When we look back, restoring a vintage home was not on our “bucket” list or something we ever talked about as a couple. 


The property came up for sale and after looking at it we both just felt like it was something we really wanted to do.  We pursued purchasing the home and quickly the property became our new “project". 


This historic home was built in 1912 and was constructed with bricks from a brick factory in Gladbrook, Iowa. Back in 1826 when the town was not yet developed but parcels of property were being sold off the corner lot where this property is located was named Block 20, hence the Block 20 Brick Inn. We are only the fourth family to own this home since its construction.


After purchasing the historic icon ,we began some restorations to update the home. We began taking down wallpaper and repainting all the walls.  We removed all the carpet and stripped, sanded and restored all the hard wood flooring. With the help of many family members and good friends we were able to get the upstairs renovated while we were not yet residing in the home.


After moving into the home we started on the main floor, again removing wall paper and carpet.  Katie Lewis, Interior Designer and owner of 319 Decor & Design was amazing help in the kitchen renovations.   The kitchen does not have a lot of walls for cabinets, so Katie advised utilizing the tall ceilings.  We did 12 inch cabinets stacked on top of 42 inch cabinets.  We did give up some storage for the farmhouse sink but that has proved well worth the sacrifice. Maple flooring in the kitchen, which is original, also required stripping, sanding and restoring. 

Next, we enlisted the help of Becky Hiatt and Jenny Boevers, owners of Fig and Frolic in Cedar Falls.  With Jenny’s direction we painted and waxed all the woodwork both upstairs and downstairs using Annie Sloan products. Windows are dressed with white shutters that were all repainted. Jenny mixed colors and techniques to restore the brick fireplace back to original appearance.  Becky was amazing at getting to know us, our background and professions.  She assisted in helping us pick out a few new furnishings and use many heirloom pieces from both of our families. She was instrumental in finding bold graphic prints of cows that make a statement and fit right into the decor and really give off the homey feel. 


The kitchen is where we spend majority of our time whether family or friends are around.  Jon built the broad dining room farmhouse table with trestle legs that seats eight comfortably. There is a massive island in the center with an oak top, where everyone tends to gather. 

One of our most favorite areas of the property is the large private outdoor living space in the back.  We spend the majority of our time when we are home enjoying  the outdoors.  With a large privacy fence around the deck and patio, it is like another room with open air ceilings. The unique wrap around porch in the front does offer amazing views of the downtown.  

It was not long after the majority of the renovations were coming to an end that we both realized this is a lot of living space for just two people.  Then we were approached by a couple of different groups to rent our home while they were in town for family functions. After doing it the first time we realized this was the perfect way to share the charming vintage vibe this property has to offer with others. 


The property is a step back in time with all the modern conveniences and great proximity to downtown Grundy Center.  The property is pure serenity for anyone looking for some peace, gathering with friends and family or enjoying the metropolis of Grundy Center.  We are one city block from the courthouse square.  

With a full kitchen (appliances, dishes, cooking utensils, pots/pans, slow cookers, spices and cooking staples) and a grill in the back on the deck, we invite you to make yourself at home whether eating in or dining at one of the establishments within walking distance. With three bedrooms on the upper level, the finished basement does have a sofa sleeper, the house does sleep eight.  We provide all linens, blankets, towels and some bathroom toiletries.  Wireless internet, cable and Apple TV are also available. The washer and dryer are available for use in the basement.  

There are still some projects in the works so things are always changing. Stay tuned for more news!

We can’t wait to share our home with you.  Please contact us for availability or any of your accommodation needs.  We will try our best to accommodate you.  We hope you enjoy the small town atmosphere and iconic vintage home as much as we do. 

Jon and Staci Freese


Tel: 319-269-7289

701 9th St. Grundy Center, Iowa 50638

© 2020 by Block 20 Brick Inn 

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