Homes + Gardens + Beekmen

(Is Beekmen the plural for Beekman Boys?)

Johnson County Home & Garden Show
Overland Park, Kansas Convention Center, 6000 College Blvd.
January 22-24, 2016

It’s January. It’s cold. It’s Kansas City. There’s no football that matters left. So it’s the perfect time to spend a day indoors at the beautiful Overland Park Convention Center, filled with home and garden vendors, design inspiration, and lots of free pens and candy.

The highlights for me were the presentations on the Ikea Main Stage (thank you, Ikea!). You may remember the Beekman Boys, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, from their “Amazing Race” win, but I’ve been a fan of the Beekmen since their original show “The Fabulous Beekman Boys,” which chronicled their adventures moving from corporate NYC to rural upstate New York, where they purchased an 1802 farmhouse (and farm!) and transformed their lives and the small town they live in. Hard work, smart marketing, Farmer John, and a bunch of really cute goats turned into Beekman 1802 “one of the fastest-growing lifestyle brands in the country” (Nasdaq). They tell their story honestly and adorably, and give me hope for a post-corporate life filled with genuine people, fresh air, and fun.

Josh & Brent talked about buying their million-dollar “weekend”  farm at the peak of the real estate boom, then losing their high-profile, high-paying jobs within 30 days of each other the following year. Their presentation was based on the “7 Lessons We Learned From Goats.” It turns out that goats are pretty smart. And super-cute.


Change your perspective.


And so are the Beekman Boys. They were funny, sweet, interesting, and genuinely embraced (literally) the fans at the show, spending time talking to everyone who wanted to meet them after the show, signing books, and posing patiently for the obligatory selfies. A bright ray of sun in January!


Matt Muenster, host of HGTV‘s “Bath Crashers,” is a fun, charismatic speaker. Originally a Wisconsin interior designer, he reluctantly accepted the host position on an unknown HGTV show, and hasn’t come out of the bathroom since. Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to put the unexpected in your bathroom...a fireplace, a $3,000 espresso machine, a state-of-the-art sound system, a motorcycle vanity. AND…USE YOUR BATHROOM FAN — It will eliminate moisture in the air and reduce mildew and mold. If he and his crew approach you at your neighborhood Lowe’s…say YES as quickly as you can.


My favorite booth…(the word “booth” doesn’t seem to do it justice…it was a full-on kitchen and bath) (and full-on adorable)…from Cook + Cline Design & Build Company…


PLUS…all the usual Home & Garden suspects…


My favorite candy bowl…


I don’t know who these women are. And they’re definitely not related to me…

This is exactly how I felt at the end of the day…



MORE West Bottoms!

West Bottoms Antique District
Kansas City, Missouri

I came away junk-drunk from my first First Friday in the West Bottoms, and Day Two was equally intoxicating. The vendors there are creative, clever, and passionate. It’s a big party where you get to buy really cool old stuff. If you like architecture, history, antiques, or food trucks…you’ll like the West Bottoms — it’s just plain fun! My Day Two finds…

Bella Patina
1320 W. 12th Street (directly across the street from the 12th Street Bridge)
Open only on Warehouse Weekends (first Friday/Saturday/Sunday)
A long-time West Bottoms shop with 3 floors and over 25,000 square feet of vintage and antiques. Lots of design inspiration here, and really cool hand-made Kansas City gear.


Really cool cafe on the third floor…


1101 Mulberry Street
Open every weekend and many Wed/Thursdays
Don’t be fooled by the store’s name. It’s chock-ful of fun home decor items, some vintage items, fun hand-made stuff, cool local stuff (including Charlie Hustle shirts) and creative lighting…as well as painted furniture. Their Christmas store was FABULOUS…


1300 Liberty Street
Open First Friday weekends + Tuesday-Saturdays for Boutique
Vintage, antique, farmhouse, and urban-inspired decor in an ultra-cool historic building. These West Bottoms pioneers have accumulated 3 floors of fun…


1222 W. 12th Street
This market re-opens on February 5, with many of the same wonderful vendors as Studio 1404.


1107 Hickory Street (get it???)
Open First Friday Weekends only
Cool vendors in an ultra-cool building…(I know I say “cool” a lot, but it’s the West Bottoms…it’s cool…).


And there are STILL MORE cool West Bottoms shops — guess this is going to have to be a 3-part blog post!!!



I’m junk-drunk!

First Friday/Saturday of each month
West Bottoms antique district
Kansas City, Missouri
Lots of free parking, plus closer VIP parking for $10

All the funky junk in the West Bottoms antique district has me light-headed, and dreaming of moving to a new house just to decorate it! On the first Friday/Saturday of each month, this historic Kansas City warehouse district wakes up and comes alive, and shoppers flock to the area from states all across the Midwest. The hundreds (not kidding) of vendors are decorated for the holidays this month, so you can visit to gawk (at the amazing old buildings), shop, or find inspiration (which abounds). If you ever wonder where the creative folks in KC go for fun…this is it. This unique area is one-of-a-kind — historic buildings filled with history for sale (at really good prices!).

The shops are all open on First Friday Weekends, but some of them are open every weekend, and some of them have special holiday sale dates.

I started at BOTTOMS UP ANTIQUE MARKET, 1300 w. 13th Street.
Open only First Friday Weekends
Four floors, 85 dealers, and thousands of treasures…

On the 1st floor

On the 2nd floor

Awesome hand-made jewelry…


The Saloon is also on the 2nd floor, and is one of very few places to eat. When the weather is nice there are some great food trucks on the street, but it has to be warm enough to sit outside. So a warm Saloon with a drink and a sandwich is a welcome hang-out.

Copper Rooster Restorations
— Cool steam-punk lamps…

On the 3rd floor


On the 4th floor
Keep your eye on the Prize. Owner Steve Rogers is usually on hand to give you the history of each piece you pick up. His stock is fun, unique, beautiful, and exquisitely styled. In addition to the West Bottoms, Prize has a store on the Country Club Plaza (320 Ward Parkway).



1420 W. 13th Terrace
First Friday Weekends PLUS Bonus Sale on Saturday, December 12,
This KC fave was the first store to brave the West Bottoms, way back in 2007. Fun, funky stuff in the old John Deere Company building, plus a little cafe on the second floor…


1405 W. 13th Street


1285 Hickory Street
Adorable store with great, creative vendors. Don’t miss the basement!
Open Saturday, December 12, 9:00-4:00



1323 W. 13th Street
Open Saturday, December 12, 10:00am-2:00pm


1400 W. 13th Street
Open Saturday, December 12
I was so exhausted by the time I got here, I didn’t really do it justice. Guess I’ll have to go back! But tons of great holiday inspiration…I love the sleds on the wall…

MORE SHOPS…but I’m going to bed now. Will post Part 2 tomorrow.