In 1994, Dan and Donna Drey were looking for a change. They were relocating and downsizing. Their search in Winterset and surrounding towns for a fixer-upper eventually turned up the house at 318 W. Filmore. Another car was eyeing the house but Dreys beat them placing an offer.
“Our parents were mad at us for buying it because it needed so much work,” Donna says. There were holes in the plastered ceilings and wires with light bulbs for lighting. But Donna saw it as big enough to raise a family. “As long as the toilets flushed I was good,” Donna says.
Stepping inside their 1907 foursquare home, one would never suspect the amount of hard work Dan, Donna, and both sets of their parents did over the last twenty years. “I love fixing things up and seeing beauty in the imperfections,” Donna says. She has used her creative spirit to repair, fix, and paint each of the rooms hiding all of the disrepair of the home.
The downstairs has a front room, office, dining, and half bath laid out like a traditional foursquare house still boasting all of the beautiful woodwork which was the only feature of the home not needing much work. The french doors leading to the office are original as well as all the lathe and plaster. “I nicknamed Dan’s dad Dr. Plaster for awhile because of all the plaster repair he did for us,” Donna jokes.
Dan and Donna enjoy waiting for sales and estate sales to repair and decorate the home. They remodeled the kitchen and added a family room with basement to the southeast corner. The family room showcases a beautiful fireplace salvaged from an estate sale. The laundry room was relocated to the second floor leaving three bedrooms and a full bath upstairs. “I credit everything to God and wait for the deal,” Donna says, “We usually don’t buy new.”
Donna’s gardens, while dormant for the winter, grace the outside of the home with their beauty during the growing season.
The other car spying the house was the Miller family who were also moving to town. “We became fast best friends and still joke to this day about how we stole the house from them,” Donna says.