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Social Setting
An entire-home makeover provides interior and exterior gathering spaces for both the homeowners and their guests.


Sept. 2017

 Designer Josh Wadzinski converted a builder-grade rear exterior into an inviting and Craftsman-detailed facade, which includes a second-floor master bedroom balcony and an entryway to various lakeside views for relaxation and dining.

Designing an outdoor space for a residence is as much about allowing the home’s exterior to blossom to its full potential as it is for the landscape to take hold.

Such is the case at a 6,000-square-foot, waterfront domicile on Lake DuBay near Stevens Point. Designer Josh Wadzinski, founder and lead design architect of Think Design in Glendale, focused on providing personality to the builder-grade home, which was originally built in the 1980s.

The owners, a couple who bought the property as their empty nest, also envisioned their home as a welcoming place for visiting customers of their international business.

“There were not a lot of architectural homes being built in the 1980s in Central Wisconsin,” Wadzinski says. “We wanted to tie what we did on the inside to the exterior.”

As part of the entire-home makeover, the designer’s interior work leaned heavily on Arts and Crafts style, with a new kitchen and other hospitality-focused amenities sculpted from existing space. The outdoor space needed to be a seamless continuation of the home’s social setting.

Wadzinski redesigned the exterior, infusing intricate details to achieve a cohesive style. That included over-framed roof extensions to correct the previously clipped gables; relocated windows to take advantage of lakeside views; a Craftsman-detailed, second-floor balcony for the master bedroom; a natural shingle roof; and facade features, such as a renewed, more colorful limestone base and added chimney stack.

The physical connection is a redesigned bay window and added entry out to a deck — a starting point to several landscaped features. The exterior emphasizes a series of gathering places placed strategically both near the home and in front of an expansive lawn leading to the lake.

“The client really wanted to have their guests be able to enjoy a variety of different settings so they can experience the entire environment,” Wadzinski says. “And the idea was to do that in comfortable groupings.”

 An in-the-round casual paver patio equipped with a fire pit and Adirondack chairs is just one of the settings making this residence perfect for entertaining.

The deck serves as a dining area, as does a paver patio below. The lower space includes a kitchen and bar under a pergola that provides convenient shelter. Among other informal breakout spaces are a bar-like backed stool set around a stone column table and a beachy arrangement of Adirondack chairs on a paved patio surrounded by limestone shelf seating, forming a curved shape around a fire pit.

Wadzinski’s plantings design emphasized keeping it natural with minimal maintenance.

“We basically used the plantings as borders and edges,” he says. “We wanted them to help define the various sections of the property. There’s a mixture of colorful annuals and perennials.”

There also was an effort to maintain the property’s trees — they not only maintain the natural setting, but also provide a natural privacy screen. The only casualty was a sickly pine near the patio kitchen area.

“The clients needed a home they could enjoy for themselves and for their business guests,” Wadzinski says. “Everything about the design was meeting both of those needs.”

This story ran in the Sept. 2017 issue of: