A weekend restoration project is now home to a bustling family of six.
From the moment he laid eyes on the property, Steve Laux had plans for the 1885 homestead where he and his wife, Stephanie, now reside with their four children.
“My uncle bought this property in 1991, and I started caring for his herd of cattle and working the farm with him,” Steve says. “I joked with him on and off for years that he should let me redo the falling-down farmhouse.”
Years later Steve took over care of the herd and general upkeep of the property. Somewhere in this process, his dreams for the historic home came to fruition.
“Late one afternoon I was feeding the cows, and it started snowing,” Steve says. “I stepped into the house for shelter and then crawled up the pull-down attic to inspect the leaking roof. While sitting there among the rafters, it suddenly hit me that, ‘Wow, this space would be cool for a boy’s room.’”
A welcoming yet not overly fancy entrance is one of Stephanie’s favorite features of her home. “I love the way the exposed brick gives a nice blend of modern mixed with an older feel,” she says.
Four and a half years later, after preserving the foundation and exterior, gutting the interior and mostly rebuilding the insides, the Laux family calls the structure home.
“We went into this project with the intention of making this our weekend retreat,” Stephanie says. “Because we were expending so much of our time and resources on this house, we decided we needed to be here full time. Now every day is a retreat.
“At first I was reluctant about moving in,” Stephanie continues, “but once we were able to pull down inside walls, it made the space more open, and it changed everything.”
Interior designer Regina Green from Scruggs Lumber helped to create a design for the bathrooms and kitchen. She also assisted Stephanie with paint colors throughout.
A roomy eat-in kitchen with an amply sized granite island is a favorite gathering place for family.
“Stephanie was a great client to work with because she had an idea of what she wanted,” Green says. “She brought me pictures, I gave her options, and we planned together to make it happen.”
Details such as glass-stone mosaics, tumbled marble and heated floors in the master bath give the room natural aesthetics and provide comfort as well. An eat-in kitchen has granite countertops and a tumbled travertine backsplash with cracked glass tile throughout. Stephanie and Regina were sure to select materials that were both attractive and durable.
“I really appreciate that while our house is beautiful, Regina helped me pick materials that will withstand the abuse that can happen with four energetic children,” Stephanie says.
With no looking back, the Lauxs are happily nestled into their historic home, which includes 145 herd of cattle; a friendly mule named “Skinner,” who the children enjoy riding; five noisy roosters; a dog named “Chewy;” and several cats.
Finding just the right tin pieces for walls in the boys’ room was a challenge for Steve. “The tin had to be not too rusty, yet I didn’t want it to look new,” he says.
“One thing led to another,” Steve says. “I love old homes, and my hope is that we might inspire someone else to preserve a historic structure instead of tearing it down. I consider our home an antique, something that should be treasured. We love this place.”
The master bath was created using relaxing neutrals and natural stones for tile. Heated floors bring welcomed comfort during the winter months.
The large well-lit kitchen has lots of windows and room for a table that seats 10.
Contractor: Frank Forck, Forck Custom Construction
Interior designer: Regina Green, Scruggs Lumber
Kitchen countertops: Bobbie Price, Carved in Stone
Kitchen and bathroom cabinets: Wes Scheulen, Wes Scheulen Cabinet Shop
Kitchen and bathroom tile: Jeremy Peters, Peters Tile & More
Kitchen and bathroom lighting: Kristin Schroeder, LaBelle Cabinetry & Lighting
Decorative painting: Doris Davis, Davis Creative Painting
Outside railings: Derek Fork
Surround sound and entertainment: Cole Boessen, The Entertainer
Electrician: Louis Shulte