This Updated 1926 Tudor Shines with Neutral Colors and Cozy Textures
Tudor homes, like the moody monarchs for which they are named, aren't exactly known for being bright and cheery. So when Danny and Stephanie Agne bought this 1926 Kansas City, Missouri, home, they knew they wanted to keep its good details (iron scrollwork, leaded-glass windows) and do away with what didn't work (closed-off living spaces, lots of dark stain).
"We set out to lighten everything," says Stephanie, who owns Golden & Pine, an interior design studio and home-goods store with a focus on ethically made products and a decidedly airy aesthetic.
Stephanie used a lush, fringed carpet to anchor the sitting area. Underneath, a 12-x-15-foot jute rug (a budget pick from Rugs USA) extends to the high-traffic perimeter. The camel color couch gets a lift from peachy pink pillows.
Neutral doesn't have to mean lacking in color. "I've always seen olive as a neutral—like the jacket everyone wears because it goes with everything," Stephanie says. Built-ins feature olive green paint by Benjamin Moore.
They improved the flow by taking down a few walls, but one of their most transformative moves was also one of the simplest: painting almost every room white. Stephanie chose Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee for its warm undertones. "A stark white would have felt too modern," she says.
The couple hung onto original details like the front door and crystal doorknobs, as well as the iron stair railing. Encaustic-style tiles Stephanie found on Wayfair helped mix the Tudor character with her muted palette.
In the original chopped-up floor plan, each room was a different color. Coupled with dark floors and millwork, the effect was cramped and dated. Now, the dining room is bright and airy.
Stephanie varies the tone and texture of natural woods throughout the home. Thin matchstick blinds in the dining room are a warm honey tone; wide weave chairs are more gray. A clear matte Bona sealant shows off the natural variation of the stripped white oak floors.
"I always do a round dining table if the room allows it because it's conversational," Stephanie says. Made for dinner parties, this 72-inch table seats eight (or 12 squished). The chandelier was sold out in their preferred matte black, so they ordered it in nickel and spray-painted the frame.
Consistent use of warm white paint allows subtle tonal modulations (from tawny browns to ethereal grays) to stand out. The base welcomes layers of mixed metals, glass and leather details, and leafy plants.
Stephanie created the ultimate family crash pad by pushing together two IKEA twin beds and topping them with washable Sunbrella covers she had made. A thick memory foam pad under the rug gives extra cush for playing with kids Cole and Ethan. The couple decided to preserve the glazed tile floor, which is easy to wipe clean after a crafting session.
Furnishings are neutral but not monotonous. Mixing grays and browns in a range of textures and finishes "makes your eye read the effect as interesting without being flashy," says Stephanie. Textured but orderly, shiplap walls have casual, rustic character.
The kitchen continues the rest of the main floor's blend of natural materials. But don't overlook the impact of white—not only on the walls but also on the shiny countertops and smooth appliances. "I wanted a light, bright kitchen. At that point stainless was everywhere, so it was nice to do something a little different," Stephanie says. As for the plain quartz countertops, after years of busy granite, "I was tired of not being able to see when the counter needed to be wiped off. I wanted a scientific, cut-and-dried clean, clean."
For maximum work zone efficiency, the Agnes installed an island in the middle of the large, open kitchen and rearranged the appliance layout around the perimeter. Storing everyday pieces on open shelves keeps them within easy reach.
When the hardware Stephanie and Danny bought online arrived super shiny, they "aged" the brass handles by boiling them, rubbing with steel wool, and eventually tarnishing them with a kitchen torch. It's a detail the weds the modern kitchen to the traditional Tudor architecture.
Glass-front doors in the center of a wall of red-leaf maple cabinets show off Stephanie's stash of white serveware. An avid cook and former dietician, Stephanie has been collecting one white piece at a time over the years, so her collection can grow but always match. Behind the doors on either side: a pantry and a broom closet.