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What’s Black & White & Loved All Over?
By Carol McGarvey | Photography by Tim Abramowitz
HOME FEATURE April/May 2019
home :: home & garden :: featured homes

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Answer: A new home and a minimalist lifestyle.

When Heidi Patterson and Michael Maloney married four years ago, they lived in the home she had in Ankeny. “When we decided to move, we looked and looked at dozens of homes over time,” Heidi says. They decided on an open contemporary home built in Dallas County in the Michael’s Landing area south of the Edgewater community in West Des Moines.

“Coincidentally colliding with Drake Homes after years of looking in the metro, leveraging my experience from being the home owners’ association president at our last development home, honing a trusted relationship with realtor Abbey Robertson at Century 21, and getting the perfect family to buy our house in Ankeny made our seamless transition to our perfect first home together seem serendipitous. We had nearly given up our search in the metro.”

The Drake Homes home was a spec house that was about 90 percent completed when the couple purchased it. Their new home represents a whole new lifestyle for the couple.

As Heidi explains, “You could have called me an antiques hoarder. Seriously. I had lots of collections. I was one who had antiques displayed and a themed tree in nearly every room for the holidays. I was president of the Iowa Red Wing Collectors Club, collecting nearly every line of stoneware and pottery Red Wing made from the late 1800s to early 1900s that dictated the color scheme and filled every room.”

Total transformation

But moving to a new contemporary-style home, full of clean lines, spawned a complete transformation. First off, Heidi has a passion for the fresh lines of designs by the late Kate Spade—lots of black and white, lots of clean looks. “I love her pieces for the home and every other line, from purses to shoes to jewelry and accessories. Her red poppy line is my favorite; it reminds me of my late grandfather, who was a dedicated Marine and handed out remembrance poppies every year.”

At the same time, Heidi and Michael took on the decluttering approach that has become popular by the KonMari Method of downsizing by Japanese author Marie Kondo. Her 2014 book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has become a Netflix series focusing on five areas: clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous (cooking utensils and tools), and sentimental items. Surround yourself with the things that you love, Heidi says. If something gives you joy, keep it. If not, get rid of it. That approach is in line with Marie Kondo’s mantra.

The result is that the couple has pared down everything in their home, donating clothing, books, and household items. Heidi has kept some favorite pieces of Red Wing pottery and stoneware. But she passed many other pieces to various collectors she knew would appreciate them as much as she did for many years. “Plus, I recently wrapped up a term serving on a nonprofit board and teaching professional readiness to women in the metro. That experience connected us to all kinds of other nonprofits that could make use of everything from professional attire to extra coffeepots and laptops. That definitely made downsizing easier.”

The result is a whole new way of living and setting up their new home. “It’s all about taking a minimalist approach to your home and living with simple Scandinavian lines. It’s very freeing,” says Heidi, a public finance professional. Michael is an investment banker. They travel frequently for their jobs, so their home is a refuge.

They were blown away by the detail in the home, such as the sculptural soaking tub and beamed ceilings. “The details are amazing,” Heidi says.

Drake Homes details

“From my point of view, we try to add some details to our homes that set us apart from other homes in the same price range,” says Todd Drake, president of Drake Homes. “Those details more often than not make the home feel as if it was a custom build from the beginning.”

“We consider ourselves a boutique builder,” says Christy Drake, vice president and Realtor for the company. “We might build the same floor plan in two homes, but we make each one different from the other.”

Heidi and Michael chose an overall black, white, and gray color scheme. The great-room, with a beamed ceiling in the living room area, features a sectional sofa and a wall-mounted TV. An area rug and pillows are black and gray. A huge window frames the wooded scene of an open field. The couple enjoys watching deer, coyotes, and the swooping of the neighborhood’s resident eagle. They can see that view from inside or from the covered deck outside, where a sectional sofa and a fire pit table beckon them for evening conversation.

Great for entertaining

Nearby, the large open kitchen is perfect for entertaining clients, family, and friends. White cabinetry and subtle swirl white countertops play off stainless-steel appliances and range hood. The huge island is lit by two industrial-style pendant lights. There’s a walk-in pantry.

Gray metal stools stand at the island. A counter-height wooden wine table and stools sit in the eating area, which is surrounded by large windows.

The master suite is off the great-room. A graphic black and white comforter and a bevy of pillows make it an inviting sanctuary. The master bath includes a double vanity, along with a sculptural soaking tub with a cool waterfall faucet. A frosted window is over the tub.

Connected are a large walk-in closet and a laundry room. Off the hall is a guest powder room with a modern vessel sink. “The whole master suite idea is popular with homeowners,” Christy says.

Also on the main floor are two smaller rooms that Heidi and Michael use as offices and another full bath. Michael’s office features a vintage drafting table he uses as a desk and, because he grew up in a Chicago suburb, lots of Chicago Cubs memorabilia. Heidi’s room has a black futon and two bright purple chairs with memorable monochrome travel photos inspiring the space. “I have always worked mostly on a laptop, so thankfully I don’t need a traditional office setup,” she says.

Versatile lower level

The lower level, perfect for company, has a seating area with a tweedy couch and two occasional chairs with ottomans. A wall-mounted television hangs between two large ground-level windows, which add an abundance of natural light.

“The details, such as big, bold windows, help us give each home we build the feel and look of a custom build,” Todd Drake says. “We call this home our Rockstar Ranch model. It has about 1,800 square feet on the main floor and 1,200 on the lower level.” In business since 2005, Drake Homes has built 40 to 50 homes in the Michael’s Landing area. The company offers a variety of floor plans and exterior details to avoid the cookie-cutter look in a neighborhood.

Michael has fun with a bar area. Because the development is called Michael’s Landing and his name is Michael, just for fun he has created and printed menus for seasonal cocktails and beers to serve to guests.

Heidi showcases some of her favorite stoneware and pottery pieces. A sliding barn door closes off a guest suite rustic-style bedroom and a full bath for visiting friends and family.

A sign on the wall sums up the couple’s philosophy:
Some people want it to happen.
Some wish it would happen.
Others make it happen.

Because they have been given the perspective of going through life’s journeys as colleagues, friends, and then best friends prior to being married, Heidi and Michael have made a commitment to do their best to live every day together in the moment and always find a silver lining. And they are doing just that.


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