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Style points
Personalized spaces expand entertaining options

Photos by Doug Edmunds

November 2013

Just Dance

An uninspired basement in a Wauwatosa home became a high-style yet comfortable space for work and play. The lower-level redesign includes a home office and a large open area for dancing and game playing, along with a movie room. "We gutted the lower level, which was a typical finished basement ó basically one big room," says Amy Carman of Amy Carman Design.

"We replaced carpeting with white oak parquet floor, which is very beautiful but challenging to work with," Carman says. A mirrored wall sets off the contemporary dance space for the homeowners who are accomplished ballroom dancers. Minimal furniture can easily be pushed aside to make room for the family to enjoy playing the Wii and video games, as well.

Recessed overhead lighting shows off the floor and the stunning maple cabinetry, accommodating storage for the home office. The house is perched on the edge of a wooded ravine, which is visible from the office. "This space is not so much about the furnishings as it is about the architecture of the room," Carman says.

Photo by Elisabeth Witt

Adaptive Reuse

An existing room on the first floor of a Brookfield home was transformed into a billiards and wine room by Ruvin Bros. Artisans & Trades Inc. The homeowners are wine afficinados and wanted to share their collection which is stored in a temperature-controlled wine room at one end of the new space. The wine room is flanked by Michael Curtin Chapman wall sconces that deliver subtle light.

Cumaru wood flooring and walnut cabinetry featuring oil-rubbed bronze hardware smoked glass shelves add drama to the room. A wet bar with a polished granite countertop, Sub-Zero ice maker and under-mount refrigerator with paneled doors are built in for entertaining ease.

"The space was underused and outdated, but the renovation has completely changed the functionality and the outlook of the home," says Tina Staplefeldt of Ruvin Bros. "Now, the family loves hanging out here."


Rooms Within a Room

A Franksville couple who frequently entertain large groups of friends and family now have the perfect space: a great room by Collaborative Design that incorporates design features that make it feel cozy despite its large size.

The kitchenís 20-foot-long island with a built-in booth is perfect for intimate dining. "The booth, which is made of cherry wood with architectural details, also serves to visually break up the length of the island and create a barrier for the kitchen sink and food preparation area," says Bill Koehnlein of Collaborative Design. "We used cherry cabinetry and quartz countertops in the kitchen along with a mosaic tile backsplash behind the cooktop and sinks," he adds.

Hand-scraped walnut flooring is used throughout the great room. A large fireplace in the hearth room features a cherry mantel and stone hearth. "Itís actually the same stone that is found on the exterior of the house," Koehnlein says. The coffered ceiling beams are another design detail that delineates the separate spaces within the space. "The goal was to balance proportions for daily living vs. entertaining, creating a comfortable way to have both," Koehnlein says.

Fun House

A 2,200-square-foot basement served as the canvas for a list of dramatic changes desired by a Greendale homeowner. The reno by Renaissance Design & Renovation includes a workout facility, sauna, full bath, gun room and arcade. "We were able to do most of what was on the list," says Jody Alan Ryg of RdR. "The main rooms are a home theater, full bar and billiards room, as well as a wine room."

Avid movie fans, the family makes great use of its new theater room with the latest in high-tech home audio and video equipment, including a 14-foot-wide permanent theater screen.

"There are 16 invisible speakers all around the room that provide unmatched audio quality, and the walls and ceiling are acoustically insulated," Ryg says.

The use of natural and rustic materials such as burnished cherry cabinetry and stone in the design of the lower level ties in with the Italian Country Villa style of the house. A stately bar area with an 16-foot back bar has a vintage appeal. The 8-foot wood coffered ceilings evoke the look of an English pub, Ryg notes.




This story ran in the November 2013 issue of: