Tag Archives: Rec Room

A Place to Entertain

May is National Home Improvement Month, so throughout the past few weeks, we have posted entertaining space photos every day (every weekday and non-holiday, that is). Here is a compilation of the posts!

Space for Libations

Fox Point Butler's Pantry

This butler’s pantry 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 the home’s classic and modern aesthetics. The room serves as a connection between entertaining spaces.

Wauwatosa Family Room and Wet Bar

The wet bar is conveniently located between two entertaining spaces – the living room and the kitchen. It’s the perfect spot to mix drinks, store glasses, and serve as extra counter space.

Hartford Butler's Pantry

The butler’s pantry is a transition area, located between the dining room and the library. It serves as extra counter space for entertaining in the dining room and features custom cabinetry, glass storage, and a wine refrigerator.

Hartland Wet Bar

This remodeled wet bar features custom cabinetry, a hammered copper sink, and a Bronzo Quartzite top. The beverage refrigerator and glass storage are a great addition for their gatherings, and the deep drawer allows them to store spirits vertically.

Elm Grove Coffee Bar

This kitchen’s “beverage station” is the perfect spot for the homeowners’ coffee maker, mugs, and snacks.

Kitchen Entertaining

Waukesha Kitchen Remodel

This kitchen island offers ample space for food preparation and seating for guests – ideal for entertaining. The kitchen’s open design accommodates the natural flow between appliances and storage areas during meal prep.

Hartland Kitchen Remodel

The custom island table is the perfect spot to host a casual brunch or dinner. The kitchen is open to the family room, so guests can move freely about the space and interact with people in the other room.

Hartland Kitchen Island

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. The island is a great spot to insert extra storage.

Elm Grove Kitchen Remodel

These custom barn doors serve as a focal point and allow the homeowners to close off the (sometimes) chaotic kitchen from the dining room when hosting guests. It’s the perfect way to keep the spaces open to one another yet separate!

Oconomowoc Kitchen Remodel

This large island is ideal for setting up a party buffet! The homeowner also wanted part of the island to be raised, so guests could lean against it during gatherings.

Room to Visit

Elm Grove Hearth Room Remodel

This hearth room is a cozy spot for guests to mingle and relax. Because it neighbors the kitchen, the homeowners can still engage their friends and family while prepping at the island.

Hartford Sunroom Addition

With direct access to the kitchen, this sunroom addition extends the homeowners’ entertaining space. It’s a great place for guests to socialize while you prep in the kitchen or a nice spot to enjoy libations after dinner.

Oconomowoc Screen Porch

The new three-season room allows the homeowners to entertain and enjoy their surroundings without having to worry about bugs or the elements. It is also located off the lower level bar and family room, offering a nice flow between entertaining spaces.

Wauwatosa Sunroom Remodel

This light and airy sunroom is the perfect spot to entertain guests with drinks and appetizers. It also has a direct connection to the patio!

Delafield Screen Porch

This screen porch is accessible from the family room/kitchen area, the patio, and the porch. It is a great spot to enjoy the home’s scenic backdrop, and it helps blur the line between indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces.

Lower Level Shindigs

Muskego Basement Remodel

This lower level wet bar and sitting area is the perfect spot for the whole family to enjoy. It features engineered hickory flooring, a bold chandelier, and room for a large table (perfect for games or meals). The wet bar includes marble subway tile, leather-textured granite, and custom cabinetry.

Oconomowoc Basement Remodel

A great place to entertain friends and family! This bar neighbors a game room and offers ample seating and counter space to prepare cocktails and serve snacks. It features character-grade cherry cabinetry, leather-textured granite, and a stacked stone backsplash.

Muskego Basement Playroom

You need a spot for those kiddos when you’re entertaining! This lower level playroom features two chalkboard doors and has lots of space to move around! It can also be closed off with barn-style doors to keep toys hidden during gatherings.

Oconomowoc Lower Level Remodel

This lower level game area and billiards room offer plenty of space for entertaining and playing. It features heated travertine floors, soft arches, and a mix of lighting to accommodate all activities.

 

Oconomowoc Basement Remodel

This lower level bar is ideal for entertaining! It’s cozy, featuring a copper top, a Lannon stone wall and fireplace, stained beams, and a travertine floor.

Formal Entertaining

Oconomowoc Dining Room Remodel

This dining room is the perfect spot to entertain family and friends. It has views to the lake and is near the wet bar, family room, and new sunroom.

From Basement to Lower Level

As the cool weather moves in, families tend to spend more time indoors.  Perhaps, you’re starting to feel cramped or can’t seem to agree on a television program to watch together.  Maybe the kids are looking for a place to hang out with friends.  A finished basement, or lower level, is the perfect opportunity to extend your living space.

The Essentials

Whether you’re transforming the basement into an entertaining hub, guest area, or hobby space, there are certain elements that remain important to create an inviting, practical lower level.

LightingOconomowoc Finished Basement

Like other areas of your home, it’s important to layer the light.  Recessed lights provide ambient lighting while pendants over a bar or table offer task and decorative lighting.  Sconces, floor lamps, and under-cabinet lighting are other options for your lower level.

Storage

Although you are creating a new living space, it’s important that the basement continues to serve one of its main functions: storage.  About one quarter of the basement is often left unfinished, to keep space for mechanicals and shelves to store holiday décor, leftover paint cans, unused clothing or toys, and other miscellaneous items.  In the finished portion of the basement, it’s important to consider storage, as well.  Incorporate closets and cabinetry into your new space to keep your lower level clutter-free.

Muskego Finished BasementCeiling

It’s vital to consider the ceiling height of your finished basement.  Typically, 50 percent of the finished area must be at least seven feet tall.  This is dictated by local building codes.  Pipes and ductwork can affect the ceiling height.  In many cases, they can be hidden within your basement design in a standard drywall ceiling or in a tray or coffered ceiling.  In other situations, it may make more sense to relocate pipes and ductwork.  When considering your ceiling options, it’s also important to think about access to mechanicals and plumbing.  Acoustic ceiling tiles or access panels are sometimes the best option.

Sound Insulation

You don’t want your lower level to become a source of “noise pollution,” especially if you have a home theater, so sound insulation can be installed at the joists between the lower and main levels to alleviate this.

Flooring

Tile, stained concrete, engineered wood, and high-end vinyl tile are popular options in the lower level for their durability and low maintenance.  Carpeting is also put into many lower levels to add warmth.

Exit

There should be easy, safe exit routes in case of emergency.  An egress window is large enough for a person to exit through it, a viable option for the basement and a necessity for a lower level bedroom (the egress window must be in the bedroom it’s serving).  Not only does it provide an extra avenue to exit the basement, but it also offers natural light.

Endless OptionsMuskego Finished Basement

The lower level can be transformed to serve your family’s specific needs.  Here are some roles that a finished basement often fulfills:

  • Bar area
  • Game room
  • Family room
  • Home theater
  • Fitness room
  • Craft area
  • Bedroom
  • Bathroom
  • Home office
  • Playroom

Back-to-School

Ensure school year success with these home tips from Bartelt.

Summer is winding down, and while the kids may not be ready to go back, it’s important to ensure a smooth transition between vacation and the start of the school year.  We’ve compiled some ideas to make your home more efficient and life easier for back-to-school.

Study hard.Wauwatosa Homework Station

Big or small, consider setting aside a space dedicated to homework.  Include seating, supply storage, a desk, and other essentials for assignments or projects.  A “homework station” allows kids to be part of family activities.  Parents can also easily monitor computer use and ensure students are getting their work completed.  A home office is another option.  We’ve converted unused formal dining rooms and other spaces into functional dens.  Kids have room to spread out their papers and books and concentrate.  There’s also plenty of room for bookshelves and office gadgets.

Establish a family hub.Fox Point Mudroom

The mudroom is your family’s launch pad.  You can keep all out-the-door essentials right where you need them.  Incorporate lockers, assigning one to each family member.  When they come home from school or extracurricular activities, they’ll have their own space to stash their belongings.  The mudroom is a high traffic area, so it’s also the perfect opportunity to keep the family on-task with messages and reminders.  Consider a “drop zone,” or command center, for phone charging, file cabinets, a calendar, a chalkboard, mail storage, and other organizational tools.

Lighten the load.

We touched on this recently, but we believe this is important.  With the beginning of the school year comes more laundry.  Whether it’s part of the mudroom or near the bedrooms, a laundry room should include ample storage and functional features – custom cabinetry, a sink, counter space, shelves, and other elements to make laundry time more efficient.  Like the mudroom, we suggest incorporating cubbies, with a designated bin for each family member (or different clothing types), into the laundry room design.  This makes it easy to sort clothes and even easier for the kids to put them away.

Have a bite to eat.

Encourage your family to kick off the day with a nutritional meal.  A breakfast bar or nook – off the counter or as a banquette – is the perfect spot to enjoy a bowl of oatmeal, sip on a cup of coffee, or read the morning paper.  It often fulfills other roles, too.  Kids can sit there for an after-school snack and share the day’s events.  They can set up a temporary homework area.  You can use it for extra party seating or a buffet.

Find Oconomowoc Lower Levelspace to unwind.

Carve out space for the kids to relax and spend time with friends.  A play area with toy storage, bookshelves, and a table for projects is ideal for younger children.  A finished lower level or bonus room is a great space for teenagers (and adults).  Include a snack bar with a beverage refrigerator, games, a bathroom, and a home theater for the perfect “hangout.”

*As seen in the August issue of “Village West Living,” a publication for Elm Grove residents.