Home is where the heart is, and this newly built home is the perfect place for a family to put down roots. It embraces a style that is both livable and refined with contemporary silhouettes and family-friendly sensibilities.

And that matters with three active children — a 10-year-old and 6-year-old twins — and a Labradoodle named Lulu running around the house.

“I wanted our home to be welcoming and have rooms we actually live in and use. It should be sparkling and lovely, but hold up to lots of dirty feet and a few balls rolling around the floor,” the homeowner notes.

She enlisted the expertise of interior designer Alex Von Ahsen from Phelan’s in Cedar Rapids. “I didn’t give him much to go on except I like neutral colors, durable fabrics, and I didn’t want dark colors and heavy furnishings.”

The homeowner also takes time mulling over choices. “It took me over a year to purchase a sofa. I know what I like and don’t like,” she says. “Alex was great to work with, and the look he achieved is fresh and current. I love the way it all flows together.”

Von Ahsen spent time getting to know his client’s personality and style and guiding her through the process of selecting furnishings, finishes, fabrics, lighting fixtures, accessories and a myriad of other details.

“It was a fun collaboration to find those key pieces and elements. She’d look on her own and send me ideas, and sometimes we were very ‘in the moment’ when she would find something she liked,” says Von Ahsen.

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Reclaimed barn wood frames the open-concept living area, creating a visual separation from the kitchen and dining spaces. A beam also is used as a mantel over the soft white brick fireplace. The vaulted, car-sided ceiling has another beam running down the center, giving the great room an organic appeal.

Von Ahsen chose high-performance, durable fabric for matching 97-inch channeled-back Norwalk sofas arranged at right angles. Nailhead trim adds a fashionable finishing touch.

The distressed leather cocktail ottoman does double-duty as a coffee table and game board. Cozy wingback chairs have double nailhead trim for interest, accented by a small, cloverleaf-shaped ottoman.

“The height of these chairs has aesthetic appeal from all angles, so they can be used anywhere in the room,” says Von Ahsen. Underfoot is a beautifully soft, custom-sized herringbone area rug from Stanton.

The 72-inch round wood table and chairs carry that organic aesthetic into the dining room. The sun room is a favorite gathering place with its Sunbrella-clad sectional sofa and aqua accents. A cork drum cocktail table and a side chair with hexagonal turnings and loose cushion and back pillow are casually elegant pieces.

Von Ahsen describes the home office as a “first-impression space” because of its proximity to the home’s entry. “The kids also use the computer here, so we thought it would be fun to play with the vibe – nice, clean lines for the furnishings and a faux cowhide rug to shake it up.”

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