Home Tours 2011: Horst Rechelbacher

Osceola, Wisc.

  • Photo by Steve Henke
    Surrounded by beauty at his St. Croix River estate, Horst Rechelbacher has created a setting that inspires his work.
  • Photo by Steve Henke
    Rechelbacher and Kiran Stordalen, his life partner of 24 years, have an art collection that includes portraits, paintings—many by Rechelbacher.
  • Photo by Steve Henke
    Entertaining is a way of life at the estate–dinner is often served in the lofty dining room or in the Indian room and theater.
  • Photo by Steve Henke
    At night, all 14 dogs cozy up in the master bedroom, where Rechelbacher keeps a vintage perfume bottle collection alongside antique vanities and stacks of novels and magazines.
  • Photo by Steve Henke
    The swimming pool, with an antique Austrian chandelier overhead, has views of lush gardens and sculptures.
  • Photo by Steve Henke
    A his-and-hers master bath comes complete with a soaking tub and a styling station fully outfitted with a cape and styling tools.
  • Photo by Steve Henke
    Rechelbacher in his element–the apothecary "lab." Here he mixes a custom blend of pure rose and sandalwood.

Horst Rechelbacher: Founder of Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients

Home: Estate and farm in Osceola, Wisconsin

The Draw: It has a waterfront locale on one of America's cleanest rivers.

Enter Horst Rechelbacher’s compound and your senses are immediately engaged, from the inviting sweep of rich, verdant farmland to the onslaught of 14 dogs and the unmistakable aroma of essential oils. His 600 acres of land include greenhouses, guesthouses, a retreat and spa, walking paths, an herbal distillery, an apothecary, and a main house, all surrounded by trees and the sounds of the St. Croix River. Rechelbacher has also developed a solar- and wind-powered organic farm, and he uses electric cars to travel to it.

“I used to go to India often and practiced yoga and meditation every morning and evening by the Ganges,” says Rechelbacher. “I fell in love with the water and knew I wanted to live on the river.”

On his many trips to India and other exotic locales, Rechelbacher shipped home countless containers of art and antiques, which fill every room. “I don’t like to buy things unless it’s a good modern design,” he says. “I like to recycle and use old things.”

Aside from modern technology—the alarms, the gates, the lighting panels, etc.—everything in the home is worldly and vintage. Dogs lie on old opium beds and drink out of a fountain of sculpted stone bowls filled with rose petals. Guests sit on ancient cushioned chairs, while the grandchildren ride miniature horses.

At 69, Rechelbacher stays busy developing Intelligent Nutrients, traveling to speaking engagements, entertaining constantly, painting, farming, and meditating at least two hours a day.

It’s nice to know that, amid the angels and antiques, the guy still has a flat-screen TV where he kicks back with a beer at the end of the day to watch the Tour de France.