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.


  • 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


  • $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.


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 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.


“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 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.

Guest Post: Surveillance Offers Peace of Mind

Bullet Surveillance CameraMany home and business owners are using video surveillance or security cameras to protect the people, properties, and belongings they have worked so hard to achieve. Video camera technologies are changing and improving all the time. At Techteriors, we have been receiving more and more requests for surveillance. These cameras can pan, tilt and zoom, and capture images and movement in the day or night.

In homes, Techteriors can install these in children’s rooms or nurseries. They can be aimed at the front door of your home or on your play system. Homeowners can log in to their camera networks and view their property from virtually anywhere in the world. We have even had requests for cameras to be installed in backyards to make sure pets are safe while their owners are at work. It’s important to protect your beautiful home, especially newly updated spaces created by companies like Bartelt.

In businesses, cameras can be hidden to protect property or viewed from multiple locations. A DVR can record varying lengths of time, depending on how many cameras are set up and how large of a system is requested.

Some new and exciting trends for 2014 include (but are not limited to):

  • Growth in panoramic cameras
  • Security cameras with improved audio capability
  • Worldwide growth in video surveillance by approximately 12 percent (statistic from CEPro Magazine – February 2014)

About the Author:Alex DeToro of Techteriors

Alex DeToro, a Bartelt partner and “neighbor” for many years, is the co-owner of Techteriors in Mequon, Wis. and Delafield, Wis.  DeToro’s husband, John, started the company in October 2001.  Alex earned her bachelor’s degree in History and Entomology and her MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. If you’d like to learn more about Alex and Techteriors or need surveillance for your home or business, visit http://www.techteriors.com/ or call 262.243.9800.

Bartelt Named “Best of Houzz” 2014

Bartelt was awarBartelt Best of Houzzded “Best Of Houzz” 2014 by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. We were chosen by more than 16 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community.

“We are honored to be named “Best of Houzz” 2014,” said Rick Bartelt, owner. “It is the result of our team’s dedication to customer satisfaction and innovative design.”

The “Best Of Houzz” award is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2013. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 16 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 230 million professional images of home interiors and exteriors to their personal ideabooks.

Follow Bartelt on Houzz.

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to get the design inspiration, project advice, product information and professional reviews they need to help turn ideas into reality. For more information, visit http://www.houzz.com/

Recent Project: A Timeless First Floor Remodel

After previous additions, the home was dated, and the spaces lacked unity.  The homeowners wanted to update the first floor, creating a cohesive design throughout the various rooms, and accommodate their family’s modern lifestyle.

Now, there is unity between the remodeled spaces, and the first floor is more conducive to entertaining.  With details that complement the home’s original charm, the project is a balanced mix of modern and traditional elements.

The Powder Room

Fox Point Powder Room








The powder room (part of an addition we added) is playful and demonstrates the modern side of the homeowners’ taste.  It features textured wallpaper, mirrored walls, reclaimed floor tiles, and an eye-catching light fixture.  It is easily accessible from the kitchen and new mudroom.

The Kitchen

Fox Point Kitchen - Before Fox Point Kitchen - After











The kitchen was dated and cramped, chopped up by islands and peninsulas.  It also didn’t match the style of or expectations from the home’s exterior.  The remodeled kitchen features ample custom storage, a built-in banquette, a coffered ceiling, and a large island with marble, perfect for entertaining.

The Butler’s Pantry

Fox Point Butler's Pantry






The space that would become the butler’s pantry was a “catchall,” with no specific purpose.  Now, the butler’s pantry is a showpiece.  It offers extra storage and features a wet bar with wine and beverage refrigerators, an ice maker, sink, and glass storage.  It also has goldleaf tiles and a gold ceiling, tying into both the classic and modern styles.  The butler’s pantry serves as the home’s entertaining “hub,” located between the kitchen, library, and dining room.

The Library

Fox Point Library - Before Fox Point Library - After











The existing library served as an office, TV room, and playroom.  It was dated, and the homeowners wanted to make it a more sophisticated space to accommodate entertaining while maintaining its home office role.  The remodeled library features a knotty alder coffered ceiling, wall paneling, and bookshelves, adding warmth to the first floor.  It’s a cozy spot to host guests and has access to the outdoor entertaining space.

The Master Bathroom

Fox Point Master Bath - Before

Fox Point Master Bath - After






The original master bathroom was cramped and dated.  The new space features a large shower with frameless glass panels, making the bathroom seem even larger.  Calacatta marble and the large window give the space a clean, airy feel.  There are also “his and her” vanities with custom cabinetry and ample storage.

Fox Point Master Bath Vanity







For detail photos, see this project on Houzz.

Bartelt Named 2014 Regional Contractor of the Year

Bartelt was named the 2014 Regional Contractor of the Year (CotY) by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) for the Residential Interior $100,000 and Over category.

“We are honored to be named the 2014 Regional Contractor of the Year in this category,” said Rick Bartelt, owner. “These awards are the result of the expertise and dedication of the entire team, including our designers, carpenters, production staff, trade partners, and customers.”

Bartelt was selected as the winner of Region 3, an area that includes contractors from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.  Contractors from seven regions around the country vie for CotY Awards on an annual basis, and all regional winners will now be eligible for the National CotY Awards.  National winners will be honored at NARI’s Evening of Excellence on Friday, March 28, 2014, at the Marriott New Orleans.

The winning Bartelt project was previously dated and compartmentalized.  Bartelt created a layout conducive to entertaining and introduced a rustic aesthetic to complement the clients’ heavily wooded lot.  It features textured granite, hand-scraped floors, hand-trowelled plaster walls, custom cabinetry, and other rustic details.

Competing projects were completed between July 1, 2012, and November 30, 2013, and were not submitted in prior NARI National contests. An impartial panel of judges who are experts within the industry and associated fields, selected winners based on each entrant’s binders, which include “before and after” photography and project descriptions. Judging focused on problem solving, functionality, aesthetics, craftsmanship, innovation, and degree of difficulty.

To be considered for a CotY Award, a company must be a NARI member in good standing.  NARI members represent an elite group of the approximately 800,000 companies and individuals in the U.S. identifying themselves as remodelers.

2014 Regional CotY Winner - Residential Interior $100,000 and Over

2014 Regional CotY Winner – Residential Interior $100,000 and Over

2014 Regional CotY Winner - Residential Interior $100,000 and Over

2014 Regional CotY Winner – Residential Interior $100,000 and Over

2014 Regional CotY Winner - Residential Interior $100,000 and Over

2014 Regional CotY Winner – Residential Interior $100,000 and Over

2014 Regional CotY Winner - Residential Interior $100,000 and Over

2014 Regional CotY Winner – Residential Interior $100,000 and Over

See more photos of this project on Houzz!

Bartelt’s Matt Retzak in “Winning Whites” in M Magazine

Is a white kitchen the right option for your home?  Find out in the article “Winning Whites” on pages 96-98 of the January 2014 issue of M Magazine.  Our designer, Matt Retzak, shares his insights.

Also, check out our 30th anniversary ad on page 86 of this issue!

"Winning Whites" in M Magazine "Winning Whites" in M Magazine "Winning Whites" in M Magazine 30th Anniversary Ad in M Magazine

See the article here.

Bartelt Featured in Blue Magazine for 30th Anniversary

In January, Bartelt. The Remodeling Resource was featured in Blue magazine, an exclusive publication for the Yacht Club members of Waukesha County, Beaver, La Belle, Nagawicka, North Lake, Oconomowoc, Okauchee, Pewaukee, and Pine lakes.  See our story here!

Bartelt Remodeling in Blue Magazine Bartelt Remodeling in Blue Magazine

Bartelt Wins Four Gold Awards at the Wisconsin Remodeler of the Year Awards

On Friday, January 17, 2014, we took home four Gold awards from the Wisconsin Remodeler of the Year Awards (WRAs).

The Wisconsin Remodeler of the Year Awards is an annual event hosted by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). It is an opportunity to honor the outstanding work its members have accomplished throughout the year. Categories range from the Residential Kitchen Under $30,000 category to the Entire House category.

Thank you to our customers, employees, and trade partners!  We would not have achieved this without your support, creativity, and expertise.

Here are the categories we were recognized for:

Gold Winner Residential Interior Over $100,000

Gold Winner – Residential Interior Over $100,000

Gold Winner Entire House $250,000 - $500,000

Gold Winner – Entire House $250,000 – $500,000

Gold Winner Entire House $500,000 - $1,000,000

Gold Winner – Entire House $500,000 – $1,000,000

Gold Award Website

Gold Winner – Website (created with Orion Group – www.orionweb.net)

See more photos of these projects on Houzz:

Residential Interior Over $100,000

Entire House $250,000 – $500,000

Entire House $500,000 – $1,000,000