A home for celebrations

Published 4:00 pm Sunday, August 30, 2020

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Couple’s home evolves over the years into a place perfect for gatherings


Built in 1896, Dustin and Melissa Barr’s home on Sunset Street has evolved over the years with renovations and additions to make it the perfect home for their family and also for entertaining.

Attracted to the house because of its proximity to Fountain Lake, the Barrs purchased the home in 2001. They said they first started remodeling the upstairs bedrooms and bathroom and then over the years moved downstairs to the main level, opening up the front entryway, converting the master bedroom into an office and main-level bathroom and renovating the kitchen. 

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“When we’ve redone things, we’ve tried to keep a farmhouse-type feel,” Melissa Barr said. “We try to maintain some of the integrity of the original house.” 

The family has a historical photo of the home displayed on both the main and second levels that serves as a reminder of how much the home has evolved since it was built in 1896. In that photo, many of the other homes now in the area were not built and there were dirt roads.

At one point, she said the home had seven different floorings on the main floor. When they renovated, they selected a wide-plank hickory flooring and lots of grays and whites with wood tones to warm up the rooms, she said.

The kitchen, which used to include a mudroom, laundry room and kitchen all in one, has been renovated into a larger kitchen with maple cabinets, Granicrete countertops and an island.

The master bedroom is now on the second level, overlooking nearby Fountain Lake, and, soon, a deck will be added off of that bedroom as well for additional access to look over the lake. She said the bedroom faces east, and they have been able to witness many beautiful sunrises in the mornings.

The upper level now features a large master bedroom and bathroom and two bedrooms for their youngest children, Laila, 4, and Lorenzo, 6. Their oldest child, Logan, 17, lives in the basement.

The Barrs said though they have tried to do some of the work themselves over the years, they have hired out some, too. They try to get all of their materials locally, and use local contractors if possible.

In 2010 they purchased property adjacent to their house, and five years later tore down the garage and two small sheds there to expand and now have a larger yard and a new garage space and driveway. 

They said it is difficult to find lake property that has a yard, so it was a perfect fit to be able to purchase the additional property. 

In the middle of all of the renovations, Melissa Barr said they had an electrical fire in December 2010 that started with the hot tub, and had to redo the deck and porch. The deck runs along the whole side of one end of the house and features various seating areas. In the yard, a space has also been converted into another seating area with a fire pit, and there is a playground for the children.

Melissa Barr said despite all the work they have done at the house, her favorite part of it all is the memories that have been built there. She said it is a perfect space for having get-togethers.

“We’ve used our space for so many different celebrations,” Melissa Barr said. “We’ve had kid birthday parties, adult birthday parties, mission trip parties … the hockey team, cross country, prom things here … school events.” 

This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been harder for them to host events at the house, such as their annual Fourth of July party that had to be canceled.

“It’s been a shift for us,” she said.

Dustin Barr said he likes entertaining, too. If the weather is bad, there is also a space in the garage where people can socialize with a television, couch and bar area.



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