years of living in a 100-year-old farmhouse in rural Cedarburg, Tom
and Jeri Johnson were ready to move — but not too far. "We gave
some consideration to finding a home on a southern beach, but while my
wife wanted a new home, she made it clear that we were going to stay
close to our children and grandchildren," Tom Johnson says. A
vacation to the island of Anguilla provided some ideas about how to
combine the couple’s fondness for the tropics’ sun and water into
their new Wisconsin home.
and Lisa Moore of Moore Designs were hired to design and build the
Johnson’s new house on property purchased down the road from their
former residence. "We wanted to achieve the look and feel of an
old stone farmhouse, making it appear as though the house had been
added onto over the years," says Lisa Moore. They succeeded.
"It looks so authentic that many people ask if it is part of an
original farmstead," Johnson says.
The house blends
old and new, featuring an open concept for the main living areas of
the house. "We decided to combine the kitchen, hearth room,
dining and living rooms as well as a playroom into one living space.
Jeri loves to cook, so the kitchen was designed with the cook in mind.
We used a large main island and a smaller prep island between it and
the cooktop area. We also included a working pantry much like old
farmhouses used to have, where food prep as well as cleanup could take
place, separate from the main kitchen; a great place to hide dirty
dishes from guests," Moore says.
lots of room for the entire family to get involved in making meals or
just spending time together," Johnson says. The outdoors becomes
part of the kitchen — sun or snow — by way of a 24-foot wall of
glass doors and windows that opens completely to an oversized
four-season sunroom. A year-round indoor pool or swim spa is adjacent
to the sunroom, featuring an Endless Pool system that provides
variable water current. The lower level features a craft room for Jeri
and a music studio for Tom as well as family space for watching the
big game or a movie.
bedroom suite complete with sitting room, fireplace and a large,
well-appointed master bath is a retreat for the couple. "Since
the swim spa was part of their criteria for the master suite, we made
it accessible to the couple from their master suite. There are no
concerns about privacy, however. With a flip of a switch the glass
wall between the master bath and swim spa turns opaque," Moore
explains. This technological device and many others in the house were
the brainchild of Tom Johnson, who has a love for technology and for
being green conscious and energy smart while preserving the look of an
old family homestead.
Tech and Green
style farmhouse is a long way from oil burning lamps and cooking
over the hearth. Owner Tom Johnson included many technological
as well as green-conscious elements.
Geothermal heat pumps were used to heat and cool water and air.
"Simply stated, heat pumps move heat to cool and/or cool to
heat. This allows us to use energy efficiently throughout the
year," Johnson says.
Control4 is used for general home automation — to remotely
control and configure all lighting, control gas fireplaces,
window shades, security system, route any audio/video source to
any or all audio/video destinations in the house.
Electrochromic glass is used in all windows between the swim
room and the master bath to switch between clear and opaque.
Miratec, made from only new growth trees and waste wood
products, was used to side the home and barn exterior.
exterior wall, roof and floor sheathings are OSB, which is made
from new growth sustainable timber.
insulation is made of recycled newspapers ground up and treated
with fire retardant, providing a great insulator while also
deterring air infiltration.
finish products from plasterwork to millwork, stone tile and
floors are considered sustainable products.