Thursday, 26 November 2020

New home on East Locust is surprise in more ways than one

People traveling Davenport’s East Locust Street during the past two years may have noticed a big, white house gradually appearing on a long-vacant lot across from Duck Creek Park.



Cary and Kathy David designed their home based on a house they used to walk by when they lived in Waterloo. But to accommodate their lot, they had to make various changes, such as tucking the garage under the house, and, in the process, the home became unique to them. Note the dormers, extensive use of windows on the first floor, including in the bump-out bay, and the black window cladding.

Now complete, this is the home of Cary and Kathy David, who bought and built on the in-fill lot because they have long-liked the neighborhood behind it, the area of old Middle Road and McClellan Heights.


angle couple

They looked at existing homes in that area, but knew that anything they bought they would likely redo, so they decided to build new.

And because their two children were getting older, living on a busy street wasn’t a concern for safe play.

The inspiration for the classic-looking exterior design came from a home the Davids used to walk by when they lived in Waterloo. Features include two dormers, a bump-out window bay and black window cladding, a color Kathy David chose because it reminds her of wrought iron or the lead in 1930s art glass.

And inside, the design and finishing touches are all Kathy’s ideas. The first thing you’ll likely notice are all the windows — windows were key.



The theme of lots of windows and light continues into the family area of the home, where the large windows and a door overlook the backyard deck. The dominant feature of the room, though, is the combination fireplace and 65-inch flat screen television, flanked by wide ribbons of stacked firewood, a design look Kathy David saw in a magazine.

And light pouring in through those windows accentuates the largely white interior — the all-white walls and woodwork, the stairs, even the carpet. It also makes the splashes of color such as artwork, plants and the hardwood flooring pop even more vividly.



A picture of Jack Nicholson with red hair is a show-stopper in the family room.

The floor plan is not what you usually see in a new home; it’s a cross between the open concept and traditional rooms with walls.

A large, open central hall extends from the front foyer to the back deck, with rooms opening off from this. To your right is the formal living room and family room. To your left is the formal dining room, two sets of stairs and the kitchen.

And much to look at all around.

At your feet, the oak flooring in the hall has been installed in a herringbone pattern. “I’m a linear person,” Kathy said. “I like lines. You create statements.”

Custom features, bursts of color



The formal dining room features chairs with metal mesh backs and artwork consisting of framed rectangles of color.

In the dining room, the chairs have metal mesh backs and on the wall there are framed rectangles of color. “I love pops of color,” Kathy said. “They give life to a very white wall. It’s like in Valencia (Spain) where you turn a corner and ‘whoa!’ there’s color.”

In the formal living room, large, potted plants provide bursts of green.

The dominant piece in the family room is a custom-made, floor-to-ceiling black box that holds a fireplace and a 65-inch flat screen television.

“I’m not a fan of TV, but my husband is,” Kathy said. “He loves to watch golf and other things. I didn’t want the TV to be the statement in that room.”

She also “is not a big hearth person”; that is, she isn’t a fan of the standard fireplace look with hearth, surround and a mantel.

So by placing the TV on top of the fireplace in a black box, then softening the black by flanking it with warm ribbons of stacked firewood, she created a practical arrangement that also is aesthetically pleasing.

The Davids’ architect tried to talk her out of it, though. “He said, ‘What do you mean you don’t want a hearth?'”

Opposite the fireplace/TV there’s a pop art picture of Jack Nicholson with red (bright red!) hair. “I like conversation pieces,” Kathy said. “And I love pop art — whimsical, happy, bright color.”



Open shelves hold books and artwork in the sitting room/reading area at the top of the stairs.

Rounding the corner, you come to the kitchen and there you notice — immediately — that there are no wall cabinets.

“I got a lot of blow-back from that,” Kathy said, referring to the reaction from the architect and builder. Instead, she chose open shelving. Other kitchen features include black grout between the white subway tiles of the backsplash and white marble countertops.

But if Kathy found resistance with the fireplace and shelves, it was little compared to what she faced when she said she did not want a microwave oven.

Imagine. No microwave.

“All it takes (to live without a microwave) is a little pre-planning,” she said. Not having one “forces you out of the habit of eating on the go, of 30 seconds and you’re done.

“Everything is moving at the speed of light,” she said. “Life is moving way too fast. This is slowing down. An oven and stove is all you need.

“But it freaks a lot of people out,” she said. (Should someone want a microwave in the future, there is built-in capacity in the pantry.)

In addition to unusual art, every single light fixture in the first floor is a piece unique unto itself. The only similarity is their dissimilarity.

Upstairs, lower level

Walking up the stairs, you come to the landing with a sitting room/reading area. Shelves hold books and art work and a large, 1947 vintage mirror seems to double the space.



The pantry door was salvaged from Seton Catholic School in Moline when the school was doing some remodeling, and it introduces an element of the unexpected to the kitchen area.

Also upstairs: the master suite with a walk-in closet and bath, two bedrooms sharing a jack-and-jill bath and a rectangular office overlooking the backyard.

The lower level contains a laundry, rec room, storage room that could be another bedroom, half bath and concrete-lined tornado room.

Accessories in the rec room reflect Cary David’s golf prowess with mementos from three holes in one (Davenport Country Club, Byron Hills Golf Course and TPC at Deere Run) and a flag from when he played the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland.

The Davids’ builder, Nick Kinzenbaw, of Bettendorf-Davenport, broke ground in July of 2016 and the family moved in two days before Christmas that year.

And despite the often-heavy traffic on East Locust, the home is surprisingly quiet because of the heavy-duty windows and the blown-in cellulose wall insulation.


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