Honoring Family History

Our dealers are an amazingly talented community, serving homeowners across the U.S.  Among them is Urban Herriges & Sons, Inc., a Greenfield Cabinetry dealer since 2015, located in Mukwonago, Wisconsin (Southwest of Milwaukee).

Urban Herriges took home the 2023 Regional CotY (Contractor of the Year) Award in the Entire House $250,000 to $500,000 category, and we couldn’t be more delighted.  Here’s their story.

The project is a full-scale remodel of a 1929 farmhouse, built by the current owner’s grandfather, on what is now a very desirable lake in Southeast Wisconsin.  The land was originally purchased for $1, and has now passed through three generations of the same family.  Over the years, the home on the property (3.075 sq. ft, five bedrooms and two baths) has been used in many ways, but now, the current owners want to move into the lake home full-time.  Unfortunately, the home was in desperate need of modernization, as it lacked heat on the second floor, and all electrical and plumbing needed to be updated to meet today’s codes.  Needless to say, a daunting task for any remodeling team.

When the house was built in 1929, there were no codes dictating how to build it, or where on the lot it could be placed. The house ended up being built very close to the lake, which is prohibited today. Due to this fact, there could be absolutely no changes to the footprint of the home.

The homeowner needed coordinated remodeling solutions, asking that the house be updated while keeping the nostalgia and charm of the past generations intact.  A challenge, indeed.

The design plans were a collaboration between Urban Herriges staff and the homeowners, identifying priorities for the reconstruction.  The main goal for the design of the first floor was to cultivate spaces to share time with loved ones, while creating better flow and more open concept, with a nod to the home’s history.

Elements of the original home to be kept and preserved included: many of the existing, custom-made passage doors, hardware fabricated by a local blacksmith, original, single-pane casement windows, the split Fieldstone fireplace façade and the unique living room ceiling treatment constructed of small Tamarack logs felled from a local marsh.

Shown below, the home before renovations.

In March of 2021, a full demo of the interior ensued, taking the home down to the studs, where HVAC, electrical and plumbing issues were all addressed.  No small feat.

The design details are numerous when you’re tackling a whole-home renovation, no doubt.  Too many in fact to detail here, but here are some highlights:

The Living Room

A direct vent fireplace was installed into the existing fireplace opening, all the black mortar was removed, the stone was acid washed and tuckpointed using a convex tool to create a period-appropriate joint. The mantel and the drywall above the fireplace were removed to expose the original stone. Additionally, the log ceiling was carefully protected during the entire job, and new plaster with a different finish was installed between the logs, in order to honor history in a modern way.

Shown below, the living room, before renovations.

Shown below, the living room, after renovations.

The Kitchen

The new kitchen now extends into what was once the porch; a large kitchen sink window takes advantage of the marvelous lake view, in a nod to Biophilia and the tranquility of time.  The Greenfield Cabinetry door style, color palette, turned legs and corbels add to the cottage characteristic the homeowners desired.

Shown below, the kitchen before renovations.

Shown below, the kitchen after renovations.

Shown above: Greenfield Full Access cabinetry, Jackson A door style throughout, Paint Grade material, Cameo (perimeter) and Nebula (island) paint.

The Sunporch

The sunporch was a separate area in the original floor plan.  After renovation, the sunporch is now completely open to the kitchen and living room.  And no matter the season, nor the time of day, floor-to-ceiling windows now invite the lake.

Shown below, the sunroom before renovations.

Shown below, the sunroom after being incorporated into the kitchen.

The Bedrooms

The first-floor bedrooms were reconfigured with more closet space and a stackable laundry, which was on the must-have list.  While the new bedrooms are small by today’s standards, the doors, millwork and décor were more desired as a way to pay homage to the home’s history.

The Bathrooms

The new first floor bathroom was designed carefully to meet the must-have list of a large tile shower, vanity and a drywall niche – sized just right for the homeowners’ antique dental cabinet.

Shown below, the downstairs bath after renovations.

Another challenge on the second floor was to enlarge the tiny bathroom to accept a decent-sized vanity and a soaking-style tub. The entire hallway was creatively shifted over to make this happen. Two of the upstairs bedrooms became slightly smaller, but the homeowner was eager to make this happen so their child could have the tub she desired.

Shown below, the upstairs bathroom after renovations.

Shown above: Greenfield Full Access cabinetry, Jackson A door style, Paint Grade material, Cameo paint.

Shown below, the home’s updated exterior, post renovation.

It is impossible to describe the extent of this project in words. The new home has modernized mechanicals, takes advantage of the lake view, uses the materials that were originally in place in new and creative ways, and has all the latest amenities, while honoring the family history and regional vernacular of the home. After overcoming many obstacles, the homeowner could not be happier; it is a dream come true.

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