Livable Luxury

After two years of hard work, one condo owner feels as if he's on top of the world - or at least the Marina


Photo by Martha Busse

For two condo units bought as “gray boxes” two years ago, Ron Krantz’s top-floor double unit in the Marina is anything but gray today. The warm burgundy walls, rich cherrywood furniture and gold accents—not to mention the sunshine streaming through windows offering 360-degree views of the city—make that monotone past a distant memory.

Krantz’s completely customized unit, featured in last May’s Art and Architecture Tour, was designed from the ground up by Laurel Brown of Brownhouse. “You don’t get an opportunity to do something like this very often,” says Brown. “It was truly a labor of love.”

That labor of love required coordination—lots of it. On furniture and art shopping trips to North Carolina, Krantz and Brown measured pieces for the condo. If desired furnishings didn’t fit, the two would have walls moved and room measurements altered. Such was the case in the front foyer, inlaid with black Italian marble and mosaic tile. Brown saw the perfect console and gilded mirror, but the size didn’t match up. She had a wall moved a few inches.

That painstaking attention to detail shows throughout the condo’s nearly five thousand square feet. Krantz’s favorite room is the luxurious den with walls of windows on two sides affording Capitol and lake views. The six-piece cherrywood tray ceiling with copper inlays is custom-made. If he’s thirsty, he needs look no further than the full wet bar equipped with refrigerated drawers and mini dishwasher.


Photos by Martha Busse

The condo offers unexpected touches from floor to ceiling—literally. Take the wood floors recovered from a Milwaukee factory, or the mother-of-pearl inlaid ceiling in the guest bathroom. There are twenty different moldings used throughout the unit, and most of the ceilings offer something to look at; it’s similar to gazing at the Capitol rotunda just steps away.

The master bedroom is a cool sanctuary with slate-gray walls, a cedar closet, a balcony overlooking the lake, and what Brown dubs a “Caesar’s Palace” bathroom. These features might cause one to overlook the humble Francesco Molone dresser—and Molone’s furniture is used at the White House and owned by dignitaries.

Krantz’s kitchen and dining areas are designed with his lifestyle in mind, namely his love of cooking and family visits. The spacious kitchen has a large Wolf stove, a butcher block and two seating areas. The partner in UW Provisions plans to host his three sons and their families often at comfortable family gatherings with plenty of room.

“It’s large enough to accommodate people without being cramped,” says Krantz. “I have the ability to seat sixteen or seventeen people at one time.”

Krantz isn’t likely to lack for visitors, and that’s what he’s looking forward to. “When the kids visit, you’ve got Concerts on the Square, and the restaurants are handy …” he muses. “It’s all in the location.” The design probably has something to do with it, too.

Shayna Miller is assistant and style editor for Madison Magazine.

Madison Magazine - August 2007
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