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Interior Designer Spotlight
Q&A with John Edbauer, ASID
Six questions with Fringe Interior Design and Home Furnishings Co-Owner


March 2017

Photo by David Szymanski

Describe your aesthetic in one sentence.

My design aesthetic is presenting simple, clean-line pieces and finishes across modern, traditional, transitional and rustic categories. 

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

One of my favorite projects was helping a young, active family renovate and furnish their lake cottage on Elkhart Lake. An A-frame style featuring rustic, natural cedar walls, beams and ceilings was monochromatically too much and uninteresting.

We painted the cedar walls and beams light cream and left the ceilings naturally rustic, resulting in the perfect architectural accent overhead. Wooden railings inside and out were replaced with glass for unlimited lake views. I provided all the finishing touches, including furnishings, artwork, lighting, window treatments and accessories. I enjoyed this project so much because, of course, the design was complete, colorful and exciting. The homeowners are thrilled with the results.

But most of all, the homeowners and I have become friends, and talk endlessly about the kids and our lives

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

Anybody who is intelligent and kind inspires me. Kindness takes a big effort and is a sign of great character.

Finish this sentence: Every room needs _____ .

A little something from the past. What I mean by that is something as simple as a favorite family photo. It might be grandmother’s favorite chair (that) we reupholster with a great fabric, or a needlepoint pillow with colors that aren’t coordinating with the room but must be included. I always say that when we are getting close to finishing a room, then it’s time for the customer’s personality to come through. Personal items that accent the new décor make for special and unique rooms.

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

That if I were able to come back in another life, I might want to be a chef or a restaurateur. I guess it’s similar in a creative, personal, people-pleasing way.

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

My new favorite restaurant obsession is Moxie in Whitefish Bay. Shopping locally always takes me to Nordstrom Rack for unique shoe styles. Local events and opportunities are endless in Milwaukee. You can always find me center-seated at the North Shore Cinema or the Oriental Theatre for a good movie.


This story ran in the March 2017 issue of: