When Lisa and John Kapuza married in 2013 and moved into his house near Summitview Avenue, John used his remodeling skills to create an extra bedroom to accommodate all of their five children. “My kids and I moved in once the basement remodel was complete, so there could be bedrooms for all of us,” said Lisa, who is the Development Director of the YWCA. “We are family-centered and our focus is on creating a happy family home for our children.” Today their children Gracie, Jacob, Owen, Joshua, and Jonathon range in age from 16 to 22, and the oldest four are in college.
Fortunately, this two-story stucco house sits on a large, private lot with plenty of room for everyone both inside and out. The construction of the home dates back to the mid-1920s when the demand for Yakima residential lots had local farmers clearing the trees from their orchards and subdividing their property.
Since the house was built over 90 years ago, the home has had many owners. Lisa believes the first president of Yakima Federal and Loan Bank built the house, but she is sure another one of the owners was former Yakima Police Chief Pleas Green, who led the department from 1983 to 1995.
John, a partner at Kapuza Lighty, PLLC, discovered the house while taking a walk in the neighborhood. When it came on the market in 2004, his love of old houses spurred him to buy it. John admits that the initial décor was inspired by British designer Laura Ashley and decorated with a pastel palette, heavy on pink and blue. With his marriage to Lisa, the couple was determined to update the home’s interior to accommodate their growing family.
The turning point with respect to decorating came when John and Lisa took their first trip to Italy. The couple had an incredible time and both fell in love with all things Italian, which influenced how they would redecorate their home.
When one enters through the front door, the couple’s large English sheepdog named Sir Bentley Oliver (Bentley for short) bounds into the foyer to greet you. This adorable pup could definitely be counted as the eighth member of the Kapuza family.
The home’s entry features a tall staircase to the second floor. A talented handyman, John has completed many projects in the house and he and Lisa not only distressed the wooden stair treads, but also updated the handrail by replacing the wooden balusters with decorative wrought iron.
“I love trim and high ceilings,” John explained, and painting the molding a creamy white emphasizes the beauty of this old house.
The Kapuzas’ spacious living room and adjacent dining room can be found through a lovely archway off the entry. Since their first trip to Italy, they have had the good fortune to vacation there four more times, and the mocha brown faux-painted walls of the rooms reflect their love of Italy. They hired Monte Knapp, a local painter with a knack for rustic-style facades, to work his magic in the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Many of the original features of the dining room, like its leaded glass windows and converted gas fireplace accented by a large mantel mirror, showcase its beauty. When it came to refurbishing the space, they turned to Restoration Hardware to furnish the room with two huge leather couches, several glass-fronted bookcases and an amazing wooden wine and liquor cabinet that make the room perfect for entertaining.
The adjacent dining room and remodeled kitchen reflect the same style. The couple also used Restoration Hardware to find a table large enough to seat the whole clan. It allows them to come together as a family and share their day over a delicious meal. The dining room’s original leaded glass bay window offers a seasonal view of the Kapuzas’ large backyard, where a hot tub, grill, and cabana await summer.
The original kitchen felt small, so John decided to take out the wall that closed off the space from the dining room and replace it with a breakfast bar that features a quartz countertop and bar stools that match the dining room chairs. When they updated the kitchen’s old appliances, they also installed a beautiful Italian Bertazonne stove. But as much as John would like to claim all of these improvements, he has to give credit to Hartwig Construction of Zillah for remodeling the breakfast bar and other projects beyond his abilities.
John can claim handling all of the remodeling for their downstairs bathroom, however. He installed rustic industrial lighting with Edison bulbs, a white-tiled shower with a glass surround shower, and tile flooring. Of course, Lisa decorated the walls with beautiful prints of Italian city scenes.
A casual family room is on the other side of the foyer. The couple has installed a wall of bookshelves that display a variety of keepsakes, books, and a flat screen TV. A double-decker shelf displays wonderful family photos above the comfortable corner sofa and makes a great place to hang out after a long day.
Three bedrooms and a bath are located on the second floor. The couple’s master bedroom features a huge bed that almost didn’t make it through the door, along with a built-in desk, both from Restoration Hardware. The room’s most intriguing aspect is its closet, which doubles as a “panic room,” which was installed by a former owner, Police Chief Green. Fortunately, during the Kapuzas’ ownership, the tiny space has not been needed. Also on the second story is their daughter Gracie’s remodeled bedroom, along with their son Joshua’s bedroom, which features a balcony that looks out onto the backyard.
Over the years, John has focused on fixing up the basement. He’s created two more bedrooms there; however, their oldest, Jonathan, will soon graduate from Eastern Washington University, so his room has become Lisa’s office. Joshua, Owen, and Jacob will all be university seniors next year, leaving the youngest, Gracie, still at home, with one more year of high school.
Probably the most surprising room in the house is John’s ultimate party pad. He has at least eight working slot machines, a large poker table, beer signs on the walls along with photos of the Rat Pack, a bar with beer on tap, and liquor cabinet. John also displays a tribute to his father, who flew a helicopter for the 1st Cavalry of the 3rd Air Command. Fortunately, Lisa has her own little “she shed” in a small adjacent room that has a wine closet and small table perfect for having a few girlfriends over to sip wine, sing, and celebrate.
After five years of marriage, Lisa, John, and their five children have become a happy family living together in their beautiful old house.