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Doubly Designed to Dazzle

Inside the festive Bruner-Koenig home



 



It’s one thing to have a creative, interior design genius in the household, but when there are two, the best possible scenario is that they share the same creative vision. Or at least a love of excess. Of course, genius is not a word to bandy about lightly, although make no mistake: There’s no bandying here.
 

Richard Bruner and Michael Koenig live in a 115-year-old farmhouse in the middle of Oklahoma City’s historic Gatewood neighborhood. There is no question that the house itself loves the care and attention the couple has lavished on it since taking ownership 15 years ago. It is resplendent, inside and out.

Bruner is the manager of the beautiful gift shop at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and Koenig is the visuals manager at Macy’s. The pair met when they were both working as store designers for Foley’s, traveling the country to open new stores. Bruner also served as a designer for Ralph Lauren, ensuring that the company’s boutiques within larger department stores were stylishly aligned with the posh label’s brand identity.

“We moved to Oklahoma City from Houston in 2000, and actually lived in a house across the street from our house,” Bruner says. “It was vacant, and in terrible shape – just horrible. There were squatters living in it, and at one point we looked out and one of the squatters’ dogs was on the roof. It had actually been condemned.”

 


(above)


In the dining room, a stretched canvas reproduction of the classical painting, “The Intervention of the Sabine Women,” by Jacques-Louis David (1799), has been applied to an entire wall. The hand-painted ceiling was done by Koenig and Bruner, and is a work in progress.
 


 

Koenig, however, kept watch on the house, and began to form an attachment to it. “I’d go over and look around, and then I’d go look again. Richard went with me and immediately said, ‘No, I want to travel and go to Europe, I don’t want a money pit.’ Well, then we found out that our landlords at the time actually owned the house, and we told them we wanted to buy it. They said, ‘No, you don’t,’ but we did. It took a while, but eventually we got the house, and immediately started working on it.”

The first chores were to remove the group of old sofas that filled the dining room, and to begin ridding the house of vermin. “We trapped 27 mice in two hours,” Bruner says. “Then we started painting. Michael had actually started painting before the deal closed on the house, and he was using Ralph Lauren paint! I said, ‘What if we don’t get the house?’ And he said, ‘Well, the house needed it anyway.’”  

 


(above)

 
Thanksgiving is a lavish affair in this household, as are Tuesday evening cocktails, Easter brunch or even a morning cup of coffee. The couple has named their home “Allendale,” which combines their middle names.

 


 

The pair moved in right away and began work. They moved in the spring, and made it through an Oklahoma summer with no central air. By fall, there was of course a distinct chill in the air, and the need to install central heat and air reached its zenith. Before that could happen, the home’s ancient, rag-tag electrical system had to be evaluated and overhauled.

“Our basement flooded around that time,” Koenig says. “There were 6,000 gallons of water in the basement, and I was down there working in the water, and I realized as I was standing there that the electricity was all located in the basement. Where I was standing knee-deep in water.” To add another wrinkle, the original electrical system was gas-powered, so when it was finally turned on, it had to be immediately turned off because gas was literally coming out of every outlet.

Nowadays, the home is the nucleus of the Bruner-Koenig friend group, whose membership hails from around the country and often descends on this house en masse. The couple loves that their home has become such a connection point for so many. “Everyone loves being here,” Koenig says. “We’ve made the best memories here.”

As many as 15 can easily stay in the spacious, well-appointed home, and sometimes it’s even more than that. “We reserve hotel rooms for people, at wonderful places like 21c, but they never stay in them. Their luggage does, but they don’t,” Bruner says, laughing.


► A Closer Look
 

As you can tell, this home offers visitors and viewers a lot to take in visually – see an expanded gallery of images below.

 

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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

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Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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This year will mark the eighth time the John F. Kennedy Awards have been celebrated, honoring individuals making a significant contribution to Oklahoma, its communities and its people, while paying...

Cost: $300

Where:
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
1 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
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Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
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Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
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Telephone: 405.702.7755
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A fabulous art auction to raise money to help support Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO.

Cost: $100

Where:
CHK|Central Boathouse
732 Riversport Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
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Sponsor: Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO
Telephone: 405.974.3791
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The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
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Join supporters in communities across the nation for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This family-friendly event raises funds to support the...

Cost: $10 for adults or children six and older

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Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive
Oklahoma City , OK  73116
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Telephone: 405.403.7762
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Let’s end childhood cancer. Together! This September, supporters across the country will unite to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, an exciting, family-friendly...

Cost: $10 for Registration

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
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Sponsor: ALSAC St. Jude Oklahoma City
Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

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