Greetings! My name is James Grunewald, and for the weeks ahead I will be sharing with you my kitchen remodeling experience. But first, here is a little about the house and the kitchen we will be updating.

After living in Minneapolis for over a year, my wife and I decided to move back to Wisconsin to be closer to our families. While in Minneapolis I was an art director for a mid-size ad agency creating brochures and magazine ads. When we returned to Wisconsin, I found a new position at Kohler Company doing similar work for their internal communications department.

Kohler Co. is well known for their plumbing products as well as for their golf courses. But the village of Kohler, once called Riverside, also has some history.

In 1899, John Michael Kohler – founder of Kohler Co. – purchased 21 acres of farmland in Riverside, built a new foundry and moved the company to this location. As the company began to grow, homes became available to employees wishing to settle down in Riverside. Over 80 years have gone by and many of those original homes have gotten updated, then updated again. Our home is one of those.

Our two-story Arts and Crafts-style home was built in the mid 1920s and has gone through many changes and updates, including heating, siding, and electrical. With everything this home has gone through, it’s time for it to undergo yet another change.

Our kitchen, which underwent a small transformation some 15-20 years ago, does not work with our life style. The kitchen as a whole is cramped and does not function very well.

Our update will focus on three areas:

  1. Enlarging the space: We will remove a wall that separates the kitchen and the dining room thus enlarging the space overall. We will also remove the island and the soffit that is above it.
  2. Making the house energy efficient: To achieve this, we will remove everything exposing the 2×4 framing that holds the house together. We will reinsulate, replace the windows and a door, update the electrical, update the plumbing, and install energy efficient appliances.
  3. Adding storage space: Because everything is being removed, the cabinets we are putting in will better utilize the space, giving us more storage.

Now that you have some background, I hope you will join me next time when I will be talking about the “getting started” process for our kitchen remodel. Be sure to check back frequently for updates and images of the progress.

For those of you that have remodeled in the past, feel free to share your good and bad stories or tips on remodeling.


Since 1873, Kohler Co. has been improving the level of gracious living among its customers by providing exceptional products and services for the home. As a recognized global brand, Kohler leads the way in design, craftsmanship and innovation. Kohler's product offering spans across all price points, offering consumers a wide variety of options in kitchen and bath fixtures, faucets, and more.

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