A Transitional Wisconsin Vacation Home with a Scenic Landscape


Transitional Neutral Exterior with Ample Windows

A Wisconsin vacation home connects to its scenic setting while being functional for large get-togethers and intimate family time.

Transitional Neutral Dining Room with Exposed Steel beams

The dining room of this Wisconsin vacation home demonstrates the abode’s flexibility. Four tables designed by Morgante-Wilson Architects can be grouped together as one.

Contemporary Neutral Living Room with Picture Windows

The living room features a custom sofa on an Atelier Lapchi rug.

Transitional Cream Stairway with Hanging Pendants

This steel and wood-capped stairway leads to the bridge upstairs; a wine cellar is tucked underneath.

Contemporary Neutral Kitchen with Rustic Stone Feature Wall

Contemporary with a rustic edge, the kitchen includes custom-designed cabinets fabricated by Lambright Woodworking featuring hardware by Amerock and Caesarstone countertops. Barstools from Wisteria pull up to a working island, lighted by metal pendants by José Solís Betancourt from Holly Hunt.

Contemporary Neutral Walkway with Circular Pendants

The expansive second-floor walkway creates a sense of being suspended in the air. The bridge connects the two ends of the house and leads to the upstairs bedrooms and bunkroom. Light fixtures from Uttermost complement the metal railings.

Contemporary Neutral Game Room with French Doors

An American Leather sectional from Euro Furniture takes center stage in the upstairs game room. A custom Bausman & Company coffee table from deAurora Showroom coor- dinates beautifully with a leather Barcelona chair from Four Hands and a rug by Concepts International from Ombre.

Transitional Entry Courtyard with Informal Pavers

The entry courtyard features informal pavers lined with grass providing pops of color and visual interest. Private garages are beyond the graceful archway, which feature rectangular Holly Hunt sconces. Locally sourced stone installed by Sublime Stone keeps with the home’s rustic theme.

Contemporary Neutral Screened Porch with Fireplace

A washed cedar-clad ceiling reinforces the screened porch’s octagonal shape. Designer Elissa Morgante outfitted the space with teak furniture, such as the sofas from Kingsley-Bate upholstered in Donghia fabric, to withstand the elements. The hanging pendants from Littman Bros. Lighting play off the windows’ boxy shape.

Eclectic Neutral Office with Circular Chandelier

A cozy getaway for the husband, his office features a remote-controlled fireplace with an intricate surround from Mona Lisa Stone & Tile. A Robert Abbey chandelier hovers above a leather-topped desk from Casamidy and an A. Rudin chair swathed in Castel fabric from Donghia. The walnut-framed armchair is from Interior Crafts.

Contemporary Office with Secret Doorway

A bookcase in the husband’s office opens to reveal a secret doorway leading to the master bedroom quarters.

Contemporary Kitchen Fridge Detail

The Sub-Zero refrigerator drawers in the kitchen are faced with custom metalwork by Migala Metal Designs.

Contemporary White Bedroom with Panoramic Views

A serene space, the master bedroom’s sitting area features chairs purchased at Matt Blatt and a custom-designed ottoman atop a J.D. Staron carpet from Apostrophe Design.

Contemporary Neutral Bathroom with Limestone Countertop

The spa-like master bath includes cabinetry painted in Benjamin Moore’s Seapearl and limestone countertops from Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies.

Contemporary Neutral Study with Custom Desk

The wife’s private office space—housed within the master suite—is defined by wallpaper from Donghia. An A. Rudin chair enveloped in a Calvin Fabrics textile pulls up to a custom desk. The purple sofa by Donghia wearing Clarke & Clarke fabric injects color.

“Sometimes you meet people who just have it figured out,” says architect Fred Wilson about the North Shore couple who own this Wisconsin vacation home. “They’re the coolest. They knew their priorities and exactly what they wanted.” Luckily, Wilson—along with his wife and business partner Elissa Morgante, project manager America Garcia, and an extensive in-house team—was uniquely qualified to bring to life both the couple’s initial ideas and the things they had never dreamed of but would later come to love. The result is an awe-inspiring vacation retreat purposefully designed to connect with its lakeside setting while creating a relaxed environment.

“We wanted the house to feel natural, like so many of the historic homes in the area,” explains the homeowner about the first item on her and her husband’s long list of must-haves. “But we have a big extended family, so it was really about being functional and multi-generational, with rooms that could morph to the needs of the residents. We’d been fans of Fred’s and Elissa’s work and felt they had the ability to do that.”

To execute the owners’ vision, materials including locally sourced Fond du Lac Tailored stone, washed cedar and standing seam metal were folded into the home’s complex architectural design. “The main building is basically a long tube,” Wilson says. “It’s anchored at each end with round figural elements, like exclamation points, that break down the symmetry and capture the views.” At one end is the ground-level master suite, the center point of which is a circular sitting area. The owners consider it a sanctuary. “It provides privacy when we have larger gatherings and tranquil comfort when we’re staying at the home as a couple,” says the wife. At the other end, an octagon shape houses a screened porch off the kitchen, which functions as an indoor and outdoor room most of the year.

An open floor plan prevails in the center of the home, encompassing all of the main living areas, which are defined and brought down to livable scale by a formidable wood-and-steel bridge that’s supported by a steel beam system. “Those beams go all the way up to hold the roof and bridge, and then down to the basement,” notes builder Earl Pomplun, who worked alongside John Loberg as project manager of the residence’s construction. “We built each end of the house first and then connected it to the middle. It was the only way to do it.” In addition, timber strand beams link a wall of windows oriented toward the lake.

Furnishing the spaces was Morgante’s task, and her approach was to address both function and form. “The whole house had to be usable,” she says, “and no two rooms could function the same. So, we directed the clients toward an earthy, organic, midcentury modern-chic look with a sophisticated palette of colors, textures and materials. Furnishings were upscale pieces, but comfortable and inviting.”

For example, the living room features clean-lined furniture on floating plinths upholstered in tones of putty, olive and eggplant. In the adjoining dining area, the table was ingeniously designed to divide into four sections that could be aligned in various configurations or grouped together as one unit. In turn, the kitchen is both rustic and chic with its careful composition of stone, marble, wood, and glass—materials that were chosen for not only visual appeal but also practicality.

From the start, the collaboration among Wilson, Morgante and the entire design team gave the house a clear focus. “How they listen and transform ideas into reality is a gift,” says the wife. “They’ve given us a home that we can grow into for years to come.”