We were committed to the idea of designing and building our own home..a couple decades ago. We had for years attended the Parade of Homes with all the latest bells and whistles that builders in the area had to offer. When we found features we especially liked....from the smallest detail...i.e. on the diagonal to the profile of the window casing....the style of the door...we wrote it down in the front of a notebook.
If there were things we did not like...those had a place on a list in the back of that same notebook.
Southeastern Wisconsin is the land of finished lower levels (when referring to ours, we don't use the "B" word...as in basement.) David wanted his man cave...and as plans developed it became much more than a place to park a recliner and over sized television. We had always worked at home....and an office would be a part of the lower level design...and a bathroom...a bedroom...a kitchen...and the rec room with wet bar and fireplace...and still leaving some room for storage. In design...to maximize the use of the space, you want all the "mechanicals"...furnace, water heater and softener all in one place...and so it is. The area around the bar and the bathroom are tiled and the rest is carpeted.
We made the decision early in our building planning that we would not compromise on the "structural wish list" and if there were any initial sacrifices to be made...it would be on a design that could be finished later. Central to our plan was not only location but we also wanted a fully exposed walk out lower level. This allowed the most light ..best view...and took away the "basement" feeling from what we would use as a living level, not just a storage level. That part of our hunt took a while to find ...and then it "appeared" on the radar as phase two of Country Estates subdivision became reality and Lot 54 was for sale which allowed for full exposure just as we had envisioned.
We sketched our floor plan...including everything from ceiling heights to room sizes, hallway widths and closets...two fireplaces became three ...great room, master bedroom and rec room. Bedroom is gas only and the other two can be either gas or woodburning.
Important to us was the "entertainment friendly" design which incorporated a formal dining room and eat in kitchen. The double tray ceiling was on our wish list.
In my mind's eye...I always wanted "Soap Opera" sliding doors...you know the ones where Lisa slams the library doors shut while she tells Ryan that Jennifer is having Jason's Baby ?.....they are across from our formal dining room and lead to our formal living room now doubling as the "north office."
Our master suite is a refuge with fireplace...walk in closet with master bath, walk in shower and tub...on the list for updating.
Our deck spans the width of the house...this "entertainment friendly" feature was near the top of our wish list..initially made of treated lumber and now synthetic material...pressure wash and done...low maintentance and great for those kick back kind of times. It also has speakers from our intercom for a little more "ambiance."
Initially on the lower level, we only finished the office...drywall, paint of course and carpeting...it is presently in "renovation mode" business has "gotten in the way" and we have forefeited the talents of our carpenter for clients...a walk in closet to be added and new carpet and paint.
David's "crowning touch" to this level was custom cherry wood bar we designed with hammered copper top. A friend who was a stained glass craftsman made the art deco glass inserts in the canopy over the top. It's a wet bar with a wine refrigerator, ice maker and beverage refrigerator.
Home ownership ...Oh Yes...every square inch we designed and made our own. Bigger than any two people need...for now...and the last 24 years it is the house we are proud to call home.
If you or anyone you know is looking for the house they want to call home...or looking to upsize or downsize...in southeastern Wisconsin..Call Sally K. & David L. Hanson,Broker Associates with EXP Realty, LLC, we would be honored to be of assistance.#ThehouseWeCallhome