A Streamline House Imbued with Style and Substance

Hot-rolled steel frames the fireplace in the living room. The distinctive white-clay brick of the wall wraps both inside and outside the house. Photos by Michael Robinson

Water is an essential element. It nourishes, satisfies, cleanses and connects. While water is often in motion, it draws us in and entices us to linger. When Kelly and Chad Morgan built their house at Table Rock Lake near Springfield, Missouri, they wanted a spot away from the day-to-day. Matthew Hufft and Dan Brown of Kansas City-based Hufft, designed a home so satisfying that when the Morgans decided to build their main residence in Springfield, they hired the team to create a home as thoughtful as the first.

Left: In the living room, the Restoration Hardware indigo velvet sectional faces both the fireplace and the custom-built white-oak bookcase. Right: The rustic fireplace mantel was custom-milled from an oak tree on the property that was felled during construction.

The Morgans had purchased a lot on a spring-fed stream. More than 300,000 gallons of crystal-clear water—the kind that runs through the mountains in Colorado—flows through their front yard. The site slopes toward the stream and the architects wanted to take advantage of the view without interrupting the flow of the water.

There’s plenty of storage and workspace in the commodious “depot” room. It functions as mudroom, laundry, and office space, and as the buffer between the rest of the world and the serene tranquility of the house.


Left: Classic Eames dowel-leg chairs surround a game table, which sees frequent action with family board games. Center: An open staircase leads from the main living area to the lower level. Floors are polished concrete. Right: In the dining room, a multi-arm chandelier from Restoration Hardware is centered over a Bensen dining table.

“We were interested in the view, but also the idea of erosion and displacement. We worked with the idea of how that would affect the house—how water breaks things away,” says Brown.

The result was three main components; the main house with two sections on each end that both connect and open up. While delighted by the design of the house at Table Rock (christened the “Postcard House”), the Morgans were not interested in duplicating their original Hufft design.

“They wanted something warmer and more traditional than the Postcard House,” says Brown, who was principal architect on this project. “Beyond that, they wanted a sense of permanence.”

The lower-level lounge has a stunning view of the stream and surrounding landscape

The Morgans were certain about a few things. They wanted to be connected to the water that flowed through the site. They wanted the house to feel a part of it. It was important to them, too, that the house was a sanctuary. Leaving the day behind as they entered was a significant focus. And they wanted the space to live smartly; individual bedrooms for their three kids, a decent master suite and a large mudroom to manage the stuff of coming and going. Brown and his team listened, then set to work.

“As architects, we play different roles on different projects,” says Brown. “It’s a different perspective for commercial and residential. With commercial projects, the architect is the expert. With residential, the client is the expert.”

In this case, the architect and the client reveled in the process.

“The Morgans have good design eyes and minds. They pushed us to the next level. It was an on-going conversation down to brainstorming the name of the house,” says Brown of the house with the clever moniker of “Streamline House.”

“The connection is water,” says Chad Morgan of the main residence. “Our relationship to one another is one of the driving forces. But the connection is water.”

It was Kelly’s focus that led to many of the traditional elements in the home. “The gabled roof, the front porch, and the screened porches are all elements that work well here,” Chad says of his wife’s wish list.

Left: The white-oak wood-paneled ceiling, which features a powder-coated steel abstraction of the neighboring stream meandering across it, defines the kitchen. Top Right: In the kitchen, a quintet of Tom Dixon pendants hangs over the breakfast table. Bottom Right: The Wolf range from Roth Living is backed by countertop-to-ceiling slabs of dramatic Macaubas quartzite.

The Morgans’ children were part of the decorating process.

Our last house wasn’t built for sleepovers. Our children understood that with this house, it was about having friends over, meeting and socializing.”

The design team relied on repeating materials to provide continuity throughout the home. Oak. Brick. Glass. Metal. “The design is better when you use solid materials. The more you simplify materials and palettes, the better you can choose special moments,” says Brown.

To address the Morgans’ desire to delineate home from the rest of their lives, the Hufft team designed the depot room. “It’s basically a large mudroom,” says Brown. “It’s a transitional space where the family enters and sheds the day. They step out of the garage to a space that allows them to leave shoes, coats, backpacks and briefcases. It’s not just about stuff. It’s philosophical. You walk through it and it refreshes you every time.”

The main floorplan is open, but not a typical and expected open living room, dining room and kitchen. The kitchen—and the banquette that is tucked into the island—look out on the stream. All detritus of cooking and prep reside behind custom cabinets, keeping the countertops clutter-free.

The house holds distinct moments. The dark metal sculpture of the tributary of the spring is mounted overhead. It provides sharp contrast to the light-filled room.

Left: Custom side tables from Hufft flank the Room & Board upholstered bed in the master bedroom. A leather Lucas chair from West Elm swivels toward the view. Top Right: In the master bathroom, the Victoria + Albert Barcelona tub is sited for the best vista. Bottom Right: Calcutta marble tile in various sizes covers the walls, floor, and ceiling of the master bathroom.

While the house is streamlined, Chad says people are often surprised it’s not more modern. “I don’t think they expect the blue sofa and warm leather chair.”

The Morgans enjoy a well-appointed master suite, but it may be the children who are most satisfied, reveling in their own rooms. It is certainly a sleepover house now.

“Our kids really get it,” Chad says. “They have friends over all the time. We have friends here all the time. A house like this can change the whole way you share your life.”

Left: The custom-made steel roof caps the white-clay brick exterior. Columns are steel inlaid with wood. Right: The house is sited on a gently rolling hill with views toward the water.

The It List

Appliances: Roth Living, rothliving.com

Architect: Hufft, hufft.com

Contractor: Kenson Goff Homes, kensongoffhomes.com

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