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Darkness into light
Modern space emerges from dated, wood-heavy decor

Photos by Dough Edmunds

January 2013

Clockwise from facing page: Instead of the original heavy oak pillars, the family room now has a stacked marble fireplace, flanked by custom walnut cabinets that store audio-visual equipment.

Transforming a home from traditional to contemporary style in 10 weeks sounds like a daunting task. "The homeowners, who love contemporary design and also love to entertain, wanted a much sleeker and more open space," says Molly Madsen of AB&K in Greenfield and Mequon, the contractors who took on the job. "In the process, I think we touched every room in some way, whether it was the flooring, the walls, the lighting or the fixtures."

Renovating the approximately 6,000-square-foot Franklin home with four bedrooms and three-and-one-half baths meant getting rid of a lot of dark wood and other traditional design elements. One of the first challenges was the foyer, which featured paneling and a big chandelier. "We removed the paneling and accents and lightened up the walls," Madsen says. The chandelier was replaced with a minimalist light fixture with several pendants that provide soft illumination.

"The owners and their children have an extremely busy lifestyle, but when they are home, they want to relax and have their friends and family around them," Madsen says. The lower level is now a perfect gathering place with its cool colors and cutting-edge bar and seating area, which is connected by French doors to an indoor pool. "The bar and custom cabinets are made of alder wood and the countertop is silestone quartz. The floor, which looks like bluestone, is heated for comfort," she adds.

Upstairs, the kitchen was completely redesigned. The owners didnít need a chefís kitchen, but the redo includes top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances. Blue and gray are the dominant colors and the kitchen island and countertops are made of Cambria, a quartz product that looks like marble.

Because the master bath is so important to revitalizing the body and spirit, a total makeover was done. "The owners donít take a lot of baths, so we eliminated the tub and installed a large shower thatís loaded with features. We also created a dual vanity and heated flooring made of porcelain tile with lineal striations that look like marble with none of the upkeep," Madsen says. "The shower is one of the ownersí favorite things about the redesign." 

Alder wood and silestone quartz combine with stainless steel, glass and slate to make a sleek bar area perfect for entertaining on the homeís lower level.

A luxurious shower dominates the master bath, which also features heated floors for comfort on cold mornings.

The foyer became bright and airy after dark wood paneling and a large chandelier were replaced with light walls and unique linear light fixture.




This story ran in the January 2013 issue of: