Hidden behind their heavily-shaded front yard sits Mike Fletcher and Karlene Kentner’s 1904 two-story farm-style home. From the street, while the leaves are on the trees, their home is a hidden treasure unveiled once you step inside their front gate constructed by Fletcher himself.
Fletcher purchased the home at 309 E. Green St. in 2000 after relocating here from an acreage in Van Meter.
“I bought it because it had good bones,” he says. Fletcher and Kentner met through work. She moved into the home from Des Moines in 2005.
Fletcher’s woodworking talents and Kentner’s eclectic artsy style have aided them in bringing the home to what it is today. He replaced all the windows himself, having each one custom ordered maintaining the original trim on the inside. One of the staircase windows was fashioned out of stained glass by Fletcher. The front porch was rebuilt to be a screened porch, and the double screen doors were constructed to give it the farmhouse feel.
“I cut each picket in the fence by hand,” Fletcher says.
The foyer showcases a three-turn staircase with a closet tucked underneath the steps. French doors off the foyer open to the living room. All of the original woodwork and oak floors remain intact. Meals are eaten at a large farm table fashioned from bridge planks Fletcher purchased at auction. The half door between the dining and kitchen was made from the top of a door so their dogs can still see them. The kitchen was remodeled by a previous owner but is now their next project with plans to finish the ceiling with tin. The downstairs bath was added in a possible pantry years prior. The back porch and back entry lead the way to their peaceful back garden and patio.
The landing upstairs serves as Kentner’s office while Fletcher uses the completely remodeled sleeping porch for his. Two bedrooms are for sleeping while the third, with the adjoining sleeping porch-turned-office, is Fletcher’s man cave. In the upstairs bath, which will someday be remodeled, sits a claw-foot tub and a pedestal sink.
“It’s just an old house we’re trying to hold together,” he says.
“It’s a never-ending job,” Kentner says with a smile.
Contact Darren Tromblay at 953-4822 ext. 304 or email@example.com to be featured in a future “Where We Live” column of Winterset Living.