A new home in Huxley works beautifully for a growing family.
Some new houses take time for that elusive lived-in look and “home” status to evolve. Not so for the new digs of Ashley and Michael Jorgensen and their three little ones, who are 5, 3, and new. Walk in and you feel instantly as if the home has been there for a while.
When the couple wanted to build in Huxley, they looked to their friend Chris Gardner, whose family they had known for more than six years at church. Gardner has owned Bella Homes for five years, and they knew they could work easily with him and his wife, Kris.
Michael explains, “Others had rejected this corner lot because of its slope, but working with Bella Homes, it actually turned out to our advantage.”
“What this sloped lot allowed us to do,” says Gardner, “is to have the lower level be a walkout and have straight-out access to the backyard from the main level. It’s the best of both worlds.” The wide porch across the front gives the home a Craftsman-
The main floor’s open plan with a great-room concept
is perfect for entertaining, says Ashley. Off the front entry
is an office, which also has served as a playroom, and the
living room’s area is defined with an A-frame ceiling.
Another defining technique is to have carpeting inset into
the hand-scraped Asian walnut flooring. “It really has the
effect of being an area rug,” Ashley points out. Clerestory windows high above the entry allow more light to bathe the
Aside from a wall with two levels of windows, the centerpiece of the living room is a floor-to-ceiling stacked-stone fireplace, adding warmth and visual texture.
The efficient open kitchen features a treasure. Michael’s father, Gordie Jorgensen of Okoboji, crafted the kitchen cabinetry out of knotty alder. “Someday I can tell my grandchildren that their great-grandfather made these,” says Michael, a chiropractor in Ames, with obvious pride.
An extended kitchen island painted in cottage cream paint and with beaded-board backing gives more work, serving, and casual dining space. At the end of the kitchen is the dining room area with table and chairs. One most efficient kitchen detail is the walk-in pantry with a toast and coffee bar. That way, breakfast or sandwich making is removed from the kitchen counters. Wide open wood shelving offers spots for staples.
Beyond the kitchen, near the entry from the garage is a spot for the laundry and
cubbies for the kids. It features a built-in desk for keeping track of family activities and a wall of reclaimed barn wood for a touch of texture. There’s a powder room, too.
“My very favorite spot in the house is the screened porch off the living room,” Ashley says. The porch has another tall fireplace with a wood-burner. “With wicker furnishings, hanging lanterns, and the fireplace, it’s just a cozy, inviting space.” The porch opens onto the deck, which gives easy access to the play space in the backyard. Twin tall white oaks act as an umbrella over the yard.
In the bedroom wing on the main floor are the master and two other bedrooms. The master has large windows to catch the morning sun and breezes, along with a view of the woodsy background. The master bath has a heated tile floor and a shower with an appealing natural-pebble floor.
Besides the warmth of the wood in the home, the color
selection and blend of furnishings give a look of comfort. “I’d say our style is eclectic,” Ashley says. “It has a bit of Colorado flair because we both love to vacation there. Muted warm greens, blues, and browns—nature-inspired colors—help to give that feeling.”
Gardner, who has two homes in this year’s HomeShowExpo 2012 July 14–15, 19–22, and 26–29 at Otter Creek in Ankeny, says the home has 2,400 square feet on the main floor and about 1,800 on the lower level.
The two-level downstairs area features a large family room and a kitchenette for snacks and beverages on the bottom level. The higher level has two guest rooms, a future workout room, and a smoke room for Michael and friends to enjoy cigars. Gardner says he put in a fresh-air intake in that room as well as a cork floor.
“The warm, cozy feeling is all Ashley’s doing,” says Michael. “We really want people to feel comfortable when they come to our home. That’s the primary end product.”
He also feels that way on a personal level. “When I turn into my driveway, I truly feel this is home. It doesn’t get better
Builder: Bella Homes of Huxley
Materials: Munn Lumber
Heating & Cooling: Wykoff Heating and Cooling
Electric: Kline Electric
Plumbing: Hutson Thomson Plumbing
Construction: Van Gorp Construction
Framing: Strait Up Framing
Tile, Stone: Centurion Stone
Kitchen cabinetry: Gordie Jorgensen
Painting: Sabino Painting
Interior Design: Homeowners