A Happy Mix

Modern architecture and a touch of island style combine in a west-side home

The Raschicks' home is an example of International Style architecture. SEE MORE PHOTOS OF THE HOME IN THE SLIDESHOW BELOW.

The Raschicks' home is an example of International Style architecture. SEE MORE PHOTOS OF THE HOME IN THE SLIDESHOW BELOW.

When Rick and Sally Raschick moved to Madison in the late 1960s, they gave their real estate agent a list of features they wanted in a home. A wooded lot, fireplaces and built-in bookshelves, a screened porch and room for a vegetable garden.

Surprisingly, the house that fit the bill was an International Style home built in 1935 by the renowned team of Hamilton Beatty and Allen Strang. The couple bought it from the original owner in 1973 and moved in, expecting to stay for only two years. Instead, they raised their two children, Malia and Chris, here and have never left.

That’s not to say the Raschicks haven’t changed the house over the years. About twenty-five years ago, they worked with Ross Potter of Potter Design Group to build an addition, including a basement living room where their kids could practice music and hang out with friends.

More recently, the couple decided to do another round of remodeling to make the house more comfortable and better suited to how they—and dog Ula, whose name is the Hawaiian word for “red”—use it. They wanted to fix a few leaks and replace the siding, as well as create better flow within the house while maintaining its character.

The Raschicks turned to architect Tom McHugh and general contractor Tom Potter. From the spring to the fall of 2008, they flipped elements around inside of the house. They kept the home’s general proportions—adding just 160 square feet for a total of 2,243 square feet—and its original wood paneling, but moved the location of the front door and worked with Madison Lighting to create better ambience.

“It became a more gracious house, and less stark,” Sally says of the changes. “But we kept the lines.”

Perhaps the biggest change was building a new kitchen that flows into the dining room. They chose bamboo plywood cabinetry, cork flooring and Corian countertops, and added windows above the cabinets.

They’re happy that the kitchen feels more a part of the house. Now that it’s open to the rest of the living areas, it’s more conducive to guests gathering—and Rick does the dishes more often, Sally says.

Yet Rick appreciates how the improvements don’t look drastic. “When I think of us, I like to think of things organically,” he says. “We don’t want to be splashy.”

The subtle approach has allowed them to shine the spotlight on their collections: pottery, artwork and touches of Hawaii, the place they lived in the early 1970s and that has remained one of their favorite spots to visit.

“It’s all the difference in the world now,” Sally says. “We just love it all the more.”

Katie Vaughn is associate editor of Madison Magazine.

Find more House of the Month features here.

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