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Style points
Kitchens get high marks for sleek and sophisticated designs



Ronnie Harris displays her large and extraordinary collection of African art in the kitchen and throughout her downtown Milwaukee condo.

Go Big at Home

Whenever Ronnie Harris returns from a business trip to her downtown Milwaukee condo and its bright red kitchen, she wonders if she will have tired of it. "I still love it three years later," she says. "I wouldn’t change anything."

But she didn’t always feel that way. Harris remembers waking up at 2 a.m. during the planning stages, thinking, "OMG, I have a red kitchen. I panicked about that for a long time," she says.

The kitchen was a collaboration with interior designer Colleen J. Thompson of i.e. design, Wauwatosa. "We knew we wanted to do something different," Harris says. Once the project started coming together, Harris says she was sold on her bold choices. She says she loves the bamboo floors and the large island. "It’s beautiful to look at and easy to work in," she says of the kitchen. She loves the comments of visitors, too. "People say ‘Wow’ when they see it."





From her condo in the Marine Terminal Lofts, Ronnie Harris has views of the Milwaukee River, Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee skyline.


The bendable monorail light fixture mirrors the shape of the island and adds a contemporary element to this Mequon kitchen.

Show Room

As an interior designer who works out of her home office, Kim Temkin-Taylor wanted her kitchen to be a dramatic showcase for clients. But she also needed it to function well for her family of four. "I didn’t want it to be intimidating, I wanted it to be welcoming," she says.

Temkin-Taylor used her designer’s eye in selecting the room’s finishes: from the glass and slate tile backsplash, to the dark-stained custom-made alder wood cabinets with pillow trim, to the limestone tile wood-look flooring.

The kitchen’s plum color palette was inspired by a housewarming gift from James Hoffman Builders. "I stared at this plant and thought those are the colors I need to bring in here," she says.

Temkin-Taylor says the oversized island topped with honed granite is the keystone of the kitchen. It accommodates food preparation, doubles as a buffet while entertaining and acts as a people magnet. "This house if very much about the mix (of materials, colors and textures) and that’s what makes it work."

Wood Specialities built the custom cabinets and bookshelf for the kitchen. The wood toned tile, installed by Floor Quest, and granite counters by Designs in Marble, add to the earthy feel of the space.

Earthy Haven

Bob and Nancy Lorenz were looking for a modern and earthy feel when they decided to remodel the kitchen in their Delafield home. The small inefficient space was expanded resulting in a beautiful view of their wooded property.

The new addition designed by Kent Johnson of Johnson Design, complements the Frank Lloyd Wright inspired architecture of the home that was built in the early 1950s.

"It was a very small galley kitchen, about a quarter of the size," says Bob Lorenz. "It’s turned into a living center."

Nancy Lorenz loves the new size and ample workspace for baking and cooking. A double Wolf range and Sub Zero refrigerator add to the ease in preparing meals. "Thanksgiving was a breeze this year," says Bob.

A new screened-in porch off the kitchen is a favorite spot for the Lorenzes in the warmer months and creates an outdoor living space for the couple.

The large island provided space for a prep sink, under counter Sub Zero refrigerator and microwave, along with additional storage and seating. "Not only the size of the island but the unique shape allowed this to happen," says Wisconsin Kitchen Mart designer Matt Godfread.

Style Meets Function

A more functional use of space was the key for the Skemps when they decided to remodel the kitchen in their Brookfield home.

Wisconsin Kitchen Mart designer Matt Godfread took on the challenge creating an updated kitchen while maintaining the original Old World atmosphere.

"The challenges were finding placement for all components of the kitchen including two ovens, two refrigerators and the hutch, while providing plenty of strategically placed storage areas and counter space," says Godfread. "One big element to the design that made this possible was eliminating the two entrances from the hall and creating one large cased arched opening, this allowed space for the hutch and TV, wall oven and landing space for ipod, phones, etc."

Finishing touches to the redesign include a Travertine stone hood customized for the kitchen by the additional arch and decorative onlays. The piece adds new texture and a design focal point to the room.