My dream project 1926 Tudor home – Living Room

Posted on Jun 7, 2016 in Blog


The living room in this spectacular Tudor home has great architecture and four fantastic focal points.  When designing this space, my first goal was to respect the architecture of the home and the scale of this enormous room.  My second goal was to reflect my clients' personal taste and incorporate their great grandfather's antiques and oriental rugs in a fresh classic style.  Lastly, the builder and I wanted to bring the home back to its 1926 glory and get rid of the 1950's updates (blonde woodwork throughout first floor and picture windows)!  

The builder and I made the decision early on to paint all woodwork throughout the home in a deep ivory color because stripping and restaining all the woodwork would be cost prohibitive and time consuming.  We agree that the painted woodwork would brighten the dark interior and provide a wonderful contrast to the homeowners' extensive antique collection.  My clients wanted the living room to be warm and inviting, to achieve this, I surrounded the entire room and ceiling in a neutral tone and painted the beams in a deep creamy color.  The darker color on the ceiling gave the illusion the ceiling was lower than it actually is and highlighted the original antique bronze chandelier.

As I mentioned earlier, the home was updated in the 1950's and unfortunately the homeowner removed all the leaded glass windows in the back of the house and installed huge picture windows.  This was not an uncommon practice in the 1950's because picture windows were a hot trend back then.  However, 65 years later in 2016 the effect was jarring and the builder and I had to figure out how to transform the living room back to how it looked originally.  The first step is always to search the property for old windows because often times they are not thrown out.  So I advise anyone who is restoring an old house to search in the basement, attic, or any outbuildings for any architectural elements you may be missing inside the house.  Unfortunately that was not the case for this project, so the second solution was to find old lead glass windows to match the originals.  Let me tell you, that is easier said than done.  The contractor searched the entire country and was unable to find exactly what we needed in the correct size or enough windows to complete the entire back of the home.  

The builder, Paul, actually came up with the idea of installing huge patio doors, which was brilliant.  The doors open to a lovely tree lined view of the Milwaukee River.  By installing the sliding glass doors, we were not competing with the beautiful antique windows.  Now the light floods into the room all day long creating a zen-like feeling.   

All furnishings were custom created for this space and are available at McNabb & Risley.

All art, lighting, mirrors, and accents are from McNabb & Risley.

Antique bookcase and antique oriental rug are the clients' family heirlooms dating back to the 1880's.  

Builder information:

Paul Apfelbach

Phoenix Real Estate Inc.

262-366-2242

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