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Photos By Keith Borgmeyer
Curb appeal is a common desire for homeowners, but for Jana and Barry Roewe, external appeal goes deeper than the curb. The setting of their new home – on a wooded 15 acres near Columbia, just outside of Ashland, creates the perfect, comfortable environment for their family. The setting also influenced the design and layout of the house – rustic and classic, inside and out.
The exterior living is as important as the interior for the Roewes, and the couple made choices to keep the 4800-sq. ft. house efficient, maintenance-free as much as possible, and tailored for them and their two kids – Mason (4) and Josey (2).
The outdoor living space was a primary focus in the design and construction of the home. With a covered screened-in porch, outdoor fireplace and television, the outdoor living areas delivers quiet, comfort and convenience.
A heated workshop with surround sound and a basketball court are additional outdoor elements that add value to the home for Barry.
“It’s nice to have the space, plus the beauty of the creek running behind,” he says.
For Jana, having a home that she can keep open to the nature outside their door is a plus.
Instead of a formal dining room, the couple opted for an open floor plan that includes a breakfast nook, kitchen, and large living room that flow together. Tall windows in the octagon-shaped breakfast nook offer soothing views of the woods at the back of the home.
“We entertain a lot, so we wanted to that area open,” Jana says about the flow of the dining and living areas. “We are big cooks, and everyone hangs out at the heart of the home.”
Throughout that area and the rest of the house, natural elements aren’t limited to the view outside. Floor-to-ceiling cultured stone surrounds the fireplace and hugs an in-set 50” television in the living room. Quartz tops the curved bar that connects the kitchen and living areas; natural wood gleams in the built-in bookshelves. Underfoot, contrasting dark and light tones in the Asian Walnut hardwood floor makes a standout statement of rustic beauty.
“I love the beams – and the wood wall we have in the master bedroom,” says Jana. “They bring out the character of the home.”
Knowing the barn-wood is from her cousin’s barn, creating a family heritage, makes the feature even more special for her. The couple hired an Amish team to take down the barn in Tipton and transport it to their construction site.
“The barn wood is the first thing that most people notice,” Jana says.
President and founder of TrueSon Exteriors in Columbia, Barry makes a living by helping homeowners remodel and update their homes. Specializing in exterior remodels, TrueSon recently expanded to full, custom home construction and remodeling, but has built a reputation for expertise with remodeling roofs, windows, doors, and siding.
Barry put his knowledge and years of experience to use in his own home project, working with general contractor Bruce Finley.
“Everything is a maintenance-free product or close to it,” he says about the exterior.
Composite decking, aluminum handrails, heavy gauge shingles to extend the life of the roof, and high-efficiency Pella windows are a few of the choices that the Roewes made for the exterior and reflect how they prioritized their budget.
“We spent extra money on the deck,” Barry says. “If not, we’d have to replace it in eight years.”
Without compromising the beauty and overall comfort of the home, they made sure that the infrastructure was also built to last and serve them well for a lifetime. From the geo-thermal, ground-source heat pump to the wiring and insulation.
“We made sure to over-wire the house for cable and Internet. It’s cheaper to do it now than to add it later,” Barry says.
That type of detail reveals the attention to detail that mark the Roewes’ home.
Conscious of their remote location, the couple made safety a priority, installing a surveillance system and multi-point locks on the doors. A concrete safe room under the garage offers storage and peace of mind during severe storms.
Also looking beyond the surface, Jana cites two functional areas of the home as her favorite elements: the master closet and laundry chute that connects the upstairs with the down. The master closet features an island, custom built to hold jewelry, shoes, and more.
While the finished product makes it all look effortless, Jana admits that building a home is stressful.
“I have expensive tastes, but Barry balances that out,” she says about her partnership with her husband.
She credits Barry for bringing ideas he’s gleaned from his years in construction to their own home project. From the tall, 5 1/2-inch base trim, unique tray ceiling, to paint colors, the couple made custom choices to set their home apart from others.
“Shop around and look for ways to keep costs down. Some things aren’t always in your budget,” recommends Jana, who frequented websites such as Pinterest and Houzz for ideas. “You have to choose what will work best for your family.”
“Splurge on the areas that will make the house,” she adds.
Barry adds emphasis on building a home with staying power.
“A house might look pretty, but will it last?” he says, pressing upon the value of the maintenance-free elements. Overall, their quiet, private home delivers value in both function and beauty for their family.
“When I pull into the driveway, this is what I think about the most,” he says. “We have a home with all the amenities, laid out the way we want it to be.”