Andy and Kelly Chalupa left their small hometowns in eastern Iowa to move to Ankeny, and they knew it was going to be quite the adjustment. Andy was starting his first job at Principal in Des Moines while Kelly was finishing her education degree from Iowa State. They were about to take the plunge and move to the big city.
To keep them connected to small-town living, the Chalupas ultimately wanted to build in an area that would resemble the country as much as possible. In 2007 they broke ground on their new home in northwest Ankeny in the neighborhood now known as Prairie Ridge. Kelly says at the time they were “the only building for miles.”
“We loved the country feel to our area with the amenities of Ankeny not too far away,” she says. As time passed, more homes were built, along with a few churches and the new high school.
On a street mostly occupied by ranch-style homes, the Chalupa’s large two-story is eyecatching. The house is nestled in an oversized corner lot and backs to a huge open field. Although the area has become an established neighborhood Kelly says “our backyard still has the most beautiful, country sunsets imaginable. I love that our kitchen area lights up in the evenings as the sunset pours in. and I love watching the stars from our open porch in the peace and quiet.”
The family is in the process of creating its own backyard oasis complete with a hot tub, barbecue island and a play structure for their daughter Carter, 8, and son Charlie, 4.
Although Kelly loves the backyard, Andy’s pride and joy is the theater room in the finished basement. The family enjoys watching movies on the 110-inch projector screen with a surround sound Kelly says “can rattle the roof.”
There is even plenty of room for Kelly to run her photography business, Old Blue Chair Photography, right out of the house.
The Chalupas eventually adjusted to living in a big city, but have done so in a cozy place that still reminds them of “home.”
“I love that it’s quiet here,” Kelly says. “And those surrounding us aren’t just neighbors, they are friends.”