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Luxe Redux
From over-the-top, extravagant features to those with more sentimental meaning and value, local industry pros dish on their most luxurious projects to date.


December 2016

Photography by Erol Reyal

“I had a client request the Herbeau ‘Dagobert’ Wooden Toilet Throne.* It’s installed in a powder room, at a beautiful home on Lake Geneva. At that time, (the complete toilet) retailed for around $14,000.”

— Selina Stanek, designer, Gerhard’s Kitchen & Bath Store

*Editor’s note: This piece is named for King Dagobert, the last ruler of the French Merovingian dynasty. “Le Bon Roi Dagobert,” a classic French children’s song, tells the story of the king arriving late for an important meeting with his trousers on inside out, and the same song is played from a music box within the toilet as the lid is raised.

“One of the most luxurious items a client has requested is an intricate fireplace in the lower level. The fireplace —  the space’s focal point — is a carved face of the Greek god Prometheus. It features votive candles inset in his hair and beard for ambiance. To accommodate this grandiose fireplace, we had to dig the basement down an additional 2 feet. The basement also has a full kitchen and an entertainment area.”

— Rick Bartelt, owner, Bartelt. The Remodeling Resource

Photography by Eric Poggemann

“The owners, in hopes of taking full advantage of their wonderful property and the Lake Michigan views it affords, asked for a thoughtfully designed screen porch. The approach was to design the outdoor space, or ‘outdoor room,’ as an extension of the interior — a place that could be used year-round to enjoy coffee in the morning or a quiet evening together, or a place to entertain family and friends. An electric, roll-down screen comes down from the soffit above to provide protection in the evening during the warm months. To enjoy the space during the remainder of the year, a fireplace was incorporated as more than just a design element, but to provide warmth, along with heated stone tile floors. In addition, a retractable, glass-panel enclosure system was installed to provide protection from the wind and to keep the tempered air within, making it a comfortable space to enjoy the ever-changing view of the lake through the winter months.”

— Todd A. Rabidoux, AIA, director of architecture, Lakeside Development Company

“I love this question for its ambiguity, as luxury means different things depending on the individual. One Hamptons beach house required a custom ironing table with ceiling-hung steam irons to ensure plenty of freshly ironed sheets for the family of six and their guests. A townhouse in NYC had one floor dedicated to the master suite, with his and her dressing rooms, cashmere sofas flanking the fireplace, a deep bathtub and silk shag carpeting. The owners of an equestrian estate desired an expansive mud room for boot and dog washing. Avid art collectors commissioned an ‘art barn’ on their property to house artwork not currently on display in their home, allowing them easy access to their collection.”

— Kelly Boecker, president, Peabody’s Interiors

Photography by David Guthery

“One of the most unique features we’ve worked to develop was a real staycation spot for a father as a gift to his family. His daughter’s disabilities limited their ability to vacation, so as part of the redevelopment of their backyard, a real ‘campsite’ was developed — complete with a retro Shasta Airflyte camper, pond, fire pit and log benches, all set within a woodsy landscape.” 

— David Guthery, landscape designer, LandCrafters


This story ran in the December 2016 issue of: