This addition to a Washington
County home houses both out-of-town guests and the
family’s collection of trucks and tractors.
For one Washington County couple, having their 1880s
farmhouse extended and remodeled came with a logical next step: An
8,000-square-foot barn to house vehicles and provide additional
The duo reconnected with their previous design-build experts at Bartelt.
The Remodeling Resource in Delafield, where project designer and
coordinator Matt Retzak and interior designer Heather Scott teamed up to
help define what the couple truly desired from the addition on their 90
For Retzak and Scott, working with the couple was an easy feat as they
already knew their clients’ tastes and kept their interests and hobbies
top of mind during the design phase.
“It started that he wanted a man cave,” Retzak notes. “He wanted
tractors and trucks to fit in there. They do canning, and they have
people from out of town stay. It was [intended] to be a nice supplement
to the main house.”
And eventually, compromise between husband and wife won out.
“It turned out to be more neutral than a man-cave living space,” Scott
says. “They figured out that not everyone who would stay there would
want to see animal heads on the walls.”
Neutral walls and wood accents
mingle well with the warm-toned decor,
providing an inviting space for visitors.
farmhouse-style island offers a welcoming gathering spot
in the barn’s living quarters.
The couple chose timber framing, a traditional and
specialized process that joins all wooden pieces with wooden dowels
instead of metal brackets or other fasteners. To complete the
intricate process, Retzak turned to Glenville Timberwrights, a
Baraboo company founded by Tom Holmes in the 1980s. Holmes
previously partnered with Bartelt on multiple projects and agreed
that timber frame was a fine fit for this traditional-meets-modern
“Timber frame allows you to create over a large span without posts,”
Holmes explains. “It works well here because this is the way barns have
been built [for centuries].”
He also notes that timber frame is sustainable. After all, the process
was used for buildings dating back to the Middle Ages — buildings that
still stand sturdily across Europe and elsewhere. For this project,
Holmes used second growth Douglas fir from the Pacific Northwest that
was dried and readied for milling.
Stunning woodwork, created using
the specialized method called timber framing, adds a
warm rustic feel to a functional addition on this
Washington County property.
the floor and ceiling give this crisp, organized
entryway a warm, welcoming feel.
Retzak says he was glad to have Timberwrights’
expertise for this “challenging” project, especially given the
structure’s position and scale. “We wanted it to fit with the
property,” he explains. “It’s not too overscaled, and it’s just far
enough away from the house and the detached garage to make the
property feel complete.
The interior design’s intent, Scott says, was to create just the right
balance with furnishings all selected by her client with an emphasis on
“Having worked with these clients before, I have a sense of her style,
what she wanted for material and what color and textures would work,”
Scott says of creating an intimate living space. She notes that the
18-foot-high vaulted ceiling in the living room added a challenging
aspect, but nothing Scott couldn’t work with.
barn roofline, barn door and Fieldstone chimney add a
to this modern addition.
Scott’s focus was to make the space look authentic to
the 1880s, but infused with today’s technology. The reclaimed wood
that makes up the living space floors is heated. The kitchen sports
both high-tech and period touches, blending an island that features
rustic pendant lights and a distressed, clear-coat top with a Wolf
range and Sub-Zero refrigerator.
Natural colors are mixed with exposed wood throughout the space, which
also features subtle touches of industrial chic.
“There’s no drywall, only shiplap,” Scott says. A split-face, Fieldstone
fireplace, that Scott notes looks as though it was always there,
complements a leather sectional and accent area rugs.
Retzak and Scott
agree that their favorite part of the barn is how beautifully it marries
an abundance of garage space with a deceptively cozy living area, all
just a stone’s throw from the main house. “It’s probably one of the most
unique projects we have ever done,” Retzak says.