Unique House Promotes Healthy Living
Article by Cindy Hadish
Photography by Justin Fox
Casey Johannes Homes took on the challenge of an uncommon design, resulting in a truly unique two-story home, built to align with natural law and promote health, harmony, peace and abundance.
The three-bedroom, 2-1/2 bath home, located between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City in rural Shueyville, was constructed on Maharishi Vastu ™ architecture principles with an east-facing orientation, exacting dimensions and other special influences.
Another special feature of this home is noticed immediately upon entering the home through the front double-doors. A curved staircase was built off-site to precise specifications in Wisconsin, with the 1,000-pound piece maneuvered through the front door by a crew of eight and positioned into place.
Casey Johannes noted the staircase was among the complex pieces of the home that came together through his team of subcontractors and vendors, along with the homeowners.
“They worked diligently to make this home a reality,” he said of his team, adding that the teamwork between his company and homeowners Tami and Greg Pollari also was crucial.
The couple said they were happy with their choice of Johannes.
“We worked really well together,” Tami said, describing the philosophy behind the build as “open mind and open heart.”
“The complexity of the project was significant,” Greg added, pointing to detailed plans by Fairfield architect Henry Dearborn. “Casey was willing to rise to the occasion.”
Among those complexities were 76 windows, many of which take full advantage of the east-facing orientation, which is said to bring the greatest benefits to the health of its occupants, as the sun’s energy is most nourishing when it is rising, according to maharishivastu.org.
Another Maharishi Vastu principle is in the Brahmasthan, considered the silent core of intelligence, which serves as the home’s center.
The Shueyville home’s Brahmasthan features an inlaid walnut and maple wood design that takes on a 3-dimensional appearance in the flooring, while the space rises nearly three stories to a cupola, free from obstructions and lit from above.
A custom-made stained glass window, created by artist Robert Fassler of Artistic Glass, can be seen both from the Brahmasthan and the master bathroom on the second floor, echoing two windows at the front of the home and in the front doors.
Symmetry also is important to the architectural principles. Among its symmetrical features, the house includes two small screened porches, with ceiling fans and cedar ceilings to provide peaceful spots to relax with morning coffee or evening wine and watch the deer, turkeys and other wildlife outside on the one-acre lot.
With its wide front porch, Tami Pollari describes the home’s style as Craftsman farmhouse.
“It has a great feel,” she said.
The white oak floors provide a warm touch throughout the dining room, living room, office and piano room on the first floor, complemented by olive and mustard tones on the walls, and accented with white trimwork and doors. An east-facing room serves as a quiet spot at the front of the home for a meditative space.
Natural cherry wood cabinetry provides a stunning framework to the Craftsman-style kitchen, with unique green and yellow tile on the walls and quartz counter tops, including on the kitchen island. A spacious pantry and hutch are among the kitchen’s features, with the hutch counter space serving dual-purpose as a buffet.
A breezeway connects the kitchen to the laundry room, just off the entrance from the three-stall garage. A laundry chute from the upstairs bedroom is among the practical features in the laundry room, while a built-in bench provides an equally practical spot to sit and remove shoes in the breezeway.
Upstairs, the second-floor landing offers space for artwork and furniture, along with a linen closet, while a railing in the square hallway provides a balcony feel.
Two guest bedrooms feature built-in window seats with storage space, and the guest bath includes a tub, while the master bedroom connects to a spacious master bathroom with a long, backlit mirror over the double sink vanities and a large double-head shower with niches for shampoo and other toiletries. In-floor heating is especially welcome on cool mornings.
A his-and-her closet provides ample space for dressing, with IKEA storage features and custom built-in window seats; among the many attributes the couple appreciates in their new home.
“The house feels really good to live in,” Tami said. “It’s perfect for us.”
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