Interior designer Brianne Bishop reunites with a former client to transform a Wisconsin lake house into a wow-worthy second home.
Expansive and airy with abundant stone and woodwork accents throughout, the home is made for entertaining.
There once was a home on lovely Lake Beulah, about 30 miles southwest of Milwaukee. With its cedar ceilings and giant river rocks throughout, the timber construction property boasted great bones and loads of woodsy cabin appeal—but it also needed some serious updates, from opening up the blocke-off kitchen to massaging the tired navy and white nautical theme. Who did the clients turn to for their fairy-tale ending?
Knot Sfera pendants sourced at Lightology, cabinetry by Hogan Millwork featuring custom design by Brianne Bishop Design, Greely counter stools by McGee & Co. and counters by Select Surfaces with stone from Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies add up to a seriously sophisticated kitchen.
Chicago-based Brianne Bishop Design, with whom they’d worked in the past and who they knew would help them transform the place into the second home of their dreams. As for Bishop, she was all in. “We were thrilled about the idea of getting lost in the woods on a lake,” notes the designer. “Of course there were challenges of taking on such a large remodeling project, out of state, during a pandemic, but we found we really enjoyed the opportunity to be a bit more rural during a time of such uncertainty.”
With magical lake views as a backdrop, the dining room beckons with Green Oaks pendants by Palecek sourced at CAI Designs.
Opening up the closed-up space was key, which Bishop’s team executed with RG Green Builder by removing two walls dividing the kitchen and adding a large island. “The home has beautiful full-height windows overlooking the lake, and opening up the floor plan allowed for these views to be seen from the entire main level,” notes Bishop. In addition, Bishop put the kibosh on the navy and white, which didn’t work against the warmth of the wood and the stones throughout the home. “It was a bit of a push on our end to get the client to agree to a warmer, richer color palette of cream, olive green and peach (with the negotiation of a light, ethereal pale-blue primary suite).” The project also included remodeling all four bathrooms, all new finishes and fixtures throughout, as well as furnishings and window treatments—all buttoned up by the following summer at the request of the client. “We were all nervous about lead times and construction costs going up,” admits the designer, “but, luckily, we were able to execute the project before any significant delays. Construction wrapped up by the new year and we were able to shift gears to furnishings and still have everything completed by summer 2021.”
The kids' bath features McCarren double sconces by Circa Lighting and a Radke vanity by Signature Hardware.
“Most of our projects during 2020 were out of state, and, luckily, we were able to adapt to remote designing and project managing,” says Bishop. “This project being only two hours from the city was just far enough to not be able to pop in easily but also close enough to do site visits often. We still tried to keep this to a minimum to keep all safe.”
Boasting an inviting array of hard and soft textures (not to mention a showstopping hearth), the roomy living area is the social center of the home.
Explains Bishop, “One goal early on was to not have exposed drywall anywhere that the ceiling was original cedar. With a combination of materials, from wood board to grass cloth to reclaimed barn wood, we were able to achieve this and the impact creates the coziest wooden home. Opening up the floor plan really transformed the space, and we always have to incorporate a found item in every project... and this one is the salvaged barn door in the basement closing off the beautiful laundry room we added in.”
At the client's request, the primary bedroom was done in an ethereal pale blue, capturing the room's airiness and contrasting impactfully with the darker tones of much of the home.
Walls painted in Benjamin Moore's Knoxville Gray pop against mustard accents in the children's room.
Mission accomplished, says Bishop. “We had worked with this client before, on their Deerfield home, and they are simply the best—very trusting and willing to go outside their comfort zone. They are in love with their new lake house, and it’s fairly unanimous that the basement is a favorite, especially among their teenage kids.”
The home sits nestled comfortably among the sylvan lakeside surroundings.
CONTRACTOR & PAINTERS
RG Green Builder
Brianne Bishop Design
Dining room Palecek lighting
Kids bath lighting
THE FINE LINE
HOME CARPET ONE
Upstairs and downstairs carpet
Living room sofa
Kitchen pendants and primary bath lighting
Various window coverings
Brizo kitchen and bath fixtures
THE URBAN ELECTRIC CO.
Powder room and stair lighting
Various window coverings
Photography by: Photographed by Anthony Tahlier