foyer’s chandelier is constructed from driftwood pieces
collected by the couple and their two children at the Schlitz
Audubon Nature Center. A vase filled with natural prairie grasses
further enhances the organic feel of the home’s entryway.
mother of two Ann Schellinger and her husband, Brian, building a third
home together meant the chance to incorporate their family’s favorite
pastime — exploring and enjoying nature — into the home’s design.
"There’s so much beauty in nature, and we all just enjoy it so
much," adds Schellinger, who co-owns and operates a design
expediting and organizing business.
couple’s first two kitchens featured white cabinets, but with
two young children in tow, they chose grey/taupe-colored cabinets
for their new home. "We learned our lesson," jokes
Schellinger. The dining room’s area rug was selected for its
resemblance to water. The beams were inspired by a photo seen in M
named Milwaukee Home Design and Organizing, aims to bridge the gap often
found between a contractor’s expediter and an interior designer,
ushering each client through the entire building process from a design
standpoint. Drawing from firsthand experience, Schellinger practices a
very customized approach. "I always tell each new client, ‘your
home should be a representation of your family,’" she says.
"It’s very important to get to know the client, what has meaning
to their family, and then bring that into their home."
powder room features the third and final use of authentic barnwood
in the home (seen here in the mirror’s reflection) — the other
two being in the great room and master bedroom.
applied that same philosophy when decorating her own home, where nearly
every textile, color and design selection was influenced by nature and
has a story behind it. The "nature bowl" perched on the living
room’s coffee table, for example, features a rotating assortment of
items picked up during the family’s walks, from empty wasp nests to
wild bird feathers. The paint color coating the main hallways has
meaning, too. "We all enjoy the water and the soothing part of it,
so we considered that even down to the paint colors," Schellinger
explains. "The paint color through the hallways is called Riverway,
and it flows through our home."
the theme of incorporating natural elements throughout, the master
bedroom’s north-facing wall is flanked with real barnwood. The
drapes were custom made by Schellinger and her mother-in-law with
fabrics from Manhattan Textiles, and the light fixture was
designed by Elektra Lights.
But it’s the
great room’s barnwood beams that are the true centerpiece of the home,
says Schellinger. She wanted to keep every item as authentic as
possible, so Schellinger sourced, cleaned and stained the barnwood
herself, a process that required not one, but two attempts. "The
first set of beams were too small," laments Schellinger. She set
out to find additional barnwood, eventually securing pieces from a local
metal sculptor in Colgate. "They were originally too heavy, so we
had to find someone to cut them. Then we had to call an exterminator
because there were powderpost beetles in them," she explains.
"It was quite the process, but so worth it."