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Prairie reinvented
Bayside home dismisses dated interiors in favor of cozy upgrades

Photos by Doug Edmunds

April 2013

Wide walnut plank flooring warms up the dining room.

"I knew right away," recalls the owner of the 1950s Bayside home, about the day she first saw it. The 3,000-square-foot Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home is at the end of a winding driveway and tucked into a wooded landscape. After a walk-through with the Realtor — during which she saw past the dated décor — she was even more smitten.

The chef's kitchen, featuring cork floors and custom island, is on the home's lower level.

Bringing the outdoors in became architect and construction manager Mark Mishefski’s mantra when he began transforming the home’s interior in late 2011, two years after the owner moved in, starting with the main level where the four bedrooms, two-and-one-half bathrooms, living room and dining room are located. "When it all fills in you don’t feel like you have any neighbors," says the homeowner, who often spots foxes, deer and other wildlife romping through her yard, which includes a swimming pool. Walls of windows on the back of the house look out onto pure nature. Arranged on the living-room walls are art pieces she’s collected from her travels, including one with red and yellow hues bought in Africa.

The secluded lot give a resort-like feel to the backyard pool.

"It was all about warming it up," says Mishefski of Mishefski Designworks Studio in Shorewood, who removed the home’s cold, non-cozy feel in the dining room by replacing brick tile flooring with wide-plank walnut flooring and covered over dark-gray granite around the fireplace with drywall and limestone. Honed mosaic tiling and glass-tile accents behind the dining room’s wet bar and pendant lights at varying heights above the dining table were two more additions. He also removed a dry-rotted stairway wall and half-wall railing that blocked the master bedroom’s view and then created a clean-lined curved balcony with Ipe decking.

A chef-grade kitchen — fitting as the homeowner used to teach cooking classes — on the lower level is now outfitted with a Wolf gas range, GE Advantium speedcook oven, Wolf double ovens, Kohler stainless-steel apron-front sink, quartersawn-white oak custom cabinetry, patterned cork flooring — featuring a custom motif by Mishefski — and a custom-made island. Mishefski also designed built-in bookshelves and floating shelves to house cookbooks and Arts & Crafts style pottery. 



This story ran in the April 2013 issue of: