Perched above the central lawn of the storied, Neo-Georgian Culver Academy boarding school, the transformation of this early 20th century American Craftsman-era bungalow required comprehensive alterations centered around entertaining and weekend retreats for its Owner, a devoted Culver alumnus, and his young family. The colorful palette is fresh, youthful, and inviting, and the perfect setting on a crisp fall day, windows flung wide to the call of reveille and the bustling campus at its doorstep.
With warm welcoming hospitality the primary design directive, a previously unembellished winterized porch, was re-imagined as a new living space. A series of wide French doors now connect a light filled Sitting Room and Dining Porch with the primary entertaining rooms. New cottage-hung windows reveal views of campus and Lake Maxinkuckee beyond.
What was previously a warren of small, tight spaces was detangled and completely rearranged for flow and comfort, including reorienting the stair to the Living Room. This room — designed in the spirit of a boarding school Commons — is arranged into two distinct seating groups, creating the flexibility to comfortably host small, intimate groups and larger gatherings.
The Kitchen is envisioned in much the same way: a generous refectory table-inspired island stretches across two rooms unified by deep, teal-blue millwork. This makes the Kitchen a cozy spot for Saturday morning pancakes and an elegant backdrop for cocktail parties.
The architecture and interiors celebrate the history of the house and the Owners’ devotion to its distinct setting on the edge of their beloved alma mater and its traditions: from the studious styling of the Living Room to a Tack Room that evokes the equestrian traditions of the school; to trim, doors, and floors painted in “Culver Red” and the artful incorporation of the Owner’s boarding school memorabilia, like his mounted saber and garrison cap.