design construction team worked hard to make this kitchen addition
look like part of the original home. Along the way, they combined
copper, brass, bronze and pewter hardware and other elements
nicely lit from large leaded glass windows and recessed fixtures.
It took a village
of artisans to help a Whitefish Bay family make its 1929 home practical
for today’s lifestyle without losing yesteryear’s charm.
was a great opportunity because in Milwaukee, there are very few
artisans left," says Kate Shortall, owner of Blackstone
International, a Pewaukee-based design fabricator of hard materials.
"It was a collaboration with a lot of other people who do very
specialized work. I’m doing finishing work, but I need others who are
creating spaces and working on other parts of the project. In this
project, we all worked so well to create."
widened access to the kitchen and modified wainscoting are nods to
a contemporary lifestyle while preserving tradition. A Shabahang
& Sons rug covers the floor.
included a 20-by-20-foot kitchen addition with a more open concept to
the dining room, converting a previous kitchen space to a mudroom, and
refreshing additional first-floor space. The object was to make the
enlarged kitchen appear as the original space.
Baniukiewicz, owner of HB Designs in Whitefish Bay, caught the
homeowners’ attention from work she had done for neighbors. The
homeowners knew they wanted to expand their kitchen as soon as they
bought the 3,600-square-foot home six years ago, and they were not in a
hurry while weighing their options.
new alabaster fixture illuminates the foyer’s original plaster
ceiling with copper-painted borders.
working with them three years ago," Baniukiewicz says, noting the
owners wanted to expand the original maid’s-style smaller kitchen that
was cut off from the rest of the house. "Aesthetically, we needed
to create a natural progression from the dining room to a larger
kitchen, and that required the addition."
traditional elements in this kitchen include oversized carved
mahogany legs supporting a large quartzite-topped island
fabricated by Blackstone International’s Greg Heil and a custom
As the homeowners
hired Ryan Seymour of Seymour Custom Builders in Menomonee Falls to be
their contractor, the rest of the team expanded from Shortall and
Baniukiewicz to include Aaron Vogler of Vogler Metalwork and Design, Jim
Budiac of First Quality Woodworking, Cabinetry and Millwork, and Steve
Kaniewski of Brass Light Gallery. They and others worked to put a unique
Old World spin on the new kitchen by installing a copper hood over a
Lacanche French range with brass knobs, carefully crafted cabinets with
a mixture of copper and bronze hardware, leaded glass that mimics the
home’s original windows, mahogany legs supporting a quartzite top
island and a crackle-finish backsplash woven with glass-beaded grout to
enhance splashes of natural light.
original-tile master bath and its hand-crafted materials offered
the template for Kate Shortall’s tile work in the first-floor
mudroom and pantry. The European look, she says, set a historical
influence for the newer work.
addition look like part of the original house was important," says
Seymour, whose crew also provided a lower-level addition for a home gym.
"There were a lot of details, but matching the woodwork alone was a
specially crafted ceramic tile floor influenced by existing tile
in the master bathroom and lighted, rich-wood cubbies give this
mudroom a touch of style.
Beyond the kitchen
addition, the team worked to widen the kitchen-dining room opening to 10
feet — more than three times the original doorway. The mudroom took
shape with lighted cabinets and carefully crafted ceramic floor tiles.
Paint and stain in the adjoining dining and living rooms were redone to
provide more depth within original woodwork.
a wine refrigerator and beer taps, the self-serve bar shines with
lighted mahogany cabinetry, quartzite countertop and leaded glass
In a way, the
design team included the late Alexander Bauer, the original architect
and homeowner known for his design of Milwaukee’s Oriental Theatre.
Bauer’s intricate touches of art deco and Asian influences drove the
work. "It was important to be true to the original
architecture," Baniukiewicz says.
"This was a
unique project because the house really spoke to us," adds Shortall.