In a story that reads like a homeowner's fairytale, designer Dino Maniaci's dream home took a whopping 25 years to become the incredibly cool reality it is today. The original one-story Madison, Wisc., home in question—frankly, a bit of an ugly duckling—caught Maniaci's eye because it, unlike most homes in the neighborhood, it was set back from the street on a cozy, intimate plot of land. He and his partner couldn't afford it at the time, but the two waited it out in a loft not far away, finally scooping up the place about a year ago and giving it one seriously crazy makeover.
The couple paired up with Milwaukee-based architect Stephen Bruns, who came up with a design that played upon the sense of privacy the original structure had—read: almost no windows—adding a second level with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and sectioning off a good deal of the original floorplan into a series of dazzling outdoor courtyards. Yet the true star of this home is the backside, which uses the original pitched roof and now features a private outdoor terrace off the master bedroom, along with a partial privacy wall, in keeping with the home's "openness meets intimacy" inspiration. "You never realize you're in a fairly dense neighborhood," Bruns says. The completed home—now firmly joining the ranks of the cool Wisconsin architecture—is nearly nearly unrecognizable thanks to its roster of fabulous add-ons. Do check out the rest of the photos over at Houzz.