About 2½ years ago, a house-moving crew lugged a big old farmhouse from its spot on an Eldridge farm across a field to a new location to make way for the building of 38 new, villa-style homes on the 10 acres where the house had stood.
The villa development has gone along great — nearly all the homes have been built and sold as part of the Villas at Century Farm — and now the farmhouse, originally constructed around 1920 by the Muhs family, is looking great, too.
While the new homes were going up, Colin Woods of Diamond Builders and his employees also began updating the farmhouse. While keeping the features that give it character — hardwood floors, an open staircase, leaded glass windows and fancy wood trim — they built or added the features that make it a brand new house.
This includes an all-new kitchen, 2½ new bathrooms, new windows, new roof and new vinyl siding, a new three-car garage attached to the back and all new plumbing, heating and electrical systems.
The basement is no longer a cellar but a brand-new space that could be expanded, as there are egress windows for a bedroom and a plumbing rough-in for a bathroom.
Woods even modified the floor plan of the main level, cutting a large opening in the wall between the kitchen and living room to create a more open floor plan look. And, the opening looks like it's always been there because of the way Woods used wood molding from other areas in the house to trim it out.
A tour begins at the front porch which is a wholly new addition. When Diamond Builders bought the house, its original front porch was gone, replaced by an addition. Woods tore this off and replaced it with the kind of all-across-the-front porch it might have had originally, except he used modern materials such as composite decking.
The front door is original, featuring beveled glass and carved wood.
Step inside and there's a large foyer with a staircase to the second floor. One might immediately notice the carving on the newel post; Woods said the detail was barely visible when he took possession because it had been covered over with so many layers of paint and varnish.
All the woodwork was like that, he said. "You couldn't see the detail at all." Now the layers have been stripped away to reveal the original craftsmanship.
There's also an airy feel to the foyer, thanks to 9½-foot ceilings and numerous windows. The floors here and continuing through the first floor are the original pine that Woods refinished with a dark, walnut-like stain.
To your left and through a set of pocket doors is what originally was a parlor, now a formal dining room. And through a second set of pocket doors is what originally was another parlor, now the living room, with a three-window bay.
Then, beyond the new opening in the wall is the kitchen, looking smartly contemporary with original white wainscoting, white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, two new windows over the sink and a seven-foot island with white quartz countertop.
The backsplash bears inspection, made of concrete tile that is covered with a veneer of marble and painted with a design in gray.
While Woods painted most of the woodwork in the kitchen white, he left the trim around the windows the original natural color, providing a nice contrast to all the white.
Behind the kitchen in what was a butler's pantry and back porch, Woods has created a mudroom with cubbies made of wood salvaged from throughout the house, a laundry and a half-bath with a vessel sink and a closet. The flooring is concrete tile, set in a herringbone pattern, and there's a door to the three-car garage.
Up the stairs to the second floor, one is immediately greeted with an almost square room, with all the other rooms — plus doors to a linen closet and the attic — radiating off of it.
Because this house was built as a "four square," it originally had four bedrooms and one "janky bath," as Woods called it.
He has rebuilt that bath to include a shower and he has taken the smallest bedroom and turned it into a master bath with walk-in closet for the master bedroom.