We first introduced you to this rural Iowa remodel in Project in Progress: Bringing Elements of a Beautiful Landscape Indoors. Previous to the remodel, the focus was on the beautiful surrounding landscape, but not so much on the house. Now that we’ve brought the beauty of the outdoors indoors, we’re thrilled to reveal the final results of this rural Iowa retreat!
A Farmstead for Refuge & Rescue
Though filled with unknowns and challenges, I always admire when a client puts recycling as a top priority on a project. And these country dwellers were no exception. Creating a casual and relaxed environment for them and their rescue animals, while repurposing as many elements as possible, was our task. And nearly every aspect of this remodel has some history attached to it. Even the new pet friendly, faux-wood tile flooring from Italy has quite a backstory come to think of it. For tile, it was a relatively long lead time of 90-120 days. Coupled with the fact that nearly the entire country takes August off for vacation, it took over 4 months to reach our shores. But despite the lengthy lead time, as you can see, it was well worth the wait.
“Upcycling” – The Tricks of the Trade
Presenting a set of drawings to our field artisans and subcontractors with notes such as ‘materials tbd’ prompted interesting responses while figuring estimates and timelines. Luckily the Silent Rivers team and extended family are an open-minded and creative bunch who were excited to take on this remodel. “Upcycling” is the practice of reusing discarded materials to create something useful or of beauty. We utilized upcycling throughout this project. Between truckloads of barn siding, lumber and old doors that the client brought up from a relative in Kansas and some wise use of local bartering, we measured the materials at-hand and set out to create this rural retreat.
Worn & Weathered Details
Using aged salvaged materials can make for unique details and in most cases, letting the materials lead the design can bring the most unexpected, yet most pleasing results. In this project we had many pleasant surprises. For example, we knew we were going to use an old barn door on the wall between the main space and the mudroom, but what that door looked like and even its size was a mystery until the client returned from digging around in an old warehouse in Kansas. The arched shape of the island (shown in the first image and below) was drawn to incorporate ribbed metal silo siding. The new “old” railing (below) looks like a farm-style fence. All are elements that came to fruition once we had the materials in hand.
With part ingenuity, part willingness and a little luck, we delivered on the client’s desires for upcycling and provided them with a casual, comfortable, no-fuss space to entertain, rehabilitate their rescue animals and relax. And the word is they ‘love it!’