A Diamond in the Bluff
Masterfully redesigned and remodeled with more than $1.3 million in renovations, the property offers a perfect blend of 1920s craftsmanship with the most modern of today’s amenities. Yet with some of the most exquisite and character-filled features you will find anywhere, the current owners were quick to point out that the property has never lost the quaint feeling of a family home.
As we approach the home down a long sprawling driveway we pass by the coach house. A former maid’s quarters, the coach house includes two bedrooms and an attached three-car garage. It is rather charming in its own right, but actually just a small preview of what you’ll find at the opposite end of the drive. Moving toward the home now we arrive at a very imposing two-story structure that spans more than 10,500-square-feet of living space. What was once a detached three-car garage is now attached by way of rectangular-shaped addition, flawlessly designed with an indoor pool, patio and lounge area that now cleverly connects the two buildings together. Looking at the building today you would never know that it hadn’t been like this since the home was built over ninety years ago.
Entering the home, you’ll find a very elegant foyer with arched doorways leading to each of the adjoining rooms and a mirrored/crystal chandelier with matching sconces, which are believed to date back to the original home. Your eyes are then drawn up the elongated stairway with a large picture window at the first landing.
The window has an arched circle top that provides a view out toward the trees looking over the bluffs. It’s most impressive indeed,
even from the main level.
As we tour the home it is difficult at times to determine the original from the redesigned, as the remodelers were intent on maintaining the authenticity of the home’s architectural heritage while bringing it into the new millennium at the same time. The living room to the right is splashed in warm earth tone colors with decorative raised paneling and recessed lighting. Similar to the outline of most of the rest of the home, this room has the daunting size to be able to host a huge party or gathering—but also has the unique ability to be as cozy as a single-room loft.
Circling around we come to the sunroom, highlighted by a checkered marble floor and massive picture windows all around. There are multiple sets of French doors leading to a wrap-around outdoor patio. The room itself has always been a family favorite for looking out over the lake bluffs, regardless of the time of year. Next we come to the formal dining room. It is graced by a marble-surround fireplace and an antique chandelier, but the most impressive features in this room are the arched bay windows providing a panoramic view of the landscape. The windows form an extension to the already sizeable dining area, and create an ideal setting for the baby grand piano that happens to sit there today. It looks like this space was custom built for the piano, but of course there are multitudes of other options that could be just as appealing for a spot with this view.
From the dining room we continue to make our way toward the kitchen around and through a very functional butler’s pantry which features tasteful amenities such as granite counters, built-in bar refrigerator, accent lighting, ample cupboard space and more. As we pass a powder room and an arched gallery hallway, it’s plain to see that the kitchen was without a doubt the beneficiary of the most significant renovations and upgrades in the home. In the space that was likely several rooms in the original configuration, there is now a six-hundred-square-foot ultra-modern kitchen. Here are just some of the highlights: heated hardwood flooring; triple French doors leading to another back patio; granite countertops; a breakfast bar/island; two vegetable sinks; a Sub-Zero refrigerator; a Viking cooktop; cabinets galore; a work desk area and more. Whether you’re a master chef, novice or just like to congregate with friends and family in your kitchen, this one has everything you could ask for.
To one side of the kitchen is a welcoming family room featuring a tray ceiling, recessed lighting and more French doors leading out to the custom deck and patio in the backyard. There’s also a wall of custom built-in cabinets and big screen TV perfect for whatever kind of entertainment you enjoy. On the opposite side of the kitchen leading back toward the foyer is a mahogany raised-panel library. With a classic look all of its own, it also includes a marble surround fireplace, pegged oak flooring and another wall of custom shelving and cabinets. With the dark brown ceiling and soft recessed lighting, this room is the strongest reminder of the old-fashioned character that was clearly a part of the original home design.
Heading to the upper level via either the main or back staircase we’ll find another large gathering area or family room with French doors leading out to the second level deck. On one end of this level there are three-bedroom tastefully finished with private baths. On the opposite side is a classic, traditional version of the master suite. In additional to the master bedroom, there are separate, private his and hers dressing rooms, closets and baths. Hers is slightly bigger and features a lighted vanity area and a full whirlpool tub. Both include granite counters and walk-in showers with seating. The generous walk-in closet areas are the size of small bedrooms.
Back on the main level, the connection between the past and present is clearly the addition of the pool wing. Whether you’re a fan of pools or not, you can’t help but be awed with how tastefully this room was finished. It includes a dry sauna and full bath/changing room. There is an electric cover and a cathedral-style ceiling with a superb ventilation system to control any lingering traces of chlorine or chemical smells. It’s also surrounded by blue slate tile that flows seamlessly to the wide hallway which provides access to a two-story mud room and the garage.
Some of the other extras included in the home are: a composite shingle roof; central air conditioning and natural gas heating; custom plaster crown moldings in many of the rooms; six full-baths and two half-baths; radiant heated floors in many of the rooms; four natural fireplaces with gas starters; nine-foot ceilings throughout; a partially finished lower level with additional space for bedrooms, playrooms or workout rooms; a rear deck and brick patio with built-in fire pit; dual three-car garages and much more.
This is one of those homes that you truly can’t appreciate until you see it for yourself. It has the splendor, character and soft appeal of a home that has clearly been nurtured for decades. The home is currently being shown only by appointment through Janice Waisman of Shorewest Realtors, (414) 659-5848.