A Madison Couple Calls Lake Monona Home

It’s summertime and the living is easy in a contemporary home on the lake

Kathie and Bruce Bahman enjoy life on the lake. SEE MORE PHOTOS OF THE HOME IN THE SLIDESHOW BELOW.

Kathie and Bruce Bahman enjoy life on the lake. SEE MORE PHOTOS OF THE HOME IN THE SLIDESHOW BELOW.

If waking up to lake views and watching the sun set from your deck sounds appealing, Kathie and Bruce Bahman will tell you that, indeed, lake living is pretty wonderful.

Over the years, the couple has lived downtown, on a farm surrounded by forty acres and in a Victorian, but they’re finding their home on Lake Monona suits them and their golden retriever Brinkley.

Even though it hadn’t seen updates since the late 1960s, the house didn’t intimidate them when they bought it in the fall of 2006. “It had good bones,” Kathie says. “The foundation was solid, the roof was solid.”

It also had quite a history. In the 1920s it served as headquarters of the Kilowatt Club, the local electrical contractor union’s social club. Historic photos of the home during its clubhouse days now hang in the Bahmans’ living room.

As the pair began peeling back layers of the house, they hoped to keep as many original materials in tact as possible. They were able to salvage the original birch floors on the main level, an upstairs bathtub and the wood siding.

“Our happy surprise was finding the original Dutch-lap cedar siding under layers on the exterior,” Kathie says. “After a summer of cleaning, priming and painting, it’s good as new.”

Inside, the couple tweaked the house’s layout, turning a kitchen tucked in the back into a mudroom and bathroom. They also created an open area for a new kitchen, dining room and living room, with a wall of windows and doors looking out to the deck, boathouse and lake. “This room is where we live,” she says.

For this space they chose contemporary furniture, much of it from Century House. “We love old houses and we love antiques, but this house being so small we really had to go streamlined with the furniture,” Kathie says. “And the view is everything.”

A set of colorful glasses Kathie spotted in In Style magazine provided inspiration for the olive green, amber brown and turquoise hues that cover the home’s walls and ceilings in various shades. “I really liked those colors and they’re quite classic,” she says.

The colors harmonize with the cherry cabinetry and granite countertops that Dream Kitchens installed in their kitchen—not to mention the glass tile backsplash Kathie designed that depicts a lake view of the Capitol.

After all, the lake is the reason for living here, and the Bahmans have found their neighbors are of like minds.

“We have the best neighbors,” she says. “Everybody is very social. We entertain in our houses in the winter and out on the lake in the summer.”

Katie Vaughn is associate editor of Madison Magazine.

Find more House of the Month features here.

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