roomJUNE 2012 15"Then my in-laws came to see it and they are the types who can see the potential of a property." Those visionaries are Andy's parents, Tim and Jan Hartwig from Ankeny, who offered encouragement and then helped them revive the old place."We put in cheap carpet and painted the upstairs. It became our little cozy retreat," Celine said. "We cleared the lakefront and carried an old picnic table down by the water. We had a good couple of years here."Eventually, the old cottage with its leaky roof and shabby windows lost its appeal, and the Hartwigs decided to tear it down and build new. They turned to Rocca Custom Homes based in North Liberty, in large part because, as Celine says, "You get a lot of bang for the buck.""It was surprising to us that you could have such luxury without the high price tag," she added, noting that "Kevin is an engineer and Kimberlee is an artist."Artistry is evident at first sight, as you approach the house from the road. The garage door and front door are both faced with metal treated with fire and water. ?Artistic use of stone, glass and metal lend a sophisticated appeal at the front door.
16 roomJUNE 2012 "Kimberlee has a BFA in art and her expertise is metal smithing," Celine said, adding that they hand-selected the door panels based on the patterns created by the unusual technique."We crawled up on ladders and she moved the (panels) around to come up with this design," Celine said. "I love that our garage door also functions as a piece of art."Similarly, Kimberlee suggested a unique floor treatment by varying the width of the birch boards for added visual interest. "I love how it turned out," Celine said, noting that the blonde wood contrasts beautifully with the dark walnut finish of the doors and trim. Andy and Celine wanted their lake house to have one large living area open to the kitchen to accentuate the expansive views of the lake and surrounding trees."We wanted to bring the outdoors inside, and we wanted to feel like the house fits in the landscape," Celine said. "I wanted the illusion of stone pillars and Andy wanted floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the lake." ?Floor-to-ceiling windows divided by stacked stone pillars allow unobstructed views of the lake, reminding the Hartwigs that it's another beautiful day in paradise.