Lakeside Kitchen

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Designer Credits: Suzan Wemlinger

Project Overview:

This condo had great bones but my clients desired a more cosmopolitan look. All woodwork was painted white, and new wood floors were stained a dark mocha. I designed the new island with a marble slab top with a waterfall, and topped it with a raised breakfast bar, held up by stainless steel posts and created from vintage oak. It was stained a deep brown to coordinate with the dark floors. The backsplash is a glass tile with metallic backing in an arabesque shape, and made it the focal point by running it to the ceiling where possible. Stunning lighting finishes off the look.

Lakeside Kitchen

Although there were too many problems that arose to list here in this lakeside kitchen, one of the positives of one of the mishaps (the condo flooding because of a plumber’s error) was that we were able to replace the floors with 5″ maple planks, stained in a black/brown chocolate.

Custom built breakfast

The kitchen cabinets were removed and donated to ReStore, and white custom cabinets replaced them. The clients are extremely easy going, but very particular. The husband really wanted a breakfast bar at the island. I told him a two-tiered island was a dated look, so I designed another solution – a marble island with waterfall, and a raised wooden bar/tier, held up by stainless posts. He loved the idea; engineering it was another story, but we managed to make it happen!

Beautiful tile

Elegance was extremely important to both of them, especially for the wife. For the backsplash, I chose an Ann Sacks glass tile with metallic backing, in a classic arabesque shape. We decided we’d have no outlets on this backsplash, and we took the tile up to the ceiling in the area over the sink. Outlets are undermounted beneath the cabinets. We used the same marble for new window sills, which had been travertine. We also reshaped them for a cleaner look.


An icicle pendant was a coordinate to the pendant over the dining table, and a large oval chandelier with antiqued glass hung over the island. The upper cabinets were framed in glass and lit, and I chose matte white vases and vessels as the accent pieces in them. I felt any colored pieces would take away from the overall classic look. Barstools upholstered in velvet offer elegant seating.