Island View

Transitional Lake Home Renovation, Nashotah, (Okauchee Lake), WI
Architecture, Interior Design & Furnishings


Design Objectives

This prominent lake property is perched on a hill in unison with the sweeping water views. The 1990s styling called for an extensive design shift to update all three levels of the home and create comfortable connections to the outdoor living areas including an in-ground pool, terrace and firepit, boathouse, and waterfront. The existing home was awash in golden oak and a substantial central staircase at the foyer blocked the view to the lake. The new design removed interior walls to open the entry and the compartmentalized rooms for today’s lifestyle necessities and comfortable lake living. Adding new doors and windows seamlessly provided connections for a modern experience that bows to the expansive lake views. The exterior was reimagined with a fresh, modern color scheme to brighten the home for an enticing welcome.

Design Vision

Existing beam detail at the great room’s double-height vaulted ceiling is now a highlighted feature made to frame the lake views within the large picture windows. The second-floor balcony enjoys the same views. A two-sided fireplace joins the great room and sunroom. The open design flows to the dining room, which is defined by the ladder ceiling beams and prominent light fixture. A walk-in wine room was added for easy hospitality with a refined display. Kitchen updates support entertaining with professional appliances, an oversized island and custom cabinetry with ample storage. Lighting design creates dramatic highlights in addition to task lighting. A secondary sink overlooking the lake creates a composed and efficient preparation zone.

Relocating the original central stair off the main entry to a 3-floor open stair column at the front of the house allowed natural light to flood through the interior. Modern stair rails create a visual rhythm from the lower level up to the second. The main bedroom updates feature a private balcony, sitting room with wet bar, automatic shades, and a spacious walk-in dressing room. The main bath was reimagined as a home spa. The wet room has an open wall of Ocean Blue Quartzite fitted with two shower systems next to the drop miter soaking tub. Lake views from picture windows obscure instantly for privacy with easy touch control. Down the hall, an oversized bunk room and guest suites received updates for a complete refresh of the upper level.

The lower level was transformed for sophisticated entertaining and includes a game room, golf simulator, exercise room and media room. The central bar is styled with black cabinets and a raw edge marble slab at the island for a chic club atmosphere. Hosting easily moves outside. The full bath and changing room have convenient access to the outdoor inground swimming pool. Thirteen-foot sliding doors at the media room open to the hillside terrace with an overlook to the lake where guests may enjoy time around the gas-start firepit or a soak in the hot tub.

New stone outcropping retaining walls, updated hardscape, and a new stairway guide guests to the lakefront. The existing boathouse was updated for daily living and entertaining. A full collection of amenities was added including a hosting bar and a white shiplap feature wall that conceals doors to the full bath and storage. The refrigerator is concealed into the wall with contrasting black geometric inserts offering a textural accent. The rooftop is finished with wooden decking and cable-wire railings for unobstructed views of the golden sunset.

“This is a team of the best architects. They are in a league of their own, second to none. Their solutions to revive this property, especially relocating the staircase, made the most of the site to maximize the lake views.”