Okazaki had been living in her 'House That Home Built' home for two years before she learned it was an A. Quincy Jones design—or that it had come about thanks to the Home TV show. Then an enthusiastic researcher showed up carrying the Jones and Emmons plan. Okazaki saw that her home matched the plan almost to the inch.
Her home was one of three based on the 'House that Home Built' plan constructed by Drummond in her south Kansas City, Missouri neighborhood. Approximately 17 others, including the model, were built in nearby Prairie Village and Overland Park, Kansas.
Unlike many Drummond homes, which have been irreparably altered, Okazaki's home is remarkably intact. Her Eichleresque kitchen is unaltered, though it lost its original appliances. Replacements have been tastefully fitted into the original sliding door cabinets. The kitchen retains its original island design with attached table. However, a built-in cook top was never installed in the island in Okazaki's house as per the Jones plan.
The living area, Okazaki's favorite space because of its openness to the kitchen, terrace, and all-purpose room, still has original cork floors. The one area that has been altered is the bedroom wing. The original metal casements were retrofitted years ago with poorly proportioned vinyl windows, and mahogany paneling has been covered by highly textured drywall, which Okazaki is replacing. Sliding-glass doors and wall openings that were filled in by a previous owner will be fitted with new glass.
Now that she knows the home's history, Okazaki is even more committed to preserving its original lines. "It makes me think twice about changing anything," she says. A self-confessed "architectural groupie," Okazaki spent six months looking for a Drummond home after architect friends recommended Drummonds. She chose the home "for the open floor plan and the indoor-outdoor living," not knowing its architectural provenance.
Okazaki is furnishing the home with period pieces, including a black George Nelson slat bench and an Eames table. "I am on a quest for a Saarinen tulip table," she says.
Drummond owners are faced with challenges—crumbling ductwork and high humidity caused by cardboard ducts buried under concrete, antiquated wiring, and the difficulty of finding historically appropriate materials and skilled craftspeople. But all that pales compared with the pleasures of living in her timber-and-glass home, Okazaki says.
"I love the clerestory windows," she says of the home. "The light that comes in to this house is amazing. I don't feel like I am living in a dungeon."