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Eating in
Kitchen redos create family-pleasing spaces


Substance and Style

Margaret Zitzer had a laundry list of things she wanted in her new kitchen, including a desk area and an adjacent mudroom. She and husband Dan and their two children, Katie, 13, and Henry, 10, had lived in their 1950s Bayside ranch for nine years and it was time for an update. "We wanted to make it a more efficient family space," Dan says. Mike Slawnikowski of M Design Build Inc., Whitefish Bay, completed the project, which included kitchen, bathroom and exterior work, in just three months. Removing a wall between the kitchen and a three-season room gave the family the eat-in kitchen they wanted. They borrowed some space from the bathroom for the kitchen and from the garage for the mudroom. The Arts and Crafts design features details such as quarter-sawn red oak cabinets, maple flooring, slate backsplash and details on the woodwork and new windows. "It basically was limited to one corner of the house," Dan says, "but it changes the whole flow of the house because the sight lines are so dramatically different in the house."

Sense of History

When remodeling their Tudor Revival in Milwaukee’s East Side Historic District, the homeowners and their contractor, Bartelt Inc., Menomonee Falls, peeled back the layers of 1960s and 1970s remodeling projects to restore and update the space. "We wanted it to look like it was originally intended," says the homeowner. Architectural designer Gary Chada looked through the house for clues as to how the kitchen might have looked when it was new. He noticed a curved window detail in an attic gable, which gave him the license (and the approval of Milwaukee’s Architectural Review Board) to employ the detail in the kitchen to allow more light into the space. Interestingly, the original kitchen windows didn’t have that curving detail, but the brick openings had been built to accommodate them. Copper gutters, crown moldings and other architectural details served as inspirations in the kitchen in the pale green cabinetry, flooring and woodworking details. "I don’t know if it is necessarily the same kind of kitchen you would find in the 1920s, but you can feel a sense of history (here)," Chada says. "It flows easily from the original foyer space into these spaces. The language is very complementary and sensitive to the existing details." Another component of the project was to incorporate all the modern conveniences within the kitchen and dinette’s existing footprint. "The biggest challenge was finding a way to get all these elements in there to make it feel comfortable," Chada says. "The kitchen isn’t a large kitchen but we neededit to feel large." The homeowner says she loves the soapstone countertops (granite felt too modern) and the stamped tin ceiling. Best of all, she says, she and her husband are pleased with the way all the details play off eachother to create the updated, yet authentic spacethey desired. m