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Relaxed Respite
A bluff-side home is transformed into a rustic yet modern retreat.


Nov. 2017

The living room’s cool palette and oversized, adaptable furniture whisper stylish tranquility.

Find the right home in a great location: check. Secure a builder to convert the space into your version of perfection: check. In DIY fashion, furnish and decorate the home for the long haul: reset!

That’s the quick story of how a Sheboygan couple, who navigated through the first two steps alone, opted to bring in professional help to restyle their 2,800-square-foot ranch bought in 2014.

There was much to like about the process, says homeowner Meghan Hanson. She and her husband, Ben, instantly fell in love with their bluff-side home, which overlooks Lake Michigan. “The location and the style of the home were great,” Meghan says, “but we wanted to make the interior to our taste, including an open concept and a screened-in porch for the view.” 

Comfortable, weather-durable furniture, a television and heat lamps make this screened-in outdoor room useful throughout the year.

The pair hired Chris Rautmann of Rautmann Custom Homes in Sheboygan to reconfigure the space. Rautmann says he specializes in new-home construction, but accepted the challenge that was taking a “1970s-80s-era, old-school ranch” to its studs. He opened up the compartmentalized interior, installed new insulation, restructured the roof line, and expanded the garage.

“Lakefront properties are in short supply, so it’s great when you find the right house in that location,” Rautmann adds.

Hiring an interior design professional became an apparent need shortly after the couple attempted to decorate on their own. “Interior decorating is not our forte, and we spent a lot of money,” Meghan says. “We knew we needed a professional.”

Enter interior designer Lisa Mohindroo, the owner of Milwaukee-based Mohindroo Interiors who helped the couple create an interior that is a respite for their busy, professional lifestyle.

The master bedroom is a blend of the interior design’s neutral palette, with focal-point touches of the tufted leather headboard and industrial-chic nightstands.

Establishing a refined color palette was important; it now includes blues and grays, accompanied by golds, greens and creams. The outcome is a relaxed, modern ambiance to cool and soothe workday rigors and provide energy for extended relaxation. “Everyone has color preferences, so I investigate that,” says Mohindroo. “They both like rustic, so it was a balance of finding ways to blend a masculine (touch) with some sparkle into the design.”

Each room exemplifies the effort. The office, a converted bedroom, combines rustic elements, such as horizontal mirrors framed in reclaimed wood and an alder credenza, with the softer look of a chenille-tweed-covered chair and ottoman. Mohindroo says the room allows two people to work on their laptops in the same space.

The great room sports an oversized leather sectional and a horsehair-covered ottoman. Topping the ottoman is a straddling wood and glass tray, so the piece functions as a conveniently movable table too.

Reflecting a lakeside, wooded lot outside, the chamcha wood console table in the living room is one of interior designer Lisa Mohindroo’s signature touches.

The true heart of the home, the kitchen, was completely reimagined and renovated. Its all-white cabinetry pairs well with the bluish-green palette found throughout the rest of the open-concept living area.

A tufted leather headboard and a shag area rug deemed too small for its original use in the living room transform the master bedroom into one reminiscent of a previous era — but with contemporary updates. The result is a modernized throwback of sorts. 

The new screened-in porch was fitted with built-in ceiling heat lamps to make it a four-seasons room. Mohindroo selected a hearty set of outdoor furniture and adorned its cushions with chartreuse pillows. Their hexagonal print is mimicked in the gray outdoor rug, which sports a similar pattern.

Mohindroo also points to alluring signature pieces. The console table positioned along the back of the great room’s sectional is built of chamcha wood and stands in stark contrast to the cool tones that bathe the room. The master bedroom nightstands, each with four draws and industrial-style metal, sit below amber-glowing, pendant lanterns.

Console table and master bedroom nightstands aside, there is a third project signature, Mohindroo says: that of collaborating with accommodating clients who trust her work. “Each project presents a certain amount of challenge,” she continues. “Working with clients like Meghan and Ben, who know what they want but trust the process, helps make everything stress free.”

Resource Center: How to Re-Create the Look

»The master bedroom’s industrial-chic nightstands are available at

»Hanging above the nightstands, the smoky-colored glass pendants are from

»The stylishly natural console table carved from chamcha wood can be found at

»Made of alder wood with a custom-stained finish, the office credenza was designed by Milwaukee-based Mohindroo Interiors,

»The green pillows that adorn the screened-in porch’s furniture are available through Workroom Associates, LLC, in Mequon. (262) 242-4400

This story ran in the Nov. 2017 issue of: