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  • Writer's pictureEmily Renze

Our Des Moines Design Journey ❤️

Our Des Moines Design Journey

I want to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves and our new "old" home to our new community in Des Moines. 🙂 I'm Emily, an Iowa native - Lake View, Iowa to be exact. I lived in Des Moines for a few years after high school, then jetted off to sunny San Diego. That is where I went to college, started my career in interior design, and met my fabulous husband, Travis. We bought our first homes, started our business, and had our babies, Theo and Georgia, there.❤️ I called wonderful San Diego home for 20 years, but around 2020, I suddenly became homesick for the first time ever! With the support of my amazing husband and our families, we made the leap to move back to the midwest! We are so excited to become a part of the Des Moines design scene and continue doing what we love here.


There was one thing I knew I wanted: an old home in an old neighborhood. Since I was a little girl, I have loved the neighborhood South of Grand. I also loved the quaint Beaverdale, Waterbury, and Brown Woods areas - anywhere with old trees and old homes. With the help of my nephew's stepmom, Michelle Ternes, from the Harmeyer Team, we were able to find our little gem on a larger lot, at a price that would allow us to do what we felt it needed. We can't seem to buy real estate without completely gutting it ☺️, but renovating a home from across the country was a new experience and a challenge, to say the least. It was an especially busy time for us because we were simultaneously running our business in San Diego and planning a major move with two very small children. But, we are not ones to shy away from a challenge. We knew we could do it!





SW 42nd Street


What I loved about this home most were the entry door, the oak floors, the original living room window, and the Des Moines Brick Co brick all over the outside - all features we plan to keep!


A peek into our Des Moines design journey

We purchased the home in the fall of 2022, but there was a lot to figure out. When we began designing it, I pulled a bunch of all-nighters. After all, I don't get paid to design our own home. We came back to Iowa after closing and started with some exploratory demo work. I live for space planning. Coming up with many options was fun, but I wanted to bring in a local architect to help with the roof design. Being unfamiliar with the local permitting process, we also sought their help for the permit set of plans. Neil and Jeremy of Cycle Design Studio delivered! We were very happy with their ideas and the results. I won't complain about higher ceilings! 🙂


Below is the new floor plan. The shaded walls reflect the addition to the original 1920s home. On the south side of the home, we are adding a primary suite, another bedroom, office, and a laundry closet. On the north side, we are adding a mud room and garage expansion. We are also adding a full basement below the south side addition, which will have another bedroom, bathroom, theatre, and gym. That addition will be phase two of the project.


Des Moines design floor plan

Before - Progress Pictures


In the kitchen, we removed the back wall, opening the space up to the dining room:


This is the view from the living room, looking through the dining room and into the kitchen:


Here is the new addition:


The Vibes


I want to create a space that feels cozy, bold, and historically inspired, but with modern elements. I sourced an antique fireplace surround, which features a little cubby behind a glass door - the verdict is still out on what we will put in there. We are recycling some of the brick that was removed from the exterior of the home, veneering it down to use as our fireplace hearth and around the fireplace opening. I found an incredibly unique spindle chair at The Picker Knows here in Des Moines - so much fun stuff!! I can't wait to see it all come together.

Des Moines design mood board

Presentation board: B Street Design Sofa: Interior Define Coffee table: CB2 Chair: Anthropologie Light fixtures: Etsy Rug: The Rug Decor


This is just the beginning of an exciting new chapter for us here at B Street Design! To keep up with our Des Moines design journey, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.



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