Excepts from "Northern
Story by Roland Sweet
Photos by Don Kerkhof
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fascination with tools inspired this timber frame home some 25
miles west of Madison, Wisconsin. The homeowners runs a
family lumber business and in the early 1980s, he began selling
a line of tools geared toward crafting mortise-and-tenon joints,
which are the cornerstone of timber framing . . . "That's
how I decided that when I built my new house, it would be a
timber frame," he recalls.
couple weren't looking for anything elaborate, but they did want
the frame to encompass the whole house, not just a room or
two. They also favored an open layout with lost of big
windows and big rooms, including a 600 s/f master bedroom suite
on the upper level . . . The owner's two large dogs, a Great
Dane and a Burmese mountain dog, feel right at home.
||Rich wood and a beamed ceiling bring a sense of coziness to the roomy kitchen.
One feature the owners specified when designing the home was a walk-in pantry, whose door is seen to the left of the kitchen fireplace.
The frame was raised in September
1994. Work on the home was finished in July 1995.
Since the home was completed and these photographs were taken,
the owners have been slow to
decorate it. "The longer is takes us to fill up an
area, it seems the better the choice we make," the husband
says, describing the motif they've chosen as game lodge.
thing about a timber frame is with all the openness and angles
and beams going across the rooms, you have to live in it and see
the lighting before you start filling it," the wife says.
"Decorating the vertical
space is also challenging. If you concentrate on the lower
space where you live and don't take into account the 28 or 30
feet overhead, it's going to look like you're living on the
floor of a barn. You need to decorate up there to make it
warmer and add interest to the room."
the scale in mind also guides the furnishings. "You
need lots of things to fill the space, " she says.
"You don't put 8x10 pictures on the walls, you need big
ones! Although the owners aren't big on entertaining, they
do enjoy hosting their families. "Whenever the family
gets together, they always designate our house as the gathering
place," says the husband, noting that last Christmas the
home easily accommodated some 30 family members. In fact,
he jokes that the family considers the large home a blessing on
such occasions "because we save them
having to rent a hall."