Photo by Jim Tschetter
Quinn of Modern Edge Design visited the downtown Milwaukee condo of a
potential client, she saw a kitchen that, while functional, needed an
kitchen had honed black granite countertops, very beautiful,"
Quinn says, "but it lacked pizazz and needed spicing up. When I
saw the space I knew we needed exotic woods — more stylish and
So she hired a
custom craftsman to reface the kitchen cabinets with a Zebrano wood
veneer — an exotic wood with shades of cream and charcoal. They also
installed built-in drawer boxes, components such as pullouts, spice
racks and other kitchen organizers. But what really stands out are the
book-matched veneers — the grain that runs cleanly from cabinet to
Quinn finds she
uses something different — like the Zebrano wood — with each new
project. "I find that people want something more unique,
something special that no one else has. So I use something that I’ve
never used before. The client can get an individual look. It’s not
The condo owner
loves her new kitchen. "She says it finally fits who she
is," Quinn says. "She’s stylish and fun and lively and now
the kitchen is too. She says it’s the kitchen that should have
always been there."
Photo by John Kimpel
Steve and Kadie
Jelenchick were drawn to the stately 1930s Tudor on Newberry Boulevard
in Milwaukee for its architectural features but knew the outdated
kitchen would have to be redone.
a kitchen where we could relax but also looked like it had been there
a long time," Steve Jelenchick says.
They called in
architect Joy Peot-Shields and began renovation, with Crestone
Construction as the general contractor. They originally wanted to stay
within the existing space but decided to do a more complete renovation
by moving the back door and a bathroom in order to create a more
During the work,
the Jelenchicks’ home was selected to be the 2013 Wisconsin Breast
Cancer Showhouse for a Cure. Suddenly everything went into hyperdrive.
Essentially, the remodel needed to be done in 60 days so that
"the designers could come in and work their magic," says
Woodwork matched the profile of the original butler’s pantry and
designed extensive new inset cabinetry to match. The countertops are
Vermont Danby Marble, which gives the look of Carrara marble but is
harder and more durable. White Heritage subway tiles with dark gray
grout were chosen to fit in with the historic nature of the house as
true subway tile is designed to be set tightly with almost no grout
between the joints.
favorite element of the kitchen is all the light we have,"
Jelenchick says. "There was a door that went to the backyard and
we put a window there. Getting that extra window, it was unbelievable
how much light it brought in. Sunlight allows you to see all the other
features, the tile and the architectural features. We love how
authentic the kitchen is to the house. It’s such a pleasant place to
Peot-Shields’ and Crestone’s work as well as the Jelenchicks’
decisions became apparent when the walls were opened during
construction. The "new" sink was precisely in the same
location as the original sink. The "new" window — which
replaced the 1970s kitchen door — was in exactly the same location
as an original window.
neighbors have lived next door for close to 40 years. After the
remodel, the neighbors confided that everyone who had lived in the
house had tried to do something with the kitchen but never got it
"I think we
got it right," Jelenchick says.
Photo by Doug Edmunds
The owners of a
1970s Colonial in Mequon came to Wade Design & Construction to
update and redesign their kitchen. The homeowner also just happened to
be a neighbor.
done probably 10 other kitchens in the neighborhood," Michael
Wade says. "Our specialty is taking houses from the 1960s and
1970s into the 2000s. People who live here love the neighborhood. It’s
very special with a clubhouse and lake, etc., but more than that,
people develop friendships with their neighbors and don’t want to
The project wasn’t
without its challenges. In the current bar area, the ceiling dropped
down 7 feet and was held up with a steel post. Wade used this
structural limitation as an opportunity to create a fully equipped bar
and entertainment area. The dark wood ceiling was painted the same
color as the hickory floor and the post was built into a column with a
matching column on the other side for balance.
closet was built behind the bar. The owner installed a Sonos home
theater system; all the electronic components are integrated into one
central area and an iPhone can turn on the system anywhere within the
techie guy standpoint, I really like this," Wade says.
"There is all the equipment but you don’t see any of it. The
owner ran all of the wires before we finished the drywall. You can do
Pandora from the kitchen and a movie in the family room and everything
is run from Wi-Fi."
highlight is the custom cabinets. The American cherry island’s lower
cabinets were dyed a rich black color, then clear-coated to achieve
the right sheen. The upper cabinets were painted with Sherwin-Williams
Snowbound. All the cabinets were finished with a premium precatalyzed
lacquer finish where a hardener is mixed into the paint to make it
extremely durable. "They stay beautiful for a long time,"
are now happily ensconced in the same house in the same neighborhood
but with a brand-new beautiful kitchen.
Photo by Mark Heffron
designer Jeff Billstrom of Callen Construction was called in by the
clients — co-owners of a business with two young children — to
rework the layout of their Cedarburg kitchen.
he had a challenge. "Originally I was given a certain budget. We
met and they said if you can ‘wow us’ — they used that word
—‘we will extend the budget.’"
wowed them. In the original layout, the butler’s pantry, closet and
fireplace were taking up 40 percent of the space. He took out the
butler’s pantry and closet, moved the fireplace, and now 100 percent
of the space is usable.
easily done. The pantry area contained a load-bearing wall that held
the second floor and roof loads. In order to get the new look but keep
the function, Billstrom used engineered laminated veneer lumber to
create a flush header above the ceiling line, held up by a single
load-bearing column covered with cherry wood and trimmed with cherry
crown and base moldings to match the kitchen cabinetry.
included adding a 9-foot kitchen island. "The island is always a
focal point — no matter where you put the food, people congregate
around the island. I know this because I also have children and we
have an island. This island was a dream. You could probably put 20
people around it," he laughs.
The island and
the counters were topped with Volga Blue Granite. Water and chlorine
from the pool off the kitchen had damaged the oak floor, which was
replaced with ceramic tile. Porcelain tile that looks like wood was
used in the living room.