Blog by Beebe Cline

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A Contemporary Home on a Working Farm

When it came to designing a contemporary second home for a Chicago-area family, architect Bill Bickford looked to an old barn on their 200-acre working farm in Wisconsin. The farm has been in the family for more than 25 years, and they had forged a strong connection to the property. “When you look out to the surroundings, you see beautiful old oaks, barns and silos dotting the landscape,” he says. Bickford designed a home that’s both contemporary and technologically advanced, and also fits the rural context and the family’s desire for wide-open spaces, family gatherings and relaxing weekends.

Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: This is a second home of a family with young children.
Location: The countryside west of Madison, Wisconsin
Size: 4,500 square feet (418 square meters); 3 bedrooms plus bunk room, 3½ bathrooms

Photography by Werner Straube Photography
The top level contains the master suite and this office loft. A patchwork cowhide rug is modern yet references a dairy farm, and plays off the grids on the railings.