the kitchen back to the home’s 1920s architecture was
important to the homeowners and the design team, undoing a
now-outdated previous renovation. "It was so divorced from
the period; it just didn’t work with the house at all,"
says M Design Build’s Mike Slawnikowski. Original artwork by
the homeowner hangs on the wall.
daughter going off to college, Lisa and Jim Gleason decided the time
was right to spruce up their Whitefish Bay home.
started small, as many do, with some work in the upstairs bathroom by
M Design Build Inc. New fixtures, a steam shower. Then another
bathroom. A fireplace surround.
The Gleasons had
long wanted to utilize the space over their garage, even having plans
drawn up for a media room at one time. "The deck started out that
they just wanted a little retreat out there," says Mike
Slawnikowski of M Design. "We were talking one day and my
carpenter had this idea that he never had the chance to execute."
visions matched up," Lisa Gleason says, "and we said, ‘Just
go with it.’"
by a garden tour in Wauwatosa, the homeowners turned a
previously bare side yard into a welcoming walkway lined with
flagstone, an aluminum fence and romantic greenery.
The result is
likely the envy of the neighborhood. Perched among the trees, moveable
screens create the mood of a private haven or an open-air enclave.
a little bit hard to come by in the city, where houses are a little
closer together," Slawnikowski says.
shopping for tile for her husband’s office, Lisa Gleason found a
backsplash tile for the kitchen, and the artist in her was intrigued.
"We weren’t actually going to do anything with the
kitchen," she says.
screens on a second-story deck alternately allow privacy or
views of the surrounding neighborhood. The deck was built above
the garage and is accessible from a second-story landing off the
master bedroom. Exotic ipe wood decking and a wireless
surround-sound system add to the import of the outdoor room.
The tile went up
but ended up being torn out and replaced with the same glass mosaic
because the lines wouldn’t match up with the countertop, which they
had decided to replace.
designer Marianne Kohlmann of Blue Hot Design, who teamed with M
Design to help the couple with material selections. "I got her
house and understood her so I just went for it," Kohlmann says.
was a really good feel to the yard," the homeowner says.
"You could tell it was someone who spent time here."
Ferns, rose tulips and a plum tree were part of the original
landscape design. The Gleasons worked with Garland Alliance in
recent years to rework some of the landscape.
counters, a maple floor with the look of hickory, new cherry cabinetry
with antiqued mirror inserts in the upper cabinets, a custom pot rack
and kitchen ladder complete the space. That spilled over into an
adjoining butler’s pantry, back hall and front entry. "The goal
was to find things that had the character to fit the house but were
all new and modern inside," Kohlmann says.
the period of the house was always really important,"
Slawnikowski says. "It looks like nothing was ever done." M