By Shayna Mace | Photography by Shanna Wolf
Lindsay and Aaron Olson were used to moving. Even with three young children, the couple had already moved six times. The Mazomanie natives had bounced from there to Middleton to Mazomanie and back again a couple of times. In 2018, they finally landed on their dream property — 20 acres in Middleton, off of Airport Road. The couple locked down their house plans, and excavation for their new home was to begin on a Monday in May 2018.
There was just one small wrinkle: The week before, Aaron drove Lindsay through Maple Bluff, and he was able to cajole her into looking at homes there, too. (Lindsay says Aaron has always wanted to live here). So, Aaron set up some appointments to view homes that week.
“All of the houses we were interested in had accepted offers on them by our scheduled showings on Saturday — except one with contingencies, so we saw it,” says Lindsay.
They liked the home, so the couple put an offer in on it. Much to their disappointment, the contingencies of the potential buyer’s offer was removed and the home went into escrow.
“The home across the street (which was actually the potential buyer’s home) went on the market and we took a look. We looked at it a couple of times during that week and then saw it one last time on Saturday to make a decision before Monday, which was ‘dig day’ for our new house. We looked at the house and immediately started envisioning changes. The garage wasn’t attached — we would want to connect it and add it a mudroom. The home was built in 1964, and those modern conveniences were a must for our family. We also knew we would need to [renovate] all of the bathrooms upstairs and do some cosmetic changes. But, we decided you can’t recreate this kind of home and you can’t mimic the neighborhood of Maple Bluff,” says Lindsay.
So, the family abandoned their Middleton plans — and became Maple Bluff residents instead.
The couple embraced their new neighborhood with gusto, enrolling their kids in activities and meeting new neighbors.
They also met with Jenna Bader and Jerry Schmidt of Dream House Dream Kitchens to discuss a remodel of the home, which included enclosing the breezeway between the house and garage, turning the old mudroom into a pantry, adding a larger master suite above the sunroom and reconfiguring a good portion of the upstairs to make it more functional for their family of five.
Although their grand plans sounded wonderful, the family would first have to endure eight months of renovations. They lived in the basement while all of the work was being done: “[It was like] our family of five [was] living in a college frat house — mattress on the floor [and all]!” jokes Lindsay.
But the results were worth it — and yielded an updated, functional family home. There’s plenty of space for entertaining, a huge mudroom/laundry room with a desk for Lindsay, pantry, enough space for the whole family plus guests to stay upstairs, and a backyard that’s truly a retreat from everyday life.
Once the home was complete, Lindsay tackled decorating the whole home herself. Her starting point was the foyer’s ikat-inspired Margate Watermark in Aqua by Anna French for Thibault wallpaper for the entire first floor’s look. “That wallpaper was a must, along with the cabinet color in the den and the flooring — everything was chosen around that!” she says.
In general, the home employs rich jewel tones (various shades of blue and emerald), camel hues in furnishings and rugs, gold accents in décor and fixtures, shades of gray, and creamy whites to make the home flow seamlessly from room to room. Yet each space has its own “wow” moment that delights, like the patterned tile in the mudroom, the bird wallpaper in the first-floor powder room, dazzling mother of pearl tiled wall in the dining room and vintage-looking floral wallpaper in the guest bathroom.
“Every design moment was chosen by us, and it is home,” says Lindsay. “Living through the renovation was stressful, but seeing the daily progress was worth it. The appreciation we have for our labor of love is endless. We are never moving!”