remodel of this Mequon home by Fein Design was
featured as an
extreme home makeover
on the "Building Wisconsin" television series.
by Doug Edmunds
the whole house remodel of their Mequon home, Rob and Amy Prellwitz
wanted first to bring in more natural light, particularly in the
kitchen. Architect Rory Palubiski of Fein Design brightened up the
north-facing room with lots of glass and some skylights. Norm Petersen
Cabinets created the clean-lined custom cabinetry and contrasting
island. The large granite-topped island from Lakeside Stoneworks is
the go-to spot for the Prellwitzes and their three children; it most
recently served as a buffet for a family gathering of 35 people.
Interior designer Ellen Angelo of EMA Design assisted with finish
selections and Mary Lee Hannan of MLH Consulting provided advice on
appliances for the revamped space.
Builders has completed multiple projects at this River Hills
home, the most recent a family room and kitchen update.
their kitchen, the owners of this River Hills home didnít want a
complete overhaul, just some of the same amenities they enjoy in their
house in Florida. They kept the cabinets and granite counters, and
with the help of Carmel Builders and interior designer Marianne
Kohlmann of Blue Hot Design, new appliances and fixtures were
retrofitted into the space. Kohlmann selected Kohler Vault sinks and
Kalista faucets to give the kitchen a more contemporary edge.
adjoins a dining room, family room and great room. A 1997 remodel by
Carmel included the great room and a two-story bedroom addition; the
2011 project included the kitchen and the family room, which garnered
a 2012 Wisconsin Remodeler of the Year Gold Award.
designer Leslie Dohr recently received the platinum award for
residential design by the Wisconsin Chapter of the American
Society of Interior Designers for this Lake Drive kitchen
this Lake Drive foursquare was built around the 1920s, it made perfect
sense to have the bathroom located between the kitchen and the dining
room. And when the house was remodeled in the ensuing decades, maybe
there was some logic in stripping the first floor of its architectural
details and turning the kitchen into a sea of gray laminate sometime
in the 1970s or í80s.
But in the
second decade of the 21st century, none of that makes any sense at
Enter the team
of Leslie Dohr of Leslie Dohr Interior Designs; architect Meg
Baniukiewicz, HB Designs; and contractor Dennis Dubnicka, Dubnicka
original space was really very confining," Baniukiewicz says.
"The bathroom prohibited the homeowners from being able to see
their guests in the dining room. If you were in the kitchen, you were
So they took it
all down to the exterior walls, relocating the bathroom to the back of
the house, installing insulation where there previously was none,
updating the windows for energy-efficiency and improving the layout
Now the kitchen
is efficient, open, with plenty of storage, and itís connected to
the dining room. "I like the fact that the kitchen and the dining
room are combined but still are separate spaces," Baniukiewicz
says. "They are two distinct spaces but work together in making a
floor gets fabulous light and the ceilings were really tall,"
Baniukiewicz says. "The previous kitchen didnít take advantage
of either of those things."
Baniukiewicz discovered architectural details still intact on the
second floor and reintroduced them on the main floor.
Dohr says the
stone on the island, with its bronzes, greens and blues, was the
starting point for the roomís color palette.
cabinetry is offset by the dark wood island, both crafted by Jim
Budiac of First Quality Woodwork. Bronze 1-by-1 iridescent tile
sparkles under the lighting plan by Steve Klein of Klein Lighting.
fabrics and rugs combine to give the rooms a coziness, says Dohr.
"Even though there is a lot going on, everything just harmonizes
with each other," she says.
also unites the two spaces visually, and is warmed by radiant heat
that works off the existing boiler.
Construction Inc. completed the general contracting and Philip
Merrill Interiors did the demolition and finishing work on this
their Shorewood duplex 12 years ago, Mark and Krista Verhein have been
converting it into a single-family home, and planning their dream
kitchen for a very long time.
"It was the
last major push to combine the electrical, the flow of the entrance
and the functionality of the entire space," Krista Verhein says.
The plans had been drawn for four years before they started the work
in late 2011. "We were just waiting for the right time because we
had to move out of the house for eight months," Verhein says.
collaboration among the Verheins, architect Patrick Smith of
DesignSmith and longtime friend and interior designer Leah Knox, the
couple achieved both their functional and aesthetic goals. The entire
space was reimagined within the footprint of the existing house so as
not to lose precious outdoor space. "When you donít have a huge
backyard even 12 more feet on the back of the house makes a
difference," Knox says. "An addition doesnít always have
to be the answer."
Half of the
first floor was taken down to the studs and a bedroom was knocked down
to create the large kitchen area that features an open prep area with
seating at the counter, a dining area with banquette and lots of
a large circle of friends and are constantly having people over,"
Knox says. "In the blueprints I had a hard time understanding how
much storage space I was going to have," Verhein says. "It
passed my expectations. The design was well thought out for our
lifestyle that we lead," she says, noting they entertained 15
people comfortably for a Motherís Day brunch.
Knox added sex
appeal in the form of top-of-the-line appliances, Kohler fixtures,
marble counters and cork floor laid in a basket-weave pattern. "I
love the appliances in general," Verhein says, "because we
lived with such poor quality appliances for so long." A built-in
Miele coffee maker is the main attraction. "My husband was a
reluctant approver, and is now the biggest fan," Verhein says.
Knox received a
gold award for residential design from the Wisconsin Chapter of the
American Society of Interior Designers for the project.
kitchen they were waiting for for so long. It just fits them so
well," Knox says.