A Transitional Milwaukee Home Incorporates Antiques


Transitional Neutral Folly with Stone Exterior

Inspired by stone buildings that they had seen on a trip to Brittany, France, the owners constructed a French-style folly on a peninsula that juts out from the edge of the property into a pond. Limestone siding, a slate roof and reclaimed timbers lend character.

Transitional Neutral Exterior with Landscaping

Reclaimed barn boards sport their original red paint that has faded over time.

Transitional Outdoor Detail with Statue

An Italian marble lion’s head dates back to the 1800s.

Transitional Neutral Library with Vaulted Ceiling

A passageway was transformed into a library, with a vaulted ceiling adding drama to the space. Jubelirer designed bookcases to frame a Mike Bell & Westwater Patterson sofa upholstered in Rose Tarlow Melrose House velvet and topped with pillows in Fortuny fabric. April Gornik’s painting hangs on a wall covered in a material from Holland & Sherry.

Transitional Living Room Detail with Savonarola Chair

A Savonarola chair, a family heirloom, takes pride of place in the bar area. Rust-colored handmade lacquered wallpaper is a complementary back- drop to a botanical piece from a local antiques store. Drapery fabric is from Holland & Sherry.

Transitional Outdoor Patio with Stone Wall

Landscape architect Judith Stark used a boxwood hedge on a patio, which visually bolsters the stone retaining wall.

Transitional Neutral Sunroom with Iron Table

The sun room overlooks the pond and features bluestone pavers that connect the indoors and outside. Existing kitchen chairs—refreshed with a hemp material by Jasper—encircle an iron table with a bluestone top.

Transitional Neutral Sunroom with Kilim Rug

An antique patchwork kilim grounds the sun room furnishings, including a sofa covered in Mokum fabric and a pair of woven chairs and ottoman from Janus et Cie. The Asian garden stool by Dennis & Leen is from Holly Hunt.

Transitional Neutral Breakfast Room with Bay Window

A ceiling with maple and reclaimed- oak beams adds warmth to the breakfast room. Jasper hemp drapery fabric from John Rosselli & Associates frames the windows. English-style armchairs, in a textile from Rose Tarlow Melrose House, surround a table from Mike Bell & Westwater Patterson. A Formations chandelier hovers above.

Transitional White Kitchen with Moroccan Tile Backsplash

A Shaws Original apron sink and Country Kitchen faucet, both from Rohl, suit the room’s clean-lined take on an English scullery-style kitchen. Placed against a Moroccan tile backsplash from Ann Sacks— residing behind the Wolf cooktop—a vintage tole tray references the outdoors.

Transitional White Kitchen with Antique Lanterns

Antique patinated-brass lanterns from Remains Lighting lend character to the kitchen, where white cabinetry mingles with marble and quartzite countertops. The backs of the Jacobean-style barstools with leather seats are covered in a Lee Jofa botanical crewel.

Transitional White Living Room with Velvet Sofa

Botanical motifs in the Chinese folding screen and Pierre Frey drapery fabric bring touches of the outdoors into the living room. A Baker sofa covered in Clarence House velvet, with a skirt in a Samuel & Sons border, is paired with a Gregorius Pineo tea table.

Transitional Living Room Detail with Fireplace

A mid-19th-century bronze-and-slate tazza from Donald Stuart Antiques.

Transitional Living Room Detail with Water Jugs

Early-20th-century Turkish water jugs from Paul Ferrante.

Transitional Living Room Detail with Side Table

The living room includes a Victorian Rococo-Revival side table.

Transitional Cream Entry Detail with Chest

A Joe Andoe painting above a Biedermeier chest of drawers from Rita Bucheit is a modern counterpoint in the entry.

Transitional White Living Room Detail with French Armoire

Designer Jessica Jubelirer placed an 18th-century French armoire from Mike Bell & Westwater Patterson between a pair of English antique chairs upholstered in a cotton-velvet from Robert Kime in the living room. Jasper’s Louis XVI-style sofa is covered in a cream checkered velvet from Cowtan & Tout and accented with a pillow in a striped Kravet textile.

Transitional Rear Elevation with Pond

Architect Jorgen R. Hansen designed a new two-story wing for this pristine Wisconsin home, which faces a pond on the north side and features such spaces as a large family room, kitchen and breakfast room, among others. The existing building was re-clad in lap siding, painted white to match the addition for a seamless transition.

Transitional Neutral Exterior with Barn Doors

“The landscape was a driving force when shaping the interiors.” -Jessica Jubelirer

It’s the lush landscape that draws visitors into this white sprawling home in a verdant suburb of Milwaukee. Like a rich textural patchwork, a terraced garden unfolds in nuanced shades of green, rose and amber, manicured with shapely boxwood where it needs to be, and a little wild with creeping sedum and drifts of lavender and nepeta where it’s more suitable Lannon stone steps slope down a path to a pond, where an old willow’s wispy branches arc above. On the more than 4-acre site, two weathered barns look as though they’ve been standing since the turn of the century. In fact,
they are actually a more recent addition—crafted from reclaimed wood—as is a charming stone folly that seems as if it was plucked from the countryside in Brittany, France.

These endearing features, however, were not always so. “I can’t say that there was anything magical,” explains the wife about the couple’s initial encounter with the property. “We were young, and it was the first house we purchased. But we liked the location and that it offered a lot of privacy on a pond.” Adds designer Jessica Jubelirer: “The owners understood that the property provided a unique opportunity to create a home that fit their needs and reflected their personal taste.” The original structure, though—a white clapboard two-bedroom ranch with black shutters, built in 1967 and purchased by the couple 22 years later—was absent of a particular architectural style. “Every side was covered with sliding patio doors, and the floor plan just wasn’t right,” says the wife. Yet the couple, along with architect Jorgen R. Hansen, could see the possibilities; Hansen imagined the home as a Greek Revival that would look like it had evolved over time, stretching up and out over the property, with a whisper of asymmetry.

Inside, the architect reorganized the existing floor plan, creating a more formal entry under a circular dome in a square front hall that leads into formal areas to the right and a new family room and kitchen to the left. Windows not only admit light but also gloriously frame views of the landscape, while extra-wide door openings add to the expansive feeling of the home. “In all the main spaces, you can see light in multiple directions,” says Hansen. Still, the plan is very traditional, with many rooms defined by ceilings with coffers, vaults and beams. “They wanted contemporary living but in a traditional fashion,” says Jubelirer.

The couple, who share the home with their teenage son, have been collecting antiques for many years. While they are both history buffs and antiquities aficionados, the husband is especially fond of late-18th- and early-19th-century styles, as well as Federal period furnishings. “I love old wood with character: dense grain, worm holes, spalting and especially patina,” he says. Adds Jubelirer: “They particularly love wood pieces that tell a story.”

To achieve a balanced look, Jubelirer took stock of
the owners’ many antiques, added new elements where appropriate and tweaked existing furnishings with new upholstery and slipcovers. “The goal was to incorporate these traditional elements with comfort and modernity in mind,” she says. The designer furthered this notion in the cozy library, hanging modern artwork against walls covered in a tweedy wool bouclé. “It softens everything in the room and is a great backdrop to the millwork,” she says.
In addition, the walls in the husband’s office are wrapped
in cognac-hued glazed-leather blocks, a rich backdrop for his collection of historical etchings. Finding just the right elements—such as the statement-making dining room rug— suits the overall organic process. “Each piece is unique and rich and creates a layering effect,” says the designer.

Layering continues in the kitchen, where an antique rug covers quarter-sawn white-oak floors, and antique lanterns lend a beautiful patina. “Her vision was very simple, timeless and clean, with white-painted cabinets and traditional undertones,” says Jubelirer of the wife’s wishes. A perfect foil: Jacobean-style barstools, featuring leather seats with floral-embroidered English crewel backs, embody this notion while also nodding to the scenery outdoors. In turn, the cedar-plank ceiling and walls in the sun room were brushed with milk paint to allow the wood to show through and painted a blue-green shade to connect with the flooring and outdoors. “It feels like an extension of the terrace, especially since the floor is also bluestone,” says Jubelirer. “The spectacular property and landscape were always a driving force when shaping the interiors of the home.”

Outside, landscape architect Judith Stark redesigned the terrain that was shaken up because of remodeling, excavations and new grading. She created a stone retaining wall, which informed more formal terraces, one covered with a pergola. “Each space outside has a different mood and personality, much like the interiors, with areas of sun and shade,” says Stark. The husband enjoys horticulture and provided a variety of plant materials
for Stark to work with. In addition, he was very hands-on during the design of the outbuildings, which he worked on in collaboration with the mason who also maintains the lawn and a carpenter who loves to use reclaimed wood, borrowing details from both American and European architecture. “Each of the main spaces in the house has a connection to the outdoors,” says Hansen. “The old home used to seem like it was just floating in a lawn. Now, it’s a pristine white house offset by the deep green colors of the surrounding landscape.”