view from Oconomowoc Lake shows off a recent landscaping project
that emphasizes flowing perennials. The only second floor section
of the home has a recreation area over the main living room.
After 13 years,
the beauty, elegance and historic significance of living on Oconomowoc
Lake is not lost on Dean and Tammy Laing.
99-year-old Mediterranean-style home they adopted in 2002 has stood the
test of time, recently coifed in an updated lakeview-friendly landscape
and a previously revised décor.
pool area helps one soak in an array of visual features, including
wrought iron, skylights, glass tiles and the home’s signature
Tammy has steered
the makeover while keeping touches of 1916 antiquity, including many
fixtures and the hand-painted, personalized crests in each bedroom —
all of the wallpaper, redid the hardwood floors, resurfaced the marble
floors and painted," says Tammy, who favors a neutral palette of
butterscotch, cool yellow and Nantucket gray-green.
colorful, secluded courtyard adds to this home’s special
Research of the
home and lake community also uncovered distinctive historic facts. The
home shares a common Oconomowoc Lake lineage as the domicile of
Wisconsin’s captains of industry. Twentieth century bootleggers also
enjoyed the setting; the home once had underground passages to an
existing eight-car garage and a boathouse that now belongs to another
property after the land was subdivided.
practicality attracted the Laings to Oconomowoc. They traded life in
Brookfield and another lake home to follow a more full-time water sports
lifestyle enjoyed by their children.
portico plush with arches, stone walkway and cozy seating area
leads to the home’s courtyard entrance.
— containing more than 13,000 square feet — reminded them of travels
to Mexico and South America. The indoor swimming pool and a center
courtyard were bonuses, added to four bedrooms, three full bathrooms as
well as three powder rooms. Most of the rooms throughout the house, some
with 12-foot to 14-foot ceilings, provide lake views.
living room’s neutral tones and rich woodwork emphasize an
fireplace and hand-painted beamed ceiling.
black-and-white checkered floors, a handcrafted ceiling, pewter
light fixtures and detailed arched windows and doors add elegance
and Old World comfort to the home’s formal dining room.
The kitchen, Tammy
says, will be updated in the near future. Beyond that, the place she and
Dean, a downtown Milwaukee-based litigation attorney, call home remains
perfect for solitude as well as social endeavors.
Milwaukee is a long commute," Tammy says, "but my husband
appreciates this as a quiet and beautiful retreat."