Creating a Peaceful Retreat
Article by Jane Claspy Nesmith
Photography by Justin Fox
Surrounded by meadows and leafy woodlands, overlooking a private 17-acre lake, this stunning Arts and Crafts-inspired summer home built by Jim Sattler Custom Homes offers the perfect retreat for a busy family looking for relaxation and fun. Designed to showcase the family’s love of antiques, it also provides a warm welcome to family and guests year-round.
A long driveway leads from a rural road up to the home’s inviting covered front porch. With its two-story construction and peaked roofline, even from the outside this home evokes an earlier era. Step inside, and the warm woods on the floors (weathered pine) and trim (stained cherry) create a cozy feeling. Just past the entryway is a gathering area with a rustic wood table and chairs, perfect for an informal meal.
Step into the great room, and the feeling goes from cozy to amazing. The vaulted v-cut painted wood ceiling with its stained cherry beams soars to 23 feet. Windows all along the back of the home let in stunning views of the private lake that is surrounded by trees. French doors lead out to a huge deck overlooking the lake. Dormer windows along the sloping sides of the ceiling let in more light--remote-control shades allow the family to regulate how much--and screens on the lower windows allow them to let in fresh breezes.
Although the breathtaking view out the back windows is a scene-stealer, the great room also has another focal point, a large stone fireplace in the sitting area. Flanked by low custom cabinets made of quarter-sawn oak and topped by comfortable cushions for seating, the fireplace also features a custom-made cabinet above that hides a large-screen television. Custom-designed tables from Amana have the home’s topography carved into them, a unique and beautiful touch.
The Arts and Crafts style is also evident in the home’s spacious and open kitchen. Here, quarter-sawn oak custom cabinets provide lots of storage space. The backsplash tiles were custom-designed and handmade for this home--oak leaf elements reflect the home’s natural setting. A two-level kitchen island topped with honed granite has space for everyone in the family to sit and eat a quick meal--or sit and visit while enjoying the views out the back. The extra-large soapstone sink gives the kitchen more of the “old house” feel.
Just beyond the kitchen is an old-fashioned sunroom with huge windows on each of the walls; antiques from the family’s collection add a personal touch. On the other side of the living area is a bedroom and full bath.
Many elements in this home evoke another time period, from the antique belt-driven fans--the homeowners purchased them from Sykora Bakery in Cedar Rapids--to the reclaimed registers and push-button light switches. The subway hex tile flooring in the bath also gives a nod to old house living.
Because the homeowners love antiques, Jim Sattler Custom Homes worked with them to use reclaimed materials to enhance the vintage feel. Some windows throughout the home were reclaimed and reused, as was the stairway leading up to the home’s second floor.
The second floor, a loft that’s open to the main floor, is the kids’ room. Here, spacious wood bunk beds provide a great place for the kids to gather with friends for sleep-overs with a camp-feeling. Quilts from the family’s collection cover the beds and add a touch of brightness.
No kid who visits this home will be bored. The beautiful acreage is criss-crossed with trails, and a water slide and an inflatable water trampoline beckon from the cool lake. Of course, there’s also that zip line . . .
But even on cool or rainy days, there’s plenty to do. The lower level of this home is set up as a game room-garage. Play games at the vintage pool table and air hockey table here, and chuckle at the vintage signs from the family’s collection. Another bathroom on this level features furniture’s and fittings the family rescued from a property they owned on Ellis road just days before the 2008 flood.
Just outside the lower level, a spacious patio offers another space for friends and family to gather and enjoy the view. An outdoor shower makes a post-swim clean-up easy.
The lower level is also home to the boat. Garage doors that open to the lakeside make it easy to get the boat in and out of its storage area and onto the lake for water skiing and tubing. Antique lights indicating “port” and “starboard” help guide the boat back after dark.
Even though this is considered a “summer home,” the family uses it year-round. Jim Sattler Custom Homes helped them create a special place that reflects their passions and enhances their lifestyle--and will be a part of their family for years to come.
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