erases home’s shortcomings with improved traffic pattern
Photos by Tricia Shay
a powder room in the middle of the kitchen might have been de rigueur in
home design in the 1940s, but it’s squarely out of fashion in 2015.
"Moving the powder room out of the
kitchen was paramount on our list. Its function has no place opening
into the kitchen," says architect Meg Baniukiewicz of HB Designs,
The owners of a 1941 Colonial in Whitefish Bay
had contacted her for a long-planned remodel. "When we started the
project we had been there just over 10 years," says the homeowner.
"Our kitchen really needed help. We didn’t need or want a larger
space, we just needed to make better use of the space we had," she
"Like many homes of this era, all of the
rooms were separate living spaces, and the kitchen was cut off from the
rest of the house," Baniukiewicz says. Essential to her plan were
preserving the original character of the house and sizing the rooms
appropriately for modern living. "I knew that they had enough
square footage to accomplish this without an addition. This meant that
some of the areas had to be rethought in terms of flow and use,"
"When we saw her plan, it made complete
sense," the homeowner says. "Her vision felt like this was how
the house always should have been."
the openings between rooms improves sight lines and the flow of the
Baniukiewicz borrowed space from a previous
family room addition to create a mudroom and powder room at the back of
the house. The previous homeowner had also altered the original living
room, resulting in a long, narrow room. Baniukiewicz took the living
room back to its original size and created a breakfast nook in what was
a study when the house was built.
She incorporated the former powder room space
into the kitchen, which now spans the width of the house, and gives the
homeowners more room to cook and entertain.
family enjoys its meals in the breakfast nook, located adjacent to
the kitchen, living room and family room.
"We are vegan, so we do a lot of
cooking and eat almost all of our meals at home," the homeowner
says. "The kitchen is very important to us."
The sink was relocated under expanded
eastern-facing windows, and a 48-inch Wolf range sits in the sink’s
former space. Space restrictions wouldn’t allow for a large
side-by-side refrigerator, so they worked around that by incorporating
a 27-inch refrigerator with a separate under-counter freezer.
"The new kitchen space was not large
enough for a freestanding island but we were able to have a larger
peninsula, which also helps separate the working space of the kitchen
from the entertaining space of the kitchen," Baniukiewicz says.
portrait over the fireplace in the family room inspired the rich
chocolate tones in the family room. The ceiling in the room is
painted eggplant, which makes the room feel cozy and inviting. The
family room previously had been cut off from the rest of the first
floor, which was remedied during the remodel.
Other functional yet aesthetically pleasing
features include shelving to feature the homeowner’s expansive
cookbook collection and a glass-front spice cabinet.
White woodwork and cabinetry are in keeping
with the classic sensibility of the homeowners, and a saturated color
palette brings in the their love of nature. They worked with interior
designer Leslie Dohr of Leslie Dohr Interior Design, Whitefish Bay, to
ensure a cohesiveness among the spaces.
from England accented with gold creates a beautiful glow in the
powder room, says interior designer Leslie Dohr. The marble-topped
vanity was created from an antique dressing table once owned by
model Naomi Sims and restored by Holzbauer and Sons. A custom mirror
by Scathain and crystal chandelier are jewelry in the room.
"The words the homeowners used to
describe their style were timeless, classic, elegant, smart,
sophisticated and inviting," Dohr says. "They wrote them on a
Post-it note, which I stapled to the inside of my file folder. I put
every design decision through that filter," Dohr says.
"Even though we used an extensive palette
in the home, the colors all work together because of balance," Dohr
says. The green in the kitchen is balanced by the chocolate-colored wood
stained floors, white cabinets and a pale blue ceiling. The purple
ceiling in the family room is balanced by cream-colored walls, white
cabinets and a neutral rug.
"With our cold winters in Wisconsin, it’s
nice to be in here when it’s dreary outside," the homeowner says.
"From top to bottom," Baniukiewicz
says, "the home completely compliments the homeowners’ personalities."