conley6.gif (2529 bytes)


Kitchen chi
Beautiful interiors project positive energy



Interior designer Heather Scott suggested white walls to accent the dramatic architecture of the kitchen and adjoining great room and to link the spaces visually.

Inspired Design

Dream Kitchens Inc. co-owner Terri Schmidt and her team had their work cut out for them in designing a kitchen to rise to the level of the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture of the home. The empty-nester homeowners wanted a kitchen in keeping with the architecture, and one that would accommodate entertaining.

"The open design of the kitchen had to flow perfectly with the rest of the living space," Schmidt says. "The living area has three distinct rooms with the kitchen in the middle.

Two large islands double as seating or workstations; double ovens buffer the kitchen from the living area. A dramatic stainless steel range hood becomes a work of art as it soars to the ceiling. Mahogany cabinets present strong horizontal lines in the design and contrast with the bamboo cabinets on the perimeter island. Mahogany was also used as an accent and varying heights in surfaces continue a layered and horizontal visual appeal. "Clean lines complement the space and flow beautifully from room to room," Schmidt says.

Other features include a butlerís pantry and wrap-around wet bar.

The Delafield firm received a second place award for open plan kitchen design from the National Kitchen and Bath Association in its 2011 NKBA Design Competition.

Interior designer Heather Scott suggested white walls to accent the dramatic architecture of the kitchen and adjoining great room and to link the spaces visually.

Going Natural

The 1994 Brookfield condo had a lot going for it: close to restaurants and shopping, yet secluded along a man-made waterway and wetlands. But its interior was dark, dated and disjointed. The views and the bones of the condo gave it enough potential for the current homeowners to make an offer. "What we loved was the way the outside became a part of the inside," the homeowner says.

The couple collaborated with Heather Scott of Heather Scott Designs Inc., Brookfield, to negotiate between his preference for natural wood and her wish for a stark white interior. Though the walls and cabinets are white, the furnishings and finishes are textural and neutral, making both husband and wife happy.

"I think the challenge initially was making the space work right," Scott says. "It wasnít restful when you came into it. The beautiful barrel-roll ceiling of the foyer didnít anchor itself anywhere."

The neutral palette doesnít compete with the greenery outside the numerous windows. Scott layered textures and tones, and used multiple finishes, from honed to polished, to create a calming, welcoming space.

She calls the design process an evolution of ideas. "It is such a mesh of the homeowner and the designer, and great ideas coming together," Scott says.

The project received a 2010 Wisconsin Remodelers Gold Award for residential interior.

"I had visions of always having a place like this with high bookshelves and dream appliances," the homeowner says, who has a background in the culinary field and an art degree. Her original artwork is displayed both on the bookshelves and in the condoís foyer.

Kitchen details include black honed Absolute granite with a double laminated edge on the island, painted maple cabinetry with flat shaker panels, a Wolf range and a glass-door refrigerator. The cabinets draw the eye up to the interesting ceiling architecture and skylights.

Homeowners Jim and Darla Schneider worked with AB&K to redo the kitchen of their Pewaukee Lake condo.

Artistís Eye

As a former art teacher, Darla Schneider immediately appreciated the sculptural details of the cabinetry she saw at the AB&K showroom. That became the jumping off point for the kitchen she and husband Jim were redoing in their new town of Delafield condo on Pewaukee Lake.

Though the condo was built in the mid-1990s, it has undergone a head-to-toe transformation, including new carpeting throughout, updated bathrooms and a revamped kitchen.

"We saw the potential here," Schneider says. "We knew this was one of the better units because of the view and we knew we could do something with it. Some was cosmetic and other stuff was ripped out and redone."

They liked the archway between the kitchen and the living room, but the kitchen itself was closed off from the adjacent dining room and was laid out awkwardly. Again, Schneiderís art background came into play. "Art has so much to do with spacial concepts," she says. She also has experience building and remodeling previous residences, and helping friends and family with interior decorating.

The space was reorganized to move the refrigerator to another wall and the stove, which was originally under the window, was moved down to create more counter space. A half wall between the kitchen and dining room was removed.

The Typhoon Bordeaux granite dictated the soft brown tones and terra cotta colors, Schneider says, and the porcelain tile backsplash and Murano glass inset above the stove added interest. "The porcelain gave it the punch that I was looking for. I liked the contrast and the shape," she says.

Their previous home is just a few minutes away, and the couple hope to make a permanent move to the condo as soon as the house is sold. "Weíll have a lot more visitors when we are on the lake," Schneider predicts. With their new kitchen, they are ready for entertaining.