Nestled in an array of lush greenery for a mix of
privacy and serenity, the attention-grabbing
green paneling on the exterior of this modern home is a yearlong
reminder of bright summer days.
Homeowners renovate with their long-term house needs
top of mind, such as room for children to grow or home offices for
big job jumps. Architects and founding principals of Johnsen
Schmaling Architects, Brian Johnsen and Sebastian Schmaling, say
this 3,380-square-foot home with a 1,400-square-foot lower-level
walk-out was built from the ground up and designed with the
impending gloomy Wisconsin winters top of mind.
Looking at the modern glass abode, one can’t help but notice all the
greenery in both the exterior and interior, and the lush landscape.
Johnsen and Schamling took the landscape, as well as the potentially
dreary winter weather, into consideration when designing this
contemporary home for a Fox Point couple who were open to new ideas.
In addition to the consistent color scheme of green paneling both
outside and inside as a call to bright, green summer days, the team also
took advantage of the views and natural color palette by using plenty of
large picture windows and lift-and-slide glass doors.
“We experience up to eight months of potentially very gray, dreary, dull
days, so those panels are really this idea … (of) trying to maintain
maybe a prolonged psychological euphoria of the happier months of the
year by having this color pattern reflected both on the exterior and the
interior,” Johnsen notes.
This modern respite was designed with plenty of
glass to give a sense of continuity to the space.
Dark flooring and sharp angles give
this bathroom a contemporary look.
“We used glass to really maximize the view to the
exterior so you don’t have a wall; you don’t have a lot of fussy
railings,” he continues. “We used a low iron glass in all the
railings and all the glass components you see in the house to
maximize that view ability to the landscape.”
One of the features that incorporates both the greenery and the love for
glass is the third floor observatory area, complete with a green roof
and an observing room with lift-and-slide glass doors to maximize the
view. The green roof is composed of a sedum mixture that leaves the roof
a lush green grassy appearance in the summer months and turns to a
vibrant red in the fall. It was also a sustainable decision – as it
manages drainage with rainwater – as well as an aesthetic to tie
together the theme. The lift-and-slide doors allow for a nice breeze
while enjoying the view.
“You get this 12-foot-wide opening that you have a six-foot panel that
will basically open up to the outside, so you get this amazing
cross-ventilation and fresh air in the house as well as maximizing your
views out into the landscape,” Johnsen says.
Classic colors and functional furnishings make this
sleek office a haven for busy professionals.
The homeowners had two contradictory desires with
their home: the desire for privacy and serenity and the desire for a
space to host social events. The result was a “T” configuration that
delivered a public entry area for visitors and their vehicles, and a
shielded green space in the back for maximum privacy.
The public area shows off a wood exterior wall that is actually a
garage, purposefully hidden with a flat wood siding that Johnsen and
Schmaling enhanced with lighting and shrubbery. That wooden feature
carries into the house with the wood band in the main living space that
conceals both the media cabinet in the living room as well as the pantry
in the kitchen. The feature gives the stretch of rooms a sense of
coziness, while the open concept was intended for a free-flowing,
Though they had some initial design hiccups with the slope in the
landscape, the team used the natural terrain to create a beautiful
sunken terrace off the main floor.
Enveloped in wood paneling and warm tones, this
kitchen provides a welcoming and
cozy gathering area.
“I think the slope was one of the bigger challenges
to try to maximize the ability to get this walk-out on the lower
level and to get (a) nice space out of it,” Johnsen says. The sunken
terrace is wrapped by a perimeter seating area, as well as some LED
lighting to subtly wash the walls and highlight the space, and is
completed with a fire pit.
Johnsen says one of the best aspects of the project was working with
people who were open to the team’s design ideas as well as seeing the
home come together. “You can draw all you want on paper but it’s very
rewarding to get it constructed as you envisioned it and to have the
space available to them for living and stuff.”
How to Re-Create the Look
lift-and-slide and pivot doors from Quantum Windows & Doors Inc. enhance
the viewing experience and enable a relaxing cross-breeze while in the
Johnsen and Sebastian Schmaling consulted Hanging Gardens before adding
the green roof, which was installed and maintained by The Green Team of
Wisconsin Inc., and adds a unique eco-friendly roof.
format porcelain Caeser floor tile from Childcrest Tile & Stone adds an
elegant and modern touch.
kitchen boasts custom rift-sawn white oak cabinetry, along with other
select Johnsen Schmaling designed furniture pieces by GEN III Woodworks,
giving the home a one-of-a-kind feel.
observatory fireplace from Ortal combines functionality with