Tag Archives: Soapstone

Recent Project: Modern, Eclectic Farmhouse Remodel

The 1970s colonial home was dated, compartmentalized, and stale. The homeowners wanted to update their home to accommodate their modern lifestyle and showcase their eclectic style.

The Exterior

Delafield Exterior Remodel Before

The exterior was nondescript, and the homeowners wanted it to be an expression of their style, something that had more character.

Delafield Exterior Remodel

The home was transformed into a modern, eclectic farmhouse. It features low maintenance LP Smartside siding (both horizontal lap and board and batten siding) and trim, a metal roof, fieldstone, and cedar columns and brackets. The wrap-around porch is welcoming, and the layers of lighting give the home a warm glow.

The Family Room

Delafield Fireplace Before

The existing fireplace was drab and cookie-cutter. The homeowners wanted a fireplace that could serve as the focal point of both the family room and kitchen.

Delafield Fireplace Remodel

The new fireplace is the centerpiece of the first floor. The Gold Mica fieldstone is rustic and warm, and the reclaimed farmhouse beam keeps the farm’s history alive.

Also, note the Dutch door to the right of the fireplace. This leads to the new library (discussed soon), and serves a few different functions. First, it is used as a “gate” for the homeowners’ three dogs. The Dutch door also gives the room flexibility – it can be somewhat open to other spaces, or it can be closed completely for more privacy when reading or watching a movie.

The Kitchen

Delafield Kitchen Remodel Before

The existing kitchen, dinette, and dining room were dated, cramped, and lacking personality. They were also closed off from the family room.

Delafield Kitchen Remodel

The new kitchen expanded into the unused dining room and is open to other entertaining areas. It features custom quarter-sawn oak cabinetry, green soapstone and granite tops, a subway tile backsplash, and a painted island with seating. The island’s two levels offer space for food prep and seating, and the open design accommodates the natural flow between appliances, storage, and food prep areas.

The Butler’s Pantry

Delafield Butler's Pantry

The new walk-in pantry uses a portion of the old dinette space. The butler’s pantry not only offers extra storage and counter space, but it tells a story about the family’s past. The sliding barn door was reclaimed from the family’s early 1900s barn, and the pantry cabinetry came from the family farmhouse. These details add historical charm to the home.

The Library

Delafield Library Remodel Before

The three-season room was a catchall and was not practical for year-round use. It was also dated and unsightly.

Delafield Library Remodel

Now, the homeowners can comfortably use the new library year-round. It features a wall of built-in bookshelves that serves as a focal point and showcases the homeowners’ books and treasures from their travels. The shelves also complement the homeowners’ Stickley furniture. The exposed wood ceiling uses wood harvested from an oak tree that had fallen on the family farm years ago – another story to tell.

The Screen Porch

Delafield Screen Porch

The new 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. The ceiling draws visitors’ attention up and adds texture to the space, with exposed rafters and tongue and groove roof boards.

See this project on Houzz!

Quality over Quantity

Homeowners focus on the details rather than square footage.

As you look around your home, you may be thinking about the wish list you have for it – better storage, an updated kitchen, more usable space. Is the logical solution to make the move to a bigger home? Or should you consider an addition? Although these are both plausible answers, you don’t necessarily need more square footage to satisfy your list.

More and more homeowners are making the decision to update and upgrade their homes within the original footprint, focusing on better space planning and special details.

Smarter Space Planning

Unused Spaces

You need more space, but how can you find it without expanding? It’s important to evaluate how you live in your home. Are there areas you rarely or never use? Perhaps, it’s time to ditch those rooms and use the additional space in places, such as the kitchen, where you spend more time. For instance, many homeowners are getting rid of formal dining and living rooms to allow them to enlarge more functional areas of the home.

Open Concepts

People are also eliminating walls, doors, and other barriers to create open floor plans for a better flow between rooms. With proper space planning, an open floor plan can make the area feel larger and perform more efficiently.

Ample Storage

There are many creative storage opportunities to keep rooms organized and make them functional for you. Don’t waste any space. Make use of vertical space, incorporating cabinetry that extends to the ceiling. Consider systems, such as Rev-A-Shelf, that offer pullouts, racks, lazy susans, and other accessories to make use of dead corners. There are often pockets of space in areas – under the stairs, on empty walls, in an island – where you can seamlessly (and without taking up space) fit in storage.

Family FoyersWauwatosa Mudroom Remodel

Family foyers, or mudrooms, are a practical use of space and could possibly be the hardest working room in your home. It’s a great area to stash all the necessities for getting out the door in one convenient place. Many homeowners incorporate lockers into this area, assigning one to each family member to store coats, shoes, and backpacks. It can also include a “drop zone,” bench, additional storage, or laundry space. The possibilities to make the area efficient for your family’s needs are endless.

Personalization

Without the cost of extra square feet, homeowners have the opportunity to invest in quality products and finishes for their home. This allows you to not only personalize your spaces, so they aren’t “cookie cutter,” but also enjoy luxury items.

What are examples of products and materials people are investing in? Check out this brief list (the possibilities are endless).

In the Kitchen

High-End Appliances

If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, high-end or specialty appliances may be a great investment. Examples include stainless steel appliances, double ovens, warming drawers, large cooktops with griddles or grills, induction cooktops, steam ovens, and beverage refrigerators or drawers.

Beverage StationsHartland Wet Bar

We are seeing more people include beverage stations in their kitchen or family room. Wet bars are popular for entertaining, often featuring a sink, beverage refrigerator, and extra storage for glasses. Built-in coffee units are also becoming commonplace. The Miele Coffee System, for instance, is a built-in unit with a water reservoir or plumbed-in option. Now, homeowners can enjoy coffee, espresso, and cappuccino right at home.

Hot Water Dispensers

How often do you use hot water? Do you make hot beverages? Or enjoy oatmeal at breakfast? Do you cook pasta al dente? Or need to soak dirty pots and pans? Hot water dispensers allow you to do things like this instantly, saving time and offering convenience.

Custom, Furniture-Style Cabinetry

Sculpted toe kicks, corbels, faux finishes, crown molding – furniture-style cabinetry adds a personal, luxurious touch to your home. Custom cabinetmakers are also offering more “gadgets and gizmos” to make homeowners’ lives easier and more organized, including soft close hinges and drawer glides, tray dividers, roll outs, and spice racks.

Colgate Kitchen with custom cabinetry and granite countertopsCountertops

There are numerous kitchen countertop materials available. Soapstone, granite, marble, quartz, high-definition laminate, and concrete are just a few durable examples. Each has its own “personality.” For instance, granite and soapstone create a natural look while marble offers a classic feel. Your countertop is just another way to add character and introduce quality materials to your space.

In the Bathroom

Thermostatic Shower

A shower that features a series of shower heads and sprays, such as a rain head and hand spray, allows homeowners to feel pampered during shower time. A luxury shower can also include a thermostatic control valve, allowing the user to turn on all shower heads at the same or different times and regulate the temperature.

Around the House

Custom Millwork

Incorporating custom millwork – wainscoting, crown molding, arches, base boards, corbels – throughout your home creates an upscale look and adds architectural interest to an ordinary room.

Wauwatosa Foyer FloorQuality Flooring

It’s important to invest in quality, durable flooring. From custom hand-scraped floors to porcelain and ceramic tiles, there are many options for kitchens, family rooms, hallways, bathrooms, and other spaces. The floor is also a great place to have fun and display your personality. For instance, we used custom wood staining in a home to blend two hardwood floor colors in a foyer, creating a checkerboard pattern.

Home Automation

Many homeowners are turning to home automation for better efficiency and safety. Whole house automation is a central system that connects and communicates with appliances and systems in your home. It allows homeowners to instantly control their lighting, thermostat, entertainment unit, security system, and other objects. It’s just another opportunity to tailor your home to your lifestyle needs.