Valley Cottage Idea Home 2003 | Midwest Living

Valley Cottage Idea Home 2003

What's better than a brand-new home chock-full of the latest furniture styles, innovative decorating ideas and state-of-the-art products and appliances? Why, two of them, of course! Our Arts and Crafts two-story in the Kansas City area and an updated farmhouse-style design in the Twin Cities brim with ideas you can use in your own home. (Originally Published: September/October 2003)
  • Front Exterior

    Jim Kirkland made a bold, welcoming statement and painted the front a bright red with Ace Paint. The garage door faces the street, so it was important for it to echo the vintage architecture of the home. The carriage-style door from Clopay was a perfect character builder. Minnesota winters can be brutal on siding. So we chose Hardiplank by James Hardie for its curb appeal and low maintenance. This fiber-cement siding has the look and feel of wood, and it's fire-resistant as well. To further enhance the farmhouse look, we added a shed dormer instead of a gable over the garage. Architect Ron Brenner designed more details, including a window box under the dormer window, and shutters flanking the Andersen double-hung windows over the porch. Vertical board- and-batten trim spiffed up the home's gable. White accents the blue Ace-painted siding and the dark-gray roof. The look wouldn't be complete without a porch, an open invitation for gatherings with neighbors.

    Read about our other 2003 Idea Home, Prairie Legend 


  • Living Room

    On the main level, the oak flooring sets the decorating tone. Knotholes punctuate the No. 2-grade oak finished with a Danish rubbing oil. "The flaws give it character and interest," architect Ron Brenner says. While the Lennox fireplace is the focal point, it shares the limelight with built-in cabinets and white wainscotin in the dining area, two details that are often found in cottage-style homes. And here's a tip from the designers at Traditions Classic Home Furnishings: Choose a few well-placed accessories with some size to make a definite statement. Avoid clutter.

  • Dining Room

    To define the dining space and the great room, oriental rugsthat repeat the hues in the furniture add softness underfoot and splashes of color. When it comes to window treatments, the "less is more" philosophy fits this house. Rattan pull-up shades hang in the dining room. Ready-made panels shirred on a rod drape the windows in both the dining area and great room.

  • Kitchen

    Wrought iron light fixtures over the island, and the intricate chandelier in the dining room, contribute another texture. Create candlelight ambiance by adjusting the dimmers on these handsome Kichler fixtures. Keeping everyday dishes handy is important, so a plate rack makes stoneware readily available. Another convenient feature, the appliance garage, has slide-up doors that hide space where you can stow all your favorite appliances and eliminate countertop clutter. Most cooks, though, want a stand mixer within easy reach. A Whirlpool slide-in gas range takes center stage on the window wall in the kitchen. Its porcelain Spill Guard cooktop makes cleaning a cinch. The state-of-the-art oven uses an EZ Touch timer control. Pressing bake or broil automatically selects the most common oven temperature. The clever awning-style window placement between counters and cabinets makes the kitchen feel much larger than it is, and bathes the work surface with natural light.

  • Kitchen, Continued

    What gives an old-time cottage an appealing personality? Often it's the eclectic mix of elements gathered over the years. Valley Cottage re-creates that look, especially in the efficient kitchen. Two colors of Silestone countertops mix with tile and cabinetry to create an illusion of custom style. Built on both ends of the island, two maple-top cabinets furnish valuable storage space. Adding interest to the island backsplash is imported slate tile. Installed in a random pattern, it creates a mosaic look here and behind the range. Convenience is important, too; the Moen single-lever faucet with pull-out sprayer helps make clean-up easy.

  • Family Activity Room

    Too often, the space over a garage is wasted. This valuable area can be finished as an extra bedroom, home office or studio, as we did in the 23 1/2-by-16-foot space. Laminate counter-tops on the island and desk make the surfaces care-free. Task lighting installed in ceiling spots couples with a hanging fixture to concentrate light for office work or relaxing.

  • Master Suite

    Dramatic double doors open into the bedroom and a view through wide windows. A rich chocolate-brown bold paint also makes a statement. The color is even more handsome paired with white woodwork and light carpeting. We're not squeamish about the light-colored carpet. The Wear-Dated Carpet Fiber resists traffic and stains, and comes with a five-year normal-wear warranty.

  • Master Suite Reading Nook

    Large furniture pieces, with bold, dramatic shapes and darker finishes, create a luxurious look in the room. Artwork is kept to a minimum because the walls are such a deep hue. A key, says one of our designers, is to go with big art.

  • Master Bathroom

    Steps away in the bathroom, towels (white, of course) by the stack can be stored in open shelving that creates plenty of personal space. Each of the two separate wash areas has its own lighting, mirror and sink. The routed-edge countertop and under-mounted sinks are traditional details that blend with the white cabinets.

  • Rear Exterior

    Years ago, the porch floor used to be a problem. Typically, it was painted, then peeling would set in after a season or two. But Trex decking, made from recycled wood and plastic, is designed not to rot, crack or splinter (so feel free to go barefoot). And, there's no need to seal Trex, either. Cottagewood Partners used Trex on the steps, too.

    Valley Cottage Idea Home Resource Guide

  • Floor Plans

    Valley Cottage Idea Home 2003 Floor plans, main level.

  • Floor Plans

    Valley Cottage Idea Home 2003 Floor plans, second floor

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