When you walk into Beth Bovis and David Feldstein’s 7,900-square- foot lakefront home, it’s hard to know where to look first. Every element was thoughtfully considered and curated to create an artful sanctuary for adults and kids, from the brilliant architecture to the expressive furnishings to the cozy living spaces designed with family fun in mind.
It’s certainly a far cry from the original home that sat on the two- acre lot on Geneva Lake. When Bovis and Feldstein bought the property in 2016, they decided the little lakefront cottage had already been renovated to the fullest extent it could be, so they opted to tear it down and start from scratch. Knowing this vacation home could potentially be their full-time residence one day, the couple took extra care to ensure it had the functionality they needed, and that it would be a special place to continue making memories on the lake.
Bovis had grown up spending sun-splashed summers in Williams Bay since the 1980s, and she and Feldstein wanted to continue that tradition with their own family, which includes teenage son Alex, 14, and daughter Samantha, 18. The Madison-based family wanted a summer home where they could comfortably boat, fish and swim, so their attention turned to Geneva Lake.
“There’s always stuff to do in the city, and we knew we were not the ‘head up north and really rough it kind of folks,’” Bovis says. “We wanted to be able to go to a restaurant or be able to stay home and barbecue and have a fire and s’mores.”
Early on in the planning process, Bovis says their vision was to use the lake as the focal point, with functional balconies, plenty of outdoor space, a screened-in porch and bedrooms that maximized the view. Gathering spaces were also a priority — having a place where the kids and adults could hang out separately or together was a must.
The couple worked closely with Lowell Custom Homes and interior designer Michelle Hackworthy of Madison- based Zander’s Interiors to create a contemporary home that still looked like it belonged in Wisconsin. The couple opted for a neutral palette of tans and grays that added warmth to the home but allowed the artistic light fixtures, tilework and modern furniture to sing.
The beauty of the home is in the attention to detail and appreciation for uniqueness. In the kitchen, the Zephyr Pendant light fixture by Hubbardton Forge is reminiscent of undulating ribbons and is complemented by recessed bulbs that provide even lighting throughout the space. The bar stools paired up with the kitchen island were purchased from Three Five Sheridan, a consignment shop in Lake Geneva. The couple had them recovered to match the aesthetic of the home.
“They fit so perfectly with our style,” Bovis says. “They’re one of our favorite things in the house.”
The “levitating” Rubik’s Cube-like coffee table in the living room is made up of individual wood blocks held together by repelling magnets and a system of cables. Bovis met the artist — Jessica Banks, an MIT engineer turned furniture designer — in New York, and they bonded over their Wisconsin ties.
On the second floor, where most of the bedrooms are located, the master suite and two kids’ rooms were designed with architectural distinction and characteristics that spoke to the style of each family member.
“We love interesting rooflines,” Bovis says. “We created a lot of them. Every room has its own features. The master has a big barreled ceiling, a view [of] the lake and [lots of] light that [streams] in through the windows. In my daughter’s room, she has a vaulted ceiling and an interesting ceiling fan. My son’s room has a French chateau ceiling, and it’s all green — it’s his favorite color.”
Aside from the creative design elements of the home, a major focus of the home design was functionality. Bovis says they knew they wanted a home they could share with family and friends, and that’s exactly how the living spaces are laid out.
Take the basement, which is no ordinary space. Lowell increased the ceiling height in some spots, so the area feels open and airy. And in this home, it’s an entertainment mecca with several elements, including a game room, movie room, wet bar and dining spot. Family and friends can easily swivel between watching the Packers game and enjoying a competitive match of ping-pong down here.
“When we were looking for our home, we went and visited many properties and, obviously, none of them were the right one, but they all had things we liked. In my mind, this is our ‘best of’ basement,” Bovis says.
The third-floor loft is a kids’ sanctuary. The spiral staircase leads to the top floor turret, where the furniture can be rearranged for any scenario. With the loft, it’s a tough call on who’s having more fun: the kids or the adults. The adults can hang out with cocktails and conversation on the main floor, while the kids can hang out in the loft.
It was also important to Bovis and Feldstein that the home was equipped with the latest technology. The property has a Crestron audio/visual system that controls all the lighting, sound and video in the home. The family can turn the lighting in the movie room to “night” mode for TV-watching. Or they can stream an audiobook through speakers in the master bedroom and bathroom, and then transfer the livestream to their phones when they leave. It’s the ultimate example of seamless, modern-day living.
Now that the family has lived in the home for a couple years, they’ve had many gatherings already: last summer saw a gathering of 18 people staying at the house and everyone was comfortable.
“It’s a dream come true to have a home like this,” Bovis says. “I really feel honored and privileged to have built it and we’re happy to be able to share it with friends and family.”
7,900 square feet | 6 bedrooms | 6.5 bathrooms
The main floor’s open concept was designed with gatherings in mind. Seating abounds in the living room with accent chairs flanking the custom-made sofa from Lee Industries.
The coffee table is from RockPaperRobot, a New York-based furniture company. A matrix of wooden cubes are held together by magnetic repulsion and a system of tensile steel cables.
A Kids’ Haven
The circular stairway leads to the third- floor loft, a cozy room designed specifically for the Bovis-Feldstein kids, plus their friends and family. The design of the staircase adds architectural intrigue, but it also saves space.
The furniture in the loft room was selected because it can be easily moved around and reconfigured. The kids can play their gaming systems up here while the adults chat downstairs.
Room for the Whole Family
The main floor guest bedroom steps right out onto a back patio with views of Geneva Lake. But what makes this room really special is the en suite, arguably the most beautiful in the house, Bovis says. The spherical light fixtures are by Hudson Valley Rouseeau.
The bunk room above the garage is great for when the whole family stays over, which means roughly 20 are staying the night. The bunkroom sleeps 10 comfortably.
By Shelby Rowe Moyer | Photography by Shanna Wolf
This home was featured in the Lake Geneva: Summer 2020 issue. For more photos of featured Lake Geneva homes, visit the Lake Geneva gallery page.
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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