midcentury modern should not be considered stark and cold, he notes.
"For me, it’s
about the spaces that are created and also the materials,"
Racinowski continues. "I am personally drawn to warm, natural
materials." He favors wood, stone and concrete with warm colors and
textures, evoking a natural feel. He weaves in metal details to provide
The home’s front
exterior includes prairie-style staples of hip roofs, accentuating
horizontal, linear planes, and long, narrow vertical windows placed
within a stacked stone and rich wood trim façade. Beneath a bridge from
the front sidewalk to the front door is a fun-factor, slate chip Zen
lights accentuate the prairie-style series
of horizontal roof lines and long, narrow windows.
At the rear,
Racinowski incorporated lifestyle-friendly elements, including a covered
back porch with remote-controlled roll-down screens to keep pests out
and heat in from the Rumford fireplace. A nearby step-down deck leads to
a rustic walkway down the bluff to the beach.
The exterior also
features Japanese-style rain chains directing water from the gutters.
translucent kitchen island countertop plays well with alder wood
cabinets and natural gray-green-toned clay walls.
architect worked with his clients and local interior designer Ariel
Steuer. Clerestory windows and a wood soffit capture natural light and
define space in a tall, open-concept living room, dining room and
kitchen. A calmly hued but impressive custom-mirrored art piece from
Milwaukee-based design studio Scátháin draws attention to a concrete
fireplace as a living room focal point. The kitchen extends the natural
material theme, including Asher cabinetry, a translucent quartzite
island, granite countertops and glass backsplash.
and more awash in subtle earth tones continuing throughout the three
bedrooms, four and a half baths, office spaces and a rec room. The lower
level bath features subway tiles and a New York subway designed sign,
"Brooklyn," an homage to Paul Danola’s hometown.
lines work well in the master bedroom, featuring a television,
fireplace and spectacular views of Lake Michigan.
levels are connected by floating staircases with steel cable rail and
linden treads from a repurposed on-site tree.
home needed a specific footprint that adhered to a 75-foot setback from
both the bluff and the street while capturing ample natural light from
the east and west.
within those parameters, Racinowski kept his clients’
lifestyle at the forefront of his mind, as he does with all his
"I ask, ‘How
does this building work for people?’" he says. "I try to
create spaces that really enrich people rather than push my own