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Mountain Timbre
Home's design inspired by family trips to Rockies

Photos by Doug Edmunds

 July 2014


A cathedral ceiling and cedar-arched beams in the living room create a mountain-modern look. "I wanted something you donít see everywhere in Wisconsin ó rustic elements combined with clean lines," says homeowner Molly Madsen. Custom walnut cabinets with wide-rail Shaker doors in a henna stain flank the gas fireplace made of Moose Mountain Stone from Montana. The mirror frame on the mantel is a slice from a tree trunk with artwork nestled in next to it. "I think layering is really an interesting look from a design standpoint," Madsen says. The chandelier from City Lights has a midcentury modern feel that complements the furniture from Warren Barnett Interiors. The two coffee tables pushed together are made of reclaimed elm. The floor is an Australian wormy chestnut. The view overlooks a private spring-fed pond on the edge of a nature preserve.

Who Lives Here: David and Molly Madsen, owners of AB&K Remodeling, and their two boys, Joe, 14, and Ryan, 13. This is the fifth house the kitchen and bath pros have built. The last one was in the same Sussex subdivision, though this house is in a more secluded location.

JR: Tell me about the property.

MM: The area is very peaceful: walking trails, the pond and abundant wildlife. The boys fish and swim in the pond in the summer and everyone plays pond hockey in the winter. We set up full-size rinks and have a blast.


The outdoor patio adjacent to the kitchen is referred to as the "hearth room." The same Moose Mountain Stone from the living room was used on the outdoor fireplace. A small pizza oven was built into the fireplace so the family can make its own stone-fired pizza. A circular couch creates a cozy atmosphere for entertaining.

JR: As the co-owners of a kitchen and bath firm, was there any added pressure to "get it right" when building this house?

MM: Thereís a ton of pressure because of what we do. I felt like it needed to be different from every other house in the area, yet practical. My last few houses were much more traditional from a design standpoint, and I was ready for a change.

JR: What are the key features in the kitchen?

MM: I love a white kitchen ó clean and fresh with simple, inset doors. There are lots of things to make organization easy: tray dividers, rollouts, a magic corner, pot and pan organizer. I wanted a huge island because thatís where we spend a lot of time ó from homework to dinner time. I chose hickory in a henna stain because the grain of the wood helps hide every fingerprint and spec of dust, and itís interesting combined with the white woodwork.

The lower level includes a game room and this hickory custom wood bar, where family and friends gather. A combination of wood and stone behind the bar continues the mountain modern feel of the home.

JR: How did you want the house to function?

MM: We wanted a home that is comfortable and inviting. A lot of our decisions with the house centered around the family, and we like it that the kids like to hang out here. Weíre busy running kids to sports and working full time, so the house is nice-sized, but no unused areas. Everything was designed with organization in mind ó lockers, nice closets ó everything has a place.

JR: What inspired the mountain-modern look?


The kitchen has custom stacked cabinetry with inset doors on the main cabinets and small German New Antique glass doors above. The drawers and cabinets on the island are set on a full overlay. The island is a gathering spot for the family. "This is where my kids do their homework, so it gets a lot of use. We also eat a lot of our meals here," says Madsen. The countertops are made of honed Danby marble, a type of marble more resilient to etching that can commonly occur in a typical Carrera marble. The pantry door has an etched glass pattern, which creates a clean look.

MM: We love Colorado and go on ski vacations every year with our boys. Itís great family time; we wanted to bring some of that feeling into our home.

JR: Why did you choose a neutral color palette?

MM: I like the combination of highly textured materials and clean lines and the interest it creates. I get tired of things pretty easily ó itís one of the downsides of being in our industry ó so a neutral palette allows me to add splashes of color as the seasons change or trends change without feeling like itís outdated in just a few years. m



This story ran in the July 2014 issue of: