Then they decided to sell their Wisconsin legal services company and move to the Lake as permanent residents. Brian continued with a similar company in Osage Beach, and last year Barb opened Marine Vessel Documentation Service, which works with banks and individuals who need assistance with Coast Guard documentation.
In 2008, the Newluns were building a spec home in Porta Cima when the housing market crashed all over the United States. So they were forced into a lifestyle change. They lived in that home for five years, then sold it and began looking for a spot to build.
They found this wooded lot at the 20.5 mile marker. Brian began clearing the overgrowth, and when he finished he was amazed at the breathtaking view of the Lake. Trees remained in the front and sides of the property, so the home design and land complement each other.
Brian enjoys designing houses. He has always been fascinated with Frank Lloyd Wright designs and was inspired during his studies at Taliesin, a school in Wisconsin founded by Wright. His favorite style is the Prairie house — characterized by low, horizontal clean lines. Using the Prairie style as inspiration, he combined it with the look of a 1940s gas station, featuring a flat roof and stylized garage doors. This combination resulted in the home’s unique look.
Driving up to the Newlun’s home, one is immediately struck by the vibrant color of the exterior. The couple wanted the look of
cedar siding without the cost and upkeep, so they chose Smartside siding. With a cedar grain finish, this siding is a treated, engineered wood product that protects the structure from hail, fungal decay and termites. Although not new on the market, few builders knew about the product until just a few years ago. An added bonus, Brian says, is that it has a 50-year warranty.
After selecting the siding, the next decision was color. The couple wanted a deep cedar shade. They went to Sherwin Williams which, when pairing their product with the Smartboard, offers a lifetime warranty. They ended up with a color that Brian calls Frankenstein cedar. “We started with orange and kept adding green,” he says. “It took 10 attempts to get it right.”
Brian and Barb were hands-on in almost every phase of construction, including designing the house, laying the flooring, tiling the
bathrooms, landscaping and decorating the home.The lines of the exterior of the house are defined by sections of stacked rock and frames of shades of gray and black. The open front porch is supported by two square gray columns resting on stackedrock
bases. A large stone urn fountain accents the side of the porch, and two matching stone planters flank the front door.
The four-car garage boasts unique doors. The oversized doors are fitted with side-mount openers so that when Brian finishes installing a lift, the cars can be stacked. Made of aluminum and plexiglass, the doors are tinted so no one
can see in, but people inside the garage can clearly see out.
Although the Newluns describe their home and its furnishings as modern contemporary, it is replete with eclectic pieces, most of which come with a story. Just inside the front door is a baby grand piano Brian bought for $100. He had heard that the 4th Street Social Club located on Route 66 highway in Kingman, Arizona, was going on the National Historic Registry, and that the piano was going to be replaced with dining tables. Being a fan of the famous highway, he jumped at the chance to buy it. “Back in the day, prior to Las Vegas becoming popular,many movie stars frequented that club,” he says. The piano still bears the rings where drinks had been placed.
Off the front door is Brian’s office. The room has a free-form desk, drafting table and a leather chair with attached ottoman. Beyond the piano, the area is an open concept with the kitchen and living room. The kitchen area has a 12-foot island topped with beautiful Brazilian granite. The charcoal-color cabinets are accented with black subway tile strikingly grouted with white;
then variegated gray, black and white glass tile; and white subway tiles above those for a stunning overall effect. Five sleek barstools sit at the island with both recessed and pendant lighting above. The Newluns chose Acacia wood flooring throughout the first floor.
Acacia is perfect for heavy-use areas, and the warm rich colors are beautiful. It isn’t easily scratched and is water resistant.The floor-to-ceiling fireplace is the focal point of the living room. Made of stacked stone with an electric insert, it’s flanked by picture
windows offering a striking view of the Lake. To one side of the dark sky blue leather couch are two Picasso inspired
upholstered chairs. Oversize sliding glass doors open from here onto a screen porch where the couple enjoys relaxing in the
morning and after work.
The view of the Lake takes center stage again when walking into the master bedroom. “Imagine waking up to that every day,” Brian says, pointing to the wall of windows. The Shaker-style bed and dresser reflect clean lines and a minimalist design. The plush shag area rug and eye-catching metal art sculpture on the wall above the bed put the perfect finishing touches on the room.
A stunning feature in the master bath is the large, freestanding soaker tub placed on pebble tile. The grass-cloth wallpaper showcasing the tub gives a relaxing, Asian feel to the room. The glass-enclosed shower has a matching pebble tile base.
Although the floor plan of the lower level of the house is almost a mirror of the upper floor, its vibe is quite different. The downstairs great room showcases Brian’s passion for Corvettes. To date he has had 45 of the sporty cars! Two upholstered chairs covered with Route 66 icons sit at the foot of the stairs. Brian said his love for Corvettes started at an early age. On one wall is a framed photo of 3-year-old Brian posing in front of a toy Corvette. A cabinet next to the photo is topped with a replica of the one Brian played with as a child.
A wet bar features cabinets in complimentary shades of brown, with oversize silver pulls that lend a contemporary feel to the space. A curio cabinet filled with Corvette memorabilia stands next to the bar.
But the focal point in the room is a Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrel that the couple brought home from a Sturgis motorcycle rally. Brian built a base and treated the barrel for shrinkage and placed a 30-inch glass on top. The barrel sits atop two cowhides.
A black sectional with red accents forms a seating area surrounded by several framed corvette pictures on the walls and looks out on the patio. At one end of the room a contemporary form of sliding “barn doors” gives access to a storage area.
Barb’s office is also on this level, with an awe-inspiring view. Finishing out this space is a pet wash bay in the laundry room where they bathe their two dogs: Harley, a 13-year-old Border Collie Australian cattle dog mix; and Myia, and 2-year-old Blue Healer Australian cattle dog mix.
The couple, who have been married 35 years, spend their free time either driving one of their two Corvettes or enjoying their other shared passion — riding their Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Brian’spride and joy is his Harley Screaming Eagle Ultra. He said only 316 were manufactured. Barb has her own Harley-Davidson Freewheeler.
The Newluns have lived in their new home for less than a year and still have projects they want to complete. But for this couple, their home fits their lifestyle perfectly. •