Hillstrom, Jane

To most people a condo is a condo, cookie-cutter architecture inside and out. But not at the Yacht Club at Sister Bay, where developers Chris and Sara Hubertz of Brookfield hired interior designers to make each unit fit its buyers’ personal style, and to liven up the development’s five rental units.

The waterfront condos are within walking distance of downtown, a combination that’s perfect for families with young children. The indoor pool, workout facility, and clubroom make them even more appealing.

The Hubertzes’ own third-floor condo, which looks out over a balcony to the Sister Bay harbor, is anything but traditional. Affectionately known as the “dancing people unit” (named for their artisan-designed dining room set), it’s full of bold colors and whimsical accents. “Our home in Brookfield is more formal,” says Chris. “That’s where we have work and school. We’re able to just play here.”

And play they do. A metal sculpture resembling the family’s Westie dog keeps watch beside a chair. Curved footstools in periwinkle and marigold evoke the fantastic artwork of Dr. Seuss. Wrought-iron people dance on candleholders. A hand-blown threetiered cobalt blue cone, red-and-cobalt teardrop, and yellow sphere direct light over the birch dining room table. A red, orange-gold, purple, and lime green striped sofa creates a focal point. Windows are framed in swirls of orange fabric lined with deep purple.

The whole family had a hand in creating what Chris calls a “happy place.” Sara took fabric swatches to a you-paint pottery studio, where their children, Tori, 15, and Nick, 10, painted matching tiles, now part of the black marble fireplace.

Swirls and stripes. Orange and purple. It shouldn’t work, but it does. Chris, who is president of the Blue Shore Development Company, which developed the condos, credits designers from the Sister Bay Trading Company with pulling everything together.

“It’s modern Scandinavian,” he jokes. “It was the closest I could get to creating a rosemaling unit.”

Jane Hillstrom writes and lives in the second-home capital of Wisconsin: Door County.

Copyright Trails Media Group Mar 2004

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