view from the second floor walkway of the Marriotts
Bristlecone Pine home is a spectacular one. Jim and Susan
Marriott built their home with entertaining in mind.
It may be true that
there is no place like home, but Ozs young Dorothy would have had
to click those ruby slippers many more times to drop into a domicile
like this one. Designed in 1997 by Waukesha commercial builder Jim
Marriott in collaboration with architect Bruce Jackson, it seems safe
to say that there is no place like this home. The vision for this
unusual two-story residence tumbled around in Marriotts imagination
throughout his youth until it landed safely on a lovely country club
lot in Hartland.
The house is from
the heart and soul of him and has been in his brain since he was 19,
says Susan Marriott, Jims wife. His mother has drawings he did
as a young man that have some of the same lines.
With four bedrooms and
four and a half baths, the Marriott house hardly came about through
wizardry. Instead, hard-work and precise attention to detail resulted
in the two-story gray brick masterpiece. Interiors are executed
appropriately in themes of black and white; yet, like those early
unsuspecting film-goers, guests are surprised with delightful
colorbursts everywhere. Instead of a yellow brick road, they can just
follow the jewel-colored swirls in the all-white carpet to discover
the homes many visual treasures.
between what many people envision as contemporary and the
classic modern design of his home.
People may think of
contemporary as whats most current, whats here today, but might
not be here tomorrow, Susan said. This home is timeless.
The homes timeless
appeal begins at its stainless steel front door where youre likely
to be greeted enthusiastically by Hayley, the couples playful black
Labrador. You will want to stand still for a minute in the dramatic
foyer and take in the wide view of the great room that is really
several rooms without walls. On either side, living trees bask in the
natural exposure provided by the wall of windows behind you. Just
ahead, an inviting sunken conversation area is furnished with custom
designed seating curved to take full advantage of the oversized
woodburning fireplace, one of the triad of fireplaces that combine to
be the homes center.
At first, people
think this is one fireplace that is open on three sides, Susan
said. Actually it is three separate fireplaces. This one is a true
woodburner. The other two are gas.
The tiered brick face
of the fireplaces soars to multi-tiered ceilings. Each level is
painted in slightly different shades to highlight the tiers, Susan
The opposite fireplace
warms the music room with its comfortable chairs and unique
stainless steel occasional tables. Just a step or two below, relax in
the sunroom. Its nature theme intensifies the rhythm of the homes
black and white interior with vivid animal prints, tropical plants,
and accessories from the African continent a rain drum table, 16th
century ceremonial masks. Handmade rugs, oversize vases filled with
bamboo, and textured upholstery combine to create the feel of an
exotic getaway. Susan especially likes the rooms slate floor.
If we had known how
much we were going to like it, we would have done more of it, she
Marriott's playful black Labrador, waits patiently in one of
the four sitting areas surrounding the three-sided fireplace
located in the center of the home. Manhatten Textiles of
Wauwatosa were the interior designers who helped coordinate
the decorating for the Marriotts.
glass-walled dining room opens off the space near the piano. A
different but compatible white floor covering with jewel-toned accents
is inlaid into the black granite floor. Plaid taffeta window
treatments and black on black striped upholstery on the chairs add
texture as do the faux-painted suede walls. Jim and Susan can set the
mood with a flick of a switch thanks to a whole house lighting system
that is programmable for a variety of themes.
I love entertaining
in here, Susan said. Its very exciting!
The Marriotts also love
to cook. Beyond an oversize mudroom and huge walk-in pantry, the
kitchens bold black theme is warmed with birds-eye maple wood
cabinets with plenty of room to keep clutter from view. Several
islands create work centers designed for specific tasks. The cooking
island, for example is built lower than normal so cooks can see into
deep pots. Other work center counter tops are ergonomically raised to
accommodate the tall couple.
We wanted to keep
the look clean, Susan said. And we love windows.
Wall-size windows are
everywhere in the home, but even small windows were installed to let
in the view between counter tops and upper cabinets. The breakfast
area, which overlooks the patio and golf course, basks in morning sun.
Susan explained that the house is placed on its lot to take advantage
of sunlight as it moves through the day. The kitchen and breakfast
room enjoy morning light, the great room is sunny throughout the day,
and by sunset, the master bedroom and bath are aglow. At five o
clock the master bath explodes in light, Susan said.
Back in the great room,
a third fireplace warms the bar, a glass block design that dances with
pink, green, purple, white and blue neon. Its a rotating
rainbow, Susan said.
Folks can catch
glimpses of the big game on the TV behind the open and fully-stocked
storage shelves in the bar or settle in for the entire tournament in
the media room just across the hall. Outfitted with black leather
seating, the room is built around state-of-the-art equipment framed
with a colorful wall mural by local artist Marybeth Devine.
|The wet bar
located on the westside of the living room area is constructed
of block glass that has neon lighting around the edge which
changes colors on a rotating basis.
The media room serves
as the center for the house-wide sound system. Each room has a control
panel allowing its occupants to access the media of their choice.
Susans office is also on the first floor and, like the kitchen, is
lined with cabinets and drawers to keep every bit of clutter out of
Down a short hallway,
the master bedroom has its own fireplace. Faux suede walls,
comfortable chairs and a classic four poster bed sets the tone for
pure relaxation. Instead of the typical dresser, everything is stored
in a room-size walk-in closet with built-in drawers, abundant hanging
space and a comfortable chair of its own.
The master bedroom
is a sitting room, not a dressing room, Susan said.
The adjacent master
bath has a glass-walled walk-in shower, several separate grooming and
make-up areas and luxurious spa.
Susan says the real
envy of her friends is the laundry room which features two front
loading washing machines, two dryers, lots of storage, and
uninterrupted spans of countertop for folding.
Upstairs a fully
equipped exercise room overlooks the great room. We are big
exercisers, Susan said. Here you dont feel isolated when you
are working out.
A full bath equipped
with safety features opens off the exercise room and into the master
guest suite decorated in rich golds and reds and designed especially
for visiting in-laws. Guests can also enjoy the loft sitting room.
Just beyond the guest bedroom, the sitting room overlooks the great
room and gives guests a comfortable, private spot in which to read or
enjoy their coffee.
Other second floor
rooms are reached via a long suspended bridge. Anchored with girders
and railed in steel, the walk affords a pleasant view of the foyers
treetops as well as an overall view of the great rooms many living
areas and the golf course beyond.
Its a hallway
without walls, Susan said. At night the view from here is
incredible. The lighting is incredibly romantic and the richness of
the colors really pops.
On the far wing, two
bedrooms share a bath painted a rich eggplant and brightened with
white and gray marble.
Though their home is
definitely unusual, the Marriotts thoroughly enjoy the blend of
symmetry and surprise. The house is very warm, very inviting,
Susan said. It definitely has its own personality. It is the
epitome of a non-pedestrian house, said Judy Fleming, the designer
from Manhattan Fabrics in Wauwatosa who helped Jim and Susan pull
their ideas for the interior together. Its been a thrill to meet
the vision of a most discriminating couple. Their vision was very