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Innovative practicality
Local firm designs 2015 innovation home

Photos By Doug Edmunds

December 2015

Innovative features (think internal LED drawer lights and touchless faucets) combine with more practical ones, like a butlerís pantry that dually functions as a mini prep kitchen. "I love that we can put everything away, close the cabinets and donít see anything," says the homeowner. "We donít like clutter in our lives and try to keep everything well organized, which is tough with two kids and two dogs." The homeownersí daughter, as seen here peeking out from a cabinet door, is clearly a fan of the roomís vast storage space, too. Plain & Fancy cabinetry sourced from Tad Hellmann of Tad Hellmann Design, Milwaukee, is used throughout the kitchen and laundry room.

Itís been nearly two years since the Meredith Corporation, a publishing giant whose subsidiaries include Better Homes & Gardens magazine, initially contacted Lakeside Development Company of Mequon. Meredith recruited the local design and construction firm to create its 2015 Innovation Home, a project that would later be published in Better Homes & Gardens. Marie Kaysen, Lakesideís vice president of business development, says the magazine actively polled its readers, asking what innovative features theyíd like to see if they were building a home. "We started with that list of things they wanted and began the design process from that aspect," explains Kaysen. "It was a constantly evolving process."

Connecting the inside of the home to the outdoors was a foremost design element, says architect Todd Rabidoux. The space functions as a natural extension of the 3,200-square-foot home, and a eco-friendly fireplace adds warmth during the colder months.

Lakesideís Todd Rabidoux, AIA, served as the Innovation Homeís architect and designer. Many features, he says, can be adjusted via tablet or remote control, from closing the great roomís blinds to controlling its sound system. "You also have the ability to operate each room independently," adds Rabidoux. "Thereís a remote control within each of the rooms. If you can operate a tablet or a remote control, you can basically do anything within this home." Additional highlights include a Wi-Fi-equipped showerhead in the master bathroom, touch-flush toilets throughout the home, and LED TVs installed within the master bathroomís vanity mirror.

"Laundry was an important space from the very beginning of this project," explains Rabidoux, adding that the roomís open concept design was deliberate. "Itís a multiuse room, not just a laundry room." Additional uses include an arts and crafts area for the coupleís two children as well as office space.

The homeís open-concept, kid-friendly floorplan was designed to accommodate busy lifestyles. "All the spaces are usable," says Kaysen. "There isnít something that gets decorated and then no one sits there or uses the room." Yet, high design was kept top of mind. "Even though all the rooms are open to each other, we did something different with each ceiling so there is still some definition from one space to another," Rabidoux says.

The homeowners and their two children relocated to Milwaukee from Indianapolis in late August ó a process that afforded little flexibility when it came to finding the right home. Fortunately, after months of searching remotely, they stumbled upon the Innovation Homeís listing, were drawn to its features and design, and set up an appointment to tour the home. By Labor Day weekend, the family of four was officially moved in. "Itís what we would have designed and styled had we built it," says the owner. "Because we were relocating, we didnít have the luxury of taking the time to build."


This story ran in the December 2015 issue of: