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Relaxed Sophistication
As Old World techniques meet modern amenities, a kitchen and sunroom remodel shines.


Sept. 2017

 In the meticulously detailed kitchen, StonePeak Ceramics rusty brown porcelain tile in Antique Cotto covers the floor, and the patterned white concrete tile backsplash adds an unexpected
visual element of surprise.

The basic elements of good design for a remodel are to create a space that meets the client’s lifestyle, functional and budgetary requirements while establishing an aesthetic that honors the architectural character of the home.

This was Angela Westmore’s approach when a client requested a remodel to combine the kitchen and sunroom of her Whitefish Bay Tudor home as part of a do-over for the entire house. While the areas had good bones — a roomy kitchen with an arched doorway entrance and a charming sunroom overlooking the backyard — both presented challenges.

Among the problems were “a tired look”; unorganized spaces; dated equipment, cabinets and styling; and no direct kitchen access to the sunroom.

First Westmore, a design/build manager, integrated the two spaces by gutting the rooms and moving doors and walls. She then transformed the previously awkward layout into a beautiful, spacious kitchen, rich in detail, that flows effortlessly into a bright, airy sunroom. 

Her design played off a piece of Renoir quartzite, her favorite feature. The richly marbled stone with rust and brown veining and a luxurious “leather” finish from Stone Design creates a stunning top for a wire-brushed, white-oak island cabinet embellished with druzy quartz knobs. 

The quartzite provides a foundation for the layering of textures and colors that are key to Westmore’s design approach. Meticulous details present a visual banquet, from the distressed butternut ceiling beams and the Italian plaster Marmorino Veneziano Carrara, hand-finished with a trowel by Carrie Chimenti, to warm woodwork and white cabinets. 

Every element adds to this kitchen’s relaxed sophistication. Completing the look are Renoir quartzite in a polished finish for the cabinet counters, an antiqued zinc range hood from Scathain, custom-made wrought iron lanterns from Steven Handelman Studios, wood French doors coated with an iron-based paint that replicates rust, and traditional diamond-shaped lead grilles designed by Deb Pettit of SGO Designer Glass, which are inset with Scathain mirrored panels for the windows and cabinet doors. The pairing combines Old World techniques with modern materials.

 The bright and airy sunroom is a natural extension of the kitchen — a continuation of the home’s overall “Zen feeling,” says the project’s interior designer.

As the sun streams through the windows, the kitchen’s burnished ambiance is warm and welcoming. Along with the aesthetics, the functional features shine. For a work area one can navigate with convenience and ease, Westmore chose the latest appliances and fixtures, created the central island/seating area, and selected deluxe and practical amenities — such as a wall-mounted Herbeau pot-filler behind the range, Franke Fireclay sink and heated floors in both areas. 

The relaxed atmosphere carries through the French doors into the tranquil sunroom. With its white wood and brick walls, stunning Palazzo Florentina Deco white-on-gray patterned tile, arched Kolbe windows and plush furnishings, it echoes “the effortless Zen feeling” of the rest of the house, says interior designer Mary Best.

Layered textures, from the linen upholstery and wool rug to the aged, carved-oak chest and metal Moroccan tray table, are in concert with the kitchen’s appointments. This casual but elegant room invites you to sit back and read or enjoy conversation and wine with friends. The room flows into an outdoor entertainment area, continuing the home’s congenial personality.

This story ran in the Sept. 2017 issue of: