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Jerry Schmidt Dream Team Sales

Keven Schmidt Director of Design

Your kitchen is the heart and soul of your home, and this year you’re determined to surprise your friends and family and give them a dining experience they will remember for years.

5117 Verona Road | Madison, WI 53711 | 608-204-7575



Photograph provided by Ageless Concrete

publisher Towns & Associates, Inc. 126 Water Street Baraboo, WI 53913-2445 p 608.356.8757 • f 608.356.8875 editor-in-chief Amy S. Johnson publication designer Barbara Wilson senior copy editor Kyle Jacobson copy editor Krystle Naab sales & marketing director Amy S. Johnson sales & marketing manager Kelly Hopkins graphic designers Jennifer Denman, Crea Stellmacher, Linda Walker


Mixing the Highs and Lows


lowbrow and highbrow culture are hard to define and might seem hard to mix in your home’s interior, but done right, it can be very chic


The Road Home


focusing on housing solutions for families


administration Jennifer Baird, Sandy Carlson, Lori Czajka

The Chicken Coop: Movin’ on Up

contributing writers Theresa Abel, Aaron Kinas, Karina Mae, Kristin Rucinski, Chris Schmidt, Dondi Szombatfalvy, Susan Troller, Cindy Weichbrod


photographs Action Outdoor Kitchen, A&J Photography, Bella Domicile, Heather Bullard, Cabinet City, CLUCK the Chicken Store, The Galley, Garden Search & Rescue, Aaron Kinas, ORG, The Road Home, Eric Tadsen


moving from the back of the barnyard to being the centerpiece of the urban, suburban, and hobby-farm backyard

Before: An Exterior Makeover


loving your yard is something everyone should do

Photograph by ORG

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 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. ©2018 No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written permission by the publisher, Towns & Associates, Inc.

Watch for the next issue August 2018. Cover photograph provided by Action Outdoor Kitchen.


Changing the Game in the Kitchen


combine your prep space, cooking space, serving space, and cleanup space all in one compact unit while freeing up other counter space for entertaining

Cooking Out: Modern Wisconsin Style


outdoor living areas are the most popular special function area for both new construction and existing home renovation

The Foundation of Quality


a great outdoor living space is not created overnight, and unique challenges present themselves with every project

It’s Not Just Where You Park Your Car


your garage can be a fun, versatile, and functioning room for your home

4 Advertiser Index 50 From The Editor


from the editor Similar to the change in our activities, spring and summer months turn our attention to the outdoor areas of our homes. During the warmer months, many of us spend more time outside, so we want those spaces to be as comfortable as those indoors and for them to carry through on our design preferences. A common interest in warmer weather: cooking out. Whether you enjoy entertaining friends or simply want a peaceful escape, the incorporation of equipment, structure, and design determines how you’ll achieve the feeling you’re looking for in your outdoor space. We present an exterior makeover that points out the importance of attention to our outdoor spaces. In this issue, you’ll see the before images of a project and learn the homeowner’s goals and resulting contractor plans to achieve them. And then you’ll see and read the results of the project in our next issue. Many outdoor spaces start with a foundation. Creating a quality foundation upon which you build your dream space is essential in your long-term enjoyment. Our expert provides you with tips in finding the right contractor for you, and how to make sure you are an integral part of the process. Often forgotten, the possibilities for your garage are endless. Much more than just a cluttered storage area and shelter for your car, your garage can be beautiful and become one of your most useful working spaces. Check out our expert’s ideas for you. The popularity of chicken coops has increased dramatically, and they’ve moved into the suburbs. No longer drab wire and wood structures, they can be impressively designed to become part of your landscape. Not ignoring the ongoing importance of our interiors, we also pass along some incredible design and function ideas for your kitchen sink area, and we once again have some great thoughts on how to incorporate a variety of art into any room in your home. And we feature another impressive organization devoted to housing, The Road Home, because while we focus our attention on creating the homes we want to live in, it’s important to remember that there are others who are simply wishing for a home in which to live.

Amy Johnson 4 Additional photos at

Ceiling Fans For Any Space 6701 Watts Rd., Madison



U shaped outdoor kitchen.

Cooking Out MODERN WISCONSIN STYLE by Cindy Weichbrod

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In a recent survey, the American Institute of Architects found that outdoor living areas are the most popular special function area for both new construction and existing home renovation. An outdoor living area, typically centered around an outdoor kitchen, greatly expands the useful space of your home while providing a fun and functional area for family and friends to congregate. Across the country, outdoor kitchens have become a backyard fixture. We hope to make the planning process clearer for you while introducing an innovative

L shaped outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor kitchen in progress with concrete countertop.

way to incorporate natural-looking cement structures into your overall plan and making your outdoor kitchen Wisconsin-winter proof. When designing the area, you should consider the size and location of your patio, deck, or other flat space, as well as think about the following points. • Is the proposed kitchen footprint proportional to the existing space?


Coyote Grill, stainless cabinet and warmer.

• Is there ample space surrounding the kitchen so the design does not interfere with normal outdoor traffic patterns? • If adding to an existing deck, are you considering the weight of the structure and looking at lighter-weight alternatives as opposed to traditional masonry? • How many people will be using it under normal circumstances? • What type of grill burner configuration makes the most sense for the number of residents and guests being fed? • Which of the most common outdoor kitchen shapes will work best in your space: straight, L shaped, or U shaped?

U shaped bar.

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Tree pergola with dining island.

Not all appliances can withstand the six months of extreme temperature, moisture, and freeze-thaw conditions of Wisconsin each year. But a lesser-known outdoor appliance brand, Coyote Outdoor Living, offers a full range of highquality products, such as grills, smokers, side-burners, outdoor-rated refrigerators, sinks, doors, and drawers, that do. Features that make Coyote a practical and affordable luxury product choice are: • All products are built with premium grade-304 stainless steel. • Double-walled, stainless-steel grill hoods. • Independent burner ignition systems. • Continuous weld on grill boxes with seamless edges.

• Interior grill lighting. • Heat control grids. • Cast stainless-steel burners. • Zinc-nickel alloy knobs. • Lifetime warranty on burners and exteriors. ​ Just as important as appliances, you’ll want to ensure your whole outdoor kitchen structure will survive harsh Wisconsin winters. Many outdoor kitchens are built with subpar materials that are not designed for the outdoors, while others use construction techniques, such as stone veneers, that are highly susceptible to failure when exposed to freeze-thaw environments.


Custom concrete countertop.

ClifRock, a material incorporating a frameless panel construction system made from a polymeric, microfiber, reinforced, high-performance concrete, is the perfect choice for Wisconsin’s climate. This unique product will not crack or chip under harsh freeze-thaw conditions, is lighter than traditional masonry, and can be formed to take on incredible natural configurations mimicking tree trunks and branches or natural stone formations that one would see in waterfalls and cliffs. It’s stronger than masonry and hand painted to achieve amazing natural effects. The possibilities are endless! When considering an outdoor kitchen, it’s important to consider potential property or yard disruption, which

L shaped outdoor kitchen with concrete countertop.

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Outdoor kitchen and firepit.

makes the installation process lengthier. Many installations require heavy machinery to prepare a foundation for your kitchen, resulting in significant property disruption, with timelines that stretch for weeks or even months. The ClifRock system can be built on most stable surfaces without the need to pour a footer, and they can easily be built on a well-constructed deck. This means your outdoor kitchen installation—from start to finish—can often be completed in just two days. Less property disruption and mess means less stress, and you can begin using the kitchen immediately. Lastly, you will want an outdoor kitchen that looks as good as it is functional. Most customers are looking for a masonry look, but they don’t want the cost, weight, construction time, and upkeep of a masonry installation. ClifRock stone panels provide the traditional look of stone without the added cost or weight of traditional methods. A variety of timeless stone profiles, such as ledge rock, random rock, as well as a barn wood option, are available and give the homeowner a fully customizable design that will be unique to their home. Always schedule an in-person evaluation meeting with your designer/installer so they can walk you through the elements to consider and come up with the right shape and size for the finished project that will become an integral part of your outdoor lifestyle. Cindy Weichbrod is an outdoor kitchen designer and owner of Action Outdoor Kitchen. Photographs provided by Action Outdoor Kitchen. View additional photographs at Action Outdoor Kitchen 2326 Daniels Street, Suite C Madison, WI 53718 608.221.4755

Small L shaped outdoor kitchen.


Photograph provided by CLUCK the Chicken Store


This coop, owned by Jean O’Neil of Verona, was built using architectural plans created by California designer/blogger Heather Bullard.

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Photograph provided by CLUCK the Chicken Store

Working together, Brian and Katie Sweeney of Mount Horeb designed and built this poultry palace for their five backyard hens, who celebrated Christmas with stockings on the coop.


Chicken Coop

Movin’ on Up by Susan Troller

With playful names like Coop de Ville, Cluckingham Palace, and Chez Poulet, the once lowly chicken coop has new cachet, moving from the back of the barnyard to being the centerpiece of the urban, suburban, and hobby-farm backyard.

who has worked in construction, including home building, for decades. “Just like in home building, a chicken coop has to be practical and durable. And you need to add elements that keep your chickens safe, healthy, and happy,” he says.

A well-crafted chicken coop can do much more than simply provide secure shelter for a small flock of happy hens—the feathered pets who make our breakfast. It can provide a focal point for the landscape, a destination for a garden path, or a magical little house in a small child’s imagination. And though there are plenty of practical aspects a chicken coop must address, there’s something about designing a little backyard home for chickens that often brings out the creative and whimsical spirit in even the most down-toearth builders.

As a longtime chicken keeper himself, Rindy has lots of experience making coops that are practical and safe by including proper ventilation, adequate room, and strong hardware and wire to foil predators. He also believes a chicken coop should be built to last by using high-quality materials and a cabinetmaker’s attention to detail.

Plans for Heather Bullard’s Chez Poulet coop are available online here: /2011/06/chez-poulet -coop-plans.

Photograph by Heather Bullard

Rod Rindy, who builds some of the coops that CLUCK the Chicken Store sells, is an experienced carpenter

In addition, Rindy enjoys adding playful elements that make a coop charming and unique. For example, his coops often include a flower box under the window or stencils of chickens on the doors, hand-painted by his wife, Sandy. He even includes a chicken swing to keep chickens, and their owners, entertained.


Long before she had chickens, Jean O’Neil fell in love with a chicken coop she saw on Pinterest called Chez Poulet, designed by California chicken keeper and home décor blogger Heather Bullard. The white coop features a cupola, elegant black hardware, and details that suggest a miniature French chateau. “I think I’ve always loved the notion of diminutive things, and so the idea of a little, perfect house for chickens as part of my backyard garden was very appealing,” Jean says. CLUCK the Chicken Store ordered a complete set of architectural drawings from Heather Bullard, and put Jean in touch with carpenter Tim Taylor, who built the coop and helped make arrangements for necessary landscape work before installing it in Jean’s garden. She has been thrilled with the result, and loves being a chicken keeper. “I love the birds, and I absolutely love looking out the window every day at that coop. You know, Martha Stewart

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Photograph provided by CLUCK the Chicken Store

“You gotta remember that people take pride in their homes and their yards,” Rindy says. “They should be able to take pride in their chicken coop as well. And they’re doing this hobby for fun, so the coop should be fun too.”

Photograph provided by CLUCK the Chicken Store

Red coop with VW: Sue Foley designed this cheerful red and white chicken coop and had it built by a carpenter/ artist friend. It provided a beautiful, practical home in Mount Horeb for her pretty flock of backyard chickens.

has chickens and some really beautiful coops. This makes me feel a little like Martha,” Jean laughs. “It’s the best money I ever spent.” As a 25th anniversary present, Sue Foley’s husband told her to hire a local carpenter/artist to build a coop that she designed herself. “Best gift I ever received!” And although she and her husband have now downsized and moved from the house and yard where she created her dream coop, Foley has fond memories of the experience. “I was so pleased with the design … having backyard chickens

When Katie and Brian Sweeney began planning for their small flock of backyard chickens in Mount Horeb, they looked at lots of premade coops but decided they wanted something specific for their needs and desires. The couple found a coop design online they really liked, and then tweaked it to fit their space and meet their needs. A fairly accomplished carpenter, Brian says that the framing was fairly basic, but details on doors and trim work were more challenging. Brian’s advice to would-be chicken coop builders? “Allow yourself plenty of time because it always takes longer than you think. It will also probably cost more than you initially

estimate. Having it large enough so you can walk inside is really helpful for maintenance and cleaning.” The Sweeneys live in a neighborhood where the houses are close together, so they were pleased that their neighbors reacted enthusiastically to the idea of chickens. “Ahead of time they were so excited about the project. We even had some neighbors stop by and compliment us as we were building, telling us how it was a great addition to the neighborhood. Because we live in houses that are close together, having a coop that’s visually attractive is an important part of being a good neighbor,” Brian says. Artist Jane Varda wanted a horse for her birthday, but in 2012, her husband gave her chickens and a beautiful rustic coop instead. She’s more than happy about the switch, discovering artistic inspiration, as well as a sense of peace and delight, from her pretty flock of heritage breed hens.

Birds of a feather flock together at Brian and Katie Sweeney’s custom designed chicken coop in Mount Horeb.

Photograph provided by CLUCK the Chicken Store

was the most wonderful, enjoyable, and fulfilling hobby I ever had and probably will ever have had. I wouldn’t change a thing.”


Photograph provided by CLUCK the Chicken Store

Rod and Sandy Rindy build these walk-in coops for sale at CLUCK the Chicken Store in Paoli, Wisconsin. The coops are available with a flower box, chicken stencils and even a chicken swing.

Jane says it’s a great pleasure to spend time at the coop, watching the chickens go about their business of pecking, scratching, and interacting with the natural world and each other. “I can go and sit for hours in or near the run, watching the light change and observing the chickens as they do the things that chickens do. It’s extremely peaceful as you watch them move about, with one eye on the ground and the other eye on the sky. Chickens are curious, and they’re also very honest, not terribly sentimental. They are such old souls, almost prehistoric really.”

Susan Troller is the owner at CLUCK the Chicken Store. View additional photographs at

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Photograph provided by CLUCK the Chicken Store

As such, chickens remind us to focus on timeless things, like the seasons and the changing light during each day. “Chickens are a great antidote to the anxieties of the human world,” Jane says. “They help keep you sane.”

DECK RAILINGS ARE FENCES, TOO! Deck railings provide safety and beauty. This contemporary home deserved a modern-looking railing to complement its design. Aluminum was the top choice. We can cut, bend and weld this material to accommodate almost any situation. If you look at our website, you’ll see we do more than railings.

608.849.4654 801 South Division Street, Waunakee, WI 53597





by Karina Mae

Our homes are our spaces, and our yards should be an extension. Loving your yard is something everyone should do whether it’s from the window while you wash dishes or when you wander from your parked car to the front door. Many of us have more diverse intentions or requests from our taxable green space, but there is a way to make this a reality on any budget for any size yard. Sometimes all we need is a place to land.

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The decision for an entire exterior makeover was not one that took long to make, but it wasn’t on the client’s to-do list. The interior of this spacious and family-friendly home was a great fit to the new owners, but, sadly, the yard was not. Our initial meeting was called because the clients wanted to plant a tree. They desired a more functional yard for learning, growing, and gathering, and felt that privacy would bring that. I wholeheartedly agreed, but not with their approach. One quick tour of the yard and my list was long: the fence was rotting and in serious disarray, the siding was washed out, the trim was chipping and pealing, there were sizeable water issues that led to much foundation and basement concerns, and the kids space (the trampoline) sat literally right on top of the only patio space available. Not to mention the new family dog needed a space he could both share and demolish with dog-like behavior.

A few questions in it became apparent the family wanted much more out of this yard. The kids needed play space, the adults dreamed of a place to relax, and the daughter had a lengthy list of flowers and food she wanted to grow. I saw the need for a quiet space for morning coffee all the way to a comfortable place to entertain guests at the grill. Being in such proximity to schools and bus lines, the home always has some people traffic, and we agreed we all wanted to see a more secluded area while providing an open and inviting feel to all whom entered, including those who just strolled past. The home is situated on a corner, and the layout of the usable green space spread around the home in roughly a U shape. This provided varied areas of shade and sun, and also left some gaps in how the flow of the yard went—things like no path from the front door to anywhere in the yard.


The property had several understory trees that were of healthy size and the client had already visited the nursery many times the season before, so we had lots of existing things to work with. New to the home, the clients wanted to create something they could enjoy and that was equally highly desirable when they wanted to sell. Budget concerns were always present, but as an investment, this particular case was made special as the clients agreed to take out a small home equity loan to behoove the overall property. We found it was a challenge to sort out what needed attention the most and discovered quickly that the clients would be happiest if they could enjoy it in the short term instead of budgeting for the long term. We started work on a chilly April morning and things happened fast. I assumed the position of designer and overall planner while my team at Garden Search & Rescue helped with construction preparations and landscape maintenance. Qual Line Fence tore down and replaced the old fence, assisting with a specially designed gate and some screens for privacy outside the kitchen window. Jason Higbie with Higbie Perfection Painting started immediately on the repair and painting of the siding and trim, and John Leonard of Star Valley Landscape tore out

the old patio and brought in the heavy equipment. We chose a new house color, trim color, patio stone, layout, and more. We expanded the fence line and built retaining walls where needed. We fixed grade, alleviated the water issues, and designed a unique gate. We built a new back deck and structure for the patio with Bob Matty of The Madison Handyman. The summer was long and muddy, but the results were stunning, and all the neighbors agreed it was needed. By August, we were delivering furniture and decorating with planters. A garden takes time to grow, and plans take time to complete, but starting with a vision is always needed. At Garden Search & Rescue, we believe all yards can be great for you, and we’re happy to help you get there. The after edition of this transformation will print later in 2018. Karina Mae is the owner/designer at Garden Search & Rescue. Photographs provided by Garden Search & Rescue. View additional photographs at

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REMODELED HOMES TOUR Sunday MAY 20 • 9:30am–4:30pm More info at

Walk inside newly remodeled homes throughout the area and talk with the NARI professionals who created them. TZ of Madison, Inc.

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsors

Purchase tickets at any tour site the day of the tour. HOME ELEMENTS & CONCEPTS 21


The FOUNDATION of Quality by Aaron Kinas

It’s an amazing scene as you step onto your neighbor’s new patio—you feel like you’re at the posh lounge of a five-star resort. The stamped concrete has an elegant stone look, and the whole area is lit with warm, amber luminescence. It hits you: I need a patio space like this! Your head swims with the what-ifs and how-tos. What elements do I include? Where would I place everything? How long will the whole process take? What are the costs? Where do I start to find a concrete contractor who will make my vision a reality? A great outdoor living space is not created overnight, and unique challenges present themselves with every project.

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You will need a partner—a professional contractor who will ensure that your expectations are considered and met. We recommend that you talk to a few different contractors to find the one right for you. The first question to ask yourself when creating an outdoor living space is how will you use your patio space? Do you envision a cozy space for your morning coffee? Are you an entertainer who loves to host friends and family? Do you cook out year-round? Are large-scale events in the future? Building a patio may seem basic, but when you create an outdoor living space, you’re often combining multiple home elements into one open space. Outdoor kitchen features,

dining areas, and living areas must flow together seamlessly and concisely, just as they do in your interior spaces. As you can imagine, the options can seem a bit overwhelming. The process can be simplified by breaking it down into steps that guide you toward your perfect outdoor living environment. Allow yourself to be creative, and, with the help of a good concrete contractor, your vision can be transformed into an outdoor space that will become as timeless as your memories. • Create a personal patio wish list. • Establish a realistic target budget.


• Agree on design, layout, timing, and cost. • Break ground on your project start date. • Contact with your contractor throughout the project is important. • Enjoy your new patio! The fact is concrete is the strongest, most durable, and environmentally safe product on the construction market.

As with all building and construction projects, the foundation of every quality endeavor is the concrete itself. At Ageless Concrete, we start all our patio projects with four-inch-thick, reinforced, colored, and stamped concrete. There are right ways and wrong ways to do any job. Patios are no different. A systematic approach ensures the production of ultra-high-quality concrete products that will stand the test of time. Stamped concrete’s origins are similar to those of traditional concrete. Traditional concrete is typically used for city sidewalks, driveways, and super highways. Stamped concrete differs by a few key factors which transform boring grey concrete into custom concrete creations. • Integral color is added throughout the concrete for durable, ​long-lasting, and fade-resistant results. • Natural stamp patterns are imprinted into the surface of wet concrete to impart the look of slate, stone, wood, and more. • Antiquing colors are added to the surface of concrete. These additional colors bring the concrete to life and make it ageless.

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• Two coats of sealer with traction additive are applied (semigloss glow, maximum protection, nonslippery). Since stamped concrete is available in a wide range of patterns and colors which replicate the natural look of stone, slate, brick, wood planks, and more, the thought of picking out patterns and colors can seem daunting. Let your concrete contractor advise you on choosing the patterns and color combinations that will best accent your home’s existing exterior or other existing landscape elements. Take the time to look at images of other projects to get ideas and share them with your contractor. Colored and stamped concrete patios are handcrafted, one-of-a-kind pieces of functional art. The list of different features that can be incorporated includes fire features, seat walls, low-voltage lighting, kitchen elements, pergolas, and raised planters.

The most popular fire features are woodburning, block fire pits because they are budget friendly and offer a classic look. If you prefer not to smell like a campfire every time you spend an evening outdoors, some type of gas-burning fire feature will better suit your needs. Gas-burning fire features provide a brilliant fire without the sparks, smoke, or work of woodburning fires. Many people enjoy the convenience of being able to turn their fire on and off as well. Adding a seat wall provides ample seating for your guests around the fire. It’s a great way to eliminate the need for excess furniture and clutter on the patio. Bookending the seat walls with slightly taller pillars topped with natural limestone caps creates a finished look. To really make your patio pop, hit the lights! Low-voltage, LED lighting systems are a great way to add warm ambiance to your outdoor living space. At Ageless Concrete, we


recommend downlights that are incorporated into the seat walls and pillars. Downlights provide indirect lighting for your patio area, which is far superior to obnoxious floodlights. You can illuminate pathways, light up your trees and other established plants, and create a total scene that adds light to your outdoor life. Do you love Wisconsin summer evenings but hate the mosquitoes? Installing a lighting system that combines low-voltage LED lights with a patented mosquito-repellent technology can create a mosquito-free sanctuary around your outdoor living space. You no longer have to douse your family in chemicals to enjoy an evening by the fire. The outdoors is yours!

Granite, stone, and custom concrete countertops can be a part of your one-of-a-kind outdoor space. The process can be overwhelming, and ultimate success lies in the details. Demand a high level of customer service and consistent communication from your contractor. You deserve to know exactly what to expect during every phase of the creation of your functional work of art that will last a lifetime. Aaron Kinas is the owner of Ageless Concrete, a Marine Corps Veteran-owned business comprised of skilled designers and concrete artisans who possess the expertise, drive, and passion to create functional works of art that stand the test of time. Photographs by Aaron Kinas.

With so many options in outdoor cooking and food storage elements, such as gas grills, side-burners, Big Green Eggs, wood-fired pizza ovens, outdoor sinks, fridges, and built-in bars, it’s important to have a contractor who will build to suit.

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Dinner at The Galley Buffet

CHANGING the Game in the Kitchen by Dondi Szombatfalvy Different homes need different things to improve the kitchen. Some homes need new cabinets, more modern appliances, new flooring, the addition of a kitchen island, etc. But almost every homeowner can relate to the phrase, “I need more counter space!� There never seems to be enough. An innovative, American-made design product called The Galley Workstation will do just that: combine your prep space, cooking space, serving space, and

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cleanup space all in one compact, versatile unit while freeing up other counter space for entertaining. The Galley Workstation is a multitiered, multifunctional sink. But this sink is a chopping block, vegetable cleaning and prep area, beverage service station, and buffet serving station all in one. Because the design includes only one drain (as opposed to the standard two-drain design of

Washing vegetables on the Gray Resin workstation.

Photograph provided by The Galley

Photograph provided by The Galley

Photograph provided by Bella Domicile

most sinks), there is less plumbing below and more storage space available. Many Galley Workstation owners like to put a recycling center, tall item storage, or even drawers in the space that is gained with only one drain. Most standard sinks are three-feet wide. Galley Workstations are available in custom widths up to seven feet, but the most popular sizes are the four-foot and five-foot

Kitchen remodel by Bella Domicile & Cushman Construction, LLC showcasing a 5’ Galley Workstation.


Photograph provided by The Galley

IWS 6 Buffet with Bamboo option.

Photograph provided by The Galley

widths. With a five-foot-wide station, there is space for two functioning workstations, which really lends itself to family meal prep and larger-scale entertaining. Cost for installation, of course, depends on the existing structure of the kitchen, but an average of $1,000 per foot is a good starting point for budgeting. People have always liked to hang out in the kitchen, but sometimes that’s stressful for the cook. The Galley Workstation makes it a fun and interactive space for gathering around the total meal experience.

Dual-tier walnut chef block.

Style options include single- or double-bowl sinks, apron front (otherwise known as farmhouse style), and undermount. The units are constructed from 16-gauge, top-quality stainless steel, and can be installed in granite, quartz, and wood countertops (not in laminate counters). Installation time is no longer than for any standard sink. The station can include Culinary Kit accessory packages, providing cutting boards in various materials, colanders, knife blocks, dish drying racks, serving bowls, condiment

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Photograph provided by The Galley

IWS 4 in the White Culinary Kit.

Photograph provided by The Galley

serving boards, garnish boards, and more. The clever design allows for cutting boards to be used in multiple levels, and special dry dock extenders can further increase counter space to cover the top of the dishwasher. Galley Workstations can be used in other areas of the home too. They make great fish cleaning stations in the garage, or wet bars in outdoor kitchens. The most frequent feedback that Bella Domicile receives from clients who have installed a Galley Workstation in their kitchen is that it has not only made the details of food prep, service, and cleanup easier, but it has completely changed Graphite wash sink.


the way that their family cooks together and enjoys each other in the kitchen. And it makes entertaining friends and family easier and less daunting in their busy schedules. Galley Workstation owners remain excited about their purchases long after the shiny newness has worn off.

Multipurpose basin in Graphite.

The Galley Workstation may be a small detail in the grand scheme of your kitchen design, but it is a game changer that will improve your lifestyle on a daily basis.

View additional photographs at

Photograph provided by The Galley

Dondi Szombatfalvy is a Lead Designer at Bella Domicile.

Photograph provided by The Galley

IWS 7 with Bamboo Culinary Kit.

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The decision to remodel your kitchen is a BIG one...

We make it as easy as possible, after all, it’s all about YOU!


Photograph by Eric Tadsen


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by Theresa Abel

I have owned an art gallery for many years. In addition to selling art, we offer the services of delivery, installation, and design consulting. On one of these visits many years ago to deliver and install a new painting, the person showing me around their home commented on another painting they owned. This one was older, in a wide silver and mirrored frame: a tropical landscape with a flamingo—think Miami 1950s. The homeowner explained she had purchased it at an antique shop and said, “I know I’m not supposed to like this sort of thing, but I do. My serious art friends will hate it.” What she meant was that painting would be considered lowbrow art. The term highbrow connotes high culture and intellectualism, and even though it might have been popularized over one hundred years ago, people can still be intimidated when choosing art and objects for their home, concerned about their taste viewed through the eyes of visitors. Hiring interior decorators, architects, and

Photograph by Eric Tadsen

Mixing the Highs and LOWS


other design professionals for advice is a prudent idea, but it’s important to bring your own predilections, even the quirky ones, into the mix.

Photograph by Eric Tadsen

Lowbrow and highbrow culture are hard to define and might seem hard to mix in your home’s interior, but done right, it can be very chic. My friend Molly effortlessly mixes new and old, serious and kitsch in her Madison lakeside home. She and her husband, Brian, have filled their home with objects, art, and furniture that reflect their interests and obsessions, decorating with a sense of style and humor. They have artwork by well-respected contemporary artists in the same room as thrift or antique store discoveries. Seeing objects collected from antique shops, thrift stores, and yard sales in such a well-appointed dwelling reminds me that the best interiors are intrepid, not taking themselves too seriously. Molly and Brian have renovated and updated parts of their home, which is filled with contemporary furniture and present-day art. Mixing in vintage furniture and art, including their collection of 1950s nautical paintings, pays homage to their home’s history as well as their own interest in the culture and objects of midcentury America. There are many reasons we choose the art and objects that fill our homes. A love of art and research into the artists who made the works you collect is gratifying, but does not mean you can’t mix in collections of oddities, works by unknown artists, sentimental pieces, and family treasures. Don’t be afraid to purchase that art object you are genuinely attracted to just because you think it isn’t serious art.

Photograph by Eric Tadsen

At my gallery, I talk to a lot of people purchasing original, contemporary art for the first time. They can finally afford

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Photograph by Eric Tadsen Photograph provided by Homeowner

a piece from an artist whose work they may have admired for years, or were suddenly struck by something never seen before that they can’t live without. Sometimes they’re afraid to purchase art they love because they worry their house isn’t impressive enough. Will it mix well with other objects in the house? Homes don’t have to look like perfect stage sets. If we learn to trust our taste and inclinations—surrounding ourselves with art and objects we are naturally attracted to—things will fall into place. Go ahead and buy that contemporary sculpture. Put it next to the painting of the harlequin you love because you inherited it from your grandmother who always hung it in her living room. The taxidermy squirrel from your husband’s father on the fireplace mantle will look just fine by that abstract painting from the local gallery.


Photograph by Eric Tadsen

Our homes are not show places—they’re our sacred place where we should feel the most relaxed. They’re reflections of who we are—the side of us that enjoys visits to the museum and foreign cinema, as well as the person who grew up enamored of 50s television and watches football on the weekends. Chances are if you create an environment you are comfortable in, others will be too. Theresa Abel is an artist and owner/director of the Abel Contemporary 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. View additional photographs at

Photograph by Eric Tadsen

Abel Contemporary Gallery 6858 Paoli Road Paoli, WI 53508 608.845.6600

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It’s Not Just


Park Your Car

by Chris Schmidt

When most homeowners think about the largest room in their house, the living room, family room, or kitchen are frequently the first spaces to come to mind. Actually, if one were to measure square footage, the room that wins this contest would be the garage. Most people are not in the habit of using the words “room” and “garage” in the same sentence, but innovations in flooring, cabinet materials and design, and storage accessories and systems are making it possible for your garage to be more than just a catchall for the debris of living. Your garage can be a fun, versatile, and functioning room for your home. Another concept homeowners are not accustomed to is design for the garage. What usually happens is that the clutter and excess from other rooms of the house and from outdoor seasonal living spaces end up in the garage

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Photograph provided by Cabinet City Photograph by ORG

to allow design goals to be accomplished in those other spaces. Not to mention the fact that the original, primary purpose for the garage was to be a space to store vehicles. It’s possible to achieve multiple goals: vehicle parking, organized storage space, and a functional living space. Some of the same design principles used in modern kitchen design can be applied to organizing the garage. Today’s home cooks want their appliances handy and easily accessible, but they don’t want them sitting out on the counter in plain view, taking up valuable counter space. Kitchen designers incorporate dedicated small spaces for specific appliances and conceal them behind doors. The same thing can happen in your garage for power tools, sports equipment, car accessories, holiday décor, etc. The locker room approach means each member of the family has a space for his or her sports stuff. Air compressors for

Photograph provided by Cabinet City


tools can be built into cabinetry. Create a car wash station to hold applicable products. You’ll wash your car more often if it’s easy! And who likes to look at garbage and recycling containers? Get them behind doors while they remain easily accessible.

islands, bars, and even kegerators into their garage design. Include comfortable, convenient seating for friends so your garage can be a grown-up playroom with a door to the outdoors. Customizable track storage systems make organizing small tools and sports accessories easy. Baskets to hold bike helmets and accoutrements, tennis balls, garden tools, etc., help keep it all together. Get the bikes off the floor, yet within easy reach. Hang the tools that you use most often in one spot so you know exactly where they are when you need them.

Photograph by ORG

Photograph provided by Cabinet City

Photograph provided by Cabinet City

During the glorious summer and fall months in Wisconsin, people hang out in the garage with friends. It can be an outdoor grilling prep area or the football tailgate zone away from the stadium. It can be a late night, adult socializing space where you don’t wake up the kids and you can feel the beautiful night air. Many homeowners are incorporating

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Photograph by ORG Photograph provided by Cabinet City

Melamine has come a long way since the 1950s. No longer the cheap material that yellows with age, today’s melamine comes in a large variety of colors and textures. Another advantage to melamine cabinetry is that the engineered material’s stronger structure allows for taller and larger cabinet doors to be incorporated into the garage design, which normally includes taller ceilings and wider storage spaces. Melamine cabinet options are available in many stores, but many customers regret the decision to purchase the materials without the help of a professional design team to guide them on the best way to use the materials. The very slight difference in price between DIY and working with a professional more than makes up for measuring mistakes and inefficient planning common with DIY projects.


Garage organization and design projects come in all sizes and can be customized for all budgets. In addition, the homeowner can start with one or two project areas, and continue to add on as their budget allows. As families grow, and activities and needs increase, the garage can evolve to handle these challenges gradually. You really can have your dream garage! Chris Schmidt is a design expert and owner of Cabinet City.

Photograph by ORG

Cabinet City 6649 University Avenue Middleton, WI 53562 608.829.2489

Photograph provided by Cabinet City

View additional photographs at

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If you find a wild animal you believe needs assistance, before intervening, contact Dane County Humane Society’s Wildlife Center at (608) 287-3235. Knowledgeable staff and volunteers are happy to talk you through the next steps to determine when help is truly needed. (608) 287-3235


Mother and daughter in one of The Road Home’s housing programs.


Focusing on Housing Solutions for Families By Kristin Rucinski No family ever plans to become homeless, and no mother ever envisions her children having no place to sleep. Brianna, a mother of three here in Madison, certainly didn’t. Yet the family spent much of the past two years this way—sleeping in shelters or sometimes in their car. Brianna was already accustomed to facing challenges. She suffers from a chronic medical condition that requires dialysis three times a week. Still, Brianna was holding down a job and her family was making it through. Then her father passed away. Everything seemed to go downhill after that. Brianna could see her family falling apart, but she didn’t know what to do to stop it. Her health got so bad that, at one point, Brianna fell into a coma. She was unable to keep

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her job and soon fell behind on her rent. It was not long after this that the family found themselves homeless. At The Road Home Dane County, where we focus on families with children experiencing homelessness, we often come across families like Brianna’s. These are families battling difficult circumstances, such as physical or mental health problems. Often these families are just managing to get by until a change in circumstances deals them an unexpected blow. After losing her housing, Brianna found it difficult to find a landlord who would give her another chance. Securing affordable housing is a problem many low-income families

Photograph by A&J Photography


Photograph provided by The Road Home

Our youngest volunteers make snack bags for children who have experienced homelessness.

in Dane County face. With a very low vacancy rate in the area, extremely low-income and vulnerable families often get squeezed out of the rental market. The shortage of housing also drives up rent prices. Addressing this affordable housing shortage is one of the main focuses of The Road Home. We believe that the solution to homelessness is housing. That’s why we help families find affordable housing in the community as well as partner with others in the community to create new affordable housing. We also provide supportive services to help families maintain housing.

In 2017, The Road Home served 168 families and almost 400 children like Brianna’s, helping them transition from homelessness to housing. Once families get stable housing, they rarely return to homelessness. Ninety percent of families we served remained in housing through our different housing programs.

A family in one of The Road Home’s housing programs.

Photograph provided by The Road Home

Just a few weeks ago, Brianna got the call she had been waiting for—there was an apartment for her family in a new affordable housing unit at The Breese Apartments. These new housing units came about through a partnership between The Road Home and Stone House Development, Inc., a local real estate and consulting firm. The apartments include nine affordable three-bedroom townhomes for families served by The Road Home. “I got blessed with affordable housing through The Road Home,” Brianna says. “I’ve always dreamed of having a home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Now my kids and I have a safe place.”


Photograph provided by The Road Home

Mother and son in one of The Road Home’s housing programs.

One of the key ingredients in our success is our supportive services. Brianna has been meeting regularly with her onsite case manager at The Breese, setting goals for herself and her family and planning ways to achieve them. Her case manager has helped her navigate how to coordinate her healthcare and access her needs. “I’m also trying to get on the right track and go back to school,” Brianna says. Here at The Road Home, we witness individual successes all the time. But often people want to see the bigger picture too. Are we, as a community, really making progress on the larger problem of homelessness? It’s difficult to accurately know how many families are truly unstably housed because they are living with family or friends or in a hotel, moving from place to place. But we do have good data on families who are defined as literally homeless, which means living in the street, a shelter, car, or other place not meant for habitation. The total annual unduplicated count of people in families served in our community’s shelters the past few years show a decline. In 2013, that number was 761; in 2014, it dropped to 697; in 2015, it dropped again to 649.

July Point-in-Time Count

Number of Families

110 100 90

Another way to measure if we’re making progress is by our annual Point-In-Time count, which is a national mandatory count of people experiencing homelessness in all communities on the same night. The July 2014 Point-In-Time count showed 108 homeless families in our community. In 2015, there were 99 families, and in 2016, there were 93 families. This past July, that number decreased again to 84 families. While that’s still 84 families too many, both methods show a trend in the right direction. This means what we’re doing is working, especially in the area of creating more affordable housing with supportive services. Our success of the past has come because of community support. Business partners, congregations, donors, and volunteers have all joined together to make a difference in the lives of families. Individual volunteers and congregations work directly with families, hold drives to gather wish list items, gather snack bag items, and provide meals for families. Business partners help us fill backpacks for children, fund programs, and sponsor events. These are just a few examples. This community effort enables more families like Brianna’s to move into stable housing.

80 70 60





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2017 Homeless Families in Dane County.

Photograph provided by The Road Home

Celebrating families’ achievements at the annual Families Moving Forward Celebration.

Kristin Rucinski is the executive director of The Road Home. The Road Home Dane County 128 E. Olin Avenue #202 Madison, WI 53713 608.294.7998

Photograph provided by The Road Home

Several weeks into their new housing, Brianna feels like she has her family back. Her children are doing what they can to contribute, offering her encouragement and support with her health problems. Her oldest son got a job so he can help the family financially. “When we were homeless, all of our positive support of one another fell apart,” Brianna says. “Now that we have a home, we are working on spending time together. Our goal is to restart our family dinners, movie nights, and game nights so we can all bond together.” She wants her family to not just be stable, but to be even better than they were before.

Volunteers unloading donated items from a wish list drive. HOME ELEMENTS & CONCEPTS 49

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Providing quality cabinetry for discerning homeowners, designers, and contractors since 1980 Kitchens, baths, closets, pantries, bars, entertainment areas, bookcases, built-in storage, home offices, laundry areas, crafting spaces, basements, wine rooms, garages, professional innovative design and CAD drafting


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iscerning homeowners, designers, and contractors have been partnering with Kitchen Ideas Center for their cabinetry and countertop needs for over 30 years. Locally owned and operated with our award-winning staff and our wide array of products and services, how can we help you to turn your ideas into your reality?

2016 S Stoughton Rd Madison, WI 53716 (608) 222-3132

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To learn more, visit or call us at 608-232-5000. *UW Credit Union is ranked among the top ten home loan lenders in the state based on information from county Register of Deeds Offices; CoreLogic.

Home Elements & Concepts – May-July 2018  

Home Elements & Concepts is devoted to sharing the voices of people who create the spaces we live in. You’ll hear firsthand from area artist...

Home Elements & Concepts – May-July 2018  

Home Elements & Concepts is devoted to sharing the voices of people who create the spaces we live in. You’ll hear firsthand from area artist...