By Shayna Mace | Photography by Shanna Wolf
For Joe and Carmen Judd and their teenage kids, Peyton and Alayna, Okauchee Lake was the place to be. They already had several friends that lived on the 1,210-acre lake, and the family was actively searching for a lot to build their forever home on. Joe is a real estate investor, so they had their eye on a level lot on the south end of the lake — which is hard to find on the water. After a year and a half of watching and waiting, the family purchased their desired lot.
“We like the atmosphere of being able to boat to our friends’ houses and socialize that way via boat,” explains Joe. “This lake was really the only one we considered [living on because] we already had so many connections on the lake.”
The Judds knew they wanted to build anew, so they got to work tearing down the two homes that were located on the property. They chose to work with Regency Builders, as the company had built their previous home in Bristlecone Pines. Regency owner Jon Schoenheider is also a good friend of the family.
“Their lot is just beautiful and offered great exposure, and [our goal] was to focus every room toward the water. So the orientation and design was specified to get that,” says Schoenheider.
Joe agrees the lake was tantamount in the new build, and working with Regency’s architect, Steve Wollersheim, the couple was able to incorporate all of their must-haves, which included a large deck for entertaining, a gaming lounge for Peyton, an entertainment space in the lower level and a theater room.
“The architect was able to take our ideas and put them into the house. As novices to building a home, we didn’t really know what we wanted, but Regency was right there along with the architect and … making suggestions of things that we wouldn’t have thought of on our own,” says Joe.
For example, Schoenheider says the home’s design is intentionally a bit “staggered” to capture the most of the lake views.
The entire first floor, which has an open floor plan, has gorgeous, sweeping views of the water and multiple seating areas for family and friends to kick back and relax. Most of the furnishings are from Arhaus, and the glass coffee table in the center of the family room is from Room & Board. The statement fireplace (not shown) has a tile surround that reaches to the ceiling — yet another suggestion from Schoenheider that the Judds are happy they included.
The kitchen not only looks beautiful, but functions flawlessly, whether it’s just being used for the family of four or needs to accommodate the bustle of visitors (which is typical).
Shaker-style cabinetry is topped by generous crown molding, and the herringbone tile unifies the space, while also adding an eye-pleasing appeal. The stainless steel appliances match up to the sleek, custom stove hood. A wine and coffee bar flanks the kitchen, with a wine and beverage fridge, and display cabinetry shows off glassware and serving dishes. Stylish lighting throughout the home, such as the curvaceous pendants above the island, was important to Carmen. All of it is from Ferguson, except for the curved floor lamp next to their sofa (that’s from Pottery Barn).
The cozy dining room is anchored by a dining table from Bachman Furniture, a purple upholstered bench and soft, cube-like chairs from Arhaus. An abstract art piece from L.A.’s High Fashion Home pulls everything together.
Carmen did most of the interior design in the home, something she’s passionate about. The home is casual and comfortable, but she says she wanted a “little glam, with glass and crystal mixed with natural elements. But I have a lot of sparkle!”
Joe enthuses: “She gets a lot of compliments about her interior design. We started with an interior designer, but after a few meetings, [Carmen] thought she could do it on her own — so she did. She’s always had a love for decorating, and she’s confident in her abilities to put together the interior of a home.”
Two other areas the couple love are Joe’s office and the lower level entertaining area. Joe’s office overlooks the water and a door leads out to the home’s wraparound deck. He’s got a TV out there, heaters and motorized “phantom” screens that come down with the touch of a button to screen off this area for bug-free comfort.
“I spend a lot of time here, and with the heaters, it’s become an area we can use nine, or even 10, months out of the year,” says Joe.
The lower level intentionally has a darker color scheme to enhance the space’s coziness.
“Everything is pretty light throughout the rest of the house, and [downstairs] has a rustic, casual feel,” says Carmen.
Joe wanted a poker and billiards table for his frequent games with his friends (well, frequent before COVID-19) and a theater room. He says the theater room is a favorite hangout for the kids, and he loves to watch sports and movies there.
Joe says they wouldn’t do anything differently now that they’ve been in the home for two years. Carmen loves their home for its openness. “[Our main floor] is so open, and it has so many different living spaces in one — it feels roomy, yet also homey. And I like looking at the lake. Every day it looks different, and it’s just so fascinating — I love it.”
6,500 SQUARE FEET | 4 BEDROOMS | 4.5 BATHS
Behind the curved door in the kitchen is the spacious pantry — convenient, yet tucked away to keep the kitchen clutter-free.
Although much of the home has a gray and white theme, Carmen wanted a moodier look for the main floor powder room. She chose a wood-look herringbone tile accent wall, dark vanity and curvy mirror. The arched door, suggested by Regency’s Jon Schoenheider, adds a dash of panache.
ROOM WITH A VIEW
Any meal becomes extraordinary when seated at the dining room table, overlooking the water.
The switchdeck stairs and metal railing were designed by Regency Builders, and the open design allows more light to filter down to the lower level.
The lower level features walk-out access to the lake, and has a bar, poker table, bedroom, full bathroom and theater room.
The downstairs guest bath features cabinetry hardware that resembles plumbing pipes (look closely!) and a round, metal mirror from West Elm.
In the couple’s owner’s suite Carmen designed everything around the upholstered sleigh bed.
The deck has dazzling lake views and stretches nearly the full length of the Judd’s home. Schoenheider says there’s a waterproof membrane under the deck to keep the lower level patio dry. Tucked in the corner of the lower level is also a hot tub.
This home was featured in the Lake Country: Summer 2021 issue. For more photos of featured Lake Country homes, visit the Lake Country 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.
NEI-TURNER MEDIA GROUP
400 Broad Street, Unit D
Lake Geneva, WI 53147