Photography by Tiffany Cox with Krystal Lenz Photography

A Kansas-based interior designer helps her cowboy client reconceive a working ranch in traditional Western style.

When a livestock rancher and farming operator hired Debbie Deutsch to redesign his working ranch in the Flint Hills of Manhattan, Kansas, the property included a primary residence, bunkhouse, and guesthouse in need of help. Deutsch, the senior designer and owner at Cornerstone Interiors, tackled the triple threat by implementing functional renovations throughout and transforming the original 1,500-square-foot limestone main house into a sprawling 3,500-square-foot home.

“My inspiration for this project came from the working ranch; the natural, historical, and geological features of the area; and the cowboy client,” says Deutsch, who focused on sizable improvements during the year-and-a-half-long project. For example, what used to be a small space with a simple table against a wall is now a gourmet kitchen and fully furnished dining room. Similarly, the expanded 1,100-square-foot master suite now boasts a spalike bathroom, a walk-in closet, and elevated ceilings. With modern convenience in mind, Deutsch also added popular amenities like a mudroom and utility closet, not to mention a wine room.

Photography by Tiffany Cox with Krystal Lenz Photography

In the gourmet kitchen, Deutsch chose elements that evoked the surrounding nature of the historic Flint Hills: a hand-forged chandelier with rawhide shades and wheat, cattle, and horse designs; a farmhouse sink and a hammered range hood personalized with her client’s ranch brand, both by Mountain Copper Creations; and chiseled-edge concrete countertops to complement the ledger stone backsplash and alderwood cabinets.

“The color palette represents the golden wheat, tall prairie grass, and the blue Kansas skies,” says Deutsch, who also outfitted the home with rustic furnishings like Hancock & Moore’s leather Oakley chair and a round ottoman constructed of Duralee’s Highland Court chenille fabric, hand-tooled leather from Hancock & Moore, and tufting created with silver conchos.

The cozy, Western-inspired renovations revealed a series of tailored touches including bed linens designed by Cornerstone and custom window treatments in the main house and guesthouse. Deutsch’s team also equipped the guesthouse with new carpet, bedding, and accessories.

Photography by Tiffany Cox with Krystal Lenz Photography

In the master bathroom, Deutsch lined the floor and walls of the vast open shower and walk-in bathtub with flat river pebble stone, crafted a built-in bench overlooking the Flint Hills prairie, and adorned the space with a concrete rock fountain designed by Concrete Design of KC.

Whether it’s the original limestone fireplace accessorized with hand-carved crosses made in Mexico (pieces that were culled from Cornerstone Interiors’ own collection) or the custom, hand-painted corner cabinet in the living room from Peninsula Home, personal touches punctuate every new nook and cranny of this operating homestead.

Deutsch rooted her design selections in the Western style to match the ranch’s long history of cattle and cowboys. For example, the redesigned bunkhouse, now used for guests, was once utilized by ranch cowboys. “We commissioned metal artist B&B for the custom bunkhouse light fixture. It has the perfect hand-cut design of a cowboy ranch hand riding his horse. The exterior bunkhouse bench was also commissioned work from metal artist B&B,” Deutsch says. “The roping cowboys across the back are a great attraction and represent the action that goes on at a ranch.”


B&B Metal Arts,

Concrete Design of KC,

Cornerstone Interiors LLC, Debbie Deutsch, Allied ASID,

Hancock & Moore,

Lakin Construction, 785.456.4728

Mountain Copper Creations,

Peninsula Home,

From the January 2018 issue.

Explore:Home & Ranch