1884 Victorian home on Fowler Lake in Oconomowoc certainly lives up to
the adage of standing the test of time.
It has been home
to generations of families, converted to apartments and recently
restored to a single-family home by Chris and Frank Both.
contacted Bartelt. The Remodeling Resource and worked with Matt Retzak
on redesigning the floor plan.
a house that was totally comfortable for family and friends. Some
place that was fun to stay at and low maintenance," says Chris
Retzak came up
with a new floor plan that included relocating the kitchen to the
dining room, which now opens onto a four-season porch and a view of
project required taking the home down to the interior studs. The
couple had replaced the exterior siding eight years prior, including
the windows that were more than 100 years old, which, amazingly, had
no rot in the window frames.
Safety was an
important factor in tearing the home down to its bare bones. "My
concern was that we had 1884 wiring in the walls and we wanted all the
wiring and plumbing torn out and redone," Both explains.
"They actually had gas and electric lines going to the same
The house also
has four fireplaces that are rather shallow since they were built
during the Victorian period. The Boths had two of the four fireplaces
retrofitted for gas and found special gas inserts made to fit
Santos mahogany wood flooring throughout the home for low maintenance.
The Boths are enjoying the benefits of an energy-efficient home while
retaining the character of the Victorian age.
original foyer was larger but the Boths had it shortened to add
a half bath in the hallway. A newel post and balusters along
with the staircase were custom made by Bartelt. The Remodeling
Resource out of Santos mahogany.
kitchen has a Scandinavian feel representing Chris Bothís
heritage with its Blue Willow walls and white cabinetry. The
black granite contrasts the white subway tile and stainless
steel appliances. The decorative backsplash adds a pop of color
to the stove area. The tin ceiling harkens to the homeís
Victorian roots as do the period-look pewter light fixtures.
four-season porch has views of Fowler Lake, which Chris and
Frank Both enjoy year-round. The room was originally an exterior
porch that the Boths converted during the renovation.
private porch off the master bedroom used to be the outside
entrance to a third-floor apartment. Now it is an ideal spot for
morning coffee and mediation.
was trying to replicate a built-in bed that our family had in
Door County," says Both. Barteltís Matt Retzak designed
the bed. "I love it and my grandkids love it," says