radio resources
welcome home magazine
inside des moines des moines cooks des moines home & garden health matters    

Designed with Love and Joy
By Carol McGarvey | Photography by Tim Abramowitz
home :: home & garden :: featured homes

round round2
Welcome Home Des Moines digital edition
>view our
digital edition
round4   round3

round round2
>subscribe now
round4   round3

round round2
Sign up for our Free Email Newsletter

round4 round3

round   round2
round4 round3


Gallery 1 | Gallery 2 | Gallery 3 | Gallery 4

From the welcoming waterfall to the circle driveway, the stunning home that Tom and Dana Grimes built on 24 acres in the Maffitt Lake area invites visitors with open arms. The ultracontemporary structure, a showplace in anyone’s book, was designed with family gatherings and downright fun in mind.

Tom, a mechanical designer, acted as the general contractor on the building project. The basement was dug in 2003. For the exterior, he designed an intrinsically Prairie-style home that nestles into the property beautifully. But inside, the home is decidedly contemporary. “It took two years and four months to complete,” he explains. “We lived in a motor home on-site to monitor the construction before we moved in during 2006.”

Leaded designs on the front door and into the entryway carry out the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright. Inside, however, there’s a subtle change, and leaded glass on panels on the entry to the dining room and on sliding doors that open onto the main-floor master suite are contemporary in styling.

The home’s open floor plan and high ceilings bathe the rooms in light and airiness. The living room, for example, has 22-foot ceilings. Other first-floor ceilings are 10 feet tall; on the second floor, 9 feet. Tom says the first and second floors have a total of nearly 8,000 square feet. In addition, the lower walkout level is finished. Floors are maple throughout the open first floor. Black granite thresholds between rooms accent the maple.

The spacious living room is furnished with a large sectional with comfortable textiles. Overscale ottomans can be moved around for extra seating, says Kelly Linnemeyer, owner of Projects Contemporary Furniture in the East Village, who helped with furniture selection in the entire home. “We worked with the floor plans for each room,” she says. “What a pleasure to work with Tom and Dana. In their planning, they had such great ideas, especially in terms of color and upholstery.”

The living room’s floor-to-ceiling limestone fireplace is a focal point. In addition, Decorative pieces are displayed in glossy lacquer shelving, a bit of a twist for Dave McGrath of Fine Line Woodworks in Bondurant, who fabricated the shelves. “The whole concept shows Tom’s talent in designing,” McGrath says. The shelves are made of a combination of medium-density fiber board and white gloss lacquer for a contemporary look.

Dining Room

One room that’s special is the dining room, where floor-to-ceiling leaded-glass panels define the wide doorway. “Dana really wanted a dining room table that would accommodate our entire family,” Tom explains. That includes three children, their spouses, and 11 grandchildren. In other words, it’s a huge table. “It’s not exactly fingerprint-free,” he says with a smile.

Linnemeyer says the solution was a modular table that “goes on and on” for 16 feet. For family occasions, there are 20 chairs to fit around the table. End walls in the room are a custom paint technique that included applying the paint with a trowel for a textured finish. The room has Italian cherry buffets for serving and storage and two warming drawers for keeping foods at the right temperature.

The nearby wide-open kitchen is a cook’s dream. The couple chose mellow cabinetry from Italy, high-end Miele appliances, and black granite countertops. The huge window over the kitchen sink looks out over the countryside, outbuildings on the property, and the swimming pool off the walkout lower level, a treat for the grandchildren. Off the kitchen is a small hearth room and office area, complete with a built-in coffee bar.

Throughout the home the couple chose spectacular graphic artwork—much of it local, including some pieces by a daughter, Angela Meron.

The home’s whole-house controls with Smart Home-style technology are managed by three wall-mounted Apple iPads.

Spalike Retreat

The master suite, a spalike retreat in soft gray and black, is a restful getaway. “The platform bed and a system of nightstands are from Italy,” Linnemeyer says. The chaise lounges and the rug from the Netherlands make a great spot for watching TV. There’s even another built-in coffee bar. The master bath has a stone walk-in shower and spa tub that pumps air, plus a huge walk-in closet. A cool trick Besides the double sinks is the wall of wood panels, some of which open as cabinet-style storage with the touch of a hand.

On the second floor is Dana’s library, a combination office/retreat, full of her favorite zebra and other animal patterns in prints, pillows, and a rug to complement red couches. The room appears to be suspended; on two sides, you can see over the edge of half-walls to the main floor. McGrath says he built totally different shelves in this spot. “There we created high-pigment shelves with a flat finish, totally opposite of the lacquer look downstairs.”

There are two guest rooms and coordinating baths on this floor. One, known as the Zen bedroom, is a restful getaway with a platform bed, Shoji sliding doors, and natural stones bonded to a mesh background in the shower.

The stairways up to the second floor and down to the lower level appear to float, and subtle lighting reinforces that illusion.

Lower Level

The home’s lower level is designated for pure whimsy and “fun stuff,” Tom explains. Components include a galley kitchen with lime green cabinets, a pizza oven, an orange sofa with purple pillows, a tomato red wall, and a theater room for watching movies.

The family room with a two-way fireplace doubles as a cabana because it opens onto the in-ground pool and outdoor kitchen. There are boys’ and girls’ shower and dressing rooms, perfect for the pool. The rooms have sailing and beach themes, respectively, with wall designs painted by daughter Angela.

The exercise room contains a sauna and exercise equipment. And there’s a game room with a pool table and a Ping-Pong table. This room also has access to the pool and hot tub area.

Sadly, Dana died in August 2012, after living with multiple cancers for 21 years. After all the detail and joy they built into the home, Tom has decided to list it for sale because it’s too much house for one person.

“This home is such a fine example of contemporary Prairie-style architecture,” says Linnemeyer. “Tom and Dana had so many good ideas and such good taste. It is an absolutely fabulous home.” Indeed.

Shelving: Fine Line Woodworks
Decorative wall finish: Lancaster Painting
Plastering: Finished Edge
Trim carpentry: Mattas Construction
Granite, stone: Stoneworks
Whole-house controls: Tech by Design
Furnishings, lighting: Projects Contemporary Furniture
Leaded glass: Stained Glass Store
Landscaping: Ted Lare Design/Build


home | inside des moines | des moines cooks | home & garden | health matters
subscribe | digital edition | advertise | about us | contact us
des moines events | easy recipes | healthy tips | house photos

home productions llc. 4220 ne 94th avenue | elkhart, iowa 50073
phone (515) 965-0507
© 2014 home productions llc. All rights reserved.