Wide Open Spaces

Sweeping views and travel memories come together to create a beautiful home for a Middleton family

The Sattlers' home in Middleton. See more photos in the slideshow below.

The Sattlers' home in Middleton. See more photos in the slideshow below.

On most evenings you’ll find Paul and Madeline Sattler watching the sunset from their kitchen.

The Sattler home is adjacent to the Ice Age Trail, and its location offers a prime view of Blue Mounds, complete with rolling hills and wide skylines. It was that sense of openness that initially attracted the couple to the land as they searched for a place to build.

“We sit here and marvel at the sky. We have seen electric storms like you would not believe. When it snows you feel like you’re in one of those Christmas globes. It’s really peaceful,” says Madeline.

The long views reminded them of a favorite travel spot—Arizona. Nods from the Grand Canyon state are scattered throughout the house, from antique Navajo saddle blankets on the walls to a Southwestern-influenced fireplace in the living area. The Sattlers also incorporated touches from the Mackinac Islands, another treasured destination. A blue ceiling on the screened-in porch and the framed image of a fudge shop worker in the kitchen are just a couple of the additions that elicit a sense of vacation year-round. Classic pieces, such as French-inspired chairs and a Turkish rug, are also thrown into the mix.

“It’s kind of an eclectic mix of traditional styles,” says Madeline. “I feel like our design approach is very intuitive. We look at something and admire the texture or the color or the form. The intuitive part then is seeing how these different things come together and complement each other. I’m forever arranging and rearranging.”

To accommodate the collaboration, Paul and Madeline dismissed the classic crown molding of their former house on Miami Pass and opted for clean lines and structured details that carry through the halls. The consistent use of soft paints and an abundance of windows provides a bright showroom for the diverse collection. 

“You always wanted a modern home,” Madeline says to Paul.

“Not so modern that traditional pieces would look odd,” he adds.

Design runs in the Sattler family. Among other experiences, Madeline is a retired interior designer. Son Riley recently graduated with a degree in fine art and art history from St. Olaf  and studied in Copenhagen. He has several pieces throughout the home—from a table in the entryway, made of Port Orford Cedar, ebonized cherry legs and burnished titanium fasteners, to watercolor paintings in the bathroom.“It was a fun process, even for me,” says Paul.

Now retired, the Sattlers also took the ability to “age in place” into account when building, working closely with Hart DeNoble Builders to place all essential rooms on the spacious ground floor.

“Everything is designed to make it easier,” says Madeline.

From the laundry room to the master bathroom—which offers a view of the sunset from the bathtub—the lower level is all about comfort and chic accessibility. Upstairs, sunny spaces for Riley and daughter Rachel serve as a reminder that they are always welcome home. 

“I love the aesthetic. It just makes me feel good,” says Madeline.

Hannah Kiddoo is a Madison-based freelance writer. She blogs about home style and trends in HomeGirl. 

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