Midvale Courtyard is located on a busy street in Madison, Wisconsin. Originally a 1685 square foot half-century rancher, it lacked privacy and room. Bruns Architecture added 840 square feet to the home by expanding the entry area, adding on a covered parking area and extending upwards to create a Master Suite on a new second floor. Upgrades such as new insulation, energy efficient mechanical systems, low e glazed fenestration and a new roof where all part of the renovation process as was the reconfiguring of the main floor plan. The new design added multiple vertical planes to create privacy walls and a series of inner courtyards for private outdoor living. The new inner courtyards created a series of zones or wings for the main living areas and the ceiling heights on the main floor where also increased by building the 2nd floor above the original main floor ceiling height.
The facade of the home is constructed with a neutral palette of greys and browns using a combination of brick, cement and wood. While the undersides of the roof and sections of the fence are kept in a natural wood finish, the vertical wood paneling is finished in the same shade of grey as the bricks. Cutouts on the Shed Roof-line allows light to travel through while at the same time creating a modern graphic pattern.
The entry is tucked behind a concrete fence and below a large roof overhang for privacy and shelter from the weather. The door is a bold choice of red against the otherwise neutral backdrop. The entry is kept modern with an asymmetrical design of a single fixed sidelight and transom.
Just inside the entry door is a flight of solid wood stairs that leads to the new 2nd floor. The treads are kept deep at a 12″ depth for easy maneuvering and the risers are open to help keep the space feeling light and bright. A low bench beside the door offers a place to change shoes or place parcels. The slate 12×24″ floor tiles create direction toward a fun seating arrangement of faux rocks. An open beam extends past the dropped ceiling over the door that is also the upstairs landing.
The staircase continues its theme of openness with a balustrade of horizontal cables held in place by stainless steel spindles. On the upstairs landing a balcony door mimics the profile of the entry below.
On the main level of the home a large open area consists of the living, dining and kitchen areas. The living and dining area are divided by a stainless steel fireplace encased in a large floor to ceiling stacked stone feature wall. On one side a flat screen TV is mounted above a series of open shelves, and on the other a long buffet offers storage for the dining area. The dining table is a combination of a natural wood top and distressed framework. The leather chairs are clad in a soft grey and a series of organic candlesticks finishes the look.
A Barcelona Chair designed by Mies van der Rohe adds a classic detail to a contemporary living space and a series of eastern printed pillows, throws and Asian boxes add a global touch.
The kitchen is a dramatic statement of vertical Zebra wood veneer on the lower cabinets combined with white floor to ceiling cabinets and open shelving. Juxtaposed against this backdrop is a 6″ dropped wood paneled ceiling with an ebony finish. The same grey 12″x24″ tiles used in the entry area are repeated on the kitchen floor.
Just off of the kitchen is a hallway that connects to the far side of the house. Through the windows, a private exterior dining space is visible.
As you travel down the hall, the first thing you encounter is a large black shelving unit set back into the wall.
The private exterior dining space, just outside the kitchen is continued with an outdoor lounging area. Between the two outdoor zones is a spiral staircase that leads up to the 2nd floor deck. The same horizontal balustrade of cables as the interior staircase surrounds the deck.
Just past the outdoor lounge area is a vertical privacy screen that is transformed into a open flu for a small fire pit.
Upstairs, overlooking the outdoor living space and just inside the upper deck is the Master Bedroom. The open trusses of the ceiling and the black wall of windows are balanced with a deep dusk hue on the headboard wall. Against the far wall a tripod floor lamp continues the theme of black in its drum shade and a small modern chaise offers a great place to sit back and enjoy the view.
When the evenings are especially beautiful, the deck of the Master Bedroom is an inviting place to enjoy the outdoor ambiance.
On the other side of the bedroom headboard wall is the Master Bath. Here a large free standing oval soaker tub is the only white to be seen. The wall of the walk in shower is tiled in the same tile used in the entry way and kitchen floors, The floor in the shower is tiled in a smaller version of the tile and glass panels surround the shower on 3 sides. Large black cabinets hold towels and other incidentals and the floors and ceilings are kept to a natural wood finish.
The floating vanity with a trough sink on the far side of the bathroom continues the charcoal tones, as do the towels.
Its hard to believe this stunning contemporary residence was created from such a humble rancher and is a testament to the vision and foresight shown by both Bruns Architecture and Mani & Company Interior Design.
Mani & Company Interior Design
Tricia Shay Photography