Monday, September 5, 2011

Riverfront Loft - Before:

I’m excited to share one of my favorite recent projects, a new entertainment center & bar in a beautiful modern townhouse along the Milwaukee River.

I already had the pleasure of working with Debie & Jim on the interior design for their home when they approached me about creating a design for their third floor loft. The loft already had plumbing roughed in for a bar and, although the space was regularly used for watching TV, it never felt to them like it was properly finished.

Neighborhood Architecture

Debie & Jim’s townhouse is a part of the Beerline Neighborhood, which was designed and developed by Vetter Denk Architects of Milwaukee.

Vetter Denk
Anyone familiar with this area of the city would immediately recognize the cluster of modern townhomes and condos along the Milwaukee River.

Vetter Denk

Project Design

For the design of the entertainment center I looked to the white stucco, gray brick, rich wood tones, and wide expanses of glass that are key elements of the surrounding buildings.


Having the opportunity to act as the general contractor for this project meant I could provide a seamless transition from design to installation. I was able to work with the best tradesmen and guarantee the finished product was true to the original design. It was a dramatic transformation:

Construction Details - Key Elements of the Project

Hardwood Flooring: One of prettiest features of this project is the 3” Brazilian Cherry flooring covering the wall, which creates a stunning backdrop for the cabinets & faucet.

Trespa Countertop: We wanted a very thin, barely-there countertop and were excited to discover Trespa, a highly compressed laminate material. It’s most commonly used as exterior paneling on modern buildings and for wall surfaces in commercial spaces. It made the ideal countertop because of its low-profile 7/16” thickness. The only downside was the nearly 10 weeks it took for the material to arrive from its country of origin, the Netherlands.

Sleek Fixtures: I paired the Torq wall mount faucet from Kohler with a crisp & clean stainless steel under mount sink by Blanco.

Furniture & Accessories

We furnished the space with a new sofa & pillows from Room & Board:

The rest of the condo....

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Kudos from the client....

"We really wanted to thank you again for everything that you’ve done for us. We absolutely love our new space! The design is so elegant and modern - It’s just what we wanted. It has been so great working with you on the project. I’m sad that it is over now!"             
                                                                                                           --  Debie


Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Tiffany Room

My inspiration for this year's Showhouse room is the iconic Tiffany Box. Most of us know the famous color as Tiffany Blue. It actually turns out to be a very saturated and bright Aqua, though somehow "Tiffany Aqua" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

It is a stunning color for packaging, but for a room color it can be awfully loud. I wanted a fun, spring color, not radioactive South Beach teal. I matched the color as closely as possible, then dialed it back slightly to a lighter shade. Here's the room in progress:

Here are a few inspiration pictures I've held on to since starting the project (thanks to the blog Rain City Style, the Greystone Mansion Showhouse and Make Room for Living).

Friday, May 13, 2011

Showhouse Before & After




Thank you Crate & Barrel!

I couldn't have done this year's Showhouse without the help of the Milwaukee Crate & Barrel. They generously loaned two beautiful pieces - their classic upholstered Colette bed and the Avery Bombe Chest in black. I also borrowed their super plush Jenna wool rug in Ivory.

The black & white patterned lining inside the drawer, which comes with the Avery chest, couldn't be more perfect! By the way, those are original Tiffany & Co. boxes on the dresser. They were lent by friends who had been the lucky recipients of Tiffany & Co. gifts.

Interview with Aaron Carman, Showhouse Support Staff (and dedicated husband)

How did you first become involved in this year’s Showhouse?
You made me…..I mean, graciously invited me to participate.
What was your favorite part of working on the project?
Going to Zaffiro’s afterward for a thin crust pizza and a beer.
Hmmm, sounds like we drew our inspiration from different sources….I really love how the paint color turned out, how about you? 
You know, I don’t have your vision for these sorts of things. It was definitely a brighter color than you normally work with, so I was a little unsure. But it really does look nice. The black ribbon made a big impact.
Yes, the black ribbon, that really clinched the room….
That was another idea that I didn’t totally get until it was up, but it looks really sharp. I appreciate it more now that I am no longer installing it.
Does the room inspire you to buy me some Tiffany Jewelry?
Umm, no. But I’ll buy you a Mocha at Starbucks.
That will work for me. Thanks again for supporting such a worthy cause….
I’ll always support you. 
And raising money for cancer research?
That’s a good cause too.

Fabulous Photos

While they aren't easy to capture in a snapshot, the framed photographs that hang along the west wall are essential to the room design. Although it is a Tiffany inspired room, the last thing I wanted to do was fill the space with cliche photos of Audrey Hepburn. I spent a lot of time combing the web looking for artwork that would be the right fit, and ended up settling on a group of original photographs that perfectly capture the elegance and fun spirit of the space.

Here are a couple of examples of the pictures I chose. I hope you'll have a chance to visit the Showhouse to appreciate the beauty of the framed photos in person.

Please be sure to contact me if you are interested in purchasing one of the framed prints at the Show!

Assistant Designer...


(apparently she got the Tiffany Blue memo...)

Finished Pics...

Visit the Showhouse!

I hope you'll come out to tour this truly spectacular home and help raise money for Breast Cancer Research. There are three floors of professionally designed spaces and an amazing lower level. It's not to be missed!

Click the link below to purchase tickets at the official Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse Website. The Showhouse opens on June 4th - hope to see you there!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wind Point - Before

We started with a great space that has tall ceilings, wood beams and beautiful windows. The walls are finished in a Venetian plaster. The large fireplace is trimmed in gray & slate blue tile, and the ceilings feature large walnut-stained wooden beams. 

Wind Point - Color Inspiration

With the beige walls and light Maple floors the space needed some richness and color. We settled on a palette of deep browns and turquoise.

Wind Point - Area Rugs

These two amazing area rugs laid the foundation for our Living Room and Dining Room. They added softness, depth, and rich color to both spaces.

This Tibetan rug is hand knotted in wool and silk. The deep chocolate brown is accented by abstract, asian-inspired Jellyfish shapes. It's a great counterpoint to the more densely patterned and colorful Living Room rug.

Turquoise Rooms

A few inspiring uses of Turquoise from Drake Design and the blog House of Turquoise:

Wind Point - Upholstery

The clients enjoy entertaining, so it was important to provide plenty of seating for guests. But the furniture also had to be kid friendly for their two young girls. We settled on two of these cozy ultra-suede sofas and the companion chair. They are large scale, perfect for curling up to watch a movie, but still crisp and stylish with square tuxedo arms and nailhead trim.

Rather than using a coffee table, we selected an oversized leather ottoman (60" diameter - as big as a dining table). It's great for young kids, but can also provide extra seating during a party.

Wind Point - Favorite Pieces

Here are a few of the unique furniture and accessory pieces that went into the project:

Round Pedestal Table with Shell Top

Wind Point - Before & After