Recent Project: Inviting Sunroom Addition

Our clients enjoyed entertaining friends and family, but their kitchen and other existing spaces weren’t conducive to this hobby.  They desired a warm, inviting space for their frequent get-togethers.

Waukesha Sunroom Addition - Before     Waukesha Sunroom Addition - After

The home’s back elevation was “cookie cutter” and lacked character.  The sunroom addition features a cupola with Azek crown molding and trim, adding charm to the exterior and blending with the existing structure.  The exterior also includes fiber cement composite siding for less maintenance and more durability.

Waukesha Sunroom Addition - Bar

The sunroom’s interior offers easy access to the kitchen to assist with entertaining.  There is a pass-through, and the large archway allows people to flow from one room to the other, making it one useable space.  The bar area features Golden Fantasy granite, wood-framed doors with “water glass” inserts, a slate backsplash, a beverage refrigerator, and custom wood wine cubbies.

Waukesha Sunroom Addition - View

The kitchen and entertaining space originally ended abruptly at the back of the house, so there was little room for guests.  The addition has an open concept, conducive to entertaining a group of people.  The large windows also showcase the conservancy views, and the patio door connects the space to the outdoors.

Waukesha Sunroom Addition - Ceiling     Waukesha Sunroom Addition - Ceiling Detail

The hand-framed, vaulted ceiling makes the addition feel more spacious, and the box beams at the hip rafters and cupola draw guests’ attention upward.  Rope lighting was incorporated at the crown molding and cupola to highlight the unique ceiling.

Waukesha Sunroom Addition - Fireplace

The fireplace is a focal point, giving the room a cozy feel.  It features hand-cut Lannon stone that ties the addition  into the home’s exterior.  The dynamic slate floor also uses hydronic heating, so the homeowners can comfortably enjoy the space in the winter (even without socks).

The Details

Handblown Pendant     Wine Cubbies

Sculpted, Furniture-Style Toe Kicks     Curved Casing

The Sunroom

Comfortably enjoy the outdoors year-round.

Serving as a connection between the indoors and outdoors, the sunroom is an essential space in many households.  It is a room that allows you to enjoy your setting year-round.  Whether you’re looking for a spot to relax, entertain, or get some work done, a sunroom has a lot to offer – natural light, more space, gorgeous views, and beyond.

Environmental Control

Hartford SunroomFrom extreme heat to the bitter cold, with the proper insulation, heating, and air conditioning systems, this light-filled room can be enjoyed throughout the year. A natural or gas fireplace provides additional warmth on chilly evenings, creating an inviting atmosphere.  Radiant floor heat is another option, so homeowners are able to comfortably enjoy the space in winter (even without socks).  A ceiling fan is an option, as well.

ViewWaukesha Sunroom

Choose a spot that takes advantage of the views.  Whether you live on a wooded lot, by the lake, or near a sprawling field, the sunroom is a perfect opportunity to showcase your backdrop.  Floor-to-ceiling windows, transoms, French doors, and a large patio door offer natural light and ventilation and help frame your surroundings.

Versatility

Waukesha SunroomA sunroom that serves multiple purposes will be used more often. Perhaps, the space includes a sitting area and a bar.  This is the perfect spot for either relaxing after the workday or entertaining a group on the weekend.  Maybe the sunroom features a reading nook and a table for dining.  It’s the ideal location to enjoy some alone time or share a meal with your family.  There are endless options to make this room work harder for you.

ProximityOconomowoc Sunroom

It’s important to position the sunroom near other entertaining spaces – the kitchen, family room, powder room, and patio.  If it’s easily accessible from frequently used rooms, you may enjoy the space more often, and it extends your living area.

 

Design Discussions

Bartelt Design Discussion

Listen monthly for Bartelt’s 60-second ”Design Discussion” on 620 WTMJ.  You can learn more about each tip on our blog.

Entertaining

Ceilings

Mudrooms

Open Concept

The Front Entrance

Nooks

Efficient Storage

Back-To-School

The Functional Dining Room

Although a formal dining room isn’t for every family, often eliminated to expand other rooms of the home, many homeowners opt to preserve this area. The dining room can serve as an extension to your home’s entertaining space, inviting people to linger at the dinner table to enjoy good food and company without the distractions of the (sometimes) chaotic kitchen. It can be especially useful for someone who is the extended family’s main host or on holidays. If a formal dining room is a staple in your home, here are some tips to create a formal, yet functional space.

Hartland Dining Room RemodelLocation

The dining room should be easily accessible from the kitchen and other gathering areas. This makes serving less complicated and accommodates the flow between entertaining spaces. You can create a defined, yet open dining room with a pass-through, arched opening, large French doors, and beyond. It’s also a good idea to consider the dining room’s proximity to a powder room.

Lighting

It’s important to include multiple layers of light in Hartland Dining Room Remodelthe dining room. A chandelier over the table serves as a focal point and can set the tone for the room. Is it traditional? Does it have a more modern vibe? Beyond the decorative chandelier or sconces, incorporate recessed lights to provide ambient lighting for the room. In- and under-cabinet lighting in a built-in buffet or wet bar offers task lighting and highlights servingware. Homeowners may want to put their fixtures on dimmers to create a softer glow for entertaining. Natural light should also be considered.

Oconomowoc Dining Room RemodelStorage

You’ll need a spot to stash dining essentials. Think about how you entertain and what pieces you often use to narrow down your storage options. A wet bar with custom cabinetry is ideal for storing glasses and barware. Beyond its storage capacity, it’s also a great spot to mix drinks, and it can serve as extra counter space. A buffet or built-in cabinetry can house dishes and linens. A window seat with drawers is another opportunity to insert extra storage into the dining room.

Space

Scale the dining room appropriately. To make sure the space isn’t oversized or too small, ask yourself these questions. How many people do I need to comfortably seat? What furniture goes into the space? There should be enough room that guests don’t have to vacate their seats to let someone pass by, but it’s important to remember that too much space can become cavernous.

Remodeling Lookbook

May is National Home Improvement Month, so throughout the past few weeks, we posted before and after photos (every weekday and non-holiday, that is). Here is a compilation of Bartelt transformations!

Exteriors

Kitchens

Lower Levels

Bathrooms

 Other Spaces

Recent Project: Family-Friendly Lower Level Remodel

The homeowners wanted to transform their empty basement into another living space that both the adults and kids could enjoy.  It was important that the lower level offered a comfortable area to watch movies, entertain, and play.

Muskego Lower Level Remodel

The remodeled space is a balanced mix of cozy and sophisticated details.  It features an informal entertaining area with engineered hickory flooring, a bold chandelier, ample storage, and room for a large table.

The arched openings and columns add character to the lower level and keep the entertaining area and living room open to one another while defining each space.

Muskego Lower Level Remodel

This space also includes a wet bar with marble subway tile, leather-textured granite, and custom cabinetry in a smoky gray color.

Muskego Lower Level Remodel

The lower level playroom features two chalkboard doors and can be closed off with barn-style doors to keep toys hidden during gatherings.

Muskego Lower Level Remodel

The lower level also includes a powder room, featuring unique lighting, and a fitness room.

For detail photos, see this project on Houzz.

Bartelt Project Featured in “Dream Homes” in Milwaukee Magazine

The Milwaukee Magazine “Dream Homes” article is “A virtual ‘if-only’ tour of some of the most spectacular, awesome, extraordinary houses in the metro area.”  See Bartelt’s project and insight from our designer, Matt Retzak, on page 43 of the April 2014 issue.

1800s Farmhouse Remodel in Milwaukee Magazine

 

Every Nook and Cranny

Need space to curl up with a book?  Looking for a spot to tuck yourself away for some quiet time?  There’s something about a small, cozy nook to help you feel relaxed and remote.  Whether it’s used for sleeping, eating, reading, or simply lounging, a nook is a fun, yet practical, addition to any home.

The Breakfast NookHartford Kitchen Window Seat

A mix of banquettes, chairs, small tables, and booths is the perfect combination for a cozy spot to enjoy a bowl of oatmeal, sip on a cup of coffee, or read the morning paper.  It can also be a space saver and fulfill other roles!  Kids can sit there for an after-school snack and share the day’s events.  Or it can serve as a temporary homework station.

The Reading Nook

Whether it’s a special area in a home library or office or tucked under the stairs or in a bedroom, a reading nook is a great place to get lost in a book.  Include built-in bookshelves, a cushioned seat, and good lighting (natural or light fixtures) to create the ideal space.

The Window NookMequon Window Seat

A window seat can be useful in any room of the home – the kitchen, home office, bedroom, family room, hallway, and beyond.  Who hasn’t dreamed of having a window seat?  They can be carved out of “leftover” space that would otherwise be wasted and can provide extra storage, too.

Elm Grove Hidden RoomThe Hidden Nook

Secret passages or hidden rooms are an exciting addition for kids and adults.  Include them in your lower level or a home office to create a secret “lair” for playing, sleepovers, crafting, and other activities.

The Bedroom NookOconomowoc Built-In Bed

A built-in bed is perfect for kid or guest bedrooms.  They’re a great way to maximize space, and they’re a comfortable area to snuggle in for the night.  Homeowners can sneak them into unexpected places, such as under a slanted wall or in an alcove.

Job Opening: Lead Carpenter

Bartelt is currently looking for an experienced, full-time lead carpenter to join our crew and work on our job sites throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

Bartelt is a well-established, well-branded residential and commercial remodeling company located in Delafield, WI.  Winning local, regional, and national industry awards, Bartelt specializes in high-end remodels and is a member of the Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council and the Metropolitan Builders Association.

Requirements:

  • Minimum of five years of experience as a lead carpenter in remodeling
  • Minimum of a high school education or equivalent
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Presentable and reliable van or pickup truck
  • All necessary hand and power tools and ladders

Bartelt will supply scaffolding, harnesses, tethers, generators (when needed), extra tall ladders, specialty tools and equipment, and safety equipment (i.e. Tyvek suits, eye and ear protection, shop vacuums, Hepa vacuums, etc.).

Desired Qualities:

  • Ability to lead a crew of carpenters
  • Efficient and able to accomplish tasks in a timely manner
  • Quality- and detail-oriented in rough and finish carpentry
  • Strong communication, people, and organizational skills

Compensation/Benefits:

  • $20 – $30 per hour (based on experience and skill level)
  • One week paid vacation after one year of employment
  • Participation in the 401K program after a one year waiting period

Interested individuals should email their resumes to Rick Bartelt at rickb@barteltremodel.com.

The Entrance: Your Home’s First Impression

The front entrance is the first area of your home that guests encounter and can set the tone for the rest of the spaces, so it’s important to make it functional and aesthetically pleasing.  Updating or improving the entry is also an affordable opportunity to give your home an entirely different look.

Exterior

Architectural DetailsWauwatosa Front Entrance

Showcase your front entrance with appropriate architectural details for your home’s style.  Decorative brackets, moldings, columns, railings, and trim add character to your home and offer curb appeal.

Whitefish Bay Front EntranceFront Door

Whether the door is custom-made, arched, painted a vibrant color, or flanked by full-length windows, the front door can showcase your personality and style.

Lighting

Lighting helps guide your guests to the front door and is an important safety component.  The light by the front entrance should be a little brighter than landscape and hardscape lighting to ensure the front door is the focal point of the home and welcomes visitors. Wall lanterns or hanging fixtures are popular options.

Shelter from the Elements

Consider adding a roof over the front door or porch to keep rain and sun off your guests as they wait for you to answer the door.  You’ll also appreciate it while you look for your keys.

Interior

“Drop Zone”

Once your guests enter your home, you’ll want a place for them to peel off their coats or stash away other belongings.  Consider having a bench, closet, hooks, lockers or cubbies, and other organizational features.  You may also want to include a “command center” for phone charging, mail storage, or a message board.

Flooring

Flooring is another opportunity to showcase your style, but it’s essential that it isOconomowoc Newel Post also easy-to-clean and can withstand mud, snow, water, and whatever else visitors can track into your home.  You can choose unique patterns, textures, or colors to add charm.

Newel Posts

A newel post has a functional role – supporting the handrail at the top or bottom of a staircase.  If you have stairs at your entrance, a newel post can also make a grand statement.  Whether it’s large and ornate or simple and classic, the post will definitely be the heart of the front entryway.