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Haven sent
It’s the room that welcomes you back home — the one that reflects your style, your passion, your perspective on the world. It’s that one special space that makes your home a haven. M takes a peek inside the favorite retreats of your notable neighbors.

By NAN BIALEK and JANET RAASCH

 

Molly Fay

Co-host, WTMJ-TV’s "Morning Blend"

Molly Fay enjoys the art of conversation and practices it every weekday as co-host of WTMJ-TV’s "Morning Blend" talk show.

When she wants to unwind in her Mikkelson Colonial in Whitefish Bay, though, she plops down in her vibrant living room to catch up on the day’s events with her husband, Keith. There’s no TV, no radio, but there is a fireplace inviting family and friends to relax and have a chat.

With three kids — JoJo, Callie and Maddie — keeping a home presentable can sometimes be a challenge. The living room, Fay says, is the one room she keeps picked-up and camera-ready.

A mix of antique accents and contemporary pieces gives the space its engaging personality, but the conversation-starters are two original works of art created by JoJo and Callie.

"When people come over they can’t believe it’s kids’ art," Fay says.

Maybe that’s because Fay had the pieces professionally framed. For the cost of a few dinners out, she notes, she has two treasures to last a lifetime.

Now she’s waiting for Maddie to come up with the next piece for the collection.

"My theory on children’s art is you always know the masterpiece when you see it," Fay says.


Dan Finley

President and CEO
Milwaukee Public Museum

At the Milwaukee Public Museum, Dan Finley presides over countless priceless collections. At his home in Okauchee, he retires to a basement bedroom he’s converted to his personal office habitat, where his favorite memorabilia is proudly on exhibit.

"Sometimes I call it ‘The Cave,’" Finley says, "or ‘The Republican Room.’"

The former Waukesha county executive — serving from 1991 to 2005, when he was named president and CEO of the museum — claims to have assembled "without a doubt, the world’s largest collection of coffee mugs from service clubs. I’ve spoken to every Rotary and Kiwanis club there is."

The souvenir pens, calendars and gold shovel relics from groundbreaking ceremonies have their place, too, but Finley’s most precious artifacts are the dozens of photographs of himself with U.S. presidents, governors and other famous figures he met as an up-and-coming Republican politico.

The family collie, Scout, occasionally pokes his head in when Finley is in the Republi-Cave paying bills, but mostly, he says, nobody really bothers him in his GOP lair.

"It’s all going to stay there ’til I die," Finley insists. "My wife (Jenifer) is starting to call it ‘The Finley Museum.’"


Stephanie Bartz

Artist, photographer and location scout

Stephanie Bartz’s apartment in the heart of Wauwatosa’s village has a belly laugh tucked into every corner.

Bartz, best known for her quirky photos of dogs, pays homage to her furry friends with Dalmatian spots painted on her closets. A string of party lights shaped like Winnebago trailers swings in a cheerful swag across her kitchen. "Gogs," a kinetic sculpture by artist Roxane Mayeur, features little men with whimsical expressions who bounce on springs as you approach them.

"I always go for artwork that has characters that are just a little bit off," Bartz explains.

Her deep blue living room is her favorite room in the place, because it multitasks as a workspace and she spends most of her time there. But the entire apartment is a backdrop for Bartz’s collection of the weird and the wonderful.

Her favorite find? A little German cuckoo clock she picked up while passing through Branson, Mo.

"It’s really kitsch, but it was the only one I could afford at the time," Bartz says.

She also has a special affection for her vintage moon, rescued from an antique store, because, "It just makes me smile."