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Haus Das



Spacious country home allows family to show its faith


Haus Das

features 12 At home IN hays

Hooked on a view

Country home gives family a place to call home


It’s a Man’s World

Shack is the perfect hideaway for Hays man and his friends



Haus Das

Published and distributed by The Hays Daily News 507 Main, Hays, KS 67601 (785) 628-1081

Publisher Patrick Lowry

Advertising Director Mary Karst

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Designer Gayle Weber Contributors Diane Gasper-O’Brien • Writer Dawne Leiker • Writer Chelsy Lueth • Photographer Steven Hausler • Photographer Elisha Jones • Creative Services Juno Ogle • Creative Services Tiffany Reddig • Creative Services

Account Executives Joleen Fisher Sandra Harder Eric Rathke

Online Edition at Created by Pixel Power Haus Web design division of The Hays Daily News Das Haus is published by The Hays Daily News. Copyright © 2012 Harris Enterprises. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Das Haus is a registered trademark of The Hays Daily News.

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It’s a



rom barn wood to farm machinery, Larry Knowles’ man shack brings function and purpose to a cast-off and collectible potpourri of guy stuff. Located just 2 miles outside Hays, it’s a backdrop from “The Beverly Hillbillies” as party-goers and friends round the bend to the man shack. A trout-stocked pond, WPA-replica roadside park picnic shelter and strains of “Thank God I’m a Country



Boy,” welcome them to a de-stressing zone that rivals any fashionable spa. Most of the building material for the shack either originated from other building projects Knowles had undertaken or was donated by friends. Knowles, whose day job is in construction and remodeling, was the sole architect and builder of the shack. The metal cabinets lining the rustic kitchen determined the size of the

shack, Knowles said. Because the cabinets could not be changed, the kitchen had to be built around them. A repurposed Coca-Cola cooler serves as a refrigerator, and a rustic concrete counter, fashioned by Knowles, lends plenty of space for food preparation. Swimming pool locker baskets, a blast from the past, make a perfect catch-all storage unit in the kitchen.

Continued on page 6


“Some of the other things ... guys have them and their wives won’t let them hang them up.” Larry Knowles, Hays

“We keep koozies in there, coffee and crud,” Knowles said. “And hot cocoa and there’s the makings for s’mores.” Standing in the middle of the rough-hewn living room, Knowles pointed out some of its most notable

features and how they came to be in his possession. There’s flooring from old houses in La Crosse, beadboard from two old farmhouses, stone from Lewis Field Stadium and trim work from the dump.

Continued on page 8

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“Somebody gave me the Budweiser lamp,” he said. “I shot the deer. “Some of the other things … guys have them and their wives won’t let them hang them up.” So they end up in the man shack. A Heatilator firebox with stone facade serves as focal point of the shack. Gracing the unit, “Man Shack 2007,” in black lettering commemorates the party dwelling’s birthdate. The bathroom, with its washtub sink and washboard medicine cabinet, features the classic work, “The Thinker.” A shower and toilet help provide all the necessary comforts of home. Above the kitchen, a sleeping loft can be accessed with a ladder. A unique pulley, which came from Knowles’ grandmother’s wishing well, assists with raising and lowering the ladder. Finding just the right artifact for the man shack often has been a matter of Knowles “keeping an eye open,” he said. 8 • OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2012

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“I had too much stuff in the barn, and my wife said, ‘you need to do something with that or throw it all away, so....’” he said, pointing around the shack, non-verbally communicating the fact he had not thrown anything away. The shack serves a myraid of purposes. The getaway spot has been used for Sunday coffee and rolls or a crockpot of chili on a cold winter day. A favorite hang-out for Knowles and his friends, the shack and its outdoor party area also provides space for club functions, an annual trout roundup and haircut parties. “A lot of Friday evenings, people just show up and we cook stuff on the grill,” Knowles said. “It’s easy. “It’s just a neat little place,” he said, as he looked out over the pond in front of the shack. “People come out here and say it’s just so relaxing, so calming. “No stress.” OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2012 • 9


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Hooked on a view

Family’s faith on display in spacious country home


crucifix just inside the front door is a symbol of their strong religious faith. The open space within displays a welcome feeling Bill and Brenda Klaus were looking for when they decided to build a home in the country. The 3,000-square-foot house plus a full basement located a mile and a half northeast of Hays is built on a rock foundation, also somewhat symbolic of their faith that is built on the strong foundation of the Roman Catholic Church. “I sit here in the mornings and look out the window and say my prayers,” Brenda said while resting comfortably on one of the leather couches in front of their living room fireplace. “I wear my faith on my sleeve, and I feel good about it.”

The Klauses — parents of three children, one grown and out of the house, one in college and the youngest in eighth grade — were looking for a home in the country a few years ago when Bill heard of an 80-acre tract of land for sale. story by “Bill came home Diane Gasper-O’Brien and told me he wanted photography by to buy a piece of farmChelsy Lueth ground,” said Brenda, who wasn’t so sure at first. “He told me I had to see it. “He brought me out here and parked on this hill and that’s when we decided it would be the perfect place for a home.”

At home IN hays



Brenda took one look at the surroundings, which include a beautiful view of Hays, and she was hooked. The first building completed on the land was a large machine shed in which Bill built a one-bedroom apartment with a kitchen and laundry area with the idea of having more room when family members from out of town visited. But when the Klauses’ house in town sold sooner than they expected, they moved their family to the apartment while their new home was being completed. “I asked Brenda, ‘Why are we building this house? This works,’ ” Bill said of the apartment that also features a loft that can be used as a recreation/living room or another bedroom. Brenda rolled her eyes and laughed. “This is definitely bigger (than the apartment), but we wanted our home to be a comfortable space for all who come to visit,” she said. 14 • OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2012

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“We wanted a home that looked like it belonged in the country, not in the country club.” Bill agreed. “We wanted a nice place to live in the country,” he said. “But not a show place.” The home still has plenty to show. From the black granite countertops to the natural hickory wood floors and travertine stone tile floors to a back deck with 18 steps from top to bottom, “oohs” and “ahs” can be heard from visitors during their first tour of the home. About halfway down the steps, there is a landing with a hot tub. While there is more than plenty of room for their family and visitors, the Klauses made some adjustments while they were planning the design of their home. “We were going to do a two-story (house),” Brenda said. “But then we thought, ‘Why? This is plenty of room.’ ” Brenda had her heart set on dark wooden floors, but Bill talked her out of the idea, pointing out they lived on a white rock road. The home also boasts arches in almost every entryway as well as arched niches. There was one area Brenda refused to budge on, though. “I said, ‘You will not downsize my pantry,’ ” she said, opening the door to a large walk-in pantry with multiple shelves. An office just inside the front door sits behind a pair of stained glass doors. The outside of the home, made with limestone and brick, features rock landscaping to set off a large front driveway/parkway, and the back deck lays way to a view that includes wildlife such as deer, turkeys, pheasants and even a baby coyote or two. “I love sitting on the back deck,” Brenda said. “Really peaceful. It’s serene. It’s comfortable.” Much like the way people feel when they walk through the front door. 15 • OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2012

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Oct/Nov Das Haus  
Oct/Nov Das Haus  

The Hays Daily News' home magazine featuring picturesque country living, a local man's "man cave" and many local services for homeowners in...