stone countertop on the kitchen island features waterfall edges,
leopard-print barstools make for
stylish seating. A herringbone tile backsplash
gives texture to the space.
Standing on the
outside of this three-story, 6,700-square-foot Hartland home, one might
easily believe that its inhabitants yield to the traditional. With its
large stone and stucco exterior, and adjacency to the marshland, the
newly constructed home seems more reminiscent of a lavish rustic
retreat. Behind its walls, however, is a chic and contemporary dwelling
where beauty truly lies in the details.
During the home’s
recent construction, Karen Kempf, interior designer and owner of an
eponymous design firm, worked closely with the home’s architect to
execute the homeowners’ modern vision, which largely included
international influences awash in an immaculate gray palette, Kempf
two-sided fireplace divides the great room, while yellow accents
in the patterned armchairs, chandelier and other decor provide
pops of color.
(homeowners) travel a lot and are exposed to unique and beautiful spaces
pretty regularly," Kempf says. "But they really wanted
everything gray. We referred to it as the ‘50 Shades of Grey’ house.
But it is beautiful."
To break up some
of the neutrality, Kempf incorporated an array of textures, patterns and
pops of color into the home’s design. The result is an impressive
spread brimming with intriguing minutiae, from the trough-style sink in
the powder room, to the waterfall edge of the kitchen island, to a
herringbone tile backsplash, and a floor-to-ceiling glass wall
overlooking the first floor — a feature more likely to be seen in an
office lobby, not in a residence. A sheepskin floor rug, picked out by
the client, provides warmth to the small seating area.
grand chandelier illuminates the glass railing on the home’s
catwalk, seen behind the kitchen’s dining area.
influences also carry over to the home’s grand entry and staircase,
which are fashioned to look like an art gallery.
had a collection of photographs they wanted to highlight, so we designed
an art niche on the wall opposite the front door," Kempf says.
"I didn’t want to fill that space with a lot of furniture and
dilute the architectural features."
French doors and a custom wood wall with fireplace offer a cozy
retreat and views of the property’s marshland.
A catwalk above
the space includes a curved glass wall to keep the home’s vantage
points wide open, Kempf adds. "The staircase is so dramatic and the
real showstopper," she says.
In the kitchen
area, a custom Saarinen table base makes the banquette, and in the
nearby dining room, a pedestal dining table crafted with walnut was made
by the client. Kempf used a variety of grays to keep the room from
feeling too sterile.
glass shower enclosure and rear window create space in the couple’s
narrow master bathroom.
the warm gray tone theme, we selected a gray stain for the black walnut
cabinets," explains Kempf. "The floors are white oak and also
have a gray wash stain."
The gray motif
continues into the master suite as well as the great room, which boasts
a double-sided fireplace and custom sectionals. The bathroom includes a
freestanding ceramic tub and a glass shower amid dark, serene grays. In
the master bedroom, a custom wood wall of similar color is used as a
headboard, extending overhead to the ceiling and down the opposite wall,
where a flatscreen TV sits above a gas fireplace. Both spaces use the
gallery-inspired staircase highlights the home’s architectural
features and photos from the couple’s travels.
"I love the
stark contrast of the woods outside that create the backdrop for the
sleek interior," Kempf says. "The outdoor scenery creates such
an interesting juxtaposition."
And speaking of
the woods, there is one room that emanates the couple’s Wisconsin
roots. In a separate wing, and vastly different from the rest of the
home, the husband’s man cave emulates that of a gaming lodge.
We call that