Merging Styles – Clean Lined Meets Rustic in This Grimes, Iowa Remodel

Today I have a fun project reveal with before and after photos and floor plans to share with you. I was brought in on this first floor remodel in early 2018 by Des Moines remodeling contractor and home builder Dave Adickes of MCC Focused Building. The clients had moved into the home several years earlier and spent their initial efforts on updating the exterior. For their next major project, they wanted to remodel their very cramped and outdated kitchen and give their fireplace wall a makeover.

Design Priorities

I start every project by getting to know my clients and understanding how they live so we can determine the priorities for the project together. This house is located on a stunning rural property in Grimes, Iowa, which is a northwest suburb of Des Moines.  The clients are avid animal lovers and have dogs, horses, a saucy cat, and even a miniature donkey. I am a huge pushover for clients with pets, so I knew that this was going to be a great project right from the start. They love to cook, bake, and are members of a gourmet supper club that they host on a rotating basis. Aesthetically, the husband preferred a more rustic look while the wife likes clean lines and more transitional or even contemporary pieces. They have a wonderful original art collection.

Priority #1 – Create a well-organized cook’s kitchen with ample countertop space for prep and baking and incporate a beverage fridge for wine storage.

Priority #2 – Open up the first floor as much as possible to maximize natural light and views to the exterior.

Priority #3 – Create dining space for up to twelve.

Priority #4 – Incorporate rustic elements without going overboard on the farmhouse trend.

Priority #5 – Repurpose the unused formal living room.

Priority #6 – Redesign the laundry room and mudroom to create more hanging storage and a bench.

Priority #7 – Update the outdated powder bath.

So you can see we had a lot to accomplish in this one project. In addition, we decided to take on the stairway to the second floor while we had everything torn up.

Before Plan & Photos

This plan shows our starting point for the remodel, and the before photos will help make more sense of how dark and cramped the kitchen and dining area felt. When you enter the house from the front door, you walk right into the stairway and can see through the hall to the family room and kitchen.

A formal living room is on the left, and the dining room is on the right. The powder room and laundry room are accessible through the kitchen (or the garage) at the back of the house.

Kitchen Before

Grimes Iowa Remodel Kitchen Before

The shot above is looking into the kitchen from the family room. There was definitely a lot of wasted space on that wall with the refrigerator.

Grimes Iowa Remodel Kitchen Before

I’m standing in the same spot here but looking back towards the powder room and laundry room. On the floor plan, you can see how congested that area is with three doors all in the same spot with the pantry, powder room, and door from the garage.

Grimes Iowa Remodel Kitchen Before

This photo is looking into the kitchen towards the dining room at the front of the house. On the right, you can see the door under the stairway that leads to the basement. The wall cabinets were much too short for the almost 9′ ceilings, and the layout was completely dysfunctional.

Dining Room Before

Grimes Iowa Remodel Dining Room Before

The photo above is looking into the dining room from the kitchen, and in the photo below, I’m standing in the entryway looking at the kitchen. You can see the funny angled tray ceiling in both photos.

Family Room Fireplace Before

Grimes Iowa Remodel Fireplace Before

I would say that the fireplace in the family room was the design element most out of sync with how the clients wanted their home to feel. They wanted to keep the built-in cabinets along with the angled TV (really no other place to put it) but inject more rustic character into the design.

Formal Living Room & Entry Before

Grimes Iowa Remodel Entry Before

The finishes throughout the house, like the white tile in the entry and kitchen and the honey oak stairs, were dated and needed updating.

Grimes Iowa Remodel Entry Before

Here I was standing just inside the dining room looking through the entryway into the formal living room, and below, I was standing in the family room and looking into the formal living room. My clients rarely used their formal living room, and it was a gathering spot for furniture they had no other place to put. It felt cramped, dark, and purposeless.

Grimes Iowa Remodel Living Room Before

Another view looking towards the family room…

Grimes Iowa Remodel Living Room Before

Powder Bath Before

Grimes Iowa Remodel Powder Bath Before

The powder bath presented a challenge because it serves as a passthrough from the mudroom, but it was lower on our priority list. We planned to give it a small facelift.

Grimes Iowa Remodel Powder Bath Before

Floor Plan Ideas

When clients hire me for major remodels like this one, or even for bathroom remodels, I explain that I’ll generate as many options for the floor plan as possible. Sometimes I can come up with four, and sometimes there’s only one good option. For this project, I presented two options to the client that I felt addressed the majority of their priorities in the best way possible.

Option 1

In both versions of the proposed floor plan, I removed the wall between the family room and kitchen and opened up the wall between the entryway and dining room to improve the circulation, sight lines, and light throughout the right (North) side of the house.

I also assumed we would need some sort of beam for structural support where we removed the wall between the dining room and kitchen, but at this point, I had no idea how large it would need to be.

In both plans, I turned the formal living room into an entertaining space by adding a built-in dry bar along the shared wall with the stairway rather than force the desired beverage fridge into the kitchen.

Option 1 shows a small dining nook with a bistro table at the end of the long peninsula/island and turned the dining table. The other end of the island incorporated storage for dog food and the dog food and water bowls. I also removed the drywall pantry in favor of built-in cabinetry.

Option 2

In Option 2, I created a built-in bench for the dining table with the idea that more people could squeeze in along the continuous seating surface if necessary. I adjusted the end of the island to accommodate a fourth stool and kept the fridge in its original location.

The powder room stayed pretty much the same, and I designed a set of lockers with a bench in the laundry room, closed the existing door on the North side, and added a new door to the garage at the clients’ request.

Construction Issues and Final Floor Plan

I presented those two plans to my clients over Skype since I was still on maternity leave and incorporated their feedback into the final working version. I say it’s a working version at this point because there were a lot of variables we didn’t yet understand like the beam and locations of plumbing and ducts in the walls we were planning to remove.

We met with Dave on site to discuss logistics and structural issues of which there were several. First, we couldn’t remove the short wall to the left of the refrigerator, which affected the cabinet layout. Second, we discovered a pipe in the North wall very close to the wall we removed to open up the dining room to the kitchen. These were frustrating but not insurmountable obstacles, and I was pretty confident we’d find a good solution that didn’t compromise the design.

After demo, we had a long meeting on site with Dave, the electricians, HVAC guys, and Waukee CabinetWorks to figure out how to solve these layout issues. Together we brainstormed several possible solutions and ended up with this final plan. I love this kind of teamwork during the construction process because the end result is so much better than if one person rams through his/her own vision.

This final floor plan…

Grimes Iowa Remodel Floor Plan

Here’s the kitchen all opened up during demo…

Once we worked through all of the mechanical and structural issues on site, we were able to finalize the cabinetry plan. Again, this was a team effort with myself and Waukee Cabinetworks. Because of the pipe in our range wall, we had to create a soffit on the range wall, which is never ideal. We also had to figure out a creative way to hide the pipe in the cabinets. Definitely a huge challenge!

The moral of this story is that there are almost always issues that pop up during construction no one can foresee, but a combination of creativity, time, and money can usually win the day.

Enlarged Kitchen Plans

We had so many restraints on our space plan, and we were still able to create a 9’6″ long island with seating for four and tons of storage. My favorite part of the design is actually the pantry cabinet shown in yellow. There are actually two tall cabinets, one is only 12″ deep and faces out towards the room. The other is 24″ deep and faces the garage. The deeper cabinet has a shelf that hides the microwave and pull-out drawers. Waukee CabinetWorks trimmed out these cabinets so they look like one piece.Grimes Iowa Kitchen Remodel MCC Focused Building Waukee CabinetWorks Jillian Lare

This elevation of the range wall shows how we ended up accommodating the pipe with a soffit trimmed out with crown molding to look like part of the cabinetry.

Kitchen Before & After

Now for the fun part – before and after photos! Looking towards the powder room before…

Grimes Iowa Remodel Kitchen Before

And after…

Jillian Lare Interior Design - Grimes Iowa Kitchen Remodel white kitchen modern farmhouse kitchen soapstone

Here’s a closer view of the corner with the new pantry cabinet. It takes up less room than the old pantry and is so much more efficient!

white kitchen modern farmhouse kitchen soapstone pantry cabinet


Grimes Iowa Remodel Kitchen Before

And after…

white kitchen modern farmhouse kitchen stainless hood soapstone

The refrigerator is in the same spot but everything else has moved. This photo clearly shows how we used the soffit to unify the cabinetry on this elevation while hiding the plumbing. The wall cabinet on the right is actually shallow to conceal the plumbing stack as is the drawer bank below it.


Grimes Iowa Remodel Kitchen Before

And after…

white kitchen modern farmhouse kitchen soapstone lantern pendant

The whole house feels so much more open, light, bright and welcoming once we removed the walls between the dining room and kitchen and kitchen and living room.

Dining Before & After

The dining room before…

Grimes Iowa Remodel Dining Room Before

And after (looking in from the entryway)…

white kitchen modern farmhouse kitchen dining table trestle table dining bench

We added a trestle style table and long dining bench so they could squeeze as many people in as possible. The bench is also now a favorite spot for the homeowner to work from home.

Entry Before & After

Looking into the entry from the dining room before…

Grimes Iowa Remodel Entry Before

And after…

Jillian Lare Interior Design - modern farmhouse entryway hickory floors

Installing one type of flooring throughout most of the first level played a huge role in improving the visual flow. This hand-scraped dark hickory is just stunning.

Here’s a detail shot of the stairs. We stained the new handrail, treads, and risers to match the floor.

Jillian Lare Interior Design - Detail of stairway makeover with carpet runner

Formal Living Room Before and After

The formal living room before…

Grimes Iowa Remodel Living Room Before

And after…

wine fridge floating shelves home bar - Jillian Lare Interior Design, Grimes Iowa

The new wine bar is perfect for storing liquor, wine, and all of their glassware. When they’re hosting, they can easily put everything out on the soapstone counters and guests can help themselves.

Fireplace Before & After

This was the fireplace before…

Grimes Iowa Remodel Fireplace Before

And after…

Jillian Lare Interior Design - Stone fireplace with rustic wood mantel

We completely transformed the fireplace with stacked stone, a new gas insert, limestone hearth, and a reclaimed wood-look mantel accented with iron straps. The painter finished the beam in the kitchen to match the mantel, which helps to tie the two rooms together.

Powder Room Before & After

We gave the powder room a little face lift that made a huge impact. Here’s what it looked like before…

Grimes Iowa Remodel Powder Bath Before

And after…

Jillian Lare Interior Design - Farmhouse powder room soapstone countertops

This was a simple update in that everything stayed in the same spot. We installed a new vanity to match the kitchen with coordinating soapstone countertops, new ceramic tile, lighting, and accessories.

So that wraps up this little tour of my recent Grimes remodel. I hope you enjoyed it. Which area do you think underwent the most dramatic transformation?

home bar shiplap LVT floor dark cabinetry Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

Finished Basement Remodel Project Reveal

Today I am sharing a finished basement remodel project that I started at the very beginning of this year when I was still technically on maternity leave. My clients built their home new in a southern suburb of Des Moines several years ago but left their spacious basement unfinished. Their goal was to maximize the basement’s potential by creating zones for different activities – a wet bar, a media room, a conversation area, a place to play card games and board games, and a kids’ playroom. The husband is also an avid barbecuer, so he wanted a dedicated spot to store all of his smoking and grilling supplies. The basement is rather cold during our hard Iowa winters, so a fireplace was a must-have feature.

Unfinished Basement Before

This plan shows the basement as it was before the project, and I’ve labeled the areas that we wanted to create within the space. The clients also wanted to use the space under the front stoop for a future wine cellar, and part of this project included preparing that space.

There were a few structural issues that we had to deal with, namely a header separating the grill storage area from the rest of the space as well as a soffit for the ductwork (dotted lines). Another header ran across the area for the wet bar, and it had a support column right in the middle of it. The ductwork also ran over the future wet bar, so I needed to plan for a lower ceiling height in this area.

Des Moines Finished Basement Project Jillian Lare Interior Design

This little video gives you a good idea of the basement conditions before we started the project. I labeled it so you could get a feel for each area within the bigger space.

Finished Basement Floor Plan Options

In this first option, I created a smaller galley style wet bar tucked behind the structural column. I used a wall with a see-through electrical fireplace to divide the TV watching zone from the conversation area. In every option, I  square off the angled corner to the mechanical room because it improved the flow into the wet bar and made dealing with the dropped ceiling easier.

In option 2, the fireplace only faces the conversation area, and I located the TV on the exterior wall. The bar is larger and u-shaped, incorporating the column into the corner of the bar.

In option 3, I planned for a long wall of built-ins in the TV area with a center fireplace with television above. This plan kept the space completely open. I expanded the wet bar and incorporated a larger game table.

After getting my clients’ feedback, I tweaked option three to create an asymmetrical fireplace design with the fireplace off to the left and a large area for the television with built-in drawers below and wall shelves on the right to balance the fireplace.

This drawing shows the elevation of the fireplace with the TV and built-ins. The drawers under the fireplace are actually fake, but we included them to make the base feel continuous.

Fireplace Built-ins Elevation Drawing

Basement Project In Progress

My clients hired Kurt and Larry of Remodelworks in Waukee, Iowa, to execute the project. Kurt was really wonderful to work with, and we were able to collaborate with the clients on many of the details like the cabinetry and fireplace design as the project progressed.

Material selections for the bar – backsplash tile, countertop, cabinetry, and flooring.


Checking colors for the cabinetry with the flooring and drawer front sample.

Framing in the bar.

The fireplace wall framing.

Another view of the bar.

Storage cabinet under the stairs.

The fireplace wall with cabinetry before it was tiled.

And the bar with its shiplap fronts and cabinetry but no bar top or backsplash or appliances.

Basement After Photos

home bar shiplap LVT floor dark cabinetry Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

We collaborated with Waukee CabinetWorks on the cabinetry and drawer and door fronts and painted the front of the bar and all of the job built cabinetry Sherwin Williams Black Fox. The flooring is a luxury vinyl tile in a warm gray-brown wood plank style.

home bar shiplap LVT floor dark cabinetry Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

home bar shiplap LVT floor dark cabinetry Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

The lower countertops are a marble look quartz by MSI, and the upper countertops were custom made by the client’s friend out of reclaimed walnut.

home bar Sherwin Williams Black Fox gray subway tile

The bar includes a kegerator as well as two beverage fridges, a dishwasher, microwave, and an icemaker. The backsplash tile was sourced from Tile Bar.

home bar LVT flooring Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

In the photo below, you can see the game area. Remodelworks custom built the storage cabinet under the stairs to store games and puzzles. To the left, tall deep cabinets were designed to hold all of the client’s grilling and barbecue supplies.

finished basement Des Moines Iowa LVT flooring under stair storage cabinet

The conversation area divides the game zone and bar from the TV area with a sofa, chairs, and cocktail table that my clients sourced from Article. I love the how the pop of blue and the cognac leather chairs add warmth to the otherwise neutral space.

finished basement Des Moines Iowa LVT flooring under stair storage cabinet

The fireplace and built-in media center anchors the large room on the far end. All of the walls are painted Benjamin Moore Gray Owl. We finished the fireplace in large format dark gray ceramic tile from IRIS.

finished basement Des Moines Iowa LVT flooring under stair storage cabinet

The fireplace design was loosely inspired by an image my clients had found of an asymmetrical fireplace and TV setup. The wall cabinet and bench top are painted Black Fox to coordinate with the bar cabinetry and shiplap.

asymmetrical fireplace wall tiled fireplace basement fireplace media center

dark gray tiled fireplace

A few more photos of the bar…the glass-paned door leads to the future wine cellar.

shiplap bar front sherwin williams black fox

walnut bar countertop

Love the detail on the walnut bar top.

walnut bar countertop

This project was really fun for me because the clients were so great to work with. It was a true collaboration among every involved including the clients, the contractors, and the cabinetry designers. I love how it turned out, and I know that the clients do as well.

If you live in the Des Moines Metro area and need help with the interior design of your unfinished basement, I would love to hear more about your project. You can email me at or call 515-344-3140 to set up an appointment.

white kitchen two-height island parthenon quartzite

Des Moines Home Show Expo 2018 Project Reveal

Last Fall, which now seems like a lifetime ago, I heard from a previous client that they were thinking of selling the house I helped them update and building a new home in the northwest corner of Clive, Iowa. In our early conversations, the plan was to sell their house, move into a rental, and prepare to build in 2019. I was eight months pregnant at the time and thought that sounded perfect. We would have over a year to work on the design, and I would be on firm footing as a new mom before they broke ground.

It didn’t actually work out that way. My clients had an opportunity to purchase a lot in Angel Park, which was the planned site of the Des Moines Home Show Expo 2018. This particular lot was adjacent to the incredible biking trail system we enjoy here in Des Moines with a fabulous view as well. They had already selected a builder – K and V Homes – so all we needed to do was get the house designed, built, and furnished by the beginning of July 2018.

I think my clients would agree that being part of a home show was a pretty wild experience. Building a home is always emotional. Building a house on an accelerated timeline, knowing 12,000 people are going to be touring it, was kind of crazy.

The clients toured other houses built by K and V, which served as their inspiration for the exterior. We also looked at house plans online that met the criteria for the lot and the spaces they needed. At the top of their wishlist were a large open kitchen, a luxurious master suite, a formal dining room, and a separate office. We worked with Plum Design to merge the inspiration photos and spatial elements into a truly custom home design.

Dining Room and Office

When you first enter the home through double doors, the dining room is on your left and the office is on your right.

transitional dining room revere pewter

We added an applied molding detail to both rooms painted in white semi-gloss to match the trim. This architectural detailing adds so much character but doesn’t feel as heavy as beams or coffers on a nine-foot ceiling.

transitional dining room revere pewter

We incorporated touches of black throughout the home to add contrast and a little drama. The black French doors with beveled glass panes, which lead into the office, are painted to match the office cabinetry. Polished nickel hardware adds a touch of sparkle.

home office black french doors

The amazing ladies at Pottery Barn at the Jordan Creek Mall helped us with styling the office for the Home Show Expo. Olson Larsen Gallery provided much of the artwork seen throughout the home.

Home Office Paneled Ceiling Revere Pewter

My clients can close the French doors when they need a little privacy, but the glass panes help the room to feel more expansive and connected to the rest of the home.

Home Office Paneled Ceiling Black Doors Revere Pewter

Great Room

From the entry, you can see right out the large great room windows to the wooded bike trail. We used dark stained hickory for the flooring throughout much of the main level. The hickory has a subtle open grain that is enhanced by the dark stain. It feels incredibly rich and elegant.

transitional living room stacked stone fireplace place benjamin moore revere pewter

The ceiling in the great room is a full two-stories, and we ran the stacked stone fireplace all the way up to serve as a dramatic focal point for the open great room. My clients wanted built-ins on either side of the fireplace, but they didn’t want them to feel heavy or distract from the fireplace. We arrived at this minimal asymmetrical design after several rounds of revisions.

stacked stone fireplace samsung frame tv revere pewter

We selected the Samsung Frame TV for over the linear fireplace because we didn’t want to break up the beautiful cream and beige stone with a big black box. I’m so happy that they chose this TV because it doesn’t detract from the restful mood of this room the way a regular TV would have done.

transitional living room stacked stone fireplace place benjamin moore revere pewter


The kitchen is my favorite room in this custom home for many reasons. First, it’s size is appropriate to the scale and stature of the home. Second, it’s placement in the home allowed for it to transition seamlessly to the outdoor entertaining space with a door to the deck and large windows behind the sink to let in light and the view. Third, it is truly a cook’s kitchen with professional grade appliances, tons of storage, and an enormous island.

white kitchen two-height island parthenon quartzite

My clients challenged me to design a huge island with seating for six with two distinct zones for cooking and eating but they did not want the dining area to be at table height. I admit that I was initially flustered by this request. Then they found an inspiration image of a two-height island with a very slight drop down. I suggested increasing the thickness of the main level countertop to further distinguish between the two zones. This design detail allowed us to create a 13′ island with seating for six, topped with stunning Parthenon Quartzite, without seaming the stone. We did have to cut down the counter stools to accommodate the reduced height of the dining countertop.

white kitchen two-height island parthenon quartzite

The curved cabinet style range hood was custom built for this project. We selected soft gray, beveled glass subway tiles for the backsplash. They pull out some of the gray veining in the Parthenon quartzite and add a subtle depth and dimension to the room. I love this modern interpretation of such a classic design element.

glass subway tile backsplash, curved cabinet style range hood

white kitchen with dark island, dark hickory hardwood floors

This kitchen is completely open to the living room pictured above with only a change in ceiling height to distinguish between the two spaces. We incorporated this cabinetry style hutch as a transition piece between the kitchen and living spaces. It’s also convenient to the dining room through the short hall you can see on the right.

white cabinet hutch with wine storage

We tiled the back of the glass front cabinet to make it feel like the glass subway tile was flowing up through the cabinet from the backsplash. I think this little detail helps this piece to feel more special than just more kitchen cabinetry. The glass cabinet and backsplash are also fully lit, which creates some really pretty sparkle with all of the glassware.

Des Moines Home Show Expo 2018 white stacked wall cabinets, glass subway tile backsplash, Parthenon quartzite

Parthenon quartz

Master Suite

The master suite in this home is truly a dream. The bedroom gracefully accommodates a king size bed with large nightstands, a dresser, and a long bench in the window nook with plenty of circulation. The windows look out over the bike trail and into the trees.

upholstered king bed, transitional bedroom, sherwin williams agreeable gray

upholstered king bed, transitional bedroom, sherwin williams agreeable gray

The bedroom is at the back of the house, while the closet looks out onto the front, with the bathroom in between. In the photo below, you can see the connection between the three spaces through the sliding barn door.

barn door in bedroom

The large bathroom features an enormous walk-in shower, free-standing tub, double vanity with a makeup table, linen closet, and separate water closet. My clients expressed that they used their time getting ready each morning to connect with each other before beginning their busy, often hectic, days. I wanted this space to feel like a special retreat – light, soothing, and relaxing.

double vanity with makeup table

The layout of this bathroom meant that quite a bit of the floor tile was visible. I designed the ceramic floor tile to be laid on a 45-degree angle, which creates movement through the linear space, and incorporated a marble mosaic accent. The wainscot tub surround echoes the detailing on the dining room and office ceilings.

master suite freestanding tub and shower patterned tile floor

square freestanding tub, wainscot tub surround

Love this marble detailing in the shower.

I designed the vanity with custom mirrors trimmed out to match the cabinetry so that the entire wall would feel like one unified element. This also allowed me to drop the mirror at the makeup table so that my client can use it while seated.

Jack and Jill Bathroom

My clients have two little girls, and they share a Jack and Jill bathroom on the second floor of the house. We wanted their bathroom to feel youthful and fun but also have staying power so they won’t get tired of it as they get older.

gray and white bathroom with makeup vanity

We chose pale gray cabinets and paired them with white marble look quartz countertops and gray ceramic floor tile with a linen texture. Oversized crystal knobs add a whimsical element to the cabinetry and echo the crystal detail on the sconces.

jack and jill bathroom

We used an economical subway tile for the shower surround but installed it in wide gray and white stripes to make it more interesting and add some pattern.

striped subway tile shower

At the back of the niche, we installed a fun marble penny round that incorporates the gray and white from the field tiles. The curved shower rod helps the standard tub/shower combo to feel more spacious, and a classic hotel style shower curtain never goes out of style.

striped subway tile shower gray and white

Lower Level

In the lower level of this home, we designed a compact bar for entertaining, which connects to the patio. It’s adjacent to this gorgeous pool table, which is the centerpiece of the lower level. On the opposite side of the pool table (not shown, is a two-sided stacked stone fireplace) with another living area behind it as well as a regulation shuffleboard table.

Des Moines custom home, basement bar

The tile we selected for the bar backsplash is another favorite design element in this house. It’s a carved stone tile from Walker Zanger that coordinated perfectly with the quartz countertops. It unifies the wall cabinets and adds texture and dimension to the wall behind the television.

Des Moines custom home, basement bar

Olson Laren Gallery provided both of these fabulous art pieces. The piece on the right is a photograph of the Des Moines skyline feating 802 Grand by Justin Rogers, and the one on the right is a sketch layered on architectural vellum by Timothy Frerichs. You can see more work by both artists on the gallery website.

Powder Room & Mud Room

The powder room and mudroom are situated behind the kitchen and conveniently located off the garage. I am a big fan of making the powder room accessible to guests but not right in the middle of things. We wanted this powder to feel special and little different from the rest of the house, so we installed a floating vanity in a textured finish and topped it with the same Parthenon quartzite as the kitchen. Floating the vanity makes this small room feel bigger by allowing your eye to continue under the cabinetry with the flooring. The texture on the sconce is a reference to the textured cabinet doors and capiz mirror frame.

Transitional style powder room floating vanity

The mudroom is a simple but functional spot that connects the home’s laundry, pantry, and powder room to the garage and serves as the family’s main point of entry. We left the bottom portion open for easy shoe storage.

dark stain mudroom lockers

I hope you enjoyed this little tour! There were so many more spaces in this home I would have loved to photograph. If you’d like to see the photos all together, please visit the portfolio page.

The clients started this project with the intention that this was their forever home, and they envisioned their children growing up here and then returning with their partners and families. While this house may seem large for a family of four, we designed it to accommodate large family gatherings and host multiple grandchildren in the years to come. I am incredibly proud of the results we achieved together with K and V and all of their partners, vendors, and subs.

This house was one of six that were available for the public to tour as part of the Des Moines Home Show Expo 2018. It won first place for its kitchen, master suite, livability (tie), and craftsmanship, among several others, and it received the Best in Show award. I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who helped with all of the finishing touches and staging, especially Angela and Kristin at Pottery Barn Jordan Creek, Skylar Adamson of West Elm Des Moines, Mark Goodrich of Olson Larsen Gallery, and Jessica Rae.

Chief Architect X10 PBR Rendering Bathroom

Masculine Modern Farmhouse Bathroom Design Concept & Progress Photos

My masculine modern farmhouse bathroom remodel is inching closer to the finish line, so I thought this would be a good time to share the design concept and some progress photos.

When I introduced the project, I mentioned how my clients didn’t want white trim or finishes in the bathroom. White is my go-to in general and especially for bathrooms, so this was definitely a challenge. I saw it as a great opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and go a little darker with the materials and finishes.

Design Concept

My overall design concept was to create a warm masculine space that referenced farmhouse style but in a more modern way. I chose a palette of warm grays, browns, and black with subtle organic textures and pattern.

Masculine Modern Farmhouse Bathroom Remodel Finishes, Jillian Lare Des Moines Interior Designer

I chose a warm brown-gray stain for the cabinetry and paired it with black quartz countertops that have subtle taupe veining. For the floor tile, I specified a porcelain tile in shades of gray, taupe and cream that resembles concrete. It looked fabulous in combination with a gray wood-look tile in the shower. I flipped the traditional combination of white trim with gray walls and decided on Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter for all of the trim and wainscot paneling.

I like mixing metals in my designs because I think it’s more interesting than when everything matches. In this bathroom, I selected polished nickel plumbing fixtures for a little bit of shine and oil rubbed bronze lighting and hardware.

Masculine Modern Farmhouse Bathroom Plumbing Selections

The soft lines of the modern soaking tub are echoed in the curves of the faucet and the white lightens up the room and keeps it from feeling too dark.

Masculine Modern Farmhouse Bathroom Lighting and Hardware

If you look back at the floor plan, you’ll see that the vanities are asymmetrical. I decided to use pendant lights on the longer side and a more traditional vanity fixture on the shorter side where the wall space was too tight for another option.

Here is the overall mood board…

Masculine Modern Farmhouse Bathroom Design Concept

And here is a quick rendering…

Chief Architect X10 PBR Rendering Bathroom

Progress Photos

I love how the winter landscape echoes the colors in the tile.

My contractor is doing an amazing job with the trim work details.

Loving these pendant lights with the dark cabinetry.

I’m so excited by how this project is turning out and my clients are as well. We’re waiting on the countertops to wrap up the trim detailing at the vanity and to install the sinks and faucet, but otherwise, we’re pretty close to wrapping this one up.

Modern Farmhouse Bathroom Inspiration Juxtaposed Interiors

Masculine Modern Farmhouse Bathroom Remodel Before Photos & Plan

Back in September, which feels like a lifetime ago now, I posted some inspiration photos for a new client project. My clients had relocated to rural Iowa, south of Des Moines, from Alabama to be closer to family, and contacted me to help them transform their home from 80s granny to a more modern and masculine farmhouse style. I was totally down with this design concept since their home is actually a farmhouse in the country!

Their first major undertaking was to remodel their awkward and rundown master bathroom into a more functional and relaxing space. As I mentioned in my previous post, they didn’t want me to specify white for any of the finishes like the flooring or trim, mostly for maintenance reasons. It was definitely a design challenge, but after gathering some inspiration images, I could start to envision a direction.

Modern Farmhouse Bathroom Inspiration Juxtaposed Interiors

Inspiration Bathroom by Juxtaposed Interiors

The design process dragged out a little longer than I would have liked. Our baby arrived two weeks early on November 18th instead of around December 1st or later. I had planned to hunker down over my Thanksgiving break and produce all the plans and selections for this project. Instead, I was learning how to feed, diaper, and soothe a tiny person. Luckily, my clients are ICU nurses and incredibly understanding of the post-partum recovery process. They also sent me the cutest most genius baby onesies ever.

Bathroom Before Photos

Masculine Modern Farmhouse Before Photos Jillian Lare Interior DesignMasculine Modern Farmhouse Before Photos Jillian Lare Interior DesignI’ve never met one of these enormous corner tubs that I didn’t want to rip out immediately. They take up so much space!

The shower is fully enclosed which makes it feel dark and cramped. A leak inside the walls resulted in a build-up of mildew and possibly mold, which made the need for this remodel all the more pressing.

Masculine Modern Farmhouse Before Photos Jillian Lare Interior Design

In this photo, you can see that the vanity doesn’t have much going for it. It’s small by master suite standards, and the mosaic tile countertop is a cleaning nightmare.

A couple more photos so you can see where we’re starting from.

On the plus side, there is a lot of great light between the two huge windows and the skylight.

Those windows treatments are a relic from the previous owners.

Existing Space Plan

Here’s a look at how the space is currently arranged.

Masculine Modern Farmhouse Bathroom Remodel - Before Floor Plan - Jillian Lare Interior Design

My very first step in the design process is always to measure and draft the existing conditions because it’s the only way I can really start to understand the space and its potential.

The bathroom is located at the front of the house with a southern and eastern exposure. After drawing up the floor plan, I realized that the adjacent office had a little closet we could potentially use to improve out layout options for the bathroom. Although the room felt tight and cramped while we were standing in it, drafting the floor plan helped me to realize that there was plenty of room to meet my clients’ wish list.

Project Goals

This master bathroom remodel is my clients’ first major project in their new home and is going to set the design direction for the entire house. My clients prefer a transitional style with clean lines and warm neutral finishes. They wanted to add architectural interest to the house, which was updated in the 90s and feels fairly bland and boring. It was important that we increase the functionality of this bathroom while maximizing its best features – ample space and natural light.

Enlarge the shower. As you can see from the before photos, the current shower situation is pretty bad. I wanted their new shower to have access to all of the great light from the windows and skylight and feel more like a spa and less like a coffin.

Improve the bathtub situation. My clients requested a free-standing tub, and I was happy to oblige. There is plenty of room for one. The sculptural form of a tub and smaller footprint will help the room to feel less cramped.

Minimize plumbing relocation. I strive to keep pluming as close to its existing locations whenever possible to save time and money. In this case, I will probably need to shift the toilet, but I think I can avoid moving it across the room.

Make room for a double vanity. They really wanted to incorporate two sinks with better lighting and more storage, and I agree that this is a must-have.

Add architectural interest. My clients didn’t necessarily articulate this as a request, but I thought it was important to start adding character to the house through the use of moldings, trim, and architectural detailing whenever possible.

Update all finishes. I think this is pretty self-explanatory from the before photos. We will be gutting the room and starting from scratch with new tile, paint, cabinetry, etc. I selected materials with durability in mind as well as their aesthetics.

In my next post, I’ll share the space planning concepts that I developed and which one my clients chose. Stay tuned!