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Delicious Design
These before-and-after kitchen makeovers just might inspire you to cook up your own remodeling plans.


July 2019

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and if you’ve ever presided over pots or pans of something delicious while friends and family gather ’round, you likely agree. But what if you look around you and realize that that heart needs a bit of mending? Here, local designers and firms share the details of recent kitchen makeovers that made the spaces as appealing as the meals and memories created in them.

AB&K bath & kitchen —Tracy Grosspietsch, Design Manager
Shorewood Bungalow

The Makeover

The kitchen in this bungalow-style home wasn’t functional. The range was pushed against one wall, while the refrigerator was on the other side of the back closet. And there was no dishwasher — a major sticking point for the homeowner.


Photos courtesy of AB&K

Removing the wall between the pantry and kitchen, and opening up the kitchen to the back stairs made room for a fully functioning, beautifully updated kitchen. The built-in ironing board cabinet was removed, as was the rear coat closet and the wall between the kitchen and the back hallway. These changes allowed for ample wall space for the sink, dishwasher and beverage refrigerator. Extra-large, stacked crown molding concealed an uneven finished ceiling. Mullioned glass front cabinets along with thick, distressed wood shelves add variety. New ceiling lighting and recessed and LED under-cabinet lighting provided illumination where it’s badly needed. Finally, decorative light fixtures add vintage charm to the new space.

Project Goals

-Add a dishwasher and beer/beverage fridge
-Update appliances
-Create countertops on both sides of the range
-Update cabinetry
-Create pantry-type storage
-Better lighting
-Maintain and enhance the bungalow feel
-Preserve existing flooring

Wisconsin Kitchen Mart, Inc.
Designer Russ Waters

Family-Friendly Cook’s Kitchen

The Makeover

This Milwaukee Bungalow kitchen, part of a remodel that also included a cramped and inefficient bathroom, was in dire need of updating. Both homeowners are accomplished cooks and, with one working from home and the other newly retired, the kitchen needed to function at a much higher level. To start, there was a great need for bulk storage and organization. The existing island was too big and limited walkable space, especially when two people are cooking at the same time. The windows were original to the home, and the window above the sink was too low for standard counter height. Finally, the couple longed for seating for their grandkids, along with display areas s for family mementos.


Photos courtesy of Wisconsin Kitchen Mart

The key to the kitchen’s redesign turned out to be a new, angled range wall that allowed for proper countertop space on each side of the range and the sink. By replacing the original sink window with a shorter unit, Waters and his team were able to install maintenance-free stone as a backsplash.

The other windows were replaced and a small-scale radiator replacement allowed for the creation of a snack counter. The peninsula solved walkway clearance issues and also provided a clear pathway to the refrigerator. Pantry space, and a phone and message station, utilized tall cabinetry. The soffits were removed, and lighting about the cabinets expanded the visual width of the kitchen. All of the woodwork trim was removed and ceiling crown molding added in the same wood finish as the dining and front rooms, making the kitchen feel both updated and original to the home.

Project Goals

-Create pantry-like storage space
-Create better organization
-Replace inefficient windows
-Improve lighting
-Improve traffic patterns
-Create more functional seating for grandkids

M Design Build — Mike Slawnikowski, owner M Design Build, and Peter Wells, Wells Design; Marianne Kohlmann, Blue Hot Design
Light and Functional Kitchen

The Makeover

Mykl and Lynn Novak’s kitchen was designed for another time. Though they had a decent amount of square footage, most was unusable due to awkwardly positioned doorways, low windows, a difficult to access and underutilized pantry, and a powder room that opened toward the kitchen. The goal of their project was to create a space that would incorporate a large island with seating, a desk area and windows that were positioned to allow for cabinets below them and to provide as much natural light throughout the day as possible without sacrificing the needed storage space.


Photos courtesy of M Design Build

To accomplish their wish list, a number of walls needed to be eliminated or moved, the powder room repositioned and a new mud area created. The stairs to the basement were also relocated. The finished project paid attention to the traffic pattern throughout the Novaks’ entire home, not just the kitchen, as they planned to also remodel the living room and library areas at a later date. The new kitchen incorporated wood floors, custom cabinets and new appliances including a microwave drawer, granite countertops and tile backsplash.

Project Goals

-Improved traffic flow
-Better use of space
-Incorporate multi-use island
-Create more natural light
-Update appliances and countertops

Design Tech Remodeling, LLC
Masha Wagner and Nicole Raffensperger, owners and designers

Bay View Bungalow Upgrade

The Makeover

This charming Bay View home overlooking beautiful Lake Michigan had a fragmented layout that included a tiny kitchen, dining room and one-season room. The homeowners longed for a large, open-concept space with a transitional chef’s kitchen and entertainment area. Structural changes made room for the focal point of the new kitchen: a large island that seats up to five people. The island also features a gas cooktop with a downdraft unit, plus storage space for items not used on a daily basis.


Photos courtesy of Design Tech Remodeling, LLC

The countertop is magnificent Volga Blue granite with reflective blue and green hues that shimmer below the Inca oval crystal island pendant light fixture. The colors are also reflected in the cream, grey, and blue of the glass backsplash. A Moen stainless-steel, curved, single-bowl farmhouse sink was positioned under the new kitchen window which allowed for natural light to filter into the space, and Waypoint Cherry Java cabinets offer a rich warm tone that enhance the golden acacia hardwood floors. Floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinets provide extra storage. A bar area was also an important element for the homeowners. An iridescent Merola Tile Illuvia Square Chromium glass tile backsplash in blue, white, black and gray complemented the black granite bar countertop. Three Inca crystal pendant light fixtures in bronze finish the space.

Project Goals

-Turn cramped spaces into a freeflowing kitchen and entertainment space
-Update fixtures and appliances
-Update and enhance cabinetry to improve storage options
-Make better use of natural light

This story ran in the July 2019  issue of: