The kitchen is the heart of a home. It’s where families gather nightly for meals, where kids do their homework and family and friends gather to break bread together and share stories and laughter.

For these homeowners, the farmhouse kitchen in their newly built home is the central gathering place for their four children and large families. They willingly sacrificed additional space in the living room and bedrooms on their floor plan to have the big, open and easy-flow kitchen of their dreams.

Shortly after moving in November, the family played host to their families’ Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings, and the kitchen more than proved itself. “Everyone gathered in the kitchen around the island, and there was plenty of room to cook and serve food,” she says.

She also got her wished-for mudroom, for the trappings of four children ages 12, 10, 7 and 5 and two adults, and a large walk-in pantry with plenty of storage space for slow cookers, platters and occasionally used kitchen appliances. A beverage fridge is tucked under one set of pantry cabinets so little hands can help themselves to water and juice boxes.

The Iowa countryside with views from all directions also suits the family. “We fell in love with the land. It was a diamond in the rough,” she says. “There was a house on the property we thought about renovating, but there had been several fires in the house and problems with the foundation, so we tore it down.”

That made room for Paul Dane Construction to build the 4,600-square-foot farmhouse that reflects the homeowners’ love for four-square architecture and broad, welcoming porches. In addition, there’s a stocked pond for the kids to fish in on the 17-acre property.

“We’re very happy with what Paul built for us. He is strict about the materials and people he uses, and he only uses the best. And that shows,” says the homeowner.

With its warm, earthy tones of terra cotta and sage green and slightly rustic decor, the home’s interiors have a masculine, comfortable and homey feeling. Natural light floods through many tall windows and gleams across Coretec Muir Oak floors, a low-luster gray-toned planking, that flow throughout the main level.

“The floors are kid proof, pet proof and water proof, which is ideal,” says the homeowner, who worked with Tara Bergmann at 2 Guys Interior Focus in Waverly. “She made it so easy for me, and it’s nice to work with someone who shared my ideas.”

Although the dining area has a large table that seats six, custom-built by Jeremy Buhr of Waverly’s The Refinery, most weeknight dinners are eaten at the island. A big slab of crema typhoon granite dresses the large island and counter tops, complimenting the custom walnut-stained, solid hickory cabinetry by Bob Lang. Behind the kitchen counter, the backsplash is striking Jeffery Court Dias Brick.

Rustic touches include Edison-style pendants over the island, and an unusual lighting fixture that was a DIY project involving a large beam from an old stable, a part of a harness and Edison lights. 

A large shower is the focal point in the master suite. The Maxx free-standing soaker tub is the perfect place for unwinding at the end of a hectic day for mom, but the large shower tiled in a wood-look tiles laid diagonally and an inlaid pebble floor. The bath’s floor is Mesa Stone, an Armstrong LVT color.

Children chose their own color schemes for their bedrooms . The finished lower level provides plenty of space for hanging out and entertaining.