Mequon tudor blends old and new
Photos by Doug Edmunds
Wilke of McNabb & Risley played off the antique oriental rugís
pastel hues when selecting textiles for the couch pillows and
ottoman. Rope molding original to the home and wooden ceiling
beams bring a sense of intimacy to the space.
For Paul Apfelbach
of Mequon, restoring historic homes is more than just a day job ó itís
a passion. "I have a passion to resolve nonroutine solutions versus
everything being prepackaged the way new construction is," says
Apfelbach, whose many hats include real estate developer, residential
broker and home-restoration expert.
led Apfelbach and his fiancťe, Mary Jo Tye, to take on a project of
their own. The couple purchased a 1926 Tudor in Mequon last year, and
together with the design expertise of Tara Wilke from Thiensville-based
McNabb & Risley, theyíve spent the last 10 months renovating and
restoring the historic home.
"The goal was
to have people walk in and think they were walking into a 1926 house,
from the light fixtures to the counters to the surfaces to the tile and
the hardware," Apfelbach says.
one surface that hasnít been touched. Everything has been
refinished," says Wilke, noting hardware, stonework and tile as
examples. "If there was anything we could keep that was integral to
the home, thatís what we were striving to do. (Paulís) attention to
detail is just astounding, especially when it comes to
artful statue and antique dining room table ≠ó
family heirlooms ó function as the roomís focal points.
deciding on new materials ó from floor stains and paint colors to
hardware and light fixtures ó proved to be the biggest challenge, and
Apfelbach says the editing process was key. "Itís not about the
hundred things we selected, but the thousands of things we
eliminated," he adds.
passed down through generations of Apfelbachís family (think oriental
rugs and ornately detailed chests and tables) are carefully positioned
throughout the home. "Everything I have, I use," says
Apfelbach. "Iíve fallen in love with this style (of home) because
of the furniture thatís come through the family. (Mary Jo) has
collected antiques and loves older things as well. She really
appreciates the soul and feel of an older home." Wilke drew design
inspiration from the antique itemsí rich colors and detailed textures
when selecting furniture, textiles and accessories to complete each
room, creating a seamless transition between old and new.
kitchen, a complete gut renovation, boasts antique light fixtures
from Heritage Lighting in Cedarburg, granite countertops by
Lakeside Stoneworks in Brown Deer, and custom-made cabinetry by A.
Fillinger Inc. of Milwaukee.
And despite the
character and structural integrity a historic home provides (Apfelbach
says the Tudor was "built like a bomb shelter"), he recognizes
how beneficial 21st century building techniques and technologies can be.
"I have 23 years of building experience, so I can incorporate all
the new, high-end features, (such as) spray foam installation. It fills
gaps around the perimeter and seals up a home in a way that couldnít
be done in 1926," Apfelbach explains. "The science behind
building is something I just love. It brings the very new into the
collaborated on projects for more than 16 years, both he and Wilke are
quick to credit their crew when discussing how pain-free the renovation
process was. "Whatís remarkable about this house is that we didnít
have many surprises," says Apfelbach, who prefers to contract
important is having that correct crew in place when you do a restoration
or a renovation," Wilke adds. "Having people you can depend on
that will be as conscientious as you are when youíre trying to execute
knowing everything will be done correctly and in atimely
navy walls (Benjamin Mooreís Deep Royal) create a cozy master
bedroom oasis for the homeowners. An antique chest and light
fixture are paired with bedding, furniture and accessories from
McNabb & Risley.
upstairs bathroom ó cast in neutral hues and rich textures ó
maintains an open, airy feel, with finishes reflective of the homeís