After having a condo at the Lake since 1999, in 2005 Dennis Breder took a month sabbatical from his then occupation as a CPA Tax Partner for McGladrey Pullen in Burlington, Iowa, and made it his mission to find a lot for a future Lake home. It was
important to Dennis and his wife, Carolyn, that future grandkids be able to swim off the dock. So they decided on a cove location with a great view. In 2017 it was time to build. Dan Lind, with the help of Shawn Kemper and Matthew Stephens from Thomas Construction, helped them design a home to maximize the view from as many rooms as they could.
They wanted the master on the top level so they could do all their living on one level when they were there alone. “We really liked what they designed from the beginning,” Carolyn says. In all the bedrooms except the bunkroom there are either French
doors or sliding glass doors that all have the same wonderful view of the cove, which Carolyn says never gets old.
Cindy Phillips from Mediapolis, the woman who did all the woodwork when they built their current home in Iowa, stained and varnished their fabulous front door, then they brought it down, “packed like china,” according to Carolyn. She says it’s perfect and
just what they wanted.
Many of the ideas and details that you see are Carolyn’s. “I love it! I really like the process,” she saysThe style of the wood trim is Metrie “Very Square.” “We wanted linear, straight lines and a taller baseboard,” she says. “We wanted to use real wood, not a composite, and I wanted all the trim, doors and cabinets to be white, with a black island for contrast.”
The very linear handles on the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers are stunning. When she first saw them, she thought they were too large, but now loves them! Carolyn also chose the faucet for the kitchen sink because it was “clean” and a little more modern and great for the larger sink size. A first for her was a gas stove. She loves to cook (although she also loves it when Dennis grills!).
She admits “I was startled at and had to get used to the sound of the oven flame igniting. But I really like it because it cooks so evenly.”
They also went with more square modern sinks in all four bathrooms. They also all have the same faucets and handles — square and linear. Same with the lighting and mirrors. Everything is very simple and clean, not fussy.
The brown leather stools at the kitchen counter provide a great contrast to the kitchen island. Next to them is a brass bar cart, and pictures with brass frames hang on the wall. “I’m not afraid to mix colors and metals,” Carolyn says. The dining room table is rather spectacular! The base is stainless steel, and the top is a black marble slab with white veining. It took eight men to carry it down the driveway, which was just rebar at the time! The chairs are covered with Sunbrella fabric instead of leather so it can be sat on with wet swimsuits! Just off the dining room is a screen porch with a great view. Carolyn says it’s a great place to have wine during the summer. The ceiling fans here and in the upper and lower decks and in all the bedrooms are the same style. Very simple.
Back inside, in the living room, Dennis’s one requirement was comfortable chairs. “These chairs are amazing,” Carolyn says. “They have three individual controls to raise or lower the feet, the back, or the the whole chair at once. You can even charge your cell phone from the USB port in it!” ‘Root’ tables that look like tree cuts serve as a coffee table and an end table. They wanted something simple for the mantel. So the project manager took a piece of wood and beat it up with a chain and a screwdriver, then stained it to match the front door. Beneath the mantel is a linear-looking gas fireplace with a horizontal flame with glass rocks. A matching one is just below on the lower level. The window shades “are amazing,” Carolyn says. With large windows and afternoon sun, an easy solution was needed. These shades are Hunter-Douglas black semi-transparent power shades run by remote control. You can open or close one at a time, or all at once.
The same shades are in all the rooms. All the lighting in the house is on dimmers. Carolyn likes the ambience of lower lighting. “I’m not doing surgery in here!” The ceiling fan in the living room is a modern blade/industrial style and runs by remote. The beautiful light in the foyer is very linear, and uses the filament bulbs that have become popular again. “It looks very cool at night through the transom lights over the front door,” she says. A coordinating light in a larger size hangs over the stairway to
the lower level.
Off the living room is the master bedroom. It’s a bit of a change from the rest of the house, a little more traditional. Carolyn wanted the bed to be the focal point, with a big headboard in a color called Shark Fin. “I don’t want to do a lot of pictures, and I have all these dark bronze windows and a dark metal-front chest, but the two bedside tables are white, and I have a blue lingerie chest. I really like those pieces,” she says. Throughout the house they have pops of blue because of the Lake water, and the lingerie chest was one of those pops.
“The chairs and table on the little deck outside our bedroom were just delivered, and I absolutely love them!” she says. “Because of the way the house is situated, this is the morning shade,” Dennis says. “So it’s a perfect place for morning coffee.” In the adjoining master bath, Carolyn used tile in shades of gray that she found very spa-like and calm. They both love the shower.
Dennis is a rather tall guy with broad shoulders, and says one thing they were not going to skimp on was shower size. Carolyn says because she is detail-oriented, she wanted chrome in the bathroom, and she wanted glass knobs, so she got all clear, square glass drawer and door knobs there.
The trim tile is 6-inch-wide Deco strips with wrought iron on the top and bottom. It has the aqua blues and the grays and white
marbles that tie in with the flooring. She also loves the tub and its unusual shape and depth, and likes to watch TV as she relaxes.
Next to the tub is the master closet – another room she loves, which has laundry facilities and an island in it with drawers where
she can keep small items Back on the other side of this main floor, just off the kitchen is a pantry that’s used for kitchen overflow such as crockpots and a roaster, and also office supplies including computer accessories and a printer.
A half bath here has some unusual touches. An accent wall is done in a tile style called “New York, New York.” Carolyn always likes to have a surprise, so a John Elliott Interiors painting in bright colors, predominantly yellow, hangs on an adjacent wall.
Down the hallway and just inside the garage is a narrow storage room with hooks for hanging coats and bags, and shallow shelves for overflow food and drinks, candles and more. A small wine fridge is at the back beneath a window. in black and brass. The shower is lined with white watery subway tile with black grouting and a black door. Carolyn says the grout was very messy to install, but the result is worth it! The second bathroom has a tub, the other a shower.
Just off the living room is a storm shelter/wine cellar protected by a digital lock on the door (for the safety of the grandkids). It’s underneath the front door, so it’s a safe spot during storms, and at a constant ground temp. At the back is a table that Dennis’s mom always had in her breezeway topped by something from her garden.
There’s also a small lower-level kitchen, both for snacking while watching the game on TV, and for convenience when grilling to avoid running up and down the stairs. The unusual countertop is mariachi granite. Carolyn just loves it and thought it would be a fun thing to do in this space — a real conversation piece.
A bedroom on this side overlooks the pool as well as the outdoor kitchen. The headboard is seagrass, and she chose all-white bedding because she thinks it’s calming. In the corner is a baby bed for her youngest granddaughter, Estelle, 1 year old. Just outside this room is a Memphis Pellet Grill on the lower-level patio’s outdoor kitchen, Dennis’s favorite space (other than the dock)!
Near the grill is a high-top bistro table where they sit in the early evening. On the other side of the pool are Carolyn’s chaise lounges that she loves because they’re really simple, and a lower dining table. The only place on the patio without a railing is the outside edge of the pool. Dennis didn’t want the view obstructed. “It’s perfect! You just stand in there and put a plate of food or a beverage up on the edge…” They put in a stacked-stone seawall the year after they bought the lot. When the contractors began working on the lot, they liked the seawall, so they worked in the same look in the retaining walls in several locations including the off-street parking.
Just above the seawall on the front corner of the lot is a firepit. That way the girls, when they’re just a bit older, will have a place to roast hot dogs and make s’mores — and memories. Carolyn says the view of the house from the dock at night is “just the prettiest view ever! The soffit lighting is on and it’s so pretty!” “We feel so blessed! This really is a dream come true!” •