Stone, brick and a lot of wood make for one charm­ing Cedar­burg home.

A cre­ative cou­ple un­earth lots of his­tory in an 1858 Cedar­burg home.

Milwaukee Magazine - - Content - BY KRIS­TINE HANSEN PHO­TOS BY MATT HAAS

FOR A LONG TIME, the Lochers, who once owned a 650-square-foot cabin in Rich­land Cen­ter and a 6,000-square-foot pad in the Third Ward, were torn be­tween city and coun­try liv­ing. They found the best of both worlds in an 1858 home in Cedar­burg, in a neigh­bor­hood bustling with artists like them – Joe trans­forms sal­vaged wood into fur­ni­ture and owns a brand­ing com­pany, while Karen met­al­smiths jew­elry.

When the Lochers first saw the Cream City brick farm­house, which once sat on 80 acres, one win­try day in 2008, Joe noted “great bones and a great soul.” Since they un­packed in Novem­ber of 2009, they’ve sold both their other homes.

The 1,800-square-foot Cedar­burg home was well-pre­served but dated. So the Lochers set about ren­o­vat­ing it, and they even­tu­ally added an­other 1,650 square feet of liv­ing space and a fourth bed­room in the style of a lime­stone barn.

They opened up the front stair­well “to re­veal the bones of the struc­ture a lit­tle more,” says Joe, and added thin-plank wood ceil­ings – and chan­de­liers that Karen de­signed – to many rooms.

The big­gest chal­lenge in writ­ing this 160-yearold home’s sec­ond chap­ter was the kitchen. “We didn’t want one of those makeover kitchens,” says Joe. In­stead, the cou­ple sought to honor the pe­riod while in­cor­po­rat­ing mod­ern con­ve­niences. A hand-sten­ciled ta­ble that be­longed to his grand­par­ents, who em­i­grated from Hun­gary, is joined by wide-plank pine floor­ing (found un­der lay­ers of wood and linoleum) and a Car­rara mar­ble coun­ter­top the cou­ple scrubbed with lemons un­til it dulled. Back­splash tiles were crafted in De­lafield, and a black gran­ite coun­ter­top was quar­ried in Wausau.

By 2014, they’d built two tim­ber-frame barns on the lot; one for each of their stu­dios. Karen’s is con­nected to the orig­i­nal house via a wind­ing hall­way and hewn-cherry stair­case that’s but­tressed by the roots of a once-tow­er­ing red­wood that Joe smoothed down. “I was moved to tears [the day Joe showed it to me],” re­calls Karen. Sev­eral smaller trunks, all sourced from western Wis­con­sin, shoot up through the floor­boards of Karen’s stu­dio, their fork­ing branches sup­port­ing the stu­dio’s vaulted ceil­ing.

Joe’s stu­dio is in an­other, free-stand­ing twolevel barn. Its all-over wood pan­el­ing and rus­tic fin­ishes call to mind a cozy North­woods cabin, or a tricked-out tree house. Re­claimed wood from a barn was used for the floor­ing, while more wood was turned into a desk.

The Lochers spend the most time in an ad­di­tion to the back of the orig­i­nal house, where side ta­bles Joe hewed from tree slabs and an ar­moire from a Ti­betan monastery blend in with faux-fur throws. Karen’s sconces pro­vide a soft glow, and French doors open to the yard, just a stone’s throw from the hus­tle and bus­tle of Cedar­burg.

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