House for Sale!

If you know of anyone who is looking for a house in Johnston, IA area, we are trusting God to bring a buyer for our home in the next few weeks. The pricing is based on area homes sale price per square foot, not a perfect measure but a good Realtor recommended place to start.

Please let us know if you or someone you know is interested!  |  (515) 661-4088

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Open floor plan
Meticulously maintained
Move‐in ready
3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms
Custom Built Geothermal energy efficient home
Hand scraped Hardwood flooring in Great Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, Sunroom, Hall and Master
Nine foot ceilings through‐out
Spacious Kitchen features concrete glass countertops, center island, skylight, and soft close cabinets
Warm and inviting Sunroom located off of Kitchen that walks out to a large patio
Three sided wood burning fireplace
Private Master retreat with a large en suite and custom built‐ins in the expansive walk‐in closet
Spacious unfinished basement boasts nine foot ceilings and a rough in for a 3rd Bath, 1740 SF
Oversized windows allow for an ample amount of natural lighting
Tons of storage space
Oversized 2 1/2 car garage
Professionally designed landscaping
Located on a quiet cul‐de‐sac in a family friendly neighborhood
Maximum insulation values in attic and walls (R39/R20)
Corobond spray closed‐cell insulation in all exterior walls
Cement Fiber Board siding
Heat recovery ventilation system
Pre‐wired for surround sound in Great Room
Total finished ‐ approx. 1,860sq. ft.

Owner will pay Buyer’s Agent commission to any Realtor that brings a buyer

Household life and balance…?

Balance? I’m not sure that gets achieved daily in my world, but maybe over the long run.

Each day is a new adventure as school is out and both Tim and I are in the house together all day. Finding new rhythm to each getting our own work done – job hunting and design respectfully, helping each other in our respective work, and then working on house projects together. As we work to accomplish the to-do list and be productive in the waiting process (seeing what job will open for Tim in the fall), we are enjoying time together and time with our little guy.

The daily routine of the house seems to fluctuate and I almost find myself checking to see what day it is. The fall and spring activities have all reached their summer break and summer weddings are in full swing with programs, place cards, gift boxes, guestbooks, and favors to be designed. Small businesses are in need of logos and business cards. And the basement that was nearly finished… well, we organized all of the finished the living areas which means – I am still working on the basement!

Life is always full of change.

It is in the moments of change or waiting for direction that I remember the value of the day and God’s direction in the past. From living in Rockford, IL to Chicago to moving to Des Moines, IA there is no possible means that I could have planned my life. But taking steps to follow God one day at a time has led to a life so rich and full that I am glad my plans and thoughts rarely seem to “workout” in the way that I thought they would.

Balance is found when I let go and walk slowly… maybe today I’ll just take a few minutes at a time. God can handle the day, the week, and the next month quite well.

Where did 4 weeks go?

Do you ever have moments in life when the time just seems to fly until you realize all of the little things are really adding up and begging to be completed? This realization summed up my weekend and then as I start this post and I see how long it has been since I updated… well I was not exaggerating the fact that weeks have somehow slipped by!

I awoke Saturday to this thought when I walked in the kitchen and realized my typical vacuuming was not even going to come close to cleaning the disaster of the floor. It needed washed. The highchair needed scrubbed, not wiped down. And as for laundry… well 4 baskets of clean clothes are great, but it is much better to find clothes that have been folded in a drawer not dug through in a pile and left for another day.

In the world of “The Organization Project”: It’s April… my deadline to have the 2nd bedroom completed. Well, we are at least close. It is cleared out and the baby stuff from Uriah’s room has found a home in the closet shelves for the next little one to make use of. The crib is in the room and I have to blank pieces of wood awaiting their respective photos. So the fun stuff is yet to come, but the canvas has been readied! Uriah wanted to give you a tour of his baby brother’s room…

BabyRoom1 BabyRoom2

The basement. Organized piles abound (yes, these are generally organized and sorted!). Now I just need to put everything into a usable easy to access and return-to-their-place-when-finished location on the shelves. And finish moving a few garage sale items up and out. I think we will be there in the next couple of weeks… at least I am optimistic. Then on to adding color and laying down the mix-n-match carpet squares that are leftover samples from architecture firms.


Lastly, I have found a way to include the last untouched closet in the house in this organization project. The games in the back closet are not accessible… so down to the basement they go to find a home on an open shelf and add a little more interest to the unfinished space. Besides who wants one closet left a mess at this point in the game! (Do you like the cheesy pun!)


Until the next entry and update in the process…

Organization Part 1

Organization Part 2

Organizing… the basement?

Oh dear! How can one thought of organizing the basement lead to nearly every room in the house…

In July, I had my dad help me re-arrange our speakers so that the cabinets would be freed to use in our master bedroom. LivingRm-PreJuly The Living Room is now not quite as heavy looking, and I can now finish the look by adding wood to the ceiling and behind the TV… but that is another story and another post. And I’m not pulling that project into this process!

LivingRm-PostJuly The cabinets moved to our master bedroom, and were underutilized there for the past few months. In trying to figure how the office and play room in the basement is going to look, I realized I would most definitely need space to put office supplies, papers for printing, work files, etc. So, I re-organized our bedroom closet and added a shelf unit that was under-utilized in the garage (and easily replaced out there with construction lumber as needed). This allowed me to move the ladder shelf from the new baby’s room (no longer a safe location for that anyway – small children and ladder shelves – need I say more!) to our master bedroom. LadderShelf

With our master closet organized, I had a few dvd’s that needed a new home. There is a closet that divides our living room and kitchen – it was a disaster (yes, my whole house can fall under the disaster heading most of the time). I re-arranged and cleaned this closet out which created an empty shelf needed for the DVD’s. It is also more convenient to have these right next to the room you view them.

Pantry  And this new arrangement of our closet, the ladder shelf, and the kitchen closet led to two free cabinets to use in the basement. Extra bonus! They are cabinets that I really like the look of which aids in the final enjoyment of the basement space, plus they have adequate room for everything I need to store. My husband and brother-in-law graciously hauled them to basement to join the chaos that is yet awaiting organization.


The second bedroom organization and clean-out can now be underway. A pile of baby stuff that my toddler no longer needs has left his room and is piled in the corner of the soon-to-be nursery. The papers and office items in the closet have begun to be sorted. If I ever needed motivation to go to an electronic filing system for bills, bank statements, and other miscellaneous files  – this is it! The photo below is my stack of papers to shred. How does time go so quickly and old statements pile up so high!


So, there is the progress update! Nothing very creative as of yet! Getting through the mess of junk reminds me of how much I do not need and helps me to reject thoughts of wanting anything more to add to the pile. So, although the process is slow… in the end perhaps I will have learned an important lesson about the worthlessness of stuff and have a house that is, at least temporarily, not a disaster! : )

Part 1 – The Organizational Project


What’s the best way to organize?

Especially when the are looks more like a condemned dump site (or close enough to it!)…

Get excited about it! What do you want to do with the space, the time saved not hunting for things, the money saved not re-buying things you already own! What other reason make you excited to organize?

I want to create a room for our second child, an office where everything is organized and TOGETHER in one space, and a kids play area that has room to run.

That chore is going to require some organization and rearranging of furniture. I know that many experts say to try to find new pieces or organization systems to help you get excited and create a new system, but my goal is the opposite. I do not want to buy any new pieces. I want to reutilize what I have, organize, sort, throw!

I have decided a few things. The new office/play area is going to be in the unfinished basement, but…

  • I want to WANT to go down there.
  • I want my son to LOVE playing down there.
  • I do not want to feel like I am in a dungeon. : )

And the random pieces of wood in my basement and garage, they are going to be re-purposed for good!

The goal is to be finished with the basement by the end of April and the second bedroom by the end of May. So, hold on because weekly updates are going to be coming. I’m sure some weeks will be more productive than others. Watch as ideas unfold and the progress becomes a finished project. Oh boy here we go!

I’ll post pictures when there is progress… but right now I’m not willing to show my complete chaos (in the end I’ll post before pics)! : )

Telling Your Story – Part 3 of 3

All of your favorites pieces are in place. You have everything narrowed for one space. Start putting the pieces together!

1. Start with your base canvas. In most spaces this is the wall, the background for your design.

  • Paint, wallpaper or otherwise set the stage! (Hint: Lowes sells sample jars of paint that cover 3 sq. ft. of wall for under $4 – this is a great way to play with color and not break the budget.)
    • Wallpaper should sit with your “pieces for the room” collected last week just to be certain you like the pattern and colors together.
  • If you have settled on a color to make you whole space “pop”! Paint away. Playing with color on your walls is a fun way to try something new.
    • If you are fearful of color but want to add more to your space, then try just one wall or space and then live with it for a little bit.
    • You can also get inventive and just put your color on the ceiling and leave your walls neutral… this creates a whole other scenario almost in need of its own post at another date, but the ceiling can be of interest to a room – consider the Sistine Chapel! : )
  • If your items are going to be the main focus and bring color then pick a neutral you like. If the room is enclosed, don’t stress about coordinating with the whole space. But, if the area is connected to everything go back to your full list of favorite colors and pick a neutral that you like with all of them.
  • If you are considering an accent wall of pattern or color consider the following:
    • Are you placing one of your domineering pieces on this wall – open storage, artwork, or other unique item? If so do you want this focal wall color to contrast or blend with the pieces?
    • Are all of the other walls going to contrast or compliment the accent wall – they could be just a different shade or finish of the same color or they could be significantly different. i.e. a bright blue accent wall with three surrounding bright orange walls.
  • One other thought… as if you needed more! Remember that creativity often takes more then one attempt – try something! And then rearrange! If you are simply stumped unable to select color without fearing the results, then find a friend you will listen to you and help you to select colors that reflect you and who can visualize the end result. Or call me! I’d love to help you!

2. Add the items necessary for the function of the room. 

  • If the necessities are getting cluttered, find items that match or place them in single color matching baskets to reduce the look of clutter.
  • Contrasting that, if the necessities are taking the creativity out of the room, find complementary baskets, shelves, etc. and reduce the sameness with coordinated containers.
  • If you are short on space do not forget to use the space on the back of the door (room & cabinets) use hooks or baskets based on your organizational style. Simple organization tips that I learned from my friend Shari Hudson, previous owner of Organized by Design, are invaluable to making space function well.

3. Add the fun theme items. 

  • Likely these are your focal pieces, but there may be little spaces where your accent pieces simply brighten up full book shelves or add character.
  • This final step should be one of the most fun parts! It may even be the most interchangeable part of your room! Adding room to switch out for seasons, moods, or a simple update just because!

There are literally millions of ways to put things together! But start with your likes, your tastes, and your personality! Express your creativity and enjoy the process! For more information or for help to start your interior design process, please feel free to contact me.

Make your space yours!

Designing – One Area at a Time

With an area or room selected in your house… start planning your design!

Take your big picture answer to the original three questions:

  • What are your favorite colors?
  • What do you want people to feel when they walk in your home?
  • What things do you have that you want to showcase – things you “love” or things that are just uniquely you?

And complete the following three steps for the first area in your home.

1.  Narrow the answers for your selected area.

For example, in my house I like bright orange, bright sky color blue, dark olive green, gray, crayon red, and yellow. But I also want my house to be a place where a person can feel calm in the midst of whatever life may throw at them. And we like some quirky things between my husband and I – a pop art robot, James Bond lithographs, black & white photography (black & white just about anything!).

But in one spot everything may be overwhelming – not calming!

I narrowed them for our second bathroom. (In real estate I learned that the two rooms that make the biggest impression on a person are the kitchen & the bathroom. So although, the living room/dining room is where people spend the most time in our house, the kitchen looking decent makes people comfortable to eat the food and the bathroom being clean reassures them that despite the toys and mess the house really is clean and you really are welcome!)

So, the second bathroom was the first finished room in our house. The following are my answers narrowed down for the particular space – the second bath.

  • Color – yellow & gray
  • Feel – cheerful, welcoming, clean
  • Unique items – duck (because I think every bath needs one!) and paris b/w photos

The “feeling” of the room helped to determine the colors. Yellow is cheerful! And I associated black/white (gray) with clean clear space. What colors do you associate with the feel you want to portray? Not sure if you associate color with feeling… review your wardrobe choice or what your ideal choice would be. If you are going to host an event what are your favorite pieces to wear? What color are they? If you are in a happy mood, what’s your favorite color choice? There is also scientific bases for emotions provoked by color, but try to start with your choice and reactions to color

The unique items helped to develop a design for the room. The duck is fun and playful; the Paris b/w photos of the Eiffel Tower are more sophisticated. Combining these are ideas lead to the theme of the room.

2.  Begin to create with your pieces! Use the creativity you have – you do have it! – to start putting things together.

  • What has to be in the space for function? Are these items going to be stored open or closed?
  • What is going to be the most colorful piece in the room? The walls, a large drape or piece of artwork?
  • Is there a pattern that you like or theme from one of your unique pieces that you want to develop?
  • Are there anythings that you need to buy for function within the room?

3. Put everything together in the space or by the area where you are going to use it. You are not assembling or setting up  just viewing the “pile” of selected pieces all together. We’ll assemble, design, and finish it after we have sorted and finalized everything.

  • What item is the most domineering? What stands out the most? This item, color will be the focal point so decide if you really like it well enough to see it as the prominent item or color every time?
  • If there are multiple things that stand out, do they balance each other? Or do you need to narrow it down and leave something out?
    • In general, start with fewer bold items and then keep adding. It is easier to add the figure out what to take away – have you ever gone through the collection of stuff in your storage space! Somehow it accumulates well.

Ok.. Complete these three steps slowly. Give yourself at least a couple days or for a larger or prominent space do not be afraid to take a couple weeks to narrow your answers and gather your unique pieces. Next week will put it all together!

Telling A Story – Part 2

Your home becomes the only place in the world where visitors get a visual glimpse into your world. Since most of us do not live in magazine worlds… although I often wish for the Jetson’s Rosie and the automatic Dresser… our home needs to be us and not someone’s idea of the current ideal.

People can pick up a magazine anywhere, but they can only see your family personality at your house – so enjoy the process and don’t feel pressured by what you find in stores and books.

Did you answer your questions!

  • What are your favorite colors?
  • What do you want people to feel when they walk in your home?
  • What things do you have that you want to showcase – things you “love” or things that are just uniquely you?

NEXT STEP – Where to begin:

  • Pick a starting point – Decorating everything – the entire interior space now!
    • Doable, but I would recommend getting someone to at least give you good advice and walk with you through the process. And be prepared to either spend lots of time or hire some aspects to be completed by professionals.
    • I have assisted people whose home was either destroyed through disaster or have interior design within their construction budget and everything has to be done now, upfront.
    • If this is you, feel free to contact me. I would love to help you!
  • Pick a starting point – Already in an existing space.
    • I like to prioritize my top three-four areas that I want to focus on for three reasons:
      • 1. I sometimes need time to finish processing an idea, so I know what my secondary priorities are and I can work to create each space a little at a time.
      • 2. I enjoy creating design and art in my house, but if I start adding too many areas and ideas all at once – it is not creating it’s a to-do list… I have enough to-do’s already!
      • 3. I can create, save, and budget well for small portions. Larger items that may need more time can be put on hold, while  I can still move on to smaller items and areas to work on for a bit.

What are your top three areas? An area can be as small as a section of one wall or as big as one room.

Pick one and let’s begin!

Telling a Story

Everyone has a story to tell weaved together through unique likes, personality and experience. The place that most of us want to showcase our story visually is in our house.

I have had the privilege of helping several people select colors and design for their home. It is a fun and yet sometimes overwhelming journey! I am going to attempt a blog series on ways to make your home yours… and not just a replicate of what is currently popular. 

Today’s theme then is start with questions!

  • What are your favorite colors?
  • What do you want people to feel when they walk in your home?
  • What things do you have that you want to showcase – things you “love” or things that are just uniquely you?

As you answer these questions you will have the starting point for your design. A place that will feel comfortable to you and invite people to see a small part of who you are when they enter. Try to answer the questions slowly and over a few days time at a minimum. Then when you have a list for each question, pick your top two to three in each category and prioritize the rest. We will start with this list next week!