The Veit family restores their cabin retreat with help from Matt and Randy of MRA Construction.
Rudy and Jeri Veit’s river retreat is less than a 15-minute drive from their home just outside of Jefferson City, but as soon as they settle in, their minds drift far away from the responsibilities of the capital. It’s a home built for relaxation and designed for family, for function, and — most of all — for fun.
For 30 years, the Veit family has escaped to this land to relax, but when their cabin began to show some serious signs of wear and a few unwelcome visitors (namely, the nest of black snakes that moved into the crawl space), Rudy and Jeri decided it was time to update their getaway. What started as a remodel quickly became a rebuild; Jeri wanted no memory of the reptilian residents and instead wanted a fresh, updated space to create new memories.
Enter father–son duo Matt and Randy Allen, longtime friends of the Veit family. Randy practiced architecture full-time for much of his career, but now only works on a few special projects with his son. Inspired by his dad’s work in the industry, Matt began MRA Construction in 2010 to serve Mid-Missouri’s custom home building needs.
Together, Matt and Randy bring years of experience and a fresh, creative eye, a combination that constructs timeless and inspired homes.
Bearing the Veits’ wishes in mind, Randy drew up the vision for the home and Matt built it to life. “Initially, it was just going to be the cabin, but we had some other ideas,” Matt says. “We thought if we’re going to do all of this work now, and everything’s going to be torn up anyway, we might as well do the pool deck, the patio, and the covered bar. I loved the idea because I knew they would use that. Looking back on it, I would have been saddened if they didn’t do the patio, because that’s where they probably spend most of their time.”
The patio is complete with a stainless steel bar, a fireplace, and enough seating to accommodate a crowd. It overlooks the pool, where many a summer day is spent.
The pool is the only original fixture that escaped total teardown through the renovation. “The pool was built in the 1940s by Lincoln University students,” Jeri says. The original structure pre-dated modern filtration systems, so when they bought the cabin, in the late ’80s, it was one of the first things on their list to modernize. To maximize the merriment, The Entertainer installed a whole-house sound system that extends outdoors and allows TV to be played on the patio while music is played on the pool deck.
Inside, a wall of windows adorns the river side of the home; the expansive view overlooks a landscape that has been shaped by water and wind for thousands of years. The Osage River, slow moving and thick with mud and fish, provided sustenance for generations of settlers and nomads in the area. Today, it still provides a fresh catch for dinner and a fun path for Veit family boat rides.
Stone walls throughout the home bring the lodge look to life and are a nod to the previous family cabin, which had a stone exterior. “Since we don’t have a fireplace, Matt Allen, owner of MRA Construction that really set the whole cabin feel inside this house,” Jeri says. A rich chocolate stain finishes the woodwork throughout the home, creating a more modern feel rather than a traditional natural-finished look. “We actually matched the same species and stain on the cabinets everywhere else in the house,” Matt says. Knotty hickory was used throughout, the only exception being the beams on the ceiling, which are a Douglas fir.
You might think the floors are wood, too, but that’s a sly trick. It’s actually concrete, but each plank is hand-cut and stained to mimic wood flooring. Matt says it’s one of the home’s most exceptional features. “Concrete is awesome and durable,” he says. “You can beautify concrete in so many ways. This is probably one of maybe two or three [of this style] in central Missouri. You do see some stamped floors and concrete, but you don’t see it inside like this.”
Many fond memories inspired the build, and echoes of those memories still remain. The Veit children once clambered up the loft at the old cabin, and now, their children can do the same. “The kids had so much fun in there because they could run around and do whatever they wanted to do,” Jeri says. “We ended up putting chalkboard paint on the walls; they would chalk on it and everything. They have so many memories from being up in the loft that they wanted one here too.” A set of live edge walnut stairs lead up to the cabin, a favorite design element of both the builder and homeowners. Only a clear coat of finish was applied to the stairs to showcase the beauty of the color gradation in the wood.
Another favorite feature of Jeri’s is the bunk room. When a nap calls, it’s the perfect place to rest for kids and kids at heart. Two three-tiered bunks, custom made by Matt, provide plenty of cozy sleeping space. Another guest room across the hall sleeps two. The master suite flanks the right wing of the house, adjacent to the full laundry room. Double doors lead to a private patio, perfect for sipping morning coffee or an evening glass of wine, Jeri says.
The kitchen design reflects the retreat style of the home. Its open shelving creates easy access to the cooking essentials, displaying glasses, mugs, and more. Jeri says that when she thought about her vision for the kitchen, there were two things she knew she wanted — black stainless steel appliances and no upper cabinets. “To most people, it’s probably not as functional because there’s not as much cabinet space,” Matt says. “But there are cabinets in the island and a large pantry behind. Jeri wanted more pantry space rather than cabinets.” The large quartz farm sink is a standout feature, a lucky find from a magazine.
The Veits built this home from and for memories old and new. With views equally stunning looking in and out, it’s easy to imagine another three decades of marvelous moments spent enjoying this Osage oasis.
- GENERAL CONTRACTING/DESIGN/FINISH/CONSTRUCTION: MRA
- CONCRETE: Concrete Design Concepts
- FRAMING/TIMBER FRAMING: A-Built Construction
- BUILDING MATERIALS: Meeks
- WINDOWS AND DOORS: Boone County Millwork
- DRYWALL: Eskens Drywall
- CABINETS: Thoenen Cabinets
- LIGHTING: Labell Cabinetry and Lighting
- TOPS: Carved in Stone
- BAR/FLOORING: Creative Concrete Design (Jerry Sanbothe)
- TILE/CARPET: Howells Carpet
- MASONRY: Kestners
- LANDSCAPING: Boulder Creek Landscaping
- STONE/LANDSCAPING BLOCK: Midwest Block and Brick
- MILLWORK/TRIM: Freedom Products
- APPLIANCES: Coleman Appliance
- ENTERTAINMENT/SECURITY: The Entertainer
- WELL: B and H Well Drilling
- SEPTIC: Binkley and Sons Excavating
- AVATION: Darrell Wilbers Excavating