elegance rules the living room by mixing wood, leather, stone and
softer tones of fabric — all pulled together on a large,
lighter-tone area rug that balances the natural light streaming in
from both sides of the wood- and stone-draped fireplace.
For Cameron and
Dawn Knuth, building and moving into a new home meant more than
fulfilling a lifestyle need for their family, which includes two
children and two dogs. It also meant meeting that need with very
That style evolved
as a blended art form, even as finishing touches continue to be applied
to their 6,800-square-foot Nashotah home with six bedrooms and 5½
baths. Just a few varied style descriptions — "transitional (or
updated classic), European lodge with touches of English and
Italian" — were provided by Bill Koehnlein and Michael John Weber
of Collaborative Design in Waukesha. Their work over three years was a
collective effort with Pat Seegers and Jim Siepmann, partners in Ascent
Custom Homes of Waukesha, MBH Architect of Delafield and the Knuths.
The builder and
designers credited Dawn Knuth for her vision.
very often you work with a client with such a knack for interior design
and taste," Siepmann says, adding his company tried to hire Dawn
for future projects. Said Koehnlein, "We worked well with Dawn’s
refined vision and attention to detail."
diverse collection of textures in the hearth room reflects the
tastes of the homeowners — and apparently one of their pet
canines. The eclectic items include oversized leather chairs, a
table made from a reclaimed antique factory cart and a buffalo
skin rug. The rich wood panels in the left background are an
extension of the kitchen pantry, made to look like an armoire.
With a central
theme of warm, neutral tones, the home’s style is a balancing act
between casual and formal living with masculine and feminine effects.
The result is worldly traveler meets dressy rustic.
Casual family time
or more formalized entertainment are accomplished, for example, in the
open concept, linking a kitchen, dining room and hearth room. Casual and
formal elements are found in the kitchen’s large island with a heavy,
carved base and multitoned quartzite countertop. The adjoining dining
room, where fabric chairs mirror the kitchen’s, and the cozy hearth
room are perfect for a pre-dinner gathering or just a place to hang out
around the fireplace.
wood elements, including a beamed ceiling, island base and a
metal-look stove hood, link this combination casual kitchen with
adjoining more formal dining space. Note the iron and glass mixed
chandelier and pendant lighting, the introduction of a softer,
lighter cabinetry on the far left, and how the ever-present stone
perfectly ties in a backsplash and accent wall.
The living room is
a smart blend of rich wood and stone. On one end, the fireplace face is
a rustic textured stone surrounded by an elegant, dark stained wood that
flows above the mantel to the coffered ceiling. Arched wood and glass
doorways on either side leading to the exterior patio offer natural
light. More rustic stone archways at the room’s opposite end and
inside the front door frame earthy leather, fabric and wood furnishings.
infused a spa-like color palette in the master bedroom and bath. The
heavy wood and leather used in the king- size bed, nightstands and bench
are softened with blue-gray, textured fabrics in the bedspread and
pillows as well subtle plaid cloth chairs in the ample bay window
conversation area. The view to the backyard patio, pool and cabana
further emphasizes relaxing luxury.
That same feel
extends to the bath, where soft, natural tones are dotted with more
blue-grays and the ever-present rich-tone wood.
The lower level’s
style takes rustic even further — think Irish pub or rathskeller —
with barn wood beam and pocket doors leading to a home theater.
Dawn Knuth said
all the work is a vision accomplished. "I wanted a home for all of
us and to entertain," she says. "Everyone listened to what we
needed. It was a great experience." M
meets modern in this entrance to the lower level theater. A
reclaimed barn beam and the crafted knotty alder pocket doors
frame the perfect entrance to today’s entertaining comfort.
master bedroom doubles as the perfect hideaway, with ample room to
relax at a conversation bay window area overlooking the exterior’s
pool and cabana.
master bath defines quaint spa-like grace by incorporating a
walk-in doorless shower with heated rack claw-foot tub and an iron
and crystal chandelier suspended from the vaulted ceiling.