An open concept
living room and dining room is accentuated by 13-foot-high
ceilings and a limestone fireplace.
A Rockton, Ill.,
couple turned to a Milwaukee architect to make their dream of living on
the Rock River a reality. The result is a modern three-bedroom structure
ó a "bird" the owners named Kingfisher that takes flight,
showcasing natural beauty and melding the riverís shimmering surface
and the sloping, sometimes rugged, terrain above.
Robert and Tricia
Nelson each admired the meandering river and the property that contained
a dilapidated house for years before they married in 2011. Their
infatuation continued while living in Robertís nearby traditional
limestone home more typical to the nearby historic village.
earth tones with strategic splashes of blue fill the open-concept
living and dining rooms. Windows reach to the full height of the
13-foot ceiling, while lower windows open to bring in fresh air.
The couple hired
architect Stephen Bruns, whose resume boasts many modern, riverfront
homes, to fulfill their taste while gaining zoning variances. His plan
nestled what would be the 2,900-square-foot home, adjoining pool house
and swimming pool into the riverís west bank.
showcases a love of modern design and extensive travel, yielding Central
and South American artwork and influences from Europe. Wrought iron
pocket doors and furnishings that introduce blues into primarily earth
tones help warm the interior. "Wood, on wood on wood," Bruns
says, a design element that provides interior and exterior texture.
slate and a copper-clad island
extend the clean lines to the kitchen. Instead of
Robert and Tricia Nelson opted for a walk-in pantry.
favorites include a private master suite separated from the other two
bedrooms (that accommodate her teenage son and a friend), a second-floor
library, art studio and a full basement featuring a second fireplace,
accommodating the familyís casual living needs.
curved design of retractable wrought iron pocket doors separating
foyer and kitchen puts a spin on the residenceís clean, straight
lines. The Nelsons wanted the homage to courtyard gates from their
travels to Latin America and Europe.
private with a nice setting and is the reason we wanted to move
here," Tricia says.
Robert enjoys the
master bedroom view, which spans across the river at the undeveloped
bank of forest teeming with wildlife. "Sometimes, I still canít
believe we live here," he says.
Homes can be
special, Bruns notes. "We tend to live in uninspired
structures," he says. "When someone is fortunate to have a
great property, it also inspires our work."