If youve heard the expression "they just dont build
things like they used to," Paul Royce wants you to know it doesnt
apply to everything. Royce is a homebuilder and developer with Red
Maple Real Estate. His wife, Chris, is a former R.N. who took up
architectural design when the family relocated from Chris native
New Zealand. Together, they put together their best work in their
"The advantage builders have when
they do their own home is that they can put in the best of
everything," said Chris. "We really tried to choose things
for this home that would appeal to almost anyone and then we chose the
Royce is a second-generation
homebuilder whose father told him that home building was like making a
"He would say that people dont
know what the ingredients are, but everyone can recognize good
frosting," said Paul. "There are some fancy touches that
people can add that are perceived as quality. We try to build homes
like they did in the 1950s with quality materials and good
The Royce home is carefully situated on
a wooded lot. No windows face north to maximize natural light
throughout the home. The entrance is Pauls favorite part of the
home. The two-story foyer is accented with dark cherry wood
wainscoting and staircase. The floor has the red maple leaf pattern in
the tile and the doorways to the music room and office are also
accented with the maple leaf pattern in the frosted glass panes.
Wood floors in the music room and
dining room show cherry inlay. The cherry wood is also used in Pauls
office including his custom made desk. But the rear of the home is
more informal - and the Royces reflect this with a more casual look of
"The house needs to function for
two home-based businesses, but also for a family," said Paul.
The Royces two teenage children,
Becky and Ben, were the central concerns in designing the home.
"I designed this home for a family
with teenagers," said Chris. "If I had really little kids at
home, I would have done things differently. But as it is, each person
has their own zone of the home that functions well for their needs,
but there are a lot of areas to come together."
"The music room can be used as a
second dining room or living room," said Paul. "The
flexibility in the use of the rooms of the house was a great feature
The informal family room is accented
with built-in oak cabinets and bookcases. The Royces arent big
television fans, so they chose not to build in an entertainment
center. The center of this room is the fireplace.
"The fireplace is designed to
provide efficient heat for the home," said Paul. "If the
heat went out in the house we could comfortably heat the first floor
with this system."
The family room is open to the kitchen
and dinette area. Chris, the designer of the house, also knows what a
good cook needs to be efficient.
"This kitchen had to be user
friendly for me," she said. "There is ease of movement but
more importantly, the work surface is separated from the entertaining
spend a lot of time in this three-season room.
A granite-topped island divides the two
zones. The kids can stay on one side of the embedded sink, grab snacks
and beverages without disturbing the cook.
The first floor also includes a guest
suite complete with full bath. The double sink in the guest bath
includes one laundry sized sink.
"This comes in so handy right off
the garage to have this big sink here," said Paul whose workshop
is located in the garage. The basement is also accessible from the
garage directly down the staircase.
The second floor houses Chris nerve
center - her office and her laundry room. "The best thing I ever
did was putting that laundry room upstairs," she said.
Chris office is a space off of the
master bedroom. All of the bedrooms in the Royce home have a deck off
"A lot of the features we put in
this house six years ago are becoming standard today," said Paul.
"We have dual shower heads in the walk-in shower that was new
back then. We tried to use different accents throughout. Each bathroom
has slightly different types of glass. There is ceramic tile in front
of all of the deck access doors. The bonus room over the garage is the
size it is because we used rafters, not trusses in construction.
Rafters allow a greater flexibility. We have a bigger room and a
good-sized storage closet in here. Angled ceilings and a window seat.
"This house was a great way to
test out a lot of things without annoying a buyer," Paul
continued. "We installed 40 year shingles on the roof instead of
cedar shake - a lot of roofers wont work with them because they are
so heavy, but its worth it to find someone who will."
The Royce home works well for the
family, but they cant wait for an opportunity to rebuild for
themselves one day. They are starting spec homes in two new Mequon
subdivisions, Fairbrook and Highgate.