designer Amy Carman of Amy Carman Design, Elm Grove, created a
modern, soothing palette in the Waukesha condo of Dr. Michael
and Mary Ellen McCormick. "The only things in there are
those that matter," she says. "The perfect chairs
invite you to sit at the fireplace, the artwork is well-placed,
the fireplace owns the wall. Itís a really soothing
environment." Carman incorporated much of the coupleís
furnishings from their previous home in Oconomowoc into the
design, including the grand piano, dining room table and
In a scene right
out of an HGTV design show, Dr. Michael and Mary Ellen McCormick
walked into their renovated condo greeted by their design team for the
In the six
months since the McCormicks had seen their newly purchased Waukesha
condo, it had undergone a complete overhaul led by Wisconsin Kitchen
Martís Russ Waters and interior designer Amy Carman of Amy Carman
Design. "The last time they had seen it, it was incredibly
dated," Carman says. "It was just a vanilla condo with
McCormicks wintered in Carmel, Calif., they trusted Waters and Carman
to fulfill their goal of taking the condo out of the 1990s and
bringing not only up-to-date, but modern up-to-date. "She wanted
Dwell modern," Carman says.
they werenít allowed to change the windows, the rest of the
condo was gutted and redone to provide more storage, improve the
flow of the space and create a modern aesthetic. Russ Waters of
Wisconsin Kitchen Mart has worked with the homeowners on
renovations to their home in Carmel, Calif., and vacation
property in northern Wisconsin, among other projects, and had
the coupleís complete trust. "They gave us the freedom to
do what we wanted. They let us choose the products and make a
statement with them," Waters says.
"As long as
we were making a change we wanted to make it different," Mary
Ellen McCormick says of downsizing from their family home on
Oconomowoc Lake to the condo. They chose this specific development for
its size (just nine families), location (itís on a small lake) and
to be close to longtime friends who already lived there.
emails and phone calls to keep the McCormicks in the loop but nowhere
near the involvement her clients usually have in a project, Carman
says. That might be because of the longtime working relationship
between the McCormicks and Wisconsin Kitchen Mart dating to the late
1960s, making this their sixth collaboration. "They just trusted
us completely and gave us cart blanche," says Waters, who has
worked with the McCormicks for the last 15 years. Carman was added to
the mix after the McCormicksí former designer retired. In addition
to selecting colors, countertops, etc., Carman also went
"shopping" in the Oconomowoc residence to select furniture,
artwork and accessories that would mesh with the modern palette.
"We were able to incorporate a lot of our furniture,"
McCormick says. "We just left behind what we didnít need."
had some really great pieces like the black buffet cabinet in the
dining room. Itís a vintage piece thatís about 20 or 30 years old
but looks as stylish as anything you can find out there today,"
Carman says. Looking at each item with an objective eye, Carman says,
and putting them in a different context "just ended up giving all
of those pieces totally new life."
some walls in the kitchen and bedroom to improve the layout and give
the couple additional storage, including a new closet in the master
suite. And when it came time for the reveal, Waters admits he was
nervous. "You just donít know how they are going to
react," he says. "We had a bottle of champagne and gave them
a tour of the condo. The just loved it from top to bottom."
suits the McCormicks. "Itís so restful to live with fewer
things and less clutter," Mary Ellen McCormick says. "There
comes a time when you donít want to be burdened by things."
McCormick refers to the condo as her hotel. "She says itís the
best hotel sheís ever stayed in."