Middleton Hills

Walls were removed between the kitchen and living room to open up the spaces to each other. A custom-built console table, by Baraboo Woodworks, sits below the window.
Photograph by Eric Tadsen

In late 2016, our clients contacted us to say they were about to close on a home in the highly desirable Middleton Hills neighborhood. The neighborhood is idyllic and one that my clients had long considered. When the property became available, they jumped at the opportunity. The only problem was that the interior of the existing home did not fit their clean, tailored, and more modern style. The home had great bones, but was in need of extensive renovation and rethinking to better suit their wants and needs.

The home has a small footprint—long and narrow. In cooperation with Streicher Renovation, we opened up the space by moving some walls while removing others altogether to make the interior more inviting and functional. By eliminating a large curved wall housing a two-sided fireplace that had anchored the kitchen island (and served as an obstacle between the kitchen and the living room), we were able to reorient the kitchen, allowing unobstructed sightlines through the entirety of the living space. This fit the bill perfectly for our clients, who regularly enjoy entertaining family and friends. Removal of the fireplace wall also brightened up the home as sunlight then penetrated the space. A more modern metal fireplace was added to the southern wall of the sitting area.

The addition of a dry bar just off the kitchen provided an opportunity to increase storage and create a striking focal point out of what was an underutilized work space. Originally, this space was used as the home office with a built-in desk. Now, with a dedicated office space on the second floor, there is no longer a need for a desktop work space immediately adjacent to the kitchen. We enlisted the help of Cabinetry Plus to build and install custom Shaker-style cabinetry in both the kitchen and dry bar. We specified alder—stained a rich, warm chocolatey brown—to complement the deep blue used on the kitchen island. Both spaces were finished off by flooding the backsplash walls from countertop to ceiling with a geometric marble tile in the bar and a dimensional subway tile in the kitchen. The marble-like quartz countertops are durable, easy to care for, and tie the two spaces together.

Originally, the master suite included a step-in closet, which was not going to suit the needs of someone as fashionable as the new homeowners. The master bath included a tub with shower enclosure that had become dated and in desperate need of a design refresh. By stealing a bit of space from the amply sized garage, we were able to expand the bath and add a full walk-in closet to make this a true en suite. A custom vanity, also built by Cabinetry Plus, is large enough for a pair of shallow vessel sinks that look like sculptural art pieces. The tile is a combination of marble-looking porcelain on the floors and shower walls along with decorative insets of a marble basketweave tile.

The adjoining master bedroom is a calming sanctuary space for the busy couple to retire to at the end of the day. This room, like many others in the house, layers texture upon texture. Very minimal color was incorporated, but the space is still visually intriguing. A patterned, grasscloth wallpaper was selected and installed on the headboard wall. Additionally, motorized, woven bamboo roman shades; quilted bedding; a faux fur throw; as well as the presence of a crushed velvet bench at the end of the bed up the style quotient, making this a cozy space to retire to in the evening or a great space to linger in on a lazy Sunday morning.

The decision was made to keep most of the existing millwork throughout the home, but all other finishes were updated. The previous wood floors had seen better days and needed to be replaced. Schreffler Custom Wood Flooring installed and site-finished new hickory wood floors throughout most of the main floor. A durable, high-traffic finish was applied to help protect them from wear and tear. Site-finishing the floors allowed us to have more control over the custom color. It was important the flooring be a nice bridge between the existing maple trim work and the new alder cabinetry.

Most of the furnishings selected for the home were also custom built. We had the fortunate opportunity to collaborate with Baraboo Woodworks on a dining table and bench along with a console table built specifically for the space. It’s always a treat to be able to work with local craftspeople to bring a project to life! Customization need not be intimidating. Having the ability to specify the size, construction, finish, etc., of a piece allows you to take full advantage of your space, create something entirely unique, and support local makers.

The timeless selection of natural tones, materials, and textures contribute to a sleek, warm, and comfortable space that will suit the needs of our clients for many years to come. Wrapped in the spring of 2017, this home renovation continues to evolve as these world travelers collect and acquire special art and décor pieces from their excursions, which add a layered look. By keeping the palette primarily neutral, they’ll always be able to introduce these mementos and special pieces with ease.

Carrie Simpson is the owner/principal designer at Vault Interiors & Design.

Photographs by Eric Tadsen.

View additional photographs at homeelementsandconcepts.com .

Interior Design and Décor by
Vault Interiors & Design
vault-interiors.com

Renovation Construction by
Streicher Renovation
streicherrenovation.com

Hardwood Flooring by
Schreffler Custom Wood Flooring
schrefflercustomwoodflooring.com

Cabinetry (kitchen, bar, master bath) by
Cabinetry Plus
cabinetryplus.com

Tile and Countertops by
ProSource of Madison
prosourcewholesale.com/showrooms/wi-prosource-of-madison

Window Treatments by
Springs Window Fashions
springswindowfashions.com

Wallpaper Installation by
Larry Snyder’s Paint & Paperhanging
larrysnyderpaintpaperhangingcom.weebly.com

X