This week we’re thrilled to showcase a stunning kitchen renovation in a historic Tudor style home in Wisconsin. The owners wanted to restore and modernize their dated kitchen while maintaining the home’s original old-world charm. With the help of a talented design team, they achieved just that – read on to see how they transformed this space into a light-filled, functional kitchen perfect for entertainin`Kitchen of the Week: Wisconsin Renovation Restores Tudor Styleg. We’ll provide an overview of the renovation process and highlight key features including custom cabinetry, high-end appliances, and elegant finishes. Whether you live in a historic home or simply appreciate classic Tudor style, you’re sure to find inspiration in this beautifully executed kitchen remodel. Let’s take a tour!

Overview of the Home and Goals for the Renovation

  • Built in 1927, this stately brick Tudor home is located in a historic neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Original details included dark woodwork, arched doorways, leaded glass windows, and intricate coffered ceilings.
  • The kitchen layout was awkward and closed off from the rest of the home.
  • Dated oak cabinets, linoleum floors, poor lighting made the space feel gloomy and outdated.
  • Goals were to open up the kitchen to adjacent rooms, introduce more light, and restore original charm.
  • The homeowners wanted to maintain the integrity of the architecture while adding modern conveniences.

“We loved the character of our Tudor home but the kitchen was so disconnected and dismal. Our vision was to breathe new life into the space while preserving its old-world style.” – Homeowner

The Design Process

  • The homeowners collaborated with architect Jeffrey Roberts and interior designer Joan Davidson.
  • Together they devised a plan to reconfigure the layout, replace cabinetry, and uncover hidden architectural gems.
  • Care was taken to source classic elements like subway tile, nickel hardware, and stained glass.
  • New custom detailing would provide modern updates while retaining the old-world aesthetic.
  • By opening walls and reworking the floorplan, they could improve flow and functionality.
  • After finalizing the designs, the project was turned over to a respected local contractor.

“Our design team was committed to honoring the history of our home. Every choice was carefully made to restore original beauty while discreetly integrating modern updates.”

Demolition: Opening Up the Space

  • The renovation began by gutting the existing kitchen down to the studs.
  • Load-bearing walls were removed to improve sight lines and access to surrounding rooms.
  • Doorways were widened and realigned to allow better traffic flow.
  • The pantry and butlerʼs area were merged to create an open dining zone.
  • Original arched niches uncovered during demolition were restored and enhanced.
  • An old window found inside a wall was uncovered to bring in natural light.
  • Removing dated materials allowed the charming architectural details to shine.

“It was amazing to see how opening up the walls dramatically improved the space. We discovered beautiful nooks and crannies that had been hidden for decades.”

Installation of New Cabinetry and Appliances

  • Semi-custom maple cabinets were built and installed in a transitional style.
  • Glass-front uppers provide openness while solid shavers offer durability.
  • Turned posts, arched trim and scalloped aprons mimic details found throughout the home.
  • Glazed finishes in a soft white add dimension and radiance.
  • The massive kitchen island provides additional storage and seating.
  • High-end stainless appliances include a commercial range and French door refrigerator.
  • The decorative range hood is a custom focal point made from millwork to match the cabinets.

“The new cabinetry feels historically accurate yet incorporates smart updates like soft-close hinges and pull-out shelves. We gained functionality while maintaining a classic look.”

Selection of Countertops, Backsplash and Flooring

  • Honed marble was chosen for the perimeter countertops and substantial kitchen island.
  • The organic gray veining has depth and fits the old-world style.
  • A elevated white subway tile backsplash provides clean contrast to the counters and cabinetry.
  • Wide plank white oak flooring warms up the space and complements the finishes.
  • Inlays border the new hand-scraped floor for a vintage look.
  • For durability and water resistance, quartz was used on the butler’s pantry countertops.

“We preferred natural stone and wood finishes to keep the space feeling ageless. The white oak flooring instantly made the kitchen feel inviting and timeless.”

Furnishings and Decor Capture Original Charm

  • Pendant lighting with black accents and Edison bulbs add an industrial touch.
  • Stainless farmhouse sink and coordinating faucet provide a rustic yet modern look.
  • Glass-front cabinets showcase decorative china, crystal and heirlooms.
  • Open shelving displays ironstone pitchers collected through the years.
  • Vintage-style hardware on the cabinets and windows complement the aesthetic.
  • A built-in window seat framed by millwork creates a cozy breakfast nook.
  • Artisan crafted lighting and plumbing fixtures contribute to the bespoke style.

“By decorating with a mix of new, antique and handmade pieces we were able to personalize the space while maintaining the home’s historic charm.”

Improved Layout Facilitates Entertaining and Everyday Use

  • Widened doorways and openings improve circulation and connection to adjacent rooms.
  • The massive kitchen island allows for casual dining and food prep.
  • Cabinetry was carefully placed to allow multiple cooks.
  • Appliances located for convenient access and efficient workflow.
  • A built-in banquette with storage nook adds cozy seating.
  • The restored butlerʼs pantry provides storage and prep space.
  • There’s room for a table and chairs for more formal dining.
  • Improved lighting makes the kitchen feel bright and lively.

“The new layout is amazing for hosting family gatherings. We can cook, entertain and dine all together in this open, beautiful space.”

Takeaways and Lessons Learned From the Renovation

  • Honor the original architecture and identify elements to preserve or reuse.
  • Take time to refine the layout and improve flow and functionality.
  • Open up walls and doorways to improve light, circulation and sightlines.
  • Mix old and new by incorporating antique lighting and vintage pieces.
  • Source historically accurate materials like subway tile and nickel hardware.
  • Customize with special details like range hood millwork and leaded glass cabinets.
  • Splurge on focal points like the oversized kitchen island.
  • Hire experts like architects and designers to facilitate the process.
  • Be prepared for surprises – leave room in the budget for unforeseen issues.
  • Stay organized – keep a binder for receipts, product info, sketches and specs.

“If you’re considering a renovation, I highly recommend investing in a great team. Find professionals who understand your vision and share your appreciation for the home’s unique character.”

Final Reveal: A Kitchen Reborn with Historic Charm

In the end, the homeowners achieved everything on their wish list and more. By reconfiguring the layout and updating finishes while retaining signature details, they were able to restore their kitchen to better suit modern lifestyles. It now serves as the bright, beautiful heart of the home and their favorite space to gather. Although transformed, the new kitchen honors the home’s pedigree and preserves its old-world spirit. This renovation serves as a wonderful example of how to remake an outdated kitchen into a lovely, livable space that respects the integrity of the architecture. The homeowners offer advice to others pursuing similar projects: focus on your goals, choose a talented team, and pay attention to the fine details that showcase the home’s unique history and character. With careful planning and execution, your kitchen too can be updated and restored to better serve your family while preserving its irreplaceable charm.

Frequently Asked Questions

What style is this kitchen?

This kitchen reflects a transitional style, blending classic Tudor elements like arched doorways and custom millwork with some contemporary updates like marble countertops and stainless appliances. It honors the historic architectural details while discreetly integrating modern conveniences.

What was the budget for this renovation?

The homeowners declined to share their exact budget. However, with the customized cabinetry, high-end finishes and extensive structural work, a project of this scale likely fell in the range of $100,000 – $150,000.

How long did the renovation take from start to finish?

The project took approximately 4-5 months from planning stages through completion. The demolition work and structural changes were the most time intensive. Installation of cabinetry, appliances and finishes progressed quickly once the footprint was ready.

How did they find the right designer and contractor for the job?

The homeowners asked industry contacts and neighbors for recommendations. They looked for professionals who had experience with period homes and shared their vision for a remodel that honoured the architecture. Meeting potential candidates allowed them to assess skills and fit.

What was the biggest challenge in the renovation process?

The biggest challenge was demolishing walls and modifying doorways in a way that enhanced the space while preserving structural integrity. Care had to be taken to distribute weight properly and address complexities around plumbing and electrical.

What was their best advice for renovating a historic home?

They advise finding experts who understand and appreciate your home’s unique architectural history. Take time to identify which existing elements to thoughtfully preserve vs. areas ripe for modernization. Blend the old and new for a seamless updated look.


This charming Tudor kitchen renovation demonstrates how to successfully transform an outdated space while respecting a home’s pedigree. The homeowners and their team retained the integrity of the architecture while discreetly integrating improvements. By opening up the footprint, introducing custom cabinetry and high-end finishes, restoring original details, and decorating with a mix of old and new pieces, they breathed new life into a kitchen that now beautifully serves a modern family. This light-filled heart of the home flawlessly blends classic styling, family history, and contemporary functionality. For those looking to remodel an old home, it offers inspiration and sage advice. Pay homage to the architecture, focus on quality over quantity, invest in custom elements, and find experts who share your vision. Approach your project with creativity, patience and care. And you too can have the charming vintage-style kitchen of your dreams.