Photo by Doug Edmunds
While revamping the kitchen in a 6,000-square-foot home on Lake Du Bay,
just north of Stevens Point, architect Josh Wadzinski of Glendale-based
Think Design returned home, so to speak.
Wadzinski called upon his parents, who’ve owned Wad’s Woodworks near
Wausau for the past three decades. It wasn’t the first time he had used
their resources, but it would be the last, for this project was to be
the business’ swan song.
Hired by the owners of a central Wisconsin-based catalog company to
transform their home to better host out-of-town clients, Wadzinski
designed a kitchen suite enveloped in rich wood and punctuated with
custom design elements.
The Arts and Crafts gem is a 700-square-foot kitchen, bar and wine
Wadzinski made the cabinetry the star attraction, while Wad’s Woodworks
infused Pennsylvania wood and cherrywood, adding intricate cruciform and
corbel features that emphasize the Arts and Crafts design. A Brazilian
cherrywood floor extends the look.
Fifty separate recessed wood pieces, each with its own hardware, form
the refrigerator’s façade — a subtle yet strikingly intricate detail.
“It’s a very specific look, like an old library card system,” Wadzinski
says. “That’s a good example of the unusual details.”
Custom copper-and-brass pendants, cream-colored limestone backsplash, a
charcoal and green crystal counter and island top, and a custom metal
range hood all complement the rich wood look.
“This was a perfect project for my parents’ business,” Wadzinski says.
“I guess it was a good way to end.”
Photo by Doug Edmunds
Cheryl Barenz of Barenz Builders in Menomonee Falls doesn’t mind
bringing her work home. In fact, she even showcases her own kitchen to
spark ideas for clients.
Located in her West Bend home on Cedar Lake, the kitchen sports the
transitional style she favors.
“I like a mix of old and new, with a mix of different textures — items
that have a story behind them,” says Barenz.
The mix is palpable. Barn timbers frame a 15-foot-high ceiling, while
bright white cabinets and a glossy quartzite countertop draw on
contemporary influences. A walnut-board-topped island and wide-plank,
walnut board flooring maintain the room’s
rustic charm, and Viking stainless steel appliances satisfy both the
aspiring cook and seasoned chef.
“It’s traditional with a twist,” Barenz adds.
Other features include a small “appliance garage” in a corner of the
countertop, over-sized subway tile backsplash, a beverage fridge, and
two-tone brass candelabra pendants that Barenz says mix modern and
“The backs of the lighted cabinets are beadboard to add a coastal
quality,” she says.
Massaging the kitchen features was driven by Barenz’s changing tastes
and what she thought would be a creative way to show clients various
“There’s something to be said about craftsmanship,” Barenz says. “It’s
made with love. Those things stand the test of time.”
Photo by Doug Edmunds
Within an ambitious makeover of an 8,000-square-foot, second-home
retreat on Oconomowoc Lake, interior designer Anne Wangman of
Mequon-based Forbes Design carved out a smartly informal kitchen.
Beyond staying within the original space, key components included
preserving the builder’s-grade pine cabinets and the floor. The cabinets
and island base were painted Benjamin Moore’s Linen White, and the
floors were polished to a pleasant pine finish.
“They wanted this to be a fun, casual place,” Wangman says of her
clients’ vision. Maintaining a casual tone, Wangman incorporated
stainless steel appliances, such as a Wolf range expanded to six
burners, a Sub-Zero refrigerator, stove and microwave built-ins, and a
wine fridge update.
straw-colored backsplash replaced a builder-grade version, and a quartz
top from Oconomowoc-based J.P. Kitchen Studio, LLC, blends white, gray
and sand tones, providing a marble look to the existing island. Overhead
antique brass pendant light fixtures continue the upgraded,
Smartly positioned under a white lantern fixture and open beams, a
racetrack-shaped table and ladderback chairs adorn an adjoining dining
Designing the kitchen, like the rest of the home, required a team
approach, so Wangman called on Andre Walker and David Simmons of East
Troy-based Walker Simmons Designs to assist.
Two of Wangman’s favorite takeaways? The project didn’t disturb the
home’s basic footprint, and her clients received
outcome: an updated, family-friendly kitchen.