Tradition Drive, Polk City, Iowa

Hello! Today we're shifting design gears and decades and touring this brand- spankin'- new home in Polk City, Iowa.

Like a lot of new homes, this one has an open floor plan, and sleek finishes throughout.  From the front door, you see through to a nice large room with floor to ceiling windows.

Ok, hold that thought for a moment. I want to zone in on the kitchen to really set the tone for what we can do here.

Here's a closer view. (For point of reference, the front door is on the same wall as the ovens, down a little hallway.) This kitchen is very nice, but it probably looks like its neighbors' kitchens.  What I'm suggesting isn't just decorating, but a renovation in this case.  If we can't dream big here, where can we? Let's have fun going from cookie-cutter to showplace!

First the walls. They're currently painted a shade of gray that's very popular now, which means we need to do something else like this charcoal shade to be a stand-out. Here we go with the open shelving debate again, but I think just replacing the two cabinets on either side of the vent hood would be fine. 

Here's my main reason for this design-the kitchen is in the same room as the living room. The cabinet and the island have a furniture feel to them, not a kitchen feel. That's also why we would paint instead of tiling that back wall. As a bonus, this slate/charcoal shade would ground that large space and show it who's boss.

This artful combination of rustic and sleek decorating has been termed Rough Luxe. (Decorators can come up with names for anything. Never mind that Rough Luxe sounds like something that Scooby Doo would say.)

Ok, back to the living area. Let's Rough Luxe it up. Here it is again, before:

Here is what we could do, courtesy of McAlpine Tankersley Architecture. 

I really like those steel window muntins. I'd be tempted to buy snap-in versions for the existing windows. Because I care about these things, window grids would also tie in with the square motifs happening in the kitchen. It's all in the details, people. 

McAlpine Tankersley has combined some pretty sleek, luxe furniture with a rustic floor lamp. I like how there's not a lot of color here. Rough Luxe seems to be more about shape, mood, and texture than about pops of color. It's a very deliberate approach.

Here's the other side of the living room.

Here's McAlpine Tankersley again for the win. 

I know y'all will think I have a vendetta against existing fireplaces, but scroll up and imagine this wall as the opposite wall to the kitchen I suggested, especially with these slate colored cabinets. Again, this is turning a cookie-cutter design into one with a very deliberate hand. The furniture would also bring more roughness and texture to the living room mix. (Will you allow me to claim that the wicker pattern continues our square motif?)

Down the hall from the living room is a little mudroom space. 

Nice, but I can't leave well enough alone- not when we can add a little Rough Luxe from Pinterest to it.

Ok, this is a little more rough (and messy) than luxe, but again, it's not cookie-cutter, it's deliberate.

So exactly what would a Rough Luxe bedroom look like? I think it starts like this:

and it ends like this:

I think the coffee table might walk out of the picture on those little legs.

This pretty design is by Dodson and Daughter Interiors. It's a terrific balance of rough (the table, steel bed, and pattern on the chairs) with luxe (the velvet headboard, pillows, and settee). If you weren't already a fan of this style, I think this room alone might convince you. (So would a quick visit to the blog

How was this for prairie pizzazz? I love the idea of turning this house into a showstopper. As always, see my Pinterest boards for your favorite designs. I always find more inspiration than I can fit in one post! Next up, a light and colorful design to get us in the mood for Spring!

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