yahoo

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Of all the cool things in his family's new home, Jimmy Trier likes the elevator best.

Of all the cool things in his family's new home, Jimmy Trier likes the elevator best.

When Jimmy, 14, wants to go upstairs to his room, he opens a wooden door, pulls back a gate and moves his wheelchair in.

His parents, John and Barb, built their two-story brick house on the top of a hill in Adel on the farm that Barb's family homesteaded in 1846. They moved in at the end of May.

"We built the house because of our son," John said. "He was injured five years ago with what was called an AVM bleed and almost died. We lived South of Grand and it just didn't work, so we sold that house. We kind of carved a little spot on the hill and took about a year and a half to get the whole thing done."

An AVM is an abnormal collection of blood vessels.

The Triers found the plan for the house on the Internet.

"It's kind of a recycled plan from a Texas architectural firm," John Trier said. "Arts and Crafts/Prairie style, I guess. It had everything we wanted. It had the high-up windows for the view. It had a back stairway, so we were able to take that out and use it for an elevator."

Trier, a carpenter who specializes in finish work, did the woodwork throughout the house. He chose quarter-sawn white oak for the trim because the family wanted a heavy, old look. Antiques - including an assortment of microscopes and navigation instruments - line the tops of old dentist cabinets and card catalogs.

Heavy furnishings - some with simple lines, others with ornate carvings - are balanced by the open floor plan, abundance of windows and yellow textured walls.

The Finished Edge in Des Moines put a veneer plaster texture over the drywall and a sand finish on the ceilings.

"I kind of joke that I know from my business that nobody comments about the woodwork," Trier said. "They all say, 'The walls, look at the walls, look at the ceiling.' And I say, 'What about the stairway?' "

John designed the Arts and Crafts stairway to the second floor. He said growing up in a house in Johnston designed by Frank Lloyd Wright - built in 1957 at the end of Wright's career - influenced much of what he prefers in woodwork.

Although the Triers like turn-of-the-century design and antiques, they say that a wider range of aesthetics drives their home decor.

"The pedestal of the dining room table is probably why we bought it, because we appreciated the artistry that went into it," Barb Trier said.

John Trier also was drawn to the carving on the back of the dining room chairs. And he said that instead of picking a Prairie-style fireplace mantel, the couple picked out a more ornate one just because it was more interesting.

"I don't think we'll win any decorating awards," he said.

"You can take a theme to extreme," Barb Trier said.

"We like the word eclectic," John Trier said.

One of their favorite things to collect is antique lighting - especially old post office or other governmental fixtures.

Trier said that he likes to make fun of the light fixture over their dining room table.

"You'll notice that one shade is different. For those who know lighting, the five that do match are really great shades," he said. "We've looked; we just can't find it. We had to stick another shade on there."

But they hold out hope that someday the shade might show up, Barb Trier said.

"It would be like winning the lottery."

Homestyle is a publication of The Des Moines Register.

from...



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