Text | Melody Parker
Images | Brandon Pollock
French country doesn’t live here anymore.
The previous homeowner’s love affair with the style was perfectly done, but just didn’t suit this family with three kids, a dog, busy careers and hectic lifestyles. More than that, it didn’t go with the exterior 1960’s vibe.
“It spoke to me. I remember when I was 12 or 13, I’d see this house and think ‘I want to live there one day.’ But the inside didn’t match the outside. We took it down to the studs and managed to lived through it,” she says, laughing. “We worked our way from room to room after we saw the possibilities.”
The home has been reborn as a California contemporary in an established Iowa neighborhood. A new roof, garage, breezeway and covered deck breathed new life into the exterior. Indoors, walls came down, spaces were reconfigured and finishes updated from country style to modern day luxury living.
Rob Schuerman of Schuerman Homes did the remodeling and construction project, and Kathy Flack, ASID, worked with the homeowners to reinvent the kitchen, family room, children’s bedrooms and bath before totally transforming the master suite in a 21st century spa.
“When you step through the doors, you’re in a very calming and serene atmosphere. It’s completely luxurious, but the color scheme is relaxing in gray and neutral tones,” says Flack of Flack Interior Design Associates, a division of Simpson Furniture.
In the bedroom, Flack designed the custom platform bed, dressed in crisp linens. The headboard is upholstered in a woven fabric in a whisper of teal shot through with silver metallic thread.
A matching pair of Casby pendant lights by Candice Olson offer a cascade of glass beading with the illusion of floating chocolate shades above elevated nightstands flanking the bed. Large swivel chairs from Theo Coggin in metallic leather are staged for the room’s picturesque views, and the carpet is thickly textured over heated floors. A private three-season porch adds to the feeling of a retreat.
The master bathroom proved challenging, Flack notes. “A lot of work had to be done and plumbers brought in to see what would work. We designed it around the tub and shower because it needed to fit into that footprint and how it had to function, the amount of storage the homeowner wanted and what would fit where.”
Vanities are eco-sensitive Bellmont custom cabinetry in cherry with a dramatic truffle finish and topped by opaque glass counters. Decolav sinks in silver nickel gleam like jewelry. There’s no wasted space here. Cabinets conceal a wealth of storage space, and in one niche is a coffee bar, small fridge and TV that can be viewed from the tub.
Massive 24 by 24 inch metallic brown-bronze floor tiles glazed in silver also encase the square tub. The tub’s decking is Cambrian cherry stone quartz as counterpoint to the chic shower. Surrounded on two sides by glass, the shower measures 6 1/2 by 6 feet. Inside, metallic tiles are accented by a mix of mosaic borders, multiple shower heads and body sprays. A funky chandelier adds a final fillip of high style.
Flack also joined Schuerman on reworking the kitchen and family room, tweaking the design and helping the homeowners wade through cabinet and door styles, finishes and details such as the metallic porcelain floor tiles. Espresso cabinets with glass fronts and drawers lend an industrial flair, and the eight-burner Viking stove and other appliances are arranged for how a cook works in the kitchen. Three dishwashers, a beverage center and dining room make the home ideal for entertaining.
The home’s architectural angles inspired the custom area rug design for the family room. Its orange and avocado swirls reference the ‘60s, but teal and browns fast-forward into the future. The curved sofa and leather bucket swivel chairs in deep charcoals ground the space.