Not many people would compare their home favorably to Iowa’s state rock, but Joe Bustad does.
“The house is kind of like a geode,” says Bustad, walking through his west Johnston home. “It’s pretty plain on the outside, but you open it up and there are some gems.”
Indeed, the Green Meadows North home with the nondescript Regency exterior opens up to reveal some of the most unique and striking interior spaces around.
Bustad married Ann Cosimano in 2009, and moved with his two children into the home that Cosimano had built for her own family in 2001.
“(We) doubled the occupancy of our house immediately,” recalls Cosimano.
Bustad and Cosimano immediately set about renovating and expanding the home to accommodate the new family members — the couple has four children ranging from 17 to 10 years old — and to incorporate a new family style.
“Joe’s a graphic designer for IPTV,” says Cosimano. “So he drew up designs for the rooms, and we just handed the finished designs to the contractors. There was no guess work.”
The main floor houses the open kitchen and living area, with granite counter tops and flagstone accents. The living area also features two book shelves that Joe made from repurposed canoe hulls, set in a custom entertainment center. Off the living area is the laundry room, which the couple expanded to include cubbies for each family member’s coats and shoes.
Upstairs, the stairway opens up to Joe and Ann’s computer office, with the girls’ bedrooms flanking.
“We gave the girls say in what their rooms would look like,” explains Ann.
The results were three unique bedrooms that are all highly reflective of each girls’ personality, while maintaining a strong sense of continuity with the rest of the house. The master bedroom and bath are also on the top level, along with a separate bathroom for the girls.
The basement level features a finished bar and entertainment area, and their son’s bedroom with a separate bath.
Even as the children get older and transition to college, Bustad and Cosimano will probably stay put for a while.
“We’ve looked at other places,” says Cosimano. “But then we think about the idea of starting from scratch, and that’s too much.”