Tag Archives: Storage

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!

The Butler’s Pantry

Whether it serves as an entertaining hub or just a storage space, a butler’s pantry can be valuable to your home.  It’s an entertainer’s sidekick!  You can use the space to store your collection of platters and dishes or to stage a meal before serving.  Bartelt. The Remodeling Resource offers tips to ensure you plan a functional butler’s pantry.

Delafield Butler's PantryLocation, Location, Location

The butler’s pantry should be easily accessible from the kitchen and dining room.  This makes serving less complicated and accommodates the flow between entertaining spaces.  Many butler’s pantries have extra counter and prep space, storage, and appliances, so when positioned properly in the house, they can serve as an extension to your kitchen or dining room.

Hartford Butler's PantryStorage

Dishes, platters, barware, linens, glasses, silverware – a well-prepared host or hostess has a lot to store.  Custom cabinetry with roll-outs, dividers, and other organizational systems ensure everything has its place.  Open shelving is another great option, so you can easily (and quickly) grab the serving bowl or dish you need for your soiree.  Other storage options include wine cubbies, baskets, and cabinetry with glass doors.

Equipment

Beyond storage, somFox Point Butler's Pantrye butler’s pantries are equipped with appliances – beverage and wine refrigerators, ice makers, microwave drawers, and built-in coffee makers.  It can also be useful to include a bar sink to help with food prep or drink mixing.  When a butler’s pantry is fully equipped, it essentially serves “double duty” as a pantry and a wet bar.

Style

Big or small, a butler’s pantry is the perfect place to showcase your style and get creative.  Whether you’re incorporating a unique backsplash, a bold ceiling detail, or a fun light fixture, the options are endless to customize this useful space.

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

Timeless Design Part I

It’s a common question: how can we create a space that stands the test of time and looks like it has always been there?  A remodel is a big investment, so homeowners want to ensure that the space has a long “life span.”  You don’t want to look back 10 years from now and think, “That was so 2013.”

How can you achieve timeless design?  Bartelt answers that question in a three-part blog, discussing efficient layout, seamless transitions, and classic style.  Today, we’re focusing on your home’s floor plan.

Efficient Layout

Think about your lifestyle.

It’s important to understand how you use different rooms in your home.  Do you entertain frequently?  Are you a gourmet chef?  Do you have small children?  Questions like these affect the flow and specific details of each space.  If you entertain often, for instance, you may want a large island, wet bar, and direct connection from the kitchen to the family room.  If you enjoy cooking, that may dictate the placement of your cooktop in relation to prep areas.

You should also identify what is and is not working for you in your home.  Are there rooms that are rarely or never used?  Do you have a cramped kitchen and an oversized dining room?

Evaluating your lifestyle and determining if your home complements it are the first steps in the remodeling process.

Create open, yet separate spaces.

“Open concept” is a term we hear frequently.  Eliminating walls, doors, and other barriers can accommodate better flow and make the space feel larger, but it’s essential not to merely create a big, open box.  Use arches, columns, French doors, shelves, beams, and other details to Colgate Kitchen Remodelcreate open, yet defined spaces.  It adds character to your home and still allows you to engage guests in the other room while you prep in the kitchen.

Consider functional rooms.

Unused rooms or “catchalls” are taking up valuable real estate in your home.  Make room for practical spaces, such as mudrooms, laundry Mequon Mudroom Remodelrooms, and home offices.  These spaces often serve as your family’s hub, offering organization and serving a specific purpose.  There are endless options to make these rooms work harder for your family – lockers, cubbies, closets, message boards, “drop zones,” benches, and beyond.

Maximize your storage.

There are many storage options available to keep your home organized and more functional.  Don’t waste any space!  Incorporate cabinetry that extends to the ceiling.  Consider organizational Spice Racksystems, such as Rev-A-Shelf, that offer pull-outs, racks, and dividers to make use of dead corners.  There are often empty pockets where you can seamlessly insert storage – on unused walls, in a kitchen island, under the stairs, even in narrow areas (i.e. cookie sheets or wine bottle storage).

When planning your storage, make sure to think about how you use various spaces.  You’ll want everything to have its place, to be within arm’s reach of where you’ll need it.  In the kitchen, you’ll probably want spices by the range, knife storage near the butcher block, and drawers with silverware dividers close to the sink and dishwasher.  In the mudroom, a coat closet, mail organization, and cubbies with hooks may be essential.Pull-Out Pantry

There are many other creative opportunities for storage and organization:

  • Butler’s pantries
  • Drawers built into banquette seating
  • Pot racks
  • Cookbook shelves
  • Pull-out pantries
  • Closets

 

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.

 

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.