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Interior Designer Spotlight
Q&A with Suzan Wemlinger
Six questions with the interior designer at Suzan J. Designs —
Decorating Den Interiors

Submitted photo

July 2017

Describe your aesthetic in one sentence.

It is a mix of different eras and styles, with lots of textures and a touch of quirkiness — think midcentury meets rustic modern, and Andy Warhol is invited to play with them.

Tell us about one of your favorite projects — and why you enjoyed it.

I met a couple purchasing their dream home. They wanted to start fresh and give their home a look different from their previous home. We worked on developing their style as we went from room to room, and designing their children’s rooms was a really fun part of the project. After we finished, I started work on their vacation home, a log cabin in Michigan. Now they’re empty nesters, and I am helping them renovate their downtown condo, which is about as different from a log cabin as you can get.

Although this is not one project but many projects for one client, (our work together) has meant the world to me. To add icing on the cake, we have developed a friendship that I truly cherish.

Aside from furniture and décor, who or what influences or inspires you?

I am inspired by art and can’t get enough of local art shows. I love walking around shows and absorbing the different colors, textures, styles and mediums. An afternoon at an art show stays with me long after the show has ended. I also love architecture. Living on the East Side for the last 14 years, I enjoy taking walks through the neighborhood and marveling at the unique styles of homes. Each one has its own story, and I find that fascinating.

Finish this sentence: Every room needs _____ .

To feel like home — whether welcoming, restful, playful — whatever “home” means to the inhabitants.

What is something that would surprise people to learn about you?

I have seven children and 10 grandchildren. There is always something going on, always a little chaos, which (means) that I can roll with the punches when something unexpected comes up on a project. Not too much fazes me!

What are your favorite Milwaukee area spots — to dine, shop or do local?

For clothes and accessories, Lela and Stephanie Horne in the (Historic) Third Ward and a new fave is Faye’s in Mequon and Brookfield. My husband and I enjoy going to Pizza Man on Downer Avenue for a glass of wine and the best chicken parmigiana in town. For entertainment, free concerts (like) Jazz in the Park and Chill on the Hill are a great way to spend an evening. I love the art museum and enjoy taking my grandchildren to Lake Park so they can burn off energy.


This story ran in the July 2017 issue of: