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sharing the voices of local people who create the spaces we live in

“When you want something special, think Dream!” Additions




Master Bath

5117 Verona Road | Madison, WI 53711 | 608-204-7575 | Actual Dream House Project | Photography by RPG

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Keven Schmidt Director of Design

Jerry Schmidt Dream Team Sales



publisher Towns & Associates, Inc. 126 Water Street Baraboo, WI 53913-2445 p 608.356.8757 • f 608.356.8875

Photograph by Michael Krakora, Krakora Studios

editor-in-chief Amy S. Johnson publication designer Barbara Wilson senior copy editor Kyle Jacobson


copy editor Krystle Naab

Custom Art Glass


sales & marketing director Amy S. Johnson

creating custom art glass for your home

sales & marketing manager Kelly Hopkins 608.445.5556

learn how to bring 3-D sculpture into your home

graphic designers Susie Anderson, Jennifer Denman, Crea Stellmacher

How and Why To Live With Sculpture



Sit, Stand, Repeat!


create a home and workspace that supports good health

administration Jennifer Baird, Sandy Carlson, Lori Czajka

Photograph provided by ZDA, Inc.

contributing writers Theresa Abel, Denny Berkery, Nick Hughes, Katy Hylkema, Lori Jolin, Madison Gas and Electric, Debbie Rabin, Joan W. Ziegler photographs Denny Berkery; Ekornes; Nick Hughes; Humanscale; Kitchen Ideas Center; Michael Krakora, Krakora Studios; Herman Miller; Lori Jolin Design; Madison Gas and Electric; Greg Sutter of Sutter Photography; ZDA, Inc. additional copies Home Elements & Concepts is available free at over 200 locations. If you would like a copy sent to you, please send mailing information and $4 (payable to Towns & Associates) for each magazine to Home Elements & Concepts, c/o Towns & Associates, Inc., 126 Water Street, Baraboo, WI 53913. subscriptions To purchase an annual subscription (4 issues), send mailing information and $16 (payable to Towns & Associates) to Home Elements & Concepts, c/o Towns & Associates, Inc., 126 Water Street, Baraboo, WI 53913. Or sign up for a FREE online subscription at


Creating a Suburban Oasis


enjoy the outside with this landscape renovation by ZDA, Inc.


Blue Kitchen


contemporary home with a European-style kitchen

From Drab to Fab


turning your bathroom into a sanctuary Photograph by Greg Sutter of Sutter Photography

comments We welcome your questions and comments. Please submit to Home Elements & Concepts, c/o Towns & Associates, Inc., 126 Water Street, Baraboo, WI 53913 or email advertise To place an advertisement, please call 608.356.8757x105 or email all rights reserved. ©2017 No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written permission by the publisher, Towns & Associates, Inc.

Watch for the next issue August 2017. © Cover photograph by Kitchen Ideas Center.


An Automated Life


making your home work for you with home automation

Energy Efficiency


using technology to become more energy efficient

4 Advertiser Index 50 From The Editor


from the editor It’s our second issue! Home Elements & Concepts provides you with information you’ve normally sought from national home publications, but with a twist. We cover home-related topics, such as new-home construction, home renovations, interior design, landscaping, and more, but we do so with the assistance of local experts. When you see a project, design, or idea you’re interested in, you can actually contact the person who provided the information you just read. Our contributors are based in Wisconsin, with the majority in the Greater Madison area. We received wonderfully positive feedback to our first issue along with a few suggestions. While it’s always nice to receive praise, we equally appreciate ideas and thoughts about what you’d like to see in upcoming issues. Please keep sending us both. A reminder that Home Elements & Concepts is released in February, May, August, and November. You can find print copies at many distribution points, which are listed at Each issue is also available online. We encourage everyone, even those who pick up a print copy, to visit the online magazine because that’s where we include additional photos for each article. While we think the print format is optimal, there are space limitations. Thank you for your readership and, again, we appreciate your feedback and topic ideas.

Amy Johnson

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Front yard: Terrace gardens and a welcoming bluestone path and patio create a gracious front entrance.


a Suburban Oasis by Joan W. Ziegler

Fostering community and inviting children and adults to enjoy the outside was the goal for this landscape renovation. Through a collaborative design process, ZDA’s landscape architects and garden designers worked with the homeowner to develop a landscape master plan that married these goals with solutions for the site’s inherent landscape challenges: failing walls, a rotting deck, dangerous drop-offs, and an uninviting entrance. Built into the hill and close to the property line setbacks, their home had narrow steep side yards and massive retaining 6 Additional photos at

walls to hold grade for the walkout basement. The front entrance was lower than the road, causing water to flow into their garage and basement, and an uninviting walk led from the driveway to the front door. From the walkout basement door, the backyard continued to slope sharply down to the pond’s edge. The sloping front yard was transformed with large artfully placed outcrop rocks and limestone walls to redirect runoff away from the house and create a terraced garden. Walking paths lead through the gardens and invite guests to the front



Prepared garden beds: Careful soil preparation is key to making the gardens easy to maintain.


door. A welcoming patio enlarged and enhanced the front entrance with a place to sit and visit, and enjoy the morning sun. The vibrant front rock garden is a natural playground that actively engages the homeowner’s son and neighborhood children. Careful bed layout and soil preparation to eliminate weeds prior to planting was the key to making the gardens low maintenance. Stonework and gravel paths designed to define the garden beds offer convenient access and clean edges to further simplify working in the garden. Flowering trees extend the garden’s blooms, and specialty evergreens enhance the aesthetic structure of the garden and add winter interest. Long-blooming, easy care perennials provide cut flowers and continuous color throughout the season. Many of the flower selections are near-native that attract birds and butterflies, and are essential host plants or food for a variety of beneficial pollinators. Spring-flowering bulbs, a favorite of

Crushed red granite and limestone pathway: Provides an invitation to walk through the front yard and access for easy maintenance.

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the owner, add the earliest blooms, and when their foliage dies back, they are overplanted with annual flowers to fill out the garden and vegetables for fun foraging. The redesigned side yard integrates a pathway and stone steps into the hillside, prevents erosion, keeps water away from the house, and beckons you to continue the journey through the gardens. Lush plantings along the path help to camouflage the stark siding and invite you around the house to the backyard. Concrete blocks from the failing walls on the other side of the house were reused to build a new retaining wall in the backyard, creating a level space for a patio, ball play, and separation from the water’s edge. Native plantings were used to stabilize the fluctuating shoreline and make a safety buffer between the pond and the play area. New engineered concrete block walls and terraces were designed to replace the massive walls along the garage



Out-crop rocks and cut limestone walls: Are fun to play on, hold the front yard slope, and connect the front and side yard pathways.

side of the house. These walls, in combination with a slopestabilizing planting of red oak and grey dogwoods, reduced the original wall height and material by 40 percent, cutting the replacement investment in half and minimizing the dangers of falling off the walls. With flat usable space a scarce resource, ZDA reimagined the existing builder-grade deck that had started to rot as a dualpurpose play and outdoor living space structure. An upper deck just outside the dining room provides enough space for grilling and a couple of chairs. The primary lounging and entertaining deck was dropped four steps below the upper deck and angled off to one side into the tree canopy for a unique perspective. The steps create additional seating and a more dynamic space for entertaining. The elevation change opens the view from the dining room so that you see over, instead of through, the deck railing and furnishings to the water below. A fire pole was added as part of the play structure adaptation for a fun alternative route for kids and adults to access the play space below. A space-saving spiral staircase invites visitors to the lower patio and fire-pit area, where an eye can be kept on the action in the underdeck play area.

Before Side yard: Steep sloping lawn.

The new deck also accounted for the changing needs of the family over time. As their son’s interests outgrew the space under the deck that hosted an adventure play area, the posts were already arranged so that the space could easily be HOME ELEMENTS & CONCEPTS 9



Front yard–July: Profuse variety of flowers blooming the first year.

converted into a screened porch for a future grandmother suite in the lower level.

Front yard: Sloping lawn, narrow walk, and disproportionately small front stoop.

To optimize the homeowner’s investment, resources, and usable space, ZDA’s landscape architects and garden designers not only guided our client through the design process, but helped the client through bid letting, contractor selection, and material procurement. ZDA was on site throughout construction to direct the artful rock placement, set grades, and oversee the garden bed preparation and planting. Working with our landscape architects, this busy young family could relax knowing that the design intent would be realized and problems would be quickly resolved in their best interest. Building this suburban oasis for children, adults, birds, butterflies, and other pollinators occurred over a several-

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year period. It required transforming manicured sloping lawns and sterile plantings into a vibrant ecosystem with beautiful terraced gardens and thriving native plantings. This took both a willingness to look different from the neighbors and the courage to invite nature into the yard. One of the benefits of this life-sustaining, biodiverse habitat is that there is always something new to discover and enjoy. For their work on this landscape renovation, ZDA received the 2015 Perennial Plant Association Merit Award for Landscape Design and the 2009 Sugar River Gardener’s Civic Beautification award. But the greatest accolade was the client’s comment that she and her son couldn’t wait to get home each day so they could play outside in the garden.

Front yard–May: Blooming tulip planted in fall add vibrant spring color to the garden.

Joan W. Ziegler is a horticulturist, garden designer, and winner of the 2015 Perennial Plant Association Merit Award for Residential Landscape Design for ZDA, Inc. Landscape Architecture. Photographs provided by ZDA, Inc. ZDA, Inc. 4797 Capitol View Road Middleton, WI 53562 608.831.5098



Dual-purpose deck: Innovative deck design, with room for cooking and dining, doubles as a play structure.



Sit, Stand,

Repeat! by Katy Hylkema

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The furniture we choose to put in our home and office has a significant impact on our general health. Most of us spend our days sitting at desks, followed by relaxing at home, and eventually sleeping in bed. Our lives are dominated by the furnishings of these environments and experiences, yet we rarely think about how those furnishings affect us.

Enrich your living room with stunning Stressless Sunrise recliners, which provide full back and lumbar support.

Photograph provided by Humanscale

Convert your fixedheight desk into a more active workstation using QuickStand, a heightadjustable, portable monitor mount and keyboard tray.

Photograph provided by Ekornes

We spend a lot on cars and electronics; perhaps we should consider investing more in furniture that can improve our day to day experiences and even our health. The average worker in the United States spends almost six hours per workday sitting at a desk, which is not beneficial. HOME ELEMENTS & CONCEPTS 13

A sit-stand desk paired with a well-designed task chair creates a versatile workspace that nurtures good health on a daily basis.

However, a growing body of research has shown that the negative health impacts associated with prolonged sitting can be reduced by simply getting up for short periods of time throughout the day. One simple way to add movement into your work routine is with a height-adjustable or sit-stand workstation. The wide variety of sit-stand desk options now available make it easy and convenient to get out of your chair without hindering your productivity. Incorporating periods of standing into your workday decreases your risk

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of obesity, cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more. While sit-stand workstations give you the important option of standing for short periods, a well-designed task chair can offer significant health benefits during the time you spend sitting. The chair you sit in can either provide important support or it can exacerbate existing health issues and cause pain. The proper task chair is one that fits your body,

Photograph provided by Herman Miller

provides necessary adjustments for different tasks, and ensures general comfort. Features that typically provide significant health benefits include high-quality, breathable mesh that helps regulate body temperature and lessen pressure points; adjustable lumbar support; and nuanced seat positioning. We all spend a considerable amount of our time working, and if we are lucky, we spend even more time

in bed sleeping. Lack of quality sleep can lead to a number of undesirable health conditions. It can also affect our quality of life while we are awake. Creating a healthy sleep environment is very important. Trained sales associates can help you evaluate the benefits of different materials, mattress firmness levels, and more. Take the time to choose wisely and consider investing in quality furniture that will support and enhance your health for many years.


Photograph provided by Herman Miller

The Renew Sit-to-Stand Work Tables allow for increased movement throughout the workday to enhance your well-being.

Next time you are in need of furniture, consider design, practicality, budget, comfort, and, of course, the impact your furniture will have on you and your family’s well-being. Create a home and workspace that supports good health and makes you smile. Katy Hylkema works at The Century House.

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The Century House-Gifts & Furniture 3029 University Avenue The Century House-Home & Office 3420 University Avenue Madison, WI 53705 608.233.4488



Blue Kitchen Kitchen Ideas Center

by Debbie Rabin

Having a plan and a builder, the clients needed only one more thing. After one year of searching, they finally found it in northern Dane County: the perfect lot to build their new home. They were ready to begin construction on their contemporary home with a European-style kitchen. The clients also knew the type of kitchen cabinets they wanted and found them quickly with the help of Rick Hoekstra, owner of Kitchen Ideas Center. They selected gloss-blue acrylic with an aluminum edge along with quartz countertops, and the Kitchen Ideas Center designers got to work. The cabinets have many large lower drawers to store dishes and cups, and a small number of upper cabinets. There is an emphasis on visual balance—not necessarily symmetry—with

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Aluminum-framed glass doors adorn the upper cabinetry.

Minimal use of wall cabinets allows for larger windows, with storage made up using drawers in the base cabinets.


There is an emphasis on strong horizontal and vertical lines, giving this kitchen a sleek European-style feel.

sleek, clean horizontal lines. The cooktop and the sink are located on the kitchen island. Large roller shutter windows were delivered from Europe as were the appliances. The result: a sense of airiness. Debbie Rabin is the Marketing Assistant at Kitchen Ideas Center. Photographs provided by Kitchen Ideas Center.

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Kitchen Ideas Center 2016 S. Stoughton Road Madison, WI 53718 608.222.3132

The center island boasts a wash sink, stove top, and island hood.

Quartz countertops are used to maximize the usable workspace.



Kitchen pendant lighting with a view of the Control4 Graphical User Interface (GUI).

An Automated Life

by Nick Hughes

Clutter: tasks and objects piling up in our lives, continuing to get in the way of family, friends, and hobbies. The explosion of internet-connected devices (the Internet of Things) has added yet another layer of complexity to our already busy lives. One of the best ways to manage the clutter and complexity these devices add is through home automation. 22 Additional photos at

Whether you realize it or not, automation has been a part of home life for decades. Maybe you’ve had a table lamp or holiday lights on a timer, a bathroom fan or heat lamp that turns off automatically, or an oven with a delayed start function so you can set it to be ready before you arrive home from work. Slowly but surely, we’ve come to a point

Desk with a Control4 portable touch screen. View of the east side of Madison.

View of entry hall from the kitchen bar. In-ceiling accent lighting is set to purple.

where almost everything in a home can be controlled by various applications, timers, or systems. J&K Smart Home is particularly proud of our recent Edgewater Condo project that highlights how to take myriad devices and bring them together in one easily HOME ELEMENTS & CONCEPTS 23

Wine room with integrated LED lighting in the shelving.

Utility room with panelized lighting controls.

controlled system. Connected devices shouldn’t get in the way of living, they should enhance the way we interact with our homes. Even though this project represents the pinnacle of a Control4 home automation system, you can start with a project that controls one television and expand the automation over time as you desire. The Edgewater Condo project focuses on the tight integration of HVAC, motorized window blinds, distributed audio, distributed video, security, access control, networking, and WiFi, all while hiding everything except the touchscreens that control the system. Two large rack enclosures house the equipment that turns this architectural work of art into a living, breathing space. 24 Additional photos at

Centralized equipment racks for the entire residence.

The real beauty and power of these integrated systems comes from scenes. A scene can take multiple button presses, several devices, and individual schedules into account. For instance, with a single press of a button you can dim the lights for dinner, start playing your favorite Pandora station, set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature, and control televisions throughout the house. Or you can set a scene to a schedule that activates a series of events automatically. Maybe when the temperature is below 40 degrees you would like the fireplace to turn on when your garage door opens upon arriving home from work after 5:00 p.m. The power of a scene is only limited by your imagination and integrated systems/devices. In the Edgewater project, lighting is a central feature. The large entry foyer has the option to control the color of the LED lighting in the ceiling. When the homeowners have

Kitchen Control4 In-Wall Touch Screen (7�) and the wine room thermostat.


Living room seating area with the Control4 GUI.

guests over for a Badger game, they can set it to red; if it’s St. Patrick’s day, they can set it to green. The interior lights turn on to different levels based on the time of day. When you flip on a switch after sunset, the lights ramp up to 75 percent instead of full brightness. When the homeowners enter the residence using the keypad at the front door, pathway lighting automatically turns on the foyer, hallway, and kitchen lights, allowing easy access right to the refrigerator with an armload of groceries. Some people find automation exciting, some people find it overwhelming, and some people just don’t know where to start. J&K Smart Home can walk alongside you in this

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process, helping to take the complication out of your life by making your home work for you. Nick Hughes is a System Designer in the Smart Home division of J&K Security Solutions. Photographs by Nick Hughes. J&K Security Solutions 1605 S. Park Street Madison, WI 53715 608.255.5799




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How and Why to Live With Sculpture by Theresa Abel

Most people I know have artwork on their walls in the forms of paintings, drawings, photos, and prints, and from my experience as a gallerist, fewer choose to live with sculpture and other forms of 3-D art. I’ve been wondering why that is and what barriers are keeping art lovers from bringing 3-D art into their environments. What exactly is 3-D art, why live with it, how does it work in our homes, and why is it important? Our homes are filled with many things, each serving a different purpose. Beds, sofas, sinks, and coffeemakers have obvious and specific jobs. Among our appliances, chairs, computers, televisions, and tables, we incorporate house plants, framed family photos, and souvenirs. Art also serves a purpose: it enriches our lives and occupies our space and minds like no other inanimate object we own. Consider how 3-D art differs from 2-D. The most obvious way is that 2-D is flat—it hangs on our walls and inhabits space that

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would otherwise go unused. When sculpture and other 3-D art occupies our space, it physically interacts with us, especially larger pieces. 3-D art can be sculpture, but it is also that oneof-a-kind piece of furniture, the handmade ceramic bowl that is the centerpiece of your dining table, as well as the handblown glass vase on your table. When beginning to purchase art, it can be easier at first to envision 3-D pieces with an obvious utility such as functional ceramics, glass, or wood, but once you start adding sculpture, you will wonder how you lived without it. Imagine removing all the paintings and framed pieces from your walls and leaving them empty. Sculpture adds another dimension to our homes that plays off the architecture and brings new materials and textures into a room. Sculptor Nana Schowalter says people who purchase her work are doing more than simply decorating their homes. “From my conversations with clients, the emphasis is on buying artwork that moves them in an intellectual, emotional, HOME ELEMENTS & CONCEPTS 29

and aesthetic manner. The decorator element is the result of having a collection that makes an overall statement of personal taste.” When speaking with people who consider buying sculpture, there are a few concerns I repeatedly hear. One of the biggest apprehensions is enough floor space to accommodate sculpture. Sculpture can replace other objects you currently own and are unused: extra chairs, the lamp we never turn on, a house plant. Artist Michael Schwegmann says, “Sometimes scale is an issue, but [it] turns out people have houses big enough, they just have ideas about how the space is used. Once they change their ideas about the space, then it can be easier for them to envision places for the sculptures.” Sometimes we have otherwise unused and unthought of space which can easily become a home for art: under windows, entryways, next to a fire place, and in a corner. Corners are

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great for displaying tall sculptures that can be set on the floor. Smaller works are easier to find room for on fireplace mantles, side tables, and shelves, and don’t forget a simple pedestal. A white pedestal, which is normal in a gallery or museum setting, may seem unconventional in your home, but it is often the best way to display 3-D work. Some people are concerned that art not hanging flat on a wall is more in danger of being damaged. Artists and gallerists think about this all the time and usually have suggestions on ways to secure work so that they cannot easily be knocked over. Galleries and museums use putties, hidden armatures, and other tricks to keep a work of art safe. Sculptures are often made of materials that are more resilient than paintings to direct sunlight, moisture, and temperature changes, leaving more options for placement. Most sculpture can be touched, so having it be the centerpiece of a dining room table or in a well-trafficked location is fine.

Why is living with art significant? Some of our most prized possessions can be art we choose to share our lives with. People who choose to live with original art have an intimate relationship with those objects that grows over time. Madison artist Lisa Gralnick says, “People who invest in art as a personal and cultural mission see it as far more important than simply a way to decorate their homes. They see it as a way to contribute to society and to ensure that important and meaningful art that testifies to our own time will be produced by artists. It’s an investment in a larger commodity of ideas, commentary, and discourse.”


Art affects us differently than anything else in our homes; its function is to interact. It may seem like a beautiful object simply adds harmony to a room, but it also connects us to our humanity and the universal impulse to create and live with art. For more information on the sculpture and artists shown in this article, contact us at Theresa Abel is an artist and owner/director of the Artisan Gallery, a fine art and fine craft gallery in Paoli. She studied painting at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Scuola Lorenzo de’ Medici, Florence Italy, receiving her BFA in 1991. Theresa works in oils and recently has been creating a body of work incorporating silver point drawing. Photographs by Michael Krakora, Krakora Studios. Artisan Gallery 6858 Paoli Road Paoli, WI 53508 608.845.6600

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The new bathroom is light and bright with a curbless entry into the shower. The mirror on the tub side is two-way glass and acts as a window in the toilet space.

From DRAB to FAB Turning your Bathroom into a Sanctuary by Lori Jolin

The trend over the last several years is to make the master bathroom more of an extension of the master bedroom, or an “on suite.” As a designer and contractor, I try to create a sanctuary for my clients that is a special “couple” space where the day begins, and a place to relax or unwind at the end of the day. People live differently today than they did years ago. In the 80s and 90s, everyone wanted a big jetted tub. It took up a lot of space and was rarely used. Now, clients are asking

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Before The old layout had the toilet facing the shower, and the shower had a curb to step over upon entry.

me to remove those tubs and build them a large walk-in shower with multiple options, such as body sprays, rain showers, and handheld sprays. I often recommend integrating a bench with a handheld shower, a curbless entry, and either a grab bar or blocking in the wall in case they need one later. Also, while the norm was to install vanities at 30 inches in height, most are now installed at 36 inches to the top of the countertop, easier on the back and neck muscles. However, Photograph by Lori Jolin Design


Photograph by Greg Sutter of Sutter Photography


Photograph by Greg Sutter of Sutter Photography

We installed new white painted woodwork and a solid wood, rain glass entry door.

The original bathroom had slippery, dark marble floors and a black cast-iron tub installed on a raised platform. Photograph by Lori Jolin Design

I have designed a few bathrooms where a couple’s height difference warranted a 30-inch vanity alongside a taller one. There are so many different product options for putting the style of the bathroom together that most people are overwhelmed. You can look online to get ideas, but working with an experienced designer helps to presort the multitude of choices in the market. A designer will help determine your wish list and style by asking the right questions. Once you determine your budget, the next part is coming up with a design that will knock your socks off! Before

It gets very cold in Wisconsin, so heated floors or a steam shower are wonderful in this climate. Some clients want

The renovated bathroom has beautiful faux wood porcelain floors. The platform was removed, and elegant wallpaper was installed as a focal point.

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Photograph by Greg Sutter of Sutter Photography


The large steam shower has a working transom window in the ceiling, allowing the light from the skylight to shine in day or night.


bathrooms with bidet toilets with all the bells and whistles or a toilet seat that glows in the dark, which can be used as a nightlight. There are multiple lighting options to choose from for day or evening which can be integrated into the design. If the bathroom is big enough for a shower and a tub, most of my clients want more of a soaking tub that is easy on the joints after a long day. A very basic bathroom can easily cost $25,000. A master bath suite with both a tub and a large shower can go up in price from there depending on the number of cabinets, the


Photograph by Lori Jolin Design


Photograph by Greg Sutter of Sutter Photography

The original entry into the shower had small 12-inch benches and a curb.

Photograph by Greg Sutter of Sutter Photography



price and quantity of the plumbing fixtures, if the plumbing locations are changing in the room, how much lighting needs to be rewired for the new layout, the complexity and price of the tile layout, and type of countertops. I try to put together a realistic budget for everything on the list and create that special sanctuary to enjoy every day. Lori Jolin is an Interior Designer/General Contractor and owner of Lori Jolin Design. Lori Jolin Design, llc. 608.221.2920

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30-inch-height laminate cabinets and countertops with Hollywood lighting. All white cabinets and walls.

Photograph by Lori Jolin Design

36-inch-height, solid wood, painted and glazed cabinets with quartz countertops, colorful paint, and new lighting.

Organic Bedding and Mattresses

home and baby A better way to live, naturally. • • 608-251-4905 • M-F 10-6, Sat. 10-5 6333 University Ave., Middleton, WI 53562



Energy Efficiency by Madison Gas and Electric

Technology is shaping the way we use energy in our homes—from energy-efficient LED lightbulbs to smart thermostats to electric vehicles charging in our garages. Being tech savvy takes a little research, but it also can pay off. Saving energy means more money in your wallet. It also

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means reduced carbon emissions and a cleaner planet for future generations. Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) is a community energy company committed to helping customers become more energy efficient. Under MGE’s Energy 2030 framework, we

Staying comfortable and saving energy in the summer is easier with a smart thermostat.

Look for new LED lamps that allow you to control the color range—from softer, warmer light to bright daylight.

are increasing renewable energy resources and working to further decrease carbon emissions. By working together, we can create a more sustainable energy future. Visit to stay informed about new technologies and ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency. MGE’s energy experts can help you start learning more about advancements in energy technology.

LED Lightbulbs LED bulbs consume up to 90 percent less energy than the incandescent bulbs many of us used for years. LED bulbs are widely available from multiple retailers. Yet some people pause in the store aisles, wondering which brand to purchase or which color to choose. MGE recommends that you purchase ENERGY STAR® certified bulbs to get the best assurance for quality and energy savings.


Look at the LED’s package label for “Lighting Facts.” It will show how warm or cool the bulb will appear as measured on the Kelvin scale (K). Lower Kelvin numbers mean the light appears more yellow; higher Kelvin numbers mean the light is more white or blue.

bulb will last about 1,000 hours. To save even more money, look for Wisconsin Focus on Energy instant discount stickers on select LED bulbs to get an in-store discount. Smart Thermostats

As for choosing the right color, consider your own preferences and where you plan to use the bulb. • 2200K to 3000K. Softer, warmer white light. Good for living areas as this tends to replicate the standard color of incandescent bulbs. • 3500K to 4100K. Neutral, cool white light. Good for kitchens and work spaces. • 5000K to 6500K. Daylight, pure white light. Good for task lighting or reading.

Thermostats are the command center to your home’s heating and cooling system. Smart thermostats are the most advanced. They can control the temperature in your home remotely via a smartphone, tablet, or computer. They also analyze data to automatically adjust how your home’s heating and cooling system operates for increased comfort and energy efficiency. Smart thermostats vary widely, so MGE experts recommend that you look for the specific features that may interest you. • Temperature alerts to avoid frozen pipes or overheating.

Take your time to pick the right color temperature because quality LEDs come with an estimated life of 15,000 to 25,000 hours. In contrast, a typical incandescent

You can control the temperature in your home via a smartphone or tablet with a smart thermostat.

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• Reporting on the cost to run your heating and cooling systems and coaching you on how to save more.

Smart thermostats can automatically adjust your home’s heating and cooling systems for increased energy efficiency.

• Detecting problems with heating and cooling systems (and notifying your contractor). • Learning your preferred settings and automatically scheduling temperature changes. • Remote sensors to improve comfort in rooms other than where the thermostat is located. Most smart thermostats cost about $150 to $250. You may also need to pay for installation. So how much can you save? Compared to leaving the thermostat at the same temperature all of the time, a smart thermostat could save between $40 and $100 per

heating season (natural gas) and between $10 and $30 per cooling season (electric). If you already set back your thermostat when you’re sleeping or gone, savings will be smaller. As part of our Energy 2030 framework, MGE is working with our customers to manage their energy use and cost through new technologies. Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging With EV options and sales on the rise, we know more people are deciding to plug in rather than gas up. EVs reduce gasoline use and tailpipe emissions, and electricity is less expensive per mile driven than gasoline or diesel fuel.


Electric vehicle sales jumped by 37 percent in 2016 compared to 2015.

Determining how you want to charge your EV at home may require a little research.

Charging your electric vehicle at home is made faster with a Level 2 charging unit, which requires a 240-volt outlet.

• Level 1 charging requires only an available 120-volt outlet and the cord and adapter that come with your EV. Depending on your driving patterns, Level 1 charging overnight may be all you need. • Level 2 charging is faster and often reduces your charging time by a half to a third. It requires a 240-volt outlet and a home charging system. You may need to hire a licensed electrician. Visit to learn about EV options, charging, and any special programs available to MGE customers. Someday, you may join those who plug in daily. Article and photographs provided by Madison Gas and Electric. Madison Gas and Electric

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3029 & 3420 university ave. madison 608.233.4488

Independent, locally owned businesses keep our economy strong. Shopping, dining, working, relaxing, whatever your needs,


Dane BUY



Custom Art GLASS by Denny Berkery

Many homeowners consider adding art glass into their home dÊcor to use color and natural light to create a conversation piece that will never go out of style. As a glass artist and store owner for almost 40 years, I have experienced every possible home and business scenario to seamlessly incorporate designs into the structure of a space. Some homeowners will create a booklet of drawings of what they are looking for before meeting with an artist while others Great Blue Heron–private residence

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Art Nouveau

Round Morning Glory

have a space they want to place work but need to be inspired by the right piece. Designs and color combinations are almost limitless. Art glass windows are very popular. They can be placed in entryways, sidelights, transom windows (above doors), bathroom windows, kitchen cabinet doors, and interior openings in walls between rooms. Often, the age and style of a home will provide clues to the type of art glass piece that will work best. Giving thought to space before meeting with an artist will make your experience less overwhelming.


What to Consider Before Creating the Final Design • Take time to research images available on the internet. • Look first at the line art of a design before choosing colors. • Consider texture and density of glass, as well as color. • As you review color choices, ask the artist to suggest a palette of colors derived from your discussion. • Once a color palette is agreed upon, ask the artist if they would be willing to cut out a portion of the window for you to view.

Prairie Style

Abstract–private residence

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Morning Glory

Old Pattern–Victorian

Installation • An artist will either assist with installation or refer you to a professional installer.

The Vinery 1422 MacArthur Road Madison, WI 53714 608.271.2490

• It’s very important that you determine the exact size of the art glass prior to final product construction. It’s always much easier to measure twice. Following these easy steps should help you be more comfortable with the process of creating custom art glass for your home. Denny Berkery is the owner of The Vinery. Photographs by Denny Berkery.


– Advertiser index Avid Gardener 27 The Century House 45 The Company Store 5 Creative Energy Designs 17 Dane Buy Local 45 Dane County Humane Society 51 Dream House Dream Kitchens 2

45 Garden Search & Rescue 33 Iconi Interiors & Consignment 33 Keleny Top Soil, Inc. 27 Kitchen Ideas Center 17 Lori Jolin Design, llc. 33 Monroe Street Framing 17 Pieces Unimagined 5 Rivendell DesignWorks 5 Satara Home and Baby 39 UW Credit Union 52 Vault Interiors & Design 39 Wild Birds Unlimited 27 Farwell Pools & Spas

Enter the – Drawing to Win

Win a $150 gift certificate for a 2 hour garden design consultation including follow-up email summary. Enter by submitting your name, mailing address, phone number, and email at, or by mail to:

Winner Thank you to everyone who entered our previous drawing. A $150 Garden Search & Rescue Gift Certificate was sent to David Marks of Madison.

Congratulations! 50 Additional photos at

Home Elements & Concepts c/o Towns & Associates, Inc. 126 Water Street Baraboo, WI 53913 All entries will be entered into a drawing. Deadline is June 12, 2017.

Good Luck!


Start Your Project Make Your Project Happen with Reduced Rates and No Closing Costs*

Home Equity Offers INTRO RATE FOR 12 MONTHS




Variable Rate Line of Credit1




Variable Rate after Intro Period1

Visit or stop by a branch today.

*APR is annual percentage rate. Rates are subject to change. The minimum loan amount is $5,000. The one-time charge of $149 that applies to newly booked HELOCs due at closing is waived through September 30, 2017, except appraisal costs or title insurance, if required. Member is responsible for appraisal costs ranging from $400 to $600, if required. Property insurance is required. Promotional rates are for fixed home equity loan segments and new home equity line requests received between 3/1/17 – 9/30/17 and closed within 30 days of request. Rates shown are for homeowners with 70% loan-to-value. 1 The introductory rate of 1.99% APR is valid for new UW Credit Union home equity line of credit requests received between 3/1/17 – 9/30/17 and closed within 30 days of request and is valid for homeowners with up to 70% loan-to-value (LTV). Intro rate is 2.49% APR for up to 80% LTV, 2.99% for 90% LTV and 5.99% for up to 100% LTV. APR will be fixed at the introductory rate during the 12-month introductory period. No annual fees. Offer is subject to normal credit qualifications. Rates are subject to change but cannot exceed 18%. Some restrictions may apply. After the twelve-month introductory period, the rate is indexed to The Wall Street Journal Prime. APR is subject to change monthly but cannot exceed 18%, and the APR will never fall below 3.99% for HELOC 70%, 4.49% for HELOC 80%, 4.99% for HELOC 90% or 7.99% for HELOC 100%. During the introductory and 5-year draw periods, the minimum monthly payment for HELOC 70%, HELOC 80% and HELOC 90% will be (a) $50 or (b) the accrued interest on the outstanding balance under the agreement as of the close of the billing cycle, whichever is greater. The minimum monthly payment for HELOC 100% will be (a) $100 or (b) 1.5% of the outstanding balance, whichever is greater. However, if you exceed the maximum principal loan balance allowed under your agreement, you will also be required to pay an amount sufficient to reduce your principal loan balance to the maximum principal loan balance allowed under the agreement. Balances of less than $100.00 must be paid in full. Late payment fee: $10 or 5% of your monthly payment, whichever is less.

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Home Elements & Concepts—May-July 2017  
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