Unique Homes: An Ode to Nature

This is the second installment in the Unique Homes series, introduced here and continued here.

(Full disclosure: The homeowners in this post are my parents – please, dear readers, send me home nominations so that I don’t have to ask any more of my own relatives!)

Allison Mischler and her husband Tom have lived in their Kaukauna home since 1985, when Tom, Allison’s brother Rick Forster, and dad Con Forster built it themselves. “Everything was built from scratch, including cupboards, cabinets, breakfast nook and a masonry wood fireplace,” Mischler says.

When asked to describe her home in five words or less, Mischler called it “private, comfortable, rustic, inviting, interesting.” She says that “people seem to feel the same way about our house that we do – they love the homey feel.”

It’s interesting to note that the features discussed first are the cabin-like style and craftsmanship, which are indeed wonderful; but arguably the most unusual element of this house has yet to be mentioned.

We get half a dozen questions in, before I ask “What is the strangest thing in your home?” and Mischler answers with “The murals are what most people find interesting.”

Indeed! Mischler’s husband Tom has been drawing and painting his whole life and is mostly self-taught. She says “My husband painted our first child’s room with a Disney Babies mural and then Beauty and the Beast. My son’s room had a giant Tigger and his name painted on the walls before he was born.”

Now the kids are grown and the walls feature more mature nature scenes. Most of Tom’s murals are woodsy vignettes that match the real forest outside, but the main bedroom has been painted in 360 degrees as a tropical oasis.

Don’t most people like to feel that they’re on vacation every time they step into their bedroom?

The creativity of this duo is really amazing. One of my standard questions for this series is about where the homeowners source their decor. It seems a silly question when Mischler answers “We look at Google Images, and then Tom just makes it.”

My final question for Mischler is “What about your home makes you most proud?” and her answer is fitting for a lover of nature: “Our home is comfortable and tranquil. Most people say it must be so relaxing to live here and it is. We love our home, our yard and the location; we share it with the birds, opossums, squirrels, turkeys, fox, raccoons and deer. We call it our Corner of the World.”

If you or someone you know has an interesting home that could be featured on the blog, please email [email protected].

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