Before construction ever began, the owners of a new home in Mequon made two things very clear. The style should be modern farmhouse, and they wanted it to incorporate some of their favorite furnishings. Achieving that look started with the design of the exterior. “We broke the house up into several distinct parts so it looks like a true farmhouse, which normally have additions built over time to help the home adapt to changing needs and lifestyles. We then modernized it by adding clean lines and simple geometric shapes,” says Todd A. Rabidoux, director of architecture at Lakeside Development Company.
Inside, the open concept offers a comfortable balance of space for entertaining with an integrated kitchen, great room and dining area, while a separate office and master suite lend needed privacy for work and retreat. The difficulty of giving proper definition to individual spaces within an open floor plan is solved through a use of color, materials and light fixtures to bring attention and definition to each of the spaces.
According to interior designer Karen Kempf of Karen Kempf Interiors, part of the challenge included incorporating some of the homeowners’ traditional and Asian-style furniture and accessories into the new plan. “We found ways to freshen up the look of those pieces and have them blend into the new surroundings. For example, in the living room, the owner wanted to use a traditional-style rug she already owned. The color palette of the room and the furnishings were all chosen to complement and contrast the rug. Also, in the master bathroom and powder room, the vanities are made from converted Asian altar tables. They add an unexpected and fun element to the spaces.”
Kempf says the homeowners took design risks and were brave with their selections. “I always say, no guts, no glory, when it comes to design. That made the difference here. This could have been a very ordinary home but their gutsiness took it to another level and gives the home a look that is uniquely their own.”