Gilded Age Restoration

Historic Gothic Revival Remodel, Milwaukee, WI

Architecture, Interior Design & Furnishings

Lifestyle Considerations

This 1890s Gothic Revival home in Milwaukee’s Historic District offered gorgeous artisan details yet lacked many of today’s conveniences. With this renovation, the home welcomed a modern refresh with a transitional aesthetic, while staying true to the integrity of the home’s historic elements. The new design boasts renovation of all four floors including the main bedroom suite on the upper floor; kitchen, living areas and outdoor terrace on the main level; and media, pub and bathroom on the lower level.

Design Vision

Original woodwork, leaded glass, and finishes were design inspirations for a solution that complements these details with a cleaner transitional style. The design seamlessly blends the remodeled areas into the existing context and creates a cohesive and compelling whole. The main bedroom suite layout allows for a gracious sleeping environment including seating space to celebrate the renovated fireplace. In the bath, space is maximized with mirrors doubling as medicine cabinets, and wood pilasters that pullout for storage at the dual vanity areas. Updated plumbing fixtures give the bath a modern appeal. The kitchen was original to the house, so quite dated and not functional for a modern working kitchen. The floorplan of that era was compartmentalized into a kitchen, pantry, and butler’s pantry. These areas were combined to deliver a modern semi-professional kitchen and casual dining space with better flow to the entertainment areas of the home. The garage was improved, and a new rear hall created a modern mudroom. A new outdoor roof terrace was created atop the garage to function as a private backyard space that features a custom metal work stairway, green roof, grilling zone, plus dining and seating areas. In its original form the unfinished basement was a diamond in the rough. In line with Milwaukee’s beer baron heritage, the homeowners are also beer enthusiast with ties to the modern microbrew industry. The space was transformed with a home pub, entertainment area, exercise space and a full bath. The design was inspired by the Cream City brick arches, a mark of Milwaukee, that were preserved as a design feature. With a blending of old and new, the resulting design presents a compelling whole to support the owners’ lifestyle. The fresh style respects the home’s historic elements with a transitional aesthetic.


“I wanted to tell you how fantastic the design and execution are. I am truly stunned at how perfect the proportions are and how it fits with the house. I am also fascinated by how the design is both historically respectful and modern at the same time.”