Colby Construction has built many beautiful, unique custom homes – homes built based on a dream the homeowner has, from lake homes, to modern homes, to rustic homes, and modern farm homes to name a few. Then there is a custom home that is based on family history and the desire to build a new home based on the past that meets today’s current lifestyle. The opportunity to build such a home came to Colby Construction via the great-granddaughter of a renowned architect.
Creating a Historical Custom Home
The new, custom home, lovingly named “The Lake House” is just that, a beautiful, modern home that was conceptualized, created and built based on family history. When the owners of “The Lake House” decided they wanted to create a new home on a historical property, they worked with their architect and Colby Construction to bring to life a home that was part of their family history.
Set on a small, picturesque lake in southeastern Wisconsin, the tucked away property has been in the family for generations. Originally purchased as a Gentleman’s Farm at the turn of the century, the current owner’s great grandfather created a place that would be loved and adored for generations to come.
In 1904, the great-grandfather purchased the abandoned property, created and built a sanctuary that he and his family could escape to and enjoy, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. As the years and generations developed the land, the property included a cottage for the family, a house for the work hands, a large barn, root cellar and icehouse, along with other out buildings. The family cottage was continuously updated and remodeled as the architect would up-cycle leaded glass windows and other treasures brought from homes he was working on or renovating in the area. This family cottage was the inspiration for the present day home, “The Lake House”, which now sits on the location of the former farm hand home, just up the hill from the original family cottage, which is still in use and is a summer home for another member of the family.
The goal of the homeowner was to create a home that had the charm and warmth of a 1930’s lake home. A few of the features that were a priority included a screen porch, a central part of the home where family members and visitors can gather. The original family cottage featured just this type of porch, and the unique windows were recreated for the new home. These windows are single-hung sash and well counter weighted. The windows push down from the top, and the window completely disappears into sash pockets in the basement below. These windows were hung on all three sides of the porch, and the new “Lake House” features the same (brand new) single-hung sash windows. Other features that were inspired from the original cottage include the leaded glass windows featured in the dining room. Like the original cottage, the new home’s dining room looks out over the lake through beautiful leaded glass.
Throughout the home, there are items that, like the homeowner’s grandparents and great-grandparents before her, have been repurposed. The counter top around the kitchen sink and the rocking chair in a bedroom are details and styles that are similar to the adorable cottage. As you move throughout this brand new home, you feel as though you have been taken back in time, a time when Guernsey cows roamed on the land and gardens surrounded the property. Each room was thoughtfully planned and designed to feel as if you are living there almost a century ago, but with all of the modern conveniences of custom, luxury home.
While the land has been divided, much of it remains in the family. Now there are new homes, and the barns have been renovated and rebuilt, and will last for the next generations to come. Today, strolling on the grounds of this estate, you truly feel as if you are part of history. You can almost imagine the family patriarch creating his next architectural masterpiece while enjoying the views of the lake. Stay tuned in the weeks to come to learn more about the features of “The Lake House”, outbuildings and history.