Reynolds house is multi-leveled in order to accommodate the
lot in which the home was built on in Delafield. The spacious
dining room (above) overlooks the foyer and living room below.
"Unbuildable." Thats the
term most professionals used to describe the hillside lot across the
road from the former home of Gail and Gary Reynolds. Fortunately, the
Reynolds didnt believe them. Neither did Brookfield builder Bill
Klapperich. Working with the architect Paul Schultz of SunArc Studios
in Oconomowoc and Greg Holm of Peabody Interiors, the collaboration
resulted in a welcoming structure with five distinct, but
well-integrated levels. It took close to two years to finish, but
today the Delafield lot deemed "unbuildable" hosts a nearly
10,000-square-foot home for Gail, Gary, their four children, two dogs
and a kitten.
Klapperich calls the endeavor "a
happy marriage" of talents among
architect, builder, designer and homeowners.
"We moved tons of stone and
earth," Klapperich said, "compacted it and built a 26 course
retaining wall to have a buildable site."
Now the house looks as if it has been
nestled into this site forever. Visitors wind up a rose-bedecked
driveway that curves under a portico at the rear entrance and opens to
a wide brick-lined entrance porch at the front. In their foyer, the
Reynolds decided to forego the vertical drama imposed by the soaring
ceilings that are currently so popular. Here the drama unfolds without
lifting the eyes, an intriguing invitation to explore levels above and
below on either side or simply wander around the curving rail to see
what lies beyond.
Gail leads the way first down to the
lower level entertainment room. Its hard to resist flopping down on
one of the comfortable floral upholstered sofas to watch a little TV,
but the game room beyond beckons with a jukebox, billiard table and
foosball. Family photos nearly cover one wall above the four-foot
paneled wainscoting that lines the game and TV rooms.
in the living room is a warm welcome for guests.
Tucked into the corner, a smaller room,
originally intended for storage, houses air hockey and lots of space
for childrens toys and games.
"Now that they are getting a
little older, we are slowly turning that space into a music
room," Gail said.
Back in the entertainment room, there
is time to enjoy how the
prolific use of wood creates the feel of an Old World pub.
Klapperich hand-selected the quarter-turned oak that would be used for
the cabinetry and curved bar rail. Comfortable bar stools upholstered
in leather, a smoky mirror, wine captain and a casually groomed
life-size sculpted waiter add to the atmosphere.
A few steps below is the well-equipped
workout room. A mirrored wall helps family members fine-tune their
workout style and a well-placed TV gives exercisers a chance to catch
the latest news.
A pleasant guest room is also on this level. Its adjacent bathroom
features a steam shower and sauna.
Back on the main level the spacious
dining room features a large rustic table that can be expanded to
serve even more diners. Windows overlook a sculpted front yard backed
by a grove of tall trees. Through a set of painted columns, the dining
room also overlooks the foyer with its striking iron chandelier and
the living room below.
The living room enjoys sunlight from
walls of arched windows on two sides draped in a lush linen blend.
"People are putting in such fabulous windows these days,"
Holm said. "We like to use panels that frame and enhance the
windows rather than covering them up."
A massive stone-faced fireplace with an
intricately carved mantel fills the far wall and rises to the 16-foot
ceiling in this room. It also warms the intimate sitting room beyond.
Colors in the room were influenced by a pair of overstuffed chairs
upholstered in a cheerful red print. Textures create the rest of the
Back on the main level, the master
suite has ample space for sleeping on a bed luxuriously dressed in
fabrics of gold and natural linen and for reading or chatting on two
oversized chairs that overlook the pool area in the back yard. An
adjacent room houses Garys home office. Holm placed a massive
framed floor-standing mirror on the wall leading to the master bath
where sunny patterned paper helps one greet the morning. The large
glass-doored shower offers a multitude of controls for personalized
water flow. The bath also has his and her sinks, vanities and storage
members enjoy eating
at the large island topped with limestone in the kitchen.
Also on the main level, the kitchen
work area is amply lined with new cabinetry and hand-hewn ceiling
beams distressed to look old, as well as state-of-the-art appliances.
"I carried a picture of the look I
wanted with me everywhere," Gail said.
An eat-at island is topped with
limestone and offers comfortable iron stools for seating. Walls
painted the color of summer melon, oak floors and simply-trimmed
valances provide a cheerful environment for informal family meals in
the breakfast area that overlooks the pool and gardens. The pool is
currently undergoing a renovation. Originally built to be shallow, the
Reynolds are adding a leg for
diving. When finished the pool area will also include a waterfall that
serves the outdoor spa, then flows into the pool. In summer, Gail
fills the surrounding beds with "lots of flowers."
Two dumb waiters in the kitchen allow
homeowners to bring in groceries or deliver food to the pool level
without having to negotiate stairs.
Off the kitchen a powder room is
dramatically papered in a rich dark red with golds. A few steps below,
a mudroom that serves the rear entrance houses four cubbies where each
child can stow his or her personal gear.
The main level also houses a
well-equipped laundry room, Gails office, a cheerful space for
multi-tasking and a family room where woven textures, lush draperies,
beautiful woods and a corner fireplace create a sense of coziness in
the large space.
Klapperich paid special attention to lighting throughout the home.
Here hidden lights wash the ceiling with patterns created by intricate
wood ceiling beams. Beyond a three-season porch, heated by its own
fireplace, is filled with new furniture that, though flawlessly
finished, could have easily furnished a farm-house porch in an earlier
The upper floor serves the children.
Five-year old Maggies room is pastel pretty with a just-her-size
"overstuffed" chair upholstered in chenille, a hand-painted
table and chair set where she can entertain her guests and lots of
room for dancing. The room has its own bath and a storage closet at
the top of the back stairs, which Gail cheerfully calls "Barbies
room," gives Maggie plenty of space to house play equipment.
Across the hall, Dillons room is
done in deep green and twin brother Sams room in blue. The boys
share a bath, but older sister Emma has her own bath. Emma chose a
French-style color palette for her room softened with sheer curtains
on a pewter pole.
"She just loves anything
French," Gail said.
Foregoing the cathedral ceiling in the
foyer provided upper level space for a large study that will see all
four children successfully through their entire education. Here, as in
the rest of the home, walls are lightly textured and enhanced with
Other features that make this home
special are not as easy to see.
Underfoot floors are warmed by hot water heating. Special humidifiers
and dehumidifiers as well as adjustable water flow systems in the
basement make it possible to control environments selectively. The
basement also houses the "nerve center" of the sound system
throughout the house.
When all is said and done, it seems
that those who thought the lot was unbuildable were mistaken. What
matters to all involved however, is not that the lot was made useful,
but that the family who lives and grows there is satisfied. And there
is no mistaking that. "We were thrilled with everyone involved in
the project," Gail said. "They all did a great job!"