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Simply perfect
Contemporary in the country is a way to enjoy the best of both worlds


September 2008

Susan Kim sits on the couch in her living room, which is centrally located in her home. The see-through fireplace creates a division of space between the living and piano rooms. An exposed circular staircase draws the eye to the second floor and is a dramatic architectural element.

Contemporary and family friendly design sounds like an oxymoron. But take a look at the home that Susan Kim, the co-anchor of "Live at Daybreak" on WTMJ-4, and her family share in Wales. Kim obviously did not have to sacrifice style when designing a kid-friendly space. "We designed a house that we wanted our family to grow in and love," she says. "I wanted a place where my kids would be comfortable, happy and love growing up in, and a place that my husband and I could enjoy."

Her secret? A limited palette of colors, textures and styles. Fabric choices, including the white sofa in the living room, are easy to clean. A cohesive design helps keep chaos with three kids at bay. "Iíve always been attracted to contemporary and clean lines," she says. "I donít like a lot of clutter." Her color scheme includes deep chocolate brown, taupe, grey, white and steel blue. Kim decided to introduce orange into the palette, starting with a piece of abstract art created by Milwaukee Bucks Forward Desmond Mason. Bamboo flooring throughout the home and alder wood stained a custom walnut tone add additional warmth to the rooms.

The sleek interior enhances rather than detracts from the incredible view of the rolling Kettle Moraine just outside the living room windows.

Kim and her husband, Patrick, along with their children, Alex, Madeline and Gabrielle, built their Wales home on two acres of land in 2006. Photos of the children at various ages are prominently displayed throughout the home, leaving visitors with no doubt as to Kimís priorities.









Despite the stainless steel appliances, the kitchen exudes a real warmth thanks to the liberal use of wood, including maple for the cabinets. The dining room opens off the kitchen, where interesting fixtures strung on cable light the way for guests.


The familyís theater room takes on a contemporary flare with a stainless steel-tiled fireplace. Shards of glass replace artificial embers in the gas fireplace, creating a glow as the flames flicker. A large screen on a remote control is located above the fireplace, perfect for the family to watch a movie together.


Kim and her husband purchased Desmond Masonís abstract painting for this space above a family heirloom, the baby grand piano. She plans to change the steel blue accent color represented by the pillows to an orange tone in the space. m



This story ran in the September 2008 issue of: