The woodsy ambiance is reminiscent of Teddy Roosevelt’s trophy room at Sagamore Hill, and the 26th president and founder of the Bull Moose party would no doubt approve of the wildlife mounted above the fireplace. And although he might look stern, the imposing moose has a whimsical side. His name, after all, is Bullwinkle.
Like so many things in this gracious household, Bullwinkle comes with a story. “I loved the moose at Three French Hens, but it wasn’t for sale,” explains homeowner Ann Marschuetz. “I mentioned it to my husband Denny, and the next time he went hunting in Montana, he brought Bullwinkle home.” The animal theme continues with an array of stuffed ducks from other hunting adventures, but it is Bullwinkle who dominates. “We string colored lights and ornaments on his antlers at Christmas. He’s quite festive!”
The family moved in when their youngest child was in eighth grade. Now, almost seven years and not-quite three grandchildren later, the study has become the favorite gathering spot. “It’s the room where everyone ends up,” Marschuetz says. Even 3-pound Bitsy is thoughtfully accommodated. The tiny Chihuahua, often fashionably dressed, has her own miniature staircase to help her into Denny’s favorite leather chair.
Superb architectural features—especially the dazzling tray ceiling and intricate brickwork over the mantle—give the room grandeur, but it’s thoughtful attention to detail that makes it all work. When planning the space, the couple knew they wanted a flat screen TV and storage for video components, but they didn’t want a wall of bulky cabinetry. A custom-made cabinet, crafted from old doors, is designed to hold everything in a compact footprint. “We worked with an amazing craftsman from Architectural Salvage,” Marschuetz explains. “He built the wall unit to our exact measurements, without even seeing the space, and then gave it a rubbed black finish that’s just beautiful. It’s exactly what we had in mind!”
Most of the furniture and accessories were discovered at Three French Hens and Marschuetz turned to designer T.J. Zachary to pull the look together. “He understands how we live and I always love what he does—he’s amazing!”
Although Mr. Marschuetz and Bitsy can usually be found in their favorite spot by the fireplace, the unique and oh-so-comfy sofa is arguably the best seat in the house. “Most of the fabrics on the sofa have been reproduced from antique rugs,” Zachary explains. “And the trims are all custom-made to go with the fabrics.” The sofa has a practical side, as well, he adds. “Those gorgeous ruched seat cushions incorporate different fabrics. If you flip them over, it’s a completely different sofa.” Marschuetz appreciates the versatility but has yet to experiment. “I haven’t flipped them yet because the kids haven’t spilled enough stuff on them!” she laughs.
West-facing arched windows now offer a view of wonderful gardens, but getting there was a learning experience. “The property was landscaped when we moved in, and then I planted more flowers,” Marschuetz says. “It was very pretty until we decided to put corn out for the deer. They enjoyed the dinner, but they had my hostas for appetizers and my roses for dessert!” The deer still walk right up to the window, she laughs, even though the garden now has ‘deer-proof’ bushes.
So, besides the human Marschuetz gang, there’s also Bambi, Bullwinkle and Bitsy. This house is truly a favorite gathering place for all. LN