Shipshape Classic

A reimagined lake home is transformed into a space that exudes maritime sophistication.


This maritime-inspired, second-floor family room sports hanging fixtures that conjure images of a ship’s wheel, durable fabrics for active family members, and a view into the adjoining
game and bunk areas. Notice the portholes in the sliding hanging doors that divide the two rooms.
Bright white cabinetry is the perfect kitchen palette to splash color and texture, including
a copper hood and drop-down butcher block island extension.
A mix of traditional and more contemporary styles dresses this elegantly cozy
seating space in the master bedroom.
  The master bathroom elements, with subtle blue hues
as a nautical nod.

A recently supersized lake home proves that one can reimagine a longtime family residence for today’s needs.

Jeremy Hartline, studio manager of Wade Weissmann Architecture, and Emily Winters, a senior interior designer with Peabody’s Interiors, teamed up to convert a ranch retreat in Lake Geneva into a two-story main residence that maintains yesteryear’s weekend and holiday fun.

From Cottage to Residence
Hartline says the home’s conversion is typical of what is happening on lakes across southeastern Wisconsin.

“Lake architecture has been changing over the last few years,” he says, noting that this project involved using the existing foundation, adding a second floor and infusing historically inspired details. “People are looking for a
fresh look.”

Hartline refreshed the exterior with a mix of materials, including HardiePlank lap siding, stone veneer and a metal roof.

The new dimensions are impressive: 10,000 square feet, five bedrooms, six full bathrooms and two half baths. Oh — and five fireplaces.  

Inside, Winters took cues from Hartline’s curved archways on the first floor and the second-floor family room’s open truss ceiling to incorporate stylings from the clients’ previous East Side Milwaukee Tudor and a desire to subtly reflect their new home’s waterfront locale.

“It feels like a classic lake home,” Winters says. “We wanted to give the home some personality — a sense of who the clients are and their style. We were aware that we were on a lake, but wanted to not be too nautical.”

Resource Center:
How to Re-Create the Look
» The Miramar large hanging shades in the second-floor family room are from Ralph Lauren’s lighting collection.

» The master bath’s attractive white vanity cabinet was crafted by Burmeister Woodwork Company in Hales Corners.

» The round table in the seating area of the master bedroom is available through Peabody’s Interiors.

»  The urn-shaped fixtures wrapped in metal hanging over the kitchen island are from Waterworks.

» Helping set a subtle nautical tone in the foyer is the E.F. Chapman Alderly globe pendant, available at Visual Comfort & Co.

The Right Mix
That meant mixing various favorites from the clients’ traditional home — such as oriental rugs, framed posters and prints, and a model ship gifted to them years ago — with new fabrics, marrying a previous life of raising children to a new focus on extended family and fun.

A good example is found in the master bedroom, where a fireplace, the clients’ area rug and a poster combine to provide a cozy seating area. Winters added a round table with lines that mimic the rug and decked two chairs in a wide, linen-stripe fabric to create a sophisticated space with nautical undertones.

The kitchen also mixes tradition and modern — while nodding to the clients’ passions.

Winters designed the bulk of the room in modern white, with the exception of an artisan-crafted copper hood and sturdily upholstered blue chairs that line the island. At one end of the island, a Heritage Beam and Board butcher block and dropped-down extension allows for rolling out pie crust and includes a built-in, old-style yardstick for seamstress activities.

The second-floor family room, adjoining game area and bunk space, and powder room blend nautical and non-nautical elements.

The family room’s open tresses are dressed with a series of cylindrical light fixtures hanging by rope, suggesting the look of a ship’s wheel, while a pendant hanging in the bunk room provides an alternative nautical vibe. The opening between the family room and game and bunk area is divided by a trendy, sliding barn door.

Another example of a family keepsake is a large American flag hanging over a built-in buffet. Winters notes that it’s signed by astronauts.  

There are other subtle nautical hints throughout the home, including a powder room with an Impressionist-style ship scene. Other nautical items adorn shelves, and a subtle blue-and-white motif mixes well with natural wood tones. The refined result? An updated cabin feel dressed in maritime sophistication.

The project’s success, Winters says, is based on relationships.

“When you do something of this scale, you really get to know the homeowners,” she continues. “This was a very different process — a much longer process over three years, working closely with the architect and builder. When this happens, you really get to create exactly what you want.”