When John and Rebecca Schultz moved into their Cedar Rapids home three years ago, they loved the location.

“We can see the Cedar River from the house,” Rebecca said.

The home, built in 2006, included a lower-level rec room and an unfinished shop area that offered a lot of potential.

“When we bought the house, we saw the basement square footage as an opportunity,” she said. “It just took some time to complete our vision.”

For several months, the couple thought about possible upgrades, and John began to put pen to paper.

“I started by drawing out designs and then drafted them up,” he said.

The couple worked with Sattler Homes & Remodeling to take down a wall to open up the space, which now includes a built-in bar area and a game room with a pool table, perfect for entertaining family and friends.

The remodel showcases several of the family’s passions, most notably the musical instruments that hang on a feature wall.

The Schultzes own and operate Schultz Strings, a Marion shop that rents and sells stringed instruments.

“I also teach — part of our business is teaching through various school districts and programs in the area,” John said.

Married for 13 years, the couple have two children — Charlotte, 11, and Graham, 7.

“Music is a big part of our family,” John said. “Charlotte plays violin, Graham plays cello and (the kids) both play piano. We make a lot of music as a family.”

The remodeled lower level offers plenty of room to practice and play music together.

John has combined his interest in music and woodworking and has built several wooden stringed instruments in the past. So for the remodel, “I built the table and a lot of furniture myself,” he said.

The new area includes a custom-built, raised bar top.

“The bar top is one of my favorite parts of the remodel,” John said. “I love walnut, and one of the things I really wanted to incorporate was a beautiful piece of walnut.”

The bar area also includes walnut floating shelves on a stone and tile wall, a wine chiller, ice maker, dishwasher and a keg refrigerator. Luxury vinyl plank flooring runs throughout the lower level, which has 15 windows to bring in sunlight and offer a picturesque view.

For Rebecca, the ability to enjoy quality time with family and friends at home is the best part of the remodeled space.

“Having more room to spread out and entertain is wonderful,” she said. “We love spending family time playing darts, using the pool table and hosting. We love to have big family gatherings and have plenty of room to enjoy and spread out.”

“I love to cook, and we’re both really involved with Rotary,” John added. “We’ve hosted a lot of dinners and events to help raise money for charitable causes.”

The work on the remodel finished up at the beginning of April 2020, just as the Schultz family — like so many others — began spending a lot of time at home during the pandemic.


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