The Bell House of Dubuque, Iowa was built for a merchant named John Bell by architect Ora Holland. The 4,896 sq.ft. brick home has been beautifully restored, but still retains many of the design features that make it "a magnificent sample of French Second Empire Design, which is considered by many to be the quintessential 'Victorian' style of architecture," according to its listing on Zillow.
The Bell House is quite grandiose even from your first look - the first floor boasts 12ft. ceilings and the second floor has 11ft. ceilings, providing tons of vertical space. The brick exterior and elaborate wooden detailing with red accents go perfectly together and create a fantastic backdrop for the great windows that adorn almost every room of the house.
The kitchen is beautifully updated for a modern feel, but a small strip of exposed brick above the stove is a subtle nod to the original design and architecture.
Small strips of exposed brick can be found in other areas of the home, like behind this old, wood-burning fireplace in the living room. Even with modern furniture, light fixtures, and appliances, the living room is able to retain a bit of nostalgic charm.
A marble fireplace in the master bedroom is the definition of class and is perfectly complemented by the gorgeous, gold-framed mirror above.
In the master bathroom, modern renovations are paired beautifully with touches of the old - a claw foot tub sits below the great window, but a tiled shower offers modern convenience just a few steps away.
Fantastic woodworking can be found in the study, creating a warm and welcoming space in which one could curl up with a book for hours.
The most unusual and eye-catching room in the house is the three seasons room on the second floor, which can be seen below. The wall connecting this room to the rest of the house is exposed wall-to-wall brick. The other three walls are fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows, presenting unbelievable views and bringing in an unparalleled amount of natural light.
Exposed wooden beams in the ceiling add to the earthy, homey feeling of this charming space. It's almost like an adult treehouse with all those gorgeous views of the surrounding trees and foliage!
Looking up at the three seasons room from the yard below, you get a small glimpse of the beautiful garden surrounding the property.
The Bell House, with all its small, nostalgic charms left seamlessly amongst the updated features, is truly the perfect mixture of old an new.
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