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The splash of red on the kitchen island was added as a thematic call to the barn inspiration. Top: “One of the original requests from the owner was that the building took the form of a typical Wisconsin dairy barn,” explains project designer Matt Retzak. “Creating the feeling on the exterior that it could be an old barn that blended with the countryside — at least from the driveway side — was important.”

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This four-seasons room offers spectacular views in a relaxing respite. 

It’s an iconic Dairy State staple: bright red barns on sprawling acres of rolling, verdant property. With this image in mind, these Pewaukee homeowners tapped the team at Bartelt. The Remodeling Resource to bring this vision to life. 

“The owners knew they’d like the exterior to look like a barn, but we suggested it could be built like a barn as well,” explains Matt Retzak, project manager at Bartelt. “We had done a timber frame structure like this before in Baraboo. When we discussed that option, the owners were all-in. 

“Taking advantage of the beautiful natural setting was an idea we all shared,” he continues. “We achieved this with views in the garage portion of the barn through a custom fire-rated glass wall that looked into the treetops and down to Pewaukee Lake. All of the interior living spaces were designed to maximize the views to the hilltop site.”

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The homeowners utilized reclaimed elements, matte metals and a warm color palette throughout the space to achieve a casual, curated and relaxing aesthetic.  

Natural Elements

The rest of the design, says interior designer Heather Scott, was intended to create a casual and relaxing aesthetic. 

“The space needed a history and a story, and the timber frame construction and reclaimed elements help achieve that,” she notes. 

A “wow” factor was an important aspect, and Scott describes the thoughtful selection process to merge the best materials and design elements. “We chose not to have too many different finishes and materials distracting the space, and intentionally repeated many of the same finishes and colors throughout,” she explains. 

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Interior designer Heather Scott notes that the timber frame construction and open beams led to exposed piping, adding an industrial and casual element to the home. 

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The homeowners utilized reclaimed elements, matte metals and a warm color palette throughout the space to achieve a casual, curated and relaxing aesthetic.  

The team utilized textures including white shiplap on the walls and a mixed reclaimed hardwood floor throughout the space. Stained tongue-and-groove ceilings create a warm contrast between the white walls and the dark floors. 

For consistency, hardwood floors extend through all living areas, the kitchen tile and shower walls feature the same matte textured tiles, and both bathrooms are fitted with the same stone pebble floors. For a classic feel, the team used a cosmic black granite for all horizontal cabinetry surfaces. Scott notes the textured and matte tile and countertops maintain a cozy, homey ambience compared to the formal vibe of a shiny finish. 

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For consistency, the same reclaimed flooring is used throughout the home, and the countertops and tiles utilized in the kitchen were also used in the bathroom. 

Timber Triumph

“Keeping with the casual and worn appearance helped to complement the feel of an old barn,” Scott adds. “Many of the accents and furniture pieces help to create a very curated feel to the space.”

For a callback to the barn’s exterior, the homeowner requested a pop of corresponding color in the kitchen, resulting in a rich red island. 

The home also features a beautiful timber frame construction, a unique addition to the home that Scott calls “structural artwork in the finished space.”

“The timber structure that is exposed and part of every room makes it all unique and fun,” Retzak enthuses. “My two favorite spaces are the first floor and second floor living room areas. Both are very cozy and full of glass, and you can see the open area of the barn and the exterior.”

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This rustic “toy barn” was added to showcase the homeowner’s car collection, complete with a balcony overlooking the space.

The home is also fitted with features to accommodate the option for aging in place, like an elevator and curbless shower. 

“A building design that was flexible in its function now and over the years was the priority,” Retzak explains. “It’s a gathering place for family and friends, private guest accommodations, and a place to have the collections and grown-up toys like cars and golf simulator.”

The home also features his-and-hers balconies: his overlooks the cars and collections in the lower level of the garage, while hers is equipped with a screened-in porch and deck for a retreat that “feels like you’re in a treehouse with a view of Pewaukee Lake,” Scott says.

The collaboration between the homeowners, the tradespeople and the Bartelt team led to a fun, creative experience Scott and Retzak say. 

“These are repeat clients for us – the best kind!” Scott enthuses. “We love to collaborate with them and enjoy the ideas they bring, and we appreciate their openness to our design ideas.” MKE