Every picture tells a story and the beautiful images of this executive estate are evidence of a strong commitment to the land, the lake and, most importantly, the family who calls this place home on the shores of Upper Nashotah Lake.
A love of the outdoors influenced the design of this residence, but it also represents a homecoming of sorts. After more than three decades of living in the Washington, D.C. area, the homeowners chose to return to the backdrop of their respective childhoods. And that included building on land that has been enjoyed by the family for over 150 years, some of whom actually resided there in the mid-1800s. The result is a harmonious, full-circle existence to behold.
It is through listening to vivid and cherished memories of family ties to this tranquil setting, one instantly understands this is a house that love built.
As you step into the main entrance, the warm tones of the spectacular Douglas fir post and beam construction are ever present. The unique construction sets the tone and makes the visitor feel as if they were somehow transported to a Colorado ski resort. With soaring 35-foot high ceilings and expansive windows, there is an immediate sense of standing in a beautiful cathedral-like structure meant to celebrate and be one with the pristine natural surroundings.
In order to accommodate a large, extended family of Swedish and German descent, the homeowners thoughtfully designed a venue in which to host various gatherings, yet still managed to create several cozy spaces for smaller, casual visits.
“This house is great for entertaining, but lends itself to quiet, relaxed visits, too,” said the homeowner. In addition to two sunny window seats, one favorite spot is the blue tile stove (Kachelofen) in the dining area. Here, it’s easy to pull up a couple of wingback chairs, take a seat, and put your feet up on the hearth and enjoy the warmth of the fire and radiant heat.
In the local Bavarian dialect, the common everyday greeting to one another is the two words on this little plaque placed on the stove, namely, “Gruess Gott” (in an English transliteration of the German letters you see on the plaque). It is a shortened version of words that state: “May God greet you.”
The homeowners believe it is a lovely greeting, and therefore put it on their tile stove. And, they even traveled to a small Bavarian town to visit a tile-making factory, taking with them the design for the tile stove, as well as hand-painted mock-ups of the corner tiles, and this small plaque. The experts experimented in their color lab, to arrive at a one-of-a-kind blue color that is personalized to this stove.
The four-season sunroom is a favorite space for everyone who visits. “Each day is different. The views of the lake are different, depending upon the season and the location of the sun in the sky,” said the homeowner. Throughout the day, she can follow the sun all day as it passes overhead and brings warmth and light into every room.
The home boasts six fireplaces on the main and upper levels, and a soapstone wood-burning stove on the lower level. Many include a façade of stone found in Colorado to complement the lodge feel of the interior. The office/full bath suite on the main floor includes a masonry heater, in which, like the tile stove, the heat from the fire is recycled and stored within its masonry structure, from which it then gently radiates into the space throughout the day.
There are five bedrooms, including two master suites with balconies overlooking the lake. All include en suite bathrooms and walk-in closets. A lower level guest room and guest suite above the garage provide extra sleeping space for extended family and friends.
The home includes a geothermal heating and air conditioning system with 20 separate in-floor hydronic heating zones throughout the residence, including each ceramic tiled bath, to provide a warm welcome to bare feet in the morning.
Entertainment options abound with a finished lower level rec room, complete with kitchenette, wet bar, billiard space, sauna and steam shower amenities. Adjacent to the main room, there is space designated for a dark room, and another that can be transformed into a home theatre or wine cellar and tasting room. A sandy beach awaits at the lake. Just outside the lower Continued on page 22
level walkout, the home is pre-wired for a hot tub. A state-of-the art electronic system for lighting, sound, and security exists on the property.
The home was completed in 2008 and, with nearly 8,000 square feet of living space on 2.6 acres of wooded land, no one will ever feel confined here. Four decks and three patios only enhance the access to the outdoors.
Part of the Mission Woods development, which is completely surrounded by the lake and 20+ acres of woodland placed in conservancy, the home occupies one of only eight building lots, each including an average of 200 feet of lake frontage. Private hiking trails are accessible throughout the development, where one will see plenty of deer, wild turkey, birds, and water fowl.
The lake is peaceful. “At one time, Nashotah House owned about 60 percent of the land on this lake,” said the homeowner. “It was only very recently that this side of the lake began to be developed.”
Nashotah House Theological Seminary, founded on the lake in 1842 and still serving churches of the Worldwide Anglican Communion, is the oldest chartered institution of higher education in the state. With its rich history and presence on the lake, it has been a prominent part of the landscape for generations.
When homeowners and guests gather at this estate, all eyes look to the lake. This home faces west and provides varied sunset views throughout the year. It is where family members love to swim, fish, ice skate, sail and go water skiing, especially grandchildren who have tried all of these activities for the first time on this Wisconsin lake.
For these homeowners, it is all about treasuring the priceless collection of family memories created on this lake by the preceding four generations, and being blessed to pass that legacy on to the two new generations, while seriously enlarging the collection as they enjoy every minute of it. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment is to be able to say: “It’s where cousins became friends.”