Retrospective – A Custom Home

I generally don’t reveal details from customer projects publically. My approach has always been that it is the choice of the homeowner to expose their homes, not mine. This has left me at a disadvantage in promoting design services, as many projects I have done the most extensive work on are custom homes. I have made a few exceptions over the years, mainly construction process images of details, or projects in which the owners have later given tours of for various reasons.

When a home is put up for sale, the proverbial cat is out of the bag – so I feel it’s fair to share what is being published at that time.

To that point. One of the largest custom home projects I had done heading into the mid 1990’s has recently been listed for sale. In this case, I was privileged to serve as Director of Design and Marketing for Visa. The home was for its owner, so we were given free reign to create and build in one direct process. This project included a comprehensive array of designs of custom lighting, furniture, flooring, built-ins, and accessories, as well as controls commissioning of a 900+ circuit Lutron dimming system. There were many members on the team, including Visa Lighting as fixture manufacturer, Doug Schaefer as Visa product designer – who worked with me and the engineering team to execute over 300+ custom lighting products in just over one year’s time, and James Kuderer (then with AJ Piech) who brought the woodwork to life in the customs we created. Construction was completed in 1994, so the designs have stood for more than 26 years.

I thought this an opportunity to share some of my favorites from this MidWest Prairie inspired home.

Note: Images are from the current home listing site.

Main central gallery pendants

Dining room, which includes custom 14 person dining table, banquette, side boards, and lighting

Central interior stairway, which included custom railing and suspended birds in flight sculpture.

The wine cellar, which included interior design, furniture, counters, and lighting.

Den #1, including custom flooring, lighting, desk, and tables

Looking at the listing and these images, I still feel a great deal of connection to this home, and its owner, as we spent so much time together in the process of completing it.

The home is now listed for sale at

As a side note; This is an image of the design center where the design and engineering team made a space for itself just before tackling the home. This is where all of the lighting products were designed and engineered. You can see on in the foreground a mockup of a stem assembly that was destined for the home, while the face panel of one of its sconces is on the lower working table.

Author: kwillmorth

Photographer and Artist

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