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Rethink your style
Three projects, three new looks breathe new life into homes

By JANET RAASCH & AMY SIEWERT

Relaxing Escape

Andrew and Laura Brusky took one look at their unfinished Wauwatosa basement and knew exactly what they wanted to do. The couple called Jim Grote at Cream City Construction and turned the "storage" space into a valuable living area.

The Bruskys wanted a place to entertain that could double as a master suite for out-of-town guests. Out went the laundry room and in went a full bath, while the remainder of the area was converted into an entertainment space complete with a hidden Murphy bed for overnight guests.

"Itís like having another master bedroom for their guests while allowing for privacy," says Grote.

Cream City also installed a gas fireplace, flat screen TV and a mahogany wine rack system. To finish the look, the Bruskys hired Peg Winters of The Winters Partnership for the interior design work.

Awash in Green

From its carbonized bamboo flooring to its lyptus wood cabinets and energy-efficient windows, this master bath embodies todayís buzz phrase, "going green." Wisconsin Kitchen Mart designer Russ Waters says the Kohler tub drove the design, setting the stage for an Asian look that is often associated with the green movement.

Large 12-by-24-inch wall tiles that resemble woven grass are complemented by bear grass inserted into the window panels. The walls are accented by a trail of stones plucked from a river and glued onto matting to create the custom design.

Other features of the bathroom include low-flow shower head, faucets and toilet; filtered water; built-in trash unit; and private toilet room.

Room to Breathe

After 40 years and continual prodding by their children, these Elm Grove homeowners decided it was time to gut their kitchen and start over. They turned to Cheryl Ryan of Kitchens By Design in Elm Grove to guide them through the monumental task.

The couple originally had thought of switching to a completely white kitchen, but changed their minds after speaking with Ryan. "Itís a traditional kitchen that goes with the rest of the house," says Ryan.

The major changes included tearing down the wall between the dining room and kitchen and taking out the overhead cabinets that jutted out into the middle of the room. "They have a lot of good light and it made sense to take the wall down," says Ryan.

The couple also replaced oak cabinets with cherry and the almond-colored Corian countertops with Caesar Stone, a man-made quartz product. Additional cabinets were installed in the breakfast nook off the kitchen.

New appliances were installed and a custom wood hood was built over the Wolf range.

"They wanted an open kitchen, lots of drawers, a message center. We just went down the wish list," says Ryan.

"I find the kitchen much easier to work in," says the homeowner.

Floral arrangement courtesy of Graschís Fine Foods in Brookfield