lake wisconsin remodel

Lake Home Transformation

Lake Wisconsin Whole Home Remodel

This dark and dated Lake Wisconsin home was purchased as a future retirement home for the owners. When discussing repairs and maintenance, the couple decided it was a good time for the full renovation they envisioned to make the home their own. The two story, 2,835 square foot home now provides the perfect lakeside retreat, with everything except the original fireplace stone and mantle updated or replaced.

Explore the transformation on a virtual home tour guided by Vive Home Transformations Sales Representative Joel Geissbuhler in partnership with NARI of Madison.


Exterior features include a combination of horizontal LP SmartSide and vertical board and batten siding, Trex decking, and all new windows.  The front porch was rebuilt with wider stairs, new black railing, and white trim, posts and aluminum tongue and groove ceiling. Lighting was added above the overhead garage doors, and a screen porch located under the porch was transformed into cold storage with access from both the yard and the house.  Lakeside, the unsafe wooden deck was rebuilt with a custom drink rail for outdoor entertaining, and a much-needed staircase to the lake was added.

First Floor

The main goal of the first floor renovation was to showcase the lake view from the moment anyone entered the home. Tall cabinetry in the foyer was removed to open the space up, accomplishing this goal and creating a more functional entry.  An existing bench was replaced, and a sideboard with a custom wood top and accent lighting underneath was added.

In the great room, the existing vaulted tongue and groove ceiling was painted white to brighten the space, the existing wood beams were wrapped, and a new gas fireplace insert was installed to replace the original wood burning function.

A portion of one original bedroom was used to create an office with a shiplap-sided wall and double sliding barn doors.  A portion of the original bathroom was used to create a powder bathroom and nook with storage and open shelving.

Two existing bedrooms were combined to create a new master suite with new, larger windows and a walk-in closet. A tongue and groove vaulted ceiling found under the drywall was left exposed and painted. The master bathroom showcases a walk-in shower with white mosaic tile floor, herringbone accent tile, floating bench, shiplap half wall and glass enclosure. Yorktowne Maple cabinetry in an Earl Gray finish and quartz countertops in Impero Carrara complete the space.


A wall in the kitchen was removed, and the peninsula was replaced with a larger, more functional eat-in island, opening up the room to the first floor and once again highlighting the lake view throughout the home. Yorktowne Maple cabinets in a white icing finish were installed, with island cabinetry finished in Earl Gray. Cambria quartz countertops in Bellingham, a white ceramic tile backsplash, black fixtures, and under cabinet floor lighting complete the airy aesthetic.  To finish the space, the wood tongue and groove ceiling was painted to brighten the space.

The doorway into the sun porch from the kitchen and dining room was widened, improving traffic flow and maximizing that valuable lake view.

Sun Porch

During the renovation, a portion of the ceiling fell. Underneath was a wood, tongue and groove ceiling that the homeowners decided to keep exposed and painted white. Adding electrical to the existing beams wasn’t an option, so wrapped beams were installed to house lighting. Two existing sliding doors were removed and replaced with one large, central sliding door, and the floor was leveled.

Lower Level

The goals of the lower level renovation were fun and function. A wall and doorway at the bottom of the stairs was removed to create a more open and welcoming entry into the the bar and family room.  HVAC was relocated to the garage, enabling more space for entertaining and a higher ceiling in the bar. The bar area itself was reconfigured to be a larger wet bar with Yorktowne Knotty Alder cabinetry in a smoke finish, Marron Cohiba Suede granite countertop, and ceramic tile that resembles brick.

An opening and doorway between the bar and family room were both made larger, and a custom wood counter was added. Inside the family room, the wood tongue and groove ceiling and beams were painted to brighten the space and for consistency with the first floor. An exterior door was removed, and a large window was replaced with a patio door.

A sauna room with a shower and a closet near the family room were converted into a bedroom with a lake view, maintaining the existing sleeping space. The existing lower level bedroom was reworked to create a hallway to both bedrooms. The original bedroom entrance was converted to storage – one of a few creative storage locations created on the lower level.

The bathroom and laundry room were reconfigured to replace the small enclosed shower with a bathtub. Yorktowne Maple cabinetry in a Celeste finish and cultured marble countertop in Egg Harbor complete the space. Stairs to the lower level received new carpet and railing.

Need a tool to help you kick-start your home transformation project?

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Downtown Madison: 701 E. Washington Ave. #103, Madison, WI 53703 | (608) 437-6186 • Southern Wisconsin: 4070 E. Brigham Rd., Blue Mounds, WI 53517 | (608) 437-6186
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