Rhoads was able to partner the concept with modern designs and industrial appeal. In the process, he was also able to secure an Energy Star certification and green certification from the National Association of Home Builders Research Center.
There are dozens of eye-catching features that make this house one-of-a-kind. The exposed I-beams, ironwork, sliding barn doors and vaulted kitchen ceiling all play a part in making it a well-deserved Home of the Year. The key to such a complicated building endeavor was a strong working relationship between Rhoads and the homeowners. “From the start, this was a design-build with the clients,” Rhoads says. “That allowed for more of a seamless project.”
Rhoads describes the house as “contemporary with a nod toward craftsman” with details such as oversized entry doors that are replicated throughout the house and a massive fan nine feet in diameter. These details paired a more modern look with the wooden beams and vaulted wood ceiling.
The home includes five bedrooms, six-and-a-half bathrooms, a screened-in porch, an outdoor kitchen, a swimming pool and a hot tub. All of these spaces were designed and built with mixed-use space in mind, so they can go from comfortable spots for the family to party-friendly rooms. “The open floor plan allows for lots of entertaining options, but the rooms still flow together,” Rhoads says.—E.B.
“I love how these windows bring the backyard into the living room,” says builder Adrian Rhoads. “The view of the outdoors plays well off of the room’s wooden beams and ceiling.” The steel trusses, designed by structural engineer Travis Miller, give the home an industrial–modern twist. These trusses support the roof, so they’re functional as well as visually stimulating.
The oversized front doors give the exterior an artistic touch. “Various features of the entry are duplicated inside the home to create a seamless feel between the interior and exterior,” Rhoads says.
What features make this home stand out? It offers a seamless flow between spaces, Rhoads says. Also, true craftsmanship is evident everywhere from the finest stair details to the thoughtfully crafted truss design. “We are grateful to have been a part of this process,” Rhoads says.
Kitchen: The kitchen includes bar seating, a raised breakfast table and a view of the kids’ game room on the second level. The kitchen ceiling was vaulted to allow for a view of the game room, and the cable rail system helps extend the openness of the kitchen more than a traditional railing would.
Sitting room:Rhoads put a lot of focus on the detail of the daily-use spaces, such as the sitting area off the breakfast nook. He brought in a custom piece of millwork to use as shelving and to help hide the staircase that goes down to the basement. The unit adds a sense of warmth and enclosure to the room, Rhoads says.
Rhoads wanted to extend natural elements through the house, so he brought the stone used on the exterior of the home into the kitchen. The countertop on the bar is a laminated piece of metal set in between sheets of glass. The hygienic look of the countertop and metal oven hood contrast with the stone pillar and stone and glass mosaic tile back splash.
Wet Bar: The wet bar serves as an entertaining space with wine storage and a beverage fridge. The sliding barn doors on either side allow the room to be shut off from the kitchen and living area, giving the open floor plan a sense of intimacy. Throughout the house, Rhoads mixes the use of wood and metals to create a warm-yet-industrial look. The backsplash on the wet bar is a great example. To create the rusty-orange color, Rhoads used a piece of steel that was left outdoors to rust before being clear-coated.
Powder Room: The powder room is located between the main living area and the kids’ play room, so it’s used daily and by guests during parties. The furniture-style sink includes a slab of granite that has a bowl panned out, forming a sink area.
The large staircase uses a cable rail instead of a traditional railing to minimize the visual impact and maintain the open floor plan and views.
Bathroom: A bathroom located off of the home’s hallway is attached to the screened porch and features cubbies and a bench, making it perfect for guests using the pool.
Pool: The heated saltwater pool includes a large hot tub and fountains that cascade into the pool. There is a sun deck on the shallow end and a diving board on the adjacent deep end. The pool area also has a fire pit and outdoor kitchen. Rhoads used landscaping to soften the look of the concrete pool deck and create more of a resort feel.
Exterior: The home’s outdoor space features three fountains that flow into a catch basin, which then runs into the surface of the pool.
What tools could you not live without?
A cell phone and a tape measure.
What’s your favorite Home building trend?
The open floor plan. It maximizes the square footage and lets in natural light.
The most important thing to keep in mind when building a new home is:
selecting a contractor. A house will cost whatever it will cost based on size, quality and finishes, but you have to have a contractor that you can openly communicate with.
The most important thing to keep in mind when remodeling an existing home is:
having patience. The first week is always awesome. It’s the rest that wear on you, even when the project is on budget and on schedule.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
The people. From our clients to the Rhoads’ team members and subcontractors and vendors.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced on the job?
No challenges, just opportunities. And Boston terriers, the sneaky little things.
If you had to give one piece of advice to someone building a new home, what would it be?
Take your time on the front end. If you are patient and get the construction plans and budget worked out, it will give you peace of mind to move forward with confidence.
How will home construction be different in five years?
With the advancements of building technologies and the increased awareness of green building techniques, I think we will see the overall efficiencies of new homes continue to rise.
What’s the biggest trend you see happening in construction right now?
The trend is to not worry about trends. People are designing spaces that suit their individual wants and needs.
What three words describe your dream home?
Functional, aesthetic and efficient.