Jason and Megan Glass know what they like when it comes to interior design.
So, when they found a home in Iowa City that was ready for some remodeling, they jumped at the chance to infuse it with arts and crafts style.
“We are big fans of Frank Lloyd Wright and prairie style,” said Megan. “And it really makes things easier when you are looking for furniture and lighting because there are parameters.”
The brick ranch built in 1993 doesn’t quite resemble many of the other postmodern, split-level houses in the older neighborhood on the east side of town, which makes it even more fitting that the interior stands out as well.
“We bought this house because we loved the layout and we could see the ways in which we could make it our own,” said Jason, noting they aren’t the kind of couple to shy away from remodeling projects.
And remodel they have. After purchasing the home from the original owners in 2014, they set about updating the space. They spent the first couple of months not living in the home, so they could do some updates, including removing the popcorn ceilings, removing carpet to put in hardwood floors and replacing the banister on the steps leading downstairs.
The original owners hadn’t done any remodeling to the home, and Jason and Megan said they looked forward to the opportunity to do so. The kitchen has seen the most dramatic transformation, going from traditional country style to an arts and crafts gem.
“We took it all the way down to the drywall and put in new cabinets and quartz countertops to make it very user-friendly now,” said Jason. They wanted to make sure the space was functional and conducive to family cooking sessions as their two young daughters are very interested in helping cook and bake, Megan added.
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Over time, they’ve updated all the woodwork and trim on the home’s main floor, keeping the finishes natural to admire the beauty of the wood’s color and grain. The prominence of cherry — furniture, frames, woodwork and cabinetry — is a stunning feature of the home.
“We don’t care for painted wood. We would rather have the natural grain,” said Jason. He said they are going room by room and removing all the polished brass hardware and recently installed a brand-new prairie style front door, which makes the perfect welcome to the home.
The couple also did a fair amount of remodeling in the master bedroom and bathroom. They added custom sliding doors to cover the closet entrance and the bathroom entrance. Then in the bathroom, they transformed the space into an arts and crafts sanctuary, complete with black subway tile, new light fixtures and waterfall faucets.
While the layout of the home was ideal for the Glass family, they said the location was the icing on the cake.
“It had the exact layout that we wanted, but the location couldn’t be better,” said Jason. “We are right in the middle of the city, but it feels like we are in the country.”
“It’s an oasis in the middle of town,” added Megan. “And because we are on a dead end there’s no traffic.”
Another huge draw for the Glass family was the home’s wooded lot.
“In spring and fall the girls have adventures in the woods, but in summer it is so overgrown we can’t even seen the houses on the other side of it,” said Megan.
They’ve become acquainted with their animal neighbors.
“Deer walk through here all the time,” she said, pointing out the back window. “They come close enough so we can see their physical differences and give them names.”
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The Glass house also has features that allow the family to connect with the natural beauty surrounding the home, including the screened-in porch, back patio and fire pit they had installed.
“When the weather is warmer those doors are always open,” said Megan of the French doors leading to the screened in porch. She said she loves that there is an entrance to the porch from the master bedroom as well. “I can make a cup of tea in our bathroom and then can go through our bedroom out on to the porch without having to walk by our girls’ rooms and waking them.”
The couple met while in the marching band at the University of Iowa, so it’s no surprise to not only find Hawkeye-themed artwork sprinkled throughout the home, but to also find a music studio.
“It’s where we all practice,” said Megan, a music teacher now passing on the couple’s love of music to their daughters as well. The twin offices — a more “grown up” office is right across the entryway from the kid-centric office — at the front of the home are another distinctive feature that drew Jason and Megan to the layout.
The uniquely styled home has several notable furniture pieces. Jason’s father has a furniture restoration hobby, which has resulted in several pieces being refinished for the Glass home, such as a library table in the office and a buffet in the eat-in kitchen. Perhaps the most whimsical is a 1940s radio that Jason’s dad found and restored.
“It gets AM stations so we have fun listening to Hawkeye and Cubs games on it,” Jason said.
Meanwhile, Megan’s uncle is a woodworker and has made things for the couple such as the grandfather clock in the family room and all the custom frames for the family’s artwork and photos.
“There are lots of family touches in the decor and furniture of this home because that’s important to us,” said Megan. “As much as we can, every piece has a story or family connection.”