Grand Estate

November 2020 View more

Renovations are mandatory with a century-old farmhouse, and Adam Stachowiak is up for the challenge. With husband Mike Isaac and designer Lauren Collander, Stachowiak has managed the thoughtful renovation of the Case Mansion, purchased by the couple in 2014. After two generations of the Case family rejuvenated the property, caretaking now continues with Isaac and Stachowiak. Tossed: carpet, cement board, and old wiring. Kept: stained glass, leaded crystal doors, and respect for the history of the house. “We really tried to maintain the grandeur of the home, while still updating it,” says Stachowiak. “That was the biggest accomplishment.”

“We needed a master bath for the homeowners,” says designer Lauren Collander, “but it had to be worthy of the house.” Turn-of-the-century materials and styles—natural stone walls and floor tile and wall paneling—were balanced with modern touches. “I really wanted to make sure it felt as if it had always been there,” she says.

Constant renovations are typical with an older home, but the couple’s bathroom proved to be the largest project. “Adam demoed the entire bathroom area himself,” says Collander. “The room was down to the studs when I was brought in to help with the design. He’s more of a team member than a client.”

An exposed radiator serves as a warm shower bench next to a large glass shower (not shown). Additional radiators behind the tub were framed out under the windows to keep the eye’s focus on the outside view: a large fountain surrounded by native plants
and trees.

The decision to paint the original woodwork in the foyer did not come easily, but after four or five years the couple started to consider a big change to the entrance. “When you walked in the house, it felt gloomy,” says Stachowiak. “With Lauren’s help I picked out some colors and inspiration photos.” The couple ended up rebuilding the stairs, risers, and spindles, but the paneling and newel posts are original. “Painting the foyer welcomed the family into the home,” says Collander, of LC Interiors. “We left enough elements that were stained, but this was the break from the dark wood.”

Bruno the Bernese mountain dog guards the home, which was constructed by the Birn Concrete Block and Tile Co. starting in 1904. At the time it was the largest and most expensive residence made of stone in the area. Stachowiak says the homebuilder’s hobby was flowers. “We still have irises around the fountain today that are original to his collection,” he says.

Photos by Marina Storm/Picture Perfect House