Tag Archives: Kitchen Remodeling

Kitchen Zones

You’ve probably heard of the kitchen “work triangle,” a concept that keeps three main work areas – the sink, the range and the refrigerator – in close proximity.  Although this has been a mainstay in kitchen design, it often seems antiquated.  A work triangle is efficient and still useful, but it was developed during a time when the primary activities in the kitchen were cooking and cleaning up.

The role and size of the kitchen have evolved over time, and the space often serves as the home’s hub for both everyday living and entertaining.  Not to mention, there are many more appliances and fixtures used in modern kitchens.  It can be more practical to think of the kitchen in terms of zones.  We explore that idea here!

What Is a Zone?

Consider all the functions performed in the kitchen regularly – food storage, prep, cooking, baking, serving, eating, cleaning, coffee making, entertaining.  This is a great way to begin identifying the zones that will work best for you.  A zone keeps everything you need to perform a specific task together.  The kitchen is truly one of the hardest working rooms in a home, so grouping appliances, fixtures, storage and prep areas according to their use maximizes space and offers convenience while keeping aesthetics in mind.

Pewaukee Lake Kitchen Remodel

Example Zones

  • The Prep Zone – Chopping, mixing, blending, peeling – ample counter space is the key to success in your prep area. It’s helpful if it’s near the refrigerator, pantry and other storage, ensuring easy access to ingredients, small appliances and utensils.
  • The Cooking Zone – This is a busy spot. It often features the range or cooktop, wall ovens and warming drawers.  Ideally, it is adjacent to the prep zone, and it’s a bonus if it is near the dining space.  Many homeowners opt to have ample storage for trays, cookware, spices, cutlery, utensils and pot holders.
  • The Clean Up Zone – This area typically includes the sink and dishwasher with garbage and cabinetry strategically placed nearby to streamline clean up and unloading. Cleaning up isn’t the most exciting kitchen function, so the more efficient the process the better.
  • The Kids Zone – If you have children, it can be helpful to plan the kitchen with them in mind. Create room for the kids to do homework or have an after-school snack.  Easy access to kid-friendly glasses, plates and food gives them some independence.  This zone allows for family time, but it also keeps them out of the working part of the kitchen.
  • The Guest Zone – This can take many forms. Perhaps, it’s as simple as adding an island with comfortable seating to delineate the prep zone from the “hang out” area.  It could also be a beverage station with a refrigerator, bar sink, glass storage, ice maker and counter space for drink mixing.  Some homes even have a small sitting room off of the kitchen.

Zone options are truly endless, so when planning a kitchen, we always make sure we have a clear understanding of how people live in their homes.  Function always comes first in kitchen design.

Elm Grove Kitchen Remodel

Zone Staples

  • Counter space – Not only is a landing area essential from an efficiency standpoint, but it is also an important safety feature. Cooks should be able to quickly set down hot items without trekking through the entire kitchen.
  • Storage – Ample storage is a vital component in any zone. Drawers, dividers, roll-outs and appliance garages help keep everything within arm’s reach of where it is needed.
  • Proximity – Rarely does a zone operate independently.  It’s important to think about the kitchen workflow, so you can keep certain areas adjacent to one another.Elm Grove Kitchen Remodel

Texture | Adding Subtle Interest to Your Home

We talk about it all the time – how can we create a space that is timeless yet intriguing?  We are believers in creating simple spaces with subtle details, so a home can stand the test of time but also stand out.  How can you create a unique space, a room that shows off your personality without falling into a fleeting trend or adding too many ornate elements?  There are many ways, but today we’re focusing on a big one: texture.

What is Texture?

Texture doesn’t just refer to materials that are rough or bumpy.  It takes many forms and can evoke different feelings.  Organic or natural materials can create an intimate space while items with a smooth texture lend themselves to a sleeker look.  Texture offers both a tactile and visual experience, and we often layer different textures to showcase an architectural detail, communicate a specific style, differentiate design elements, and add depth and dimension.  It can elevate a design without overdoing it.

Pewaukee Lake Mudroom Remodel

What Is the Impact of Texture?

Texture serves many roles.  It can add visual weight to a space, drawing attention to specific details – a vaulted ceiling, a fireplace wall, an arched opening, a built-in nook or window seat.  In a monochromatic color scheme, texture is a tool to introduce subtle variation and interest.  It can also add warmth and contrast to a space.

Elm Grove Kitchen Remodel

How Can You Use Texture?

There are endless ways to incorporate texture into your home.  Painted brick, v-groove or shiplap add dimension to a monochromatic design without straying from the color scheme, keeping the space neutral and serene while adding interest.  Natural stone, metals, and wood can balance a cooler palette.  Wallpaper is a great option for an accent wall.  You can also use juxtaposition to make elements “pop,” placing a rough surface near a smooth texture.  Architectural details are another opportunity to add texture – crown molding, a tray ceiling, beams, wainscoting, paneled openings.  However you decide to use texture in your home, it is important to remember the power of restraint.  Implementing too many textures can become distracting or overwhelming.

Elm Grove Family Room Remodel

Bartelt Kitchen in M Magazine

Be sure to check out the November 2017 issue of M Magazine!  One of our stunning kitchen remodels is featured on pages 72-75.

Click on the photo to read the article!

Wauwatosa Kitchen Remodel - M Magazine

Matt Retzak Named Viking’s Designer of Distinction

Our very own project designer and coordinator, Matt Retzak, was recently named Viking’s Designer of Distinction for a Waukesha kitchen remodel.

Click on the photo to see his profile!

Viking Designer of Distinction

12 Days of Kitchen Remodels (and recipes)

12 Days of Kitchen Remodels

We’re sharing some of our favorite kitchen remodels with a holiday recipe to whip up in your own kitchen!

Day 1

The Kitchen

This classic kitchen features ample custom storage, a built-in banquette, a Calacatta marble island top, a marble backsplash in a herringbone pattern, and plenty of room for entertaining.

Fox Point Kitchen Remodel

 

 

 

 

The Recipe

These cookies are perfect for holiday baking.  They hold their shape, and they’re so delicious, they don’t even need frosting (not that we advise against frosting).

Cream Cheese Cutout Cookies

 

 

 

 

Day 2

The Kitchen

This traditional kitchen features custom cabinetry, a large, two-level island, Sienna Bordeaux granite tops, and an eye-catching hood.

Waukesha Kitchen Remodel

The Recipe

This is the perfect beverage to warm up with during the holidays. It’s frothy and maple-y! Yum!

Maple Hot Chocolate

 

 

 

 

Day 3

The Kitchen

This historic kitchen features a tin ceiling in copper patina, soapstone tops, a copper farmhouse sink, and custom cabinetry.

Milwaukee Kitchen Remodel

 

 

 

 

The Recipe

This beef tenderloin is a must-try for the holidays!  It will impress your guests (and your taste buds).

Beef Tenderloin

 

 

 

 

Day 4

The Kitchen

This rustic kitchen features granite tops with a leather texture, hand-scraped hickory floors, and a large island with a crackle-finish and butcher block top.

Hartland Kitchen Remodel

 

 

 

 

The Recipe

This appetizer is festive and colorful, the perfect addition to your holiday spread!

Tree-Shaped Crescent Veggie Appetizers

 

 

 

 

Day 5

The Kitchen

This classic kitchen features a custom metal hood, Danby Marble tops, subway tile, and custom painted cabinetry. It is the home’s entertaining “hub.”

Wauwatosa Kitchen Remodel

The Recipe

This holiday beverage is easy and delicious – an ideal combination!

Sparkling Cranberry Punch

 

 

 

 

Day 6

The Kitchen

This 1880s farmhouse kitchen features a coffered ceiling, a distressed cherry island top, and ample storage.  It’s the perfect mix of rustic and refined.

Hartford Kitchen Remodel

 

 

 

 

The Recipe

This dessert is rich and delicious!  We guarantee compliments.

Heath Bar Chocolate Trifle

 

 

 

 

Day 7

The Kitchen

This 1930s kitchen features a custom limestone hood, a crackle-finish island, and a hand-hammered copper farmhouse sink.

Shorewood Kitchen Remodel

 

 

 

 

The Recipe

This appetizer is the perfect way to kick off your holiday party!  Melty cheese and warm apples. Delicious!

Crescent Wrapped Baked Apple Brie

 

 

 

 

Day 8

The Kitchen

This kitchen features handmade glass pendants, quarter sawn oak cabinetry, and a tile niche above the range.

Waukesha Kitchen Remodel

 

 

 

 

The Recipe

This side dish is very flavorful. With thinly sliced Brussels sprouts, even those skeptical of Brussels sprouts will enjoy it (probably)!

Shredded Brussels Sprouts

 

 

 

 

Day 9

The Kitchen

This 1800s Victorian kitchen features a tin ceiling, a wood hood with corbels, and colorful, hand-painted terra cotta tile behind the range.

Oconomowoc Kitchen Remodel

 

 

 

 

The Recipe

These buttery cookies truly melt in your mouth – a great treat to take to a cookie exchange!

Peppermint Meltaways

 

 

 

 

Day 10

The Kitchen

This open kitchen features a slate backsplash, custom stained and glazed cabinetry, and granite tops.

Colgate Kitchen Remodel

 

 

 

 

The Recipe

These no-bake candies are another delightful option to bring to a cookie exchange or to give as a gift on a festive platter.

No Bake Avalanche Cookies

 

 

 

 

Day 11

The Kitchen

This family-friendly kitchen features custom cherry cabinetry, granite tops, and a large walk-in pantry.

Wauwatosa Kitchen Remodel

 

 

 

 

The Recipe

This dish, also fondly called “cheesy potatoes,” is a great partner for your holiday ham, beef tenderloin, or any meal, really!

Hash Brown Casserole

 

 

 

 

Day 12

The Kitchen

This lake home kitchen features a custom cherry table with an iron tree branch base, a pot rack, and cabinetry with a crackle finish.

Hartland Kitchen Remodel

 

 

 

 

The Recipe

This dip is a crowd pleaser! Bonus: It’s easy!

Crock Pot Cream Cheese and Sausage Dip

 

 

 

 

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.

Host a Soiree at Home

Create a space conducive to entertaining with these party essentials.

Many of our homeowners explain to us that they’re looking to create spaces that accommodate their love of entertaining, so we’ve compiled a brief list of design elements we thought were important for successful events.

LibationsWauwatosa Wet Bar

A beverage center, or wet bar, is the perfect addition to your entertaining space. Whether you use it as an extra prep area or a cocktail-mixing station, you can customize it to your style and needs. Include an extra sink. Outfit your wet bar with a beverage refrigerator. Add wine and stemware storage. The options are endless!

Room to Move

It’s fun to focus on the small details, but you should also consider the room’s layout. An open concept is helpful for hosting family and friends. When the various entertaining spaces, indoor and outdoor, are open and connected to one another, you’re still able to engage guests while cooking or mixing drinks. People can also move about freely.

(Kitchen) Island Fun

Hartland Kitchen IslandPeople tend to congregate in the kitchen, so an island is often essential if you plan to entertain. It can provide more workspace, so multiple chefs can concoct culinary masterpieces at one time. It’s a place to lean against, sit by, or set your drink on, and it allows the cook to socialize with guests while he or she works. It can also serve as your party’s buffet!

Mood Lighting

Pay attention to the lighting in your kitchen (and other entertaining spaces). Include task lighting, such as under-cabinet lighting, for food preparation. Pendants over the island and recessed lighting provide task and ambient lighting. It’s also a “bright idea” to put your fixtures on dimmers to create a softer glow when guests arrive.

A Place (or two) to Sit

Seating – by the island, at a table, as a built-in, or in an adjacent room – is important to consider. Although people will walk around mingling, most will eventually like to take a load off of their feet and relax. Each type of seating has pros and cons (i.e. a banquette can maximize space), so we suggest having multiple options if they make sense for the room.

Tunes

Music can set the mood for your gathering. Many systems let you listen to tunes throughout your home and outdoors, allowing you to change the volume in each space or control the entire system with the touch of a screen anywhere. You even have the option to listen to different songs in different rooms – jazz in the kitchen and rock in the lower level – or the same song in every room.

StorageAmple Kitchen Storage in Hartland

If you entertain regularly, you’ve probably started quite the collection of platters, linens, glasses, vases, and beyond. Make sure you have a place for everything. Consider cabinetry that extends to the ceiling, drawers in the island, a butler’s pantry, drawer and cabinet organizers, such as Rev-A-Shelf systems, and other organizational options.

Bartelt’s Matt Retzak Quoted in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Metropolitan Builders Association (MBA) Spring Tour is this weekend, April 27 – 28, noon – 4 p.m.  Check out the article “Change your space, not your location” for remodeling insights and a preview of remodeling projects on the Tour.

Bartelt’s Matt Retzak discusses the importance of smarter space planning and provides tips for a successful remodel on page 6 (the second page of the article).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Article.Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Article