Couple furnishes final home with diverse decorations from their life abroad

photo by: Mike Yoder

David and Stacie Lambertson sit in a living area of a remodeled section of their home at 715 New York. After purchasing the home, they remodeled adding a long, single floor wing to the backside of the original building. This addition, partially shown here, includes the kitchen, a living area and a new staircase to the original wing of the home.

Framed maps line the wall in the entrance of David and Sacie Lambertson’s home, a hint at the worldly collection of decorations the couple has inside.

The former career diplomat and his wife have lived in six countries and multiple states, and their renovated home at 715 New York St. exhibits their diverse collection.

photo by: Mike Yoder

715 New York. Home of David and Stacie Lambertson.

A bark painting from Australia hangs in the living room, and a piece of driftwood from Japan which resembles the shape of a person leans against a window in the dining room.

“I’ve just carried it around the world,” Sacie said of the driftwood. They’ve done that with a lot of their art.

A shield from Papua New Guinea that the couple bought in Australia is hung in their living room. A statue of the Buddha that they got in Thailand sits on a small table just across the room. And in nearly every place they lived — France, Japan, England, South Korea, Australia and Thailand — the couple collected pottery.

photo by: Mike Yoder

Works of art and collections, gathered from David’s long career in the U.S. Foreign Service in Southeast Asia, decorate the home. This is a view from a room in the original 1883 home, foreground, into the renovated addition that includes a new staircase, kitchen and living area.

The Lambertsons moved into the historic home in 2018 after gutting and renovating it over a two-year period. The original home was built in 1883 and is about 2,200 square feet. Its ten foot ceilings on each floor make it feel larger than it actually is, Sacie noted.

This section of the home has four rooms on the first floor — now the couple’s bedroom, bathroom, dining room and sitting room — and four rooms on the second floor — two offices, a guest bedroom and a den. All rooms are the same size.

The couple separated the upstairs offices from the den and guest room by using one of two antique doors Sacie had bought in Topeka in 1990. The other is part of their outdoor patio.

“We lived in numbers of other places since then,” she said. “I never could figure out how to use them, and finally, I have a use.”

photo by: Mike Yoder

A decorative sliding pocket door and artwork display cabinet on the second-floor of the original wing of the home separates two office areas from two other multipurpose rooms at the front of the house.

The door on the second floor helps divide the space almost into a separate apartment, Sacie noted.

The Lambertsons expanded their home by adding a 450-square-foot section attached to the original house, which is now their kitchen and living room area.

photo by: Mike Yoder

After purchasing their Lawrence home, they remodeled the house adding a long, single floor wing to the backside of the original building. From left is a 12-foot square screened-in porch and an addition that includes the kitchen, living area and a new staircase to the original wing of the home.

The kitchen island highlights another theme in the couple’s home: their use of wood. The island countertop is a piece of a tree David cut down on their former property in the Kansas countryside. Wood that serves as the support for the downstairs bathroom sink came from the same land.

photo by: Mike Yoder

The kitchen is in the remodeled area of the home and includes an island made of red oak, recycled from a dead tree from the Lambertsons’ previous home.

The roof of their backyard patio — which the couple lovingly refers to as “The Cube” — is made of red wood from the barn outside David’s childhood home in Fairview, and the risers on their staircase come from a tree the couple had to cut down in their current backyard in order to build their garage.

photo by: Mike Yoder

The interior of the 12’x12’ screened-in porch in the backyard.

photo by: Mike Yoder

The Lambertsons relocated the stairway to the second-floor from near the entrance to the home to the new wing. The tread of the stairs is made from walnut and the risers from hackberry. The walnut comes from the Lambertson’s former country home in northeast Kansas. The hackberry comes from a tree the Lambertsons had to cut down in their current property to build a garage.

David and Sacie did much of the renovations themselves. Sacie had former experience working for a building contractor and serving as a manager for a Habitat for Humanity project. She wanted to make the home energy efficient and focused on building it tight and making the home well insulated.

David is handy, too, although he modestly called the home renovation “all Sacie’s project.” He planted a hedge tree and built a bird feeding area right outside their kitchen window, with a platform underneath to make the area easier to clean.

David said that every 15 years or so, Sacie likes a new building project.

“This is her latest,” he said.

“It’s our last,” Sacie interjected.

When first asked why the couple chose to paint the outside of the house yellow with purple accents, Sacie didn’t have a definitive answer. But in a follow-up interview, she ensured that their use of purple, what she called an “unpopular” color in Lawrence, had no reflection on team allegiances. David is a huge University of Kansas sports fan, she said.

The couple has been married over 45 years, and agreed that the location of their home — and being able to walk to Massachusetts St. — is a big plus.

“We like this particular neighborhood,” David said. “Every afternoon in the summertime we sit on the front porch around 5…there’s just a lot of life. It’s got a nice sense of neighborhood.”

photo by: Mike Yoder

The Lambertson’s hired a carpenter to build in a wall of maple cabinets and drawers in their master bedroom located in the original wing of the home.

photo by: Mike Yoder

The home’s original entrance is shown at left, and at right is one of the original homes living rooms. Works of art and collections, gathered from David’s long career in the Foreign Service in Southeast Asia, decorate the home.

photo by: Mike Yoder

The Lambertsons used wood from a Kentucky coffee bean tree, from land at their former country home, to build this kitchen cabinet.

More Lawrence homes

This Journal-World feature takes readers inside interesting Lawrence homes. Have a suggestion? Please contact us at

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