The sunroom has the best views in the house — and that’s saying something, considering river scenes flood nearly every window on one side of the house.
But the homeowners agree that there’s no better spot to enjoy morning coffee and watch the river change complexion as the sun rises higher and light glistens off the water.
There are other focal points in this custom-built, adaptive home built by Magee Construction Co., that are worthy of admiration, as well. The kitchen, for example, is the heart of the open-concept design, big enough for the owners’ large, extended family to gather, but also convenient for whipping up sandwiches for supper.
Weathered old Chicago brick forms the backsplash, a perfect counterpoint to marble countertops — “we don’t mind seeing the wear-and-tear that marble gets” — and custom Bertch cabinets with crown molding painted a soft sage with a matte glaze. That smudge-proof matte finish is carried through to the kitchen’s suite of GE appliances in slate.
“We chose the color scheme from what is outside our windows,” the homeowner says.
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The open floor plan minimizes hallways, just one of the unobtrusive design elements of building an adaptive, accessible home, says Deb Waterman, who was the project manager for Magee. Those elements can range from lever handles for doors and cabinets and grab bars in bathrooms to controls that are easy to reach, or voice or motion activated.
“You want to incorporate adaptive features into the design so that they are seamless and don’t look adaptive. Many elements are so unobtrusive that you don’t notice them,” she explains. “It’s a ‘forever’ house that works well now and into the future.”
Rough-hewn, hand-scraped hickory Mullican floors run throughout the main level. In the cozy great room, limestone mined from a Wisconsin quarry is stacked into an impressive fireplace. A thick timber serves as a mantel and granite-topped cabinets and floating shelves frame either side.
Custom cabinetry built by Forever Cabinets provides attractive storage throughout the home, in particular the master suite, laundry, other bedrooms and baths. “They love details, and they build in some unique but practical pull-outs in their cabinetry,” the homeowner says.
In addition to the staircase custom-designed by Magee, a gravity-fed elevator provides access to the finished lower level. A bar area, shuffle board table, craft room, extra bedroom and bath and a steam shower provide more comforts of home.