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What women want
A vibrant city condo reflects its owner's new lease on life

Photos by Tricia Shay

August 2016

Formal dining displays a cool, funky side in this Milwaukee condo, proving that lively, yet practical, furnishings can help reset a life’s course.

From her condo’s vantage point, where the Historic Third and Fifth wards meet, Nancy Lindenberg can view the city’s active urban landscape, stretched out from the confluence of the Milwaukee and Menomonee rivers.

Here, through floor-to-ceiling windows or from a generous balcony, she can look east toward the Hoan Bridge and lakefront-dotted structures or south to walkable shops, restaurants and numerous other attractions.

Lindenberg’s new neighborhood teems with activity and the promise of growth — a perfect reflection of her own recharged life.

The foyer sets the makeover tone for the 2,400-square-foot residence. Nancy Lindenberg relied on a tried and true method — her own creativity paired with the professional design help of Mara Wierschke from Warren Barnett Interiors in Brookfield.


The recently single mother of five grown children has created a residence built around a renewed interest in the city of her childhood, with a nod to hosting friends and family. It is decidedly different from the quieter, sprawling suburban properties she made home for much of her adult life.

Lindenberg made the move after witnessing the city’s residential renaissance and visiting various developments with friends. "I never realized there were so many great properties," she says. "This is the first time I’ve lived by myself. I love to travel, and I’m close to the airport. I don’t have to worry about a yard. There are so many restaurants, and of course, there are the summer festivals."


The living room features both comfort and views, with large upholstered pieces arranged for conversation, television or enjoying the cityscape. The two-way fireplace is shared with the dining room. Furniture and design sets throughout the home are from Warren Barnett Interiors.

Her interior design sense blends eclectic contemporary with a dash of country, resulting in a bohemian-like mix of fun and sophistication. "I knew what I wanted to do," Lindenberg explains, opting to keep the good-bones kitchen while elsewhere tearing out carpeting, adding a variety of customized cabinetry from Delafield-based Colby Construction, and moving from a neutral color palette that worked well in previous homes to splashes of color that reflect her personal taste.

Two bedrooms, for example, are dedicated to a son and daughter who live there when they’re home from school. Her daughter’s room includes a bunk bed with storage over a seating area and a desk with surrounding shelves. Her son sleeps on a queen-sized Murphy bed so the room can double as a place for Lindenberg to do crafts, a favorite pastime.

A nod to family needs, this bedroom wisely uses available space to accommodate sleeping, studying and relaxing.




Beyond those bedrooms, the level of room-by-room makeover depended on how much Lindenberg liked what already existed. The foyer’s neutral backdrop has pops of color, various furnishings and starburst-patterned wallpaper, which Lindenberg says "adds a little sparkle."

The kitchen cabinets and island suited her, so she had the woodwork repainted, pairing it with patterned swivel chairs to accommodate a casual dining experience. The dining room was revitalized with vibrantly colored pieces, including a peacock-feather-patterned silk rug, fuchsia chairs and a cobalt blue table on an acrylic base.

A bathroom awash in blue and white takes on a distinct, beach-spa personality.

The living room is a mixture of patterns and colors throughout. Lindenberg opted

for a large, curved sofa and wide bench paired with an equally dominant sculpture. Swivel chairs near the tall windows enhance views to all parts of the room and to the exterior cityscape.

Bathrooms also take on their own personality — one sporting a bright blue and white beach feel, the other a more formal look with an orange-red, Grecian-inspired cabinet and a wall covering with a peacock feather motif.

It all balances Lindenberg’s active life. She loves to walk her dog, a golden doodle, throughout the neighborhood and beyond. "I find myself outside so much more than when I lived in the suburbs," she says. "It’s the best of both worlds. I love it." M

A queen-sized Murphy bed offers a smart-space technique so the homeowner, an avid crafter, can resume her hobby when she chooses.
A new coat of paint for the cabinetry and the addition of fashionably casual dining chairs refresh a good-bones kitchen.



This story ran in the August  2016 issue of: