perfect blend of repurposed and new details, the dining room
features a table made from original-to-the-home red fir,
upholstered button-back chairs, an antique hand-knotted wool
Serapi rug and colorful art.
A repurposed home
intersects with a repurposed life in Whitefish Bay, where build and
design professionals created a rustic, modern gem.
Longtime area home
builder Jim Hoffman and wife, Pat, are reveling in the project’s
outcome, a sprawling domicile that offers expansive Lake Michigan views,
new living spaces melded into early 20th century English/French country
architecture and walkable distance to the village’s retail district.
an umbrella of beams and beneath a vaulted ceiling, the great
room, once the space for a full-sized indoor swimming pool, now
provides elegantly informal relaxation with a linear gas ribbon
fireplace beneath the flat-screen television. A clip sofa, a pair
of peppercorn swivel chairs on stainless steel bases and a
hand-knotted rug inspired by a tribal design solidify the
modernized, rustic feel.
Mequon was great to raise our children, but we thought long and hard to
plan for the next phase of life," Pat says. She notes that phase
will include exploring the area by bicycle and entertaining an expanded
family that now includes grandchildren. The Hoffmans comfortably
entertained a group of 28 this past Christmas.
The key to
achieving their dream came in the form of carving out open concept
living by creating a new great room with fireplace in a former indoor
swimming pool space. The living area now flows to a kitchen on one side
and a sunroom and dining room on the other. A first-floor master suite
bedroom and bath were added, and updates were made to other first-floor
space, including what the Hoffmans dub their library — a room adorned
with their piano and an original fireplace.
and upholstered from a previous home of the Hoffmans’, the
sunroom’s repurposed rattan chairs and loveseat complement the
large cocktail table and black iron
décor includes repurposed slate taken from the home’s original roof
and area brick peppered throughout the first floor. Jim set up a
woodshop in the height-expanded basement so that every new cabinet and
door could be handmade on-site. He says he looked upon the home purchase
and more than three-year renovation as a personal challenge, similar to
an extent that he had seen in his home building business.
He also knew that
the project needed professional interior design help, so he called upon
Warren Barnett Interiors of Brookfield, who put Emily Ebben and Kathleen
Blake on the job.
up to sunny Lake Michigan views is a scenic treat in the master
bedroom. Charming touches include a French Empire era bed with
silver leaf highlights and pewter nail heads, transitional
nightstands, swivel chairs in celery and taupe and layered area
rugs — an acid-etched silver leaf hide over a darker Tribeca
"I am a big
believer in collaboration between interior and architectural
design," Jim says. "I know what I like, but I know working
with others is better."
He and Ebben refer
to the décor style as a higher form of eclectic — a "brilliant
eclectic" that marries a wide variety of textures, shapes and
clawless soaking tub and tiered capiz shell chandelier help set
the tone for an inviting master bathroom.
For example, one
of Jim’s favorite furniture pieces is a modern glass-topped coffee
table on a zinc base, a cast of an actual tree trunk. It’s the kind of
piece he appreciates, he says, from quality designers who knew how to
convert he and Pat from their previous taste in heavy Tuscan pieces.
Ebben says the
home’s favored neutral color palette includes a number of fun fabrics
such as mohair and hides.
kitchen shines with a sophisticated island topped with polished
iceberg quartz that plays well with its hand-crafted base.
Accompanying cabinets have been painted, stained and distressed
— all made in the home’s basement workshop by craftsmen
employed by homeowner and professional home builder Jim Hoffman.
with textures and color," she says. "We did a lot mixing of
black, gray and white and included fire engine red accents." Color
accents are seen in bold abstract art like the 10-foot painting in the
designer say they have no favorite room. Instead, they point out the
various views to the lake from expansive windows.
from each room is different," Jim says. "Each is