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A carefully curated Lake Country home fuses high design and practicality


April 2017

 A playful mix of textures — from supple leather and herringbone fabric to a reclaimed wood — marry design and functionality.

For homeowners Jeff and Alison Mays and their two children, two main colors — orange and blue — drove the interior design selections of their newly built Lake Country abode.

“They chose the colors and just let me run with it,” says interior designer Jenny Carr of Warren Barnett Interiors in Brookfield. “Orange and blue are their favorite colors.”

“Our job was just to create personality within a house that matched their personality,” adds Emily Ebben, Warren Barnett Interiors’ director of design and marketing.

 A Lillian August dining room table serves as the focal point of the dining room. Hand-blown glass vases top the table, and a contemporary light fixture shines overhead.

“It really is the center of the house,” says Emily Ebben, director of design and marketing at Warren Barnett Interiors, of the home’s white kitchen. “(The home) is so open that it’s nice to have the center meeting point be more neutral.” Century Furniture stools sourced from Warren Barnett Interiors line the island.

The result is an open-concept interior bursting with color. Textiles cast in orange and blue hues enhance the home’s color profile, and organic-inspired accessories, including a hand-carved wild boar skull, are strategically peppered throughout each room.

“Architecturally, the home is very linear; there are clean lines everywhere. Rather than adding in curved archways, which is kind of dated, mixing organic elements in contrasts and softens the linear elements that are going on within the house and helps to warm it

visually,” Ebben explains. She points to the family room’s hand-carved Moroccan stools, which are purposed as side tables, and their imperfect edges as examples. Similarly, the reclaimed elm coffee table features a square-shaped top, but its edging is softly curved.

 “It started with the art, and then we followed with the cement-topped console,” says Jenny Carr, an interior designer with Warren Barnett Interiors, of the design shown here. “The whole process involved a super fun mix of materials — organic versus nonorganic.”

Homeowner Alison Mays works from home, so her office intentionally evokes a more feminine vibe. “I really needed the office space to be functional as well, (and) Jenny and Emily did a great job achieving that,” says Alison. “I have plenty of storage space, and the desk is perfect for my workspace.”

Selecting durable, kid-friendly pieces was also top priority. “We have two young children and a dog, so durability was key for us. The rooms needed to be functional as well,” says Alison. “The family room works for all of us, with plenty of space for us to lounge, and the kids even enjoy having an occasional dance party on the large coffee table.”

“I love the layout and all the seating options we have (in the family room),” she continues. “My daughter loves to lie on the furry bench with her iPad. Jeff and I are usually in the chairs, and my son is lounging on one of the couches.”

Resource center: How to re-create the look
» Varying shades of gray — all by Sherwin-Williams — blanket the home’s interior walls. They include:|
• Office: Gibraltar
• Dining room: Urbane Bronze
• Entrance to great room: Classic French Gray used primarily, with Urbane Bronze filling the niche behind the art
• Family room: Classic French Gray
• Kitchen: Light French Gray

» A neutral contrast to the family room’s bold coloring, the kitchen’s tile backsplash is by Modern Dimensions,
in Desert Gray.

» Many of the home’s furniture pieces and accessories can be found at Warren Barnett Interiors in Brookfield.

» The custom-designed home was built by Aspen Homes Inc., a Pewaukee-based builder.


This story ran in the April 2017 issue of: