For 22 years, Diane and Tom Campion have enjoyed their home in Western Springs, Illinois, about a half hour west of downtown Chicago. But as their four children got older, they knew they wanted a family gathering place for everyone to decamp and relax at, outside of Illinois. The couple thought about a home in Lake Geneva, Madison or the Milwaukee area. But they also had friends in the Lake Country area, and decided to explore it further.
“Once we found out about this area, we started to explore our options,” says Diane. “We wanted [a home] that was in a quieter area, and no more than a couple of hours from Chicago.”
The couple connected with realtor JJ Hausmann and he started showing the couple homes on area lakes.
“I loved him because he knows all of the lakes and he told us the ins and outs of each lake … he was a real help,” says Diane.
Ideally Diane says they were looking for a move-in ready home. The couple found the perfect Beaver Lake lot, but decided to tear down the property’s existing home and donated all of the cabinetry, light fixtures, bathroom fixtures and more to Habitat for Humanity—and then started from scratch with Regency Builders on their perfect floor plan. (The company also built their next-door neighbor’s home and is remodeling their other next-door neighbor’s home!). Regency’s owner Jon Schoenheider also recommended architect Steve Wollersheim of Home Dezign to envision the family’s ideal abode. They desired a ground-floor master suite, at least four bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and plenty of living space on the main floor for family to gather in.
“[The Campion’s] vision was open minded,” explains Schoenheider. “They have a lot of kids, and [there will likely be] grandkids coming to visit. They had never lived on a lake, and that’s typical for new lake homeowners so they look to us to be the experts on what they need [in a house design].”
Luckily for the Campions, their lot size was able to accommodate a wide, rectangular house footprint so almost all of the rooms in the home have a lake view and on the home’s left side is a spacious 20-by-18-foot covered living space with retractable screens.
“When you walk through the front door, you want to see the lake, so we wanted large windows,” says Diane. “We wanted light, bright and airy, and I wanted it to be more of a lake house, and not a traditional house you’d live in year-round. People should feel relaxed here.”
The home’s “East Coast feel” is immediately obvious in the home’s great room, with tall ceilings, warm oak floors, built-in shelving and woodwork, polished bronze light fixture and quiet, neutral color scheme. The furnishings are primarily from Ethan Allen, Arhaus and Warren Barnett Interiors. Diane also had a lot of help from Cherie LaFrance of LaFrance Interiors with pulling together the home’s décor, fixtures and materials. “Regency recommended Cherie, and I was really thankful for a designer,” says Diane. “She made the inside come alive.”
LaFrance helped Diane select fixtures and doorknobs (from Neu’s Building Center), stone for the home’s exterior and fireplace (from Halquist Stone) and all of the décor and furnishings throughout the entire home. Diane says she would drive up from Illinois for the day and she and LaFrance would tackle a particular area of the home and finalize their selections. One day would be devoted to outfitting the living room’s bookshelves with items from At Home, Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel, and on another, they’d pick the windows and shingles.
Adjacent to the great room is the home’s kitchen and dining area, which Diane says “she sits in an awful lot. I love that it’s central in the home, and you can see everything from here.” Incorporating a mostly white palette, it also has subtle touches of blue in the glimmering, teardrop-shaped kitchen backsplash. The space is homey, yet can accommodate a crowd—with amenities like the double fridge, two ovens, two dishwashers and warming drawers. Traditional details are also subtly woven in here, with creamy painted cabinets (Diane didn’t want stark white), ceiling beams, glass-front top display cabinets, sleek cabinet pulls and bubble-shaped pendant lamps.
“I love it in here because you can talk to people as you’re prepping a meal, and we can pull the chairs out and use [the island] as a buffet. It’s functional, and spacious in here,” says Diane.
Through sliding glass doors in the kitchen, the family can access the luxurious outdoor living room that Tom wanted. “He wanted a covered deck, and he wanted a pizza oven,” explains Diane. And that’s just what he got—along with a lounge area, buffet/island to eat at or set up food, outdoor grill, sink and mini fridge. Retractable screens (called “phantom screens”) and a fireplace make the space comfortable when the sun goes down. The room has a more rustic look than the rest of the home, with shades of brown and blue, weatherproof deck flooring, industrial lighting and natural textures woven in throughout.
“That is the best outdoor living space we have ever created,” says Schoenheider. “It’s a three-season room and to me, that is the best part of the house.”
But there are plenty of other great spaces in the home too—like the three bedrooms upstairs with lake views, bunk room that accommodates four beds for overflow guests and comfy loft area for hanging out. Each family member or guest has more than enough space to spread out and relax— which is ideal for a family of six.
The couple’s ground-floor master suite is the picture of tranquility with a cream-and-khaki color scheme, homey wood furnishings and spa-worthy master bathroom. The built-in cabinetry, walk-in shower and soaking tub add to the allure of just sitting in here and hanging out.
Of course, the lower level may draw them away from the master suite—as this spot is custom-designed for entertaining and is also a favorite place in the home for the couple. An entire secondary living room with fireplace and TV to watch games flanks one end of the space. Of course, if one wants to grab a drink at the bar, they can do that too—or sit at the farmhouse-style table to eat—which Diane says they use frequently for friend and family dinners. The pièce de résistance though is the golf simulator next to the bar that Tom, his son and his friends all enjoy.
“Their basement is amazing—I love that bar and the golf simulator,” echoes Schoenheider.
Outside the couple worked closely with Corey Nelson of Nelson Landscape to beautifully shape and manicure their outdoor spaces. Because the home had to be set back from the water a certain amount, a set of stone steps gradually winds down to the water. A hardscaped portion about 75 feet from the water (see page 58) plays host to a fire pit and sitting area.
And, the couple were able to build a boathouse that serves as storage for their water toys and, most beneficial—there’s a separate hangout room in the boathouse, too. The cozy spot has living space, a TV, refrigerator, sink and bathroom for people to use while hanging out near the water.
Now that they’ve had the home for two years, Diane loves every inch of the house they lovingly built.
“The house is beautiful, and Regency has great craftsmanship. We ended up with a beautiful home—more than we ever thought we would get.”
Diane and Tom Campion had to work their lake home’s footprint around a kettle on the left side of the property, so the house was set back behind some majestic trees (and the kettle) to make it work. Corey Nelson of Nelson Landscape planned out and executed the beautiful lawn, stonework and landscape.
The Campion’s kitchen employs a peaceful color palette with touches of sparkle in the gorgeous teardrop-shaped tile backsplash and bubble- shaped pendant lamps.
The soaring great room hosts family gatherings or simply Tom and Diane, when they want to hang out and watch the water from the floor-to-ceiling windows.
The upstairs loft area outside of the bedrooms offers a quiet spot for an escape.
Daughter Eileen uses this fanciful full bathroom that features a glossy gray honeycomb tile backsplash; textured, porcelain tile floors; and a sunny shower.
A guest bedroom with an ikat comforter and soothing hues is located on the side of the home with views of the treetops.
The hotel-like master bath has a huge walk-in steam shower, double vanity, plenty of cabinet space, soaking tub and water closet. A beautiful chandelier from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery decorates the space.
The jaw-dropping lower level offers copious living space— including a living room area, dining table, shuffleboard table, bar, golf simulator, sauna, workout room and additional bedroom. The ceilings are a generous 10 feet high.
The Campions can catch a view from the living room in the walk-out basement. The design echoes the main floor’s great room, with a cozy stone fireplace, built-in bookshelves and comfortable furnishings.
The outdoor living room is no doubt one of the best spots in the house. The family can enjoy an indoor/ outdoor experience via the opening that faces the deck. When nighttime hits, a quick flip of a switch brings down the automated retractable screens.
By Shayna Mace | Photography by Midwest Aerial Productions; Exterior Photography by Shanna Wolf
7,500 SQUARE FEET / 6 BEDROOMS / 9 BATHROOMS
This home was featured in the Lake Country: Fall 2019 issue. For more photos of featured Lake Country homes, visit the Lake Country gallery.
The Lakeshore Living publications are published by Nei-Turner Media Group, a full-service agency located in Lake Geneva, WI. Our four publications cover the picturesque lake communities of Lake Geneva, Madison, Lake Country and Northwoods.
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