Finally at Home

After several moves, a family creates their ideal space near Middleton

The Clarks enjoy spending time together in their kitchen. See more photos of their home below.

The Clarks enjoy spending time together in their kitchen. See more photos of their home below.

PHOTO BY BETH SKOGEN

After five moves together, George and Kelly Clark know what they like—and don’t like—in a home.

When they realized they were ready for a change in 2012, they built a custom house to ensure that all their favorite aspects were included. One thing they knew they wanted to keep was their neighborhood, outside of Middleton. Working with Jason Kratochwill of Alterra Design Homes, they located property just down the road and proceeded to build their current 4,700-square-foot space.

“Instead of blowing out the whole wall, and turning another bedroom into a closet-slash-bedroom, and expanding our master bedroom, we’re like, ‘We’re probably better off just building another house.’ So that’s why we ended up doing what we did,” says George, general manager of Bergstrom Cadillac, Inc.

Although their Craftsman-style house is classic, the family of four knew they didn’t need to keep all the traditional characteristics of a large home to be happy. Instead of a formal dining area—a room they rarely used in their previous house—the Clarks created an office area and opted for an extendable table off the spacious kitchen. They also simplified their bathrooms, choosing luxury showers over large tubs.

“If you don’t use it, it’s just taking up space,” says George. “Why not do something you really want to use the space for?”

Inspired by handmade elements and earthy tones, the Clarks picked Asian walnut flooring from Sergenians and cherry cabinetry by Legacy Custom Remodeling for the main floor. They also worked with Alterra to incorporate surprise design specifics, including transom windows and columns.

Kelly placed an emphasis on landscaping, working with Green Tree to plant more than a hundred bushes and trees, and adding a water feature off the porch. A larger mudroom and garage were also top priority, ideal for storing snowmobile equipment and keeping the residence dog-friendly to accommodate Keeshond pups Sage and Meadow. 

“It’s the little details that really make it different,” says George.

A cozy feel carries to the upper level, where daughters Heather and Autumn share a blue common area near their airy bedrooms. Also above, guest rooms and a second laundry keep chaos at bay when Kelly’s Pennsylvania family members are in town.

Incorporating entertaining spaces was imperative for the Clarks, who frequently welcome guests. A speaker system connects to every room on the main floor, including the screened porch, which boasts a stone-framed fireplace and expansive views of the countryside. A movie room, indoor fireplace and walk-in wine cellar on the lower level serve as additional options for showing visitors a good time.

Most importantly, the Clarks themselves feel at home. 

Hannah Kiddoo is a freelance writer and former Madison Magazine intern.

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