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Urban upgrade
Couple refines home's look to reflect their lifestyle

Photography by David Bader

April 2014

The gray wall color was the starting point for the living room transformation of Paul and Natalia Hackbarthís East Side home. The couple worked with interior designer Greg Holm of Peabodyís Interiors, with whom they had collaborated with on several previous projects.

When Paul and Natalia Hackbarth sought decorating help for their house on the East Side, they knew just where to find it. Greg Holm, lead designer with Peabodyís Interiors, had worked with the couple on a range of personal and commercial projects.

"Even though they are very different, our personality comes out (with each project)," Paul Hackbarth says. "We rarely ever say no to him because he hits the nail on the head every time."

For their residence, Holm says he took cues from some of the design elements the Hackbarths already had in place, such as the mirrored fireplace surround in the living room and a bold wallpaper in the foyer. "Those were good indications of how they wanted to go," he says.

The dining table and Chippendale chairs make a strong statement in the dining room, Holm says. The wallpaper has a subtle shimmery texture, which adds a bit of glam to the room when itís lit up at night, he says. "They took a chance with the bold patterned fabric for the window treatments," he adds.


Their furnishings were fitting for a young couple starting out, Holm says, but he sensed they were ready for the next step.

"I think Paul and I have a lot of ideas ourselves, but sometimes itís hard to put them together on your own," Natalia Hackbarth says. "Greg knows us so well he knew the things we would like. They might be things I would pick out, but I would not necessarily know where to find them," she says.

The king-sized bed from Peabodyís Interiors is an adaptation of a British Colonial bed. "It has an Indonesian flavor with the carving, caning and the brass accents on the posts," Holm says. The room is a study in textures, from the grasscloth wallpaper with a subtle metallic shimmer to the David Schaefer original oil painting. Wall-mounted swing-arm lamps and nightstands designed by Holm fit beside the bed. 

Holm describes the newly redone interiors as classic contemporary, evidenced by the Chippendale dining chairs and upholstered pieces in the living room. Custom window treatments and modern accents ó both existing and new additions ≠≠ó and a fair amount of sparkle and shimmer in the chandeliers and textured wallpapers, capture the Hackbarthsí style. "We replaced what they had with a more sophisticated look," Holm says.

"I feel like itís very comfortable and practical," Natalia Hackbarth says. "Every room is very usable. When we have big gatherings everyone is in all the rooms, not just one. Thatís what we wanted, everything to flow together."

Busy couple Paul and Natalia Hackbarth embrace a work hard, play hard philosophy. Paul started his Sound by Design, a disc jockey and lighting services firm, when he was 13 years old, and has grown the business to be one of the most recognized in town. He also owns a number of properties near the UW-Milwaukee campus and the couple opened Camp Bar in Shorewood in 2012. Here are some of their thoughts on downtime:

Beach Vacation, European Tour or Asian Excursion: "Beach vacation. Because we are always on the go, go, go, we like to go somewhere quick and relax," Natalia says.

Champagne, Beer or Wine: Paul: beer; Natalia: red wine

Lazy Day: "Hanging out with the dogs, watching a movie, cooking, relaxing at home," Natalia says. "Paul doesnít relax as much as I do. His day at home would be doing yard work or answering emails or something around the house."

Life in 3 Words: Passionate, loyal, fun.



This story ran in the April 2014 issue of: