Special Series






Not So Black & White
You’ve been living with your HGTV-inspired, modern farmhouse décor for a few years now and you like it just fine, but suddenly you’re craving something extra. A pop of color. Real color. Something that will set your home apart from the other farmhouse fans in your circle of friends and neighbors.

Color My World
When my husband and I bought our Bay View fixer-upper in 2018, we knew what we were getting into: A serious roof repair, extensive plaster work and a major landscaping project, just for starters. When it came time to decide on interior paint colors, we felt burnt out and indecisive.

At Home on the Ranch
With their airy, West Coast casual charm, ranch homes have never gone out of style in metro Milwaukee, bucking numerous local and regional homebuying trends throughout the decades. In fact, local real estate professionals agree that ranches are more in demand than ever in today’s frenzied housing market.

One-Of-A-Kind Wonder
When James and Susee Wiechmann wanted to downsize from their stunning three-story home on the East Side, they turned to longtime friend Andrea Farr of Farr Interiors to help turn three apartment units into one beautiful, bold condo.

Nicely Nautical
Gifts for the lake lover in your life.

Delicious Design
They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and if you’ve ever presided over pots or pans of something delicious while friends and family gather ’round, you likely agree. But what if you look around you and realize that that heart needs a bit of mending? Here, local designers and firms share the details of recent kitchen makeovers that made the spaces as appealing as the meals and memories created in them.

Coastal Elegance
Many homeowners, renovators and DIYers turn to sources like Pinterest or HGTV for inspiration when designing their homes. To create the beautiful Beaver Lake home shown here, one couple brought inspiration from a coastal, shingle style home they fell in love with to Deep River Partners, who turned a dated cottage into a newly built oasis.

A Lake Home of One's Own
A definitive guide to buying — and building on — lake property in the greater Milwaukee area.

Making A Splash
Call it a natural evolution. Homeowners have long relied on water features to add beautiful, tranquil design elements to their landscape. And local experts say that today’s homeowners now gravitate toward more naturalistic man-made features such as ponds and streams.

An Urban Edge: This year’s WBCS Showhouse for a Cure gives designers a new challenge.
For more than 20 years, the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse (WBCS) has offered visitors the chance to meet interior designers from across the state and view stunning redesigned homes — and, most importantly, to contribute tens of thousands of dollars in annual donations to the Medical College of Wisconsin to support their diligent research to vanquish breast and prostate cancers.

Rethinking Home: Homeowners are trading single-family spaces for the comfort and convenience of upscale condos
Luxurious condominiums priced at $500,000 that are located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee and in the idyllic suburbs are rising in popularity, but buyers are finding that there is a limited inventory of those top-of-the-line listings.

Inside Out: Make the most of your backyard and warm Wisconsin summers with extravagant outdoor spaces.
Adding a simple patio or pergola can create an outdoor oasis. But local landscapers have noticed  homeowners stepping up their backyard game, adding luxurious open-air living, dining and kitchen spaces that bring their indoor aesthetic outside.

Feels Like Home: To celebrate National Remodeling Month, area pros talk what’s trending
Classic. Sleek. Modern. These are the most common words designers use when discussing remodeling trends here in the metro Milwaukee area. In other words: when it comes to rethinking our homes, we proudly to like whatever we like.

Timeless Elegance: A classic North Shore home gets an international upgrade
When renovating an older space, homeowners and designers often blend the house’s unique character with their own personal taste and touches.

Brick & Mortar: Curated Home Decor

Tucked into a Germantown shopping mall on Mequon Road is Curated Home Decor, a locally-owned home furnishings store that first opened its doors last September. Inside, a series of impeccably styled vignettes, which wouldn’t be out of place in the pages of Architectural Digest or Elle Decor magazines, line the perimeter of the space.

TOP TRENDS In New Home Construction For 2019
Creating a home that speaks to our personal style used to be all about the interior design. No more. Today’s busy lifestyles (even long after we’ve retired) demand that modern home design cater to our need for rooms and amenities that keep our households humming not just beautifully, but efficiently, with plenty of space for activities like work and working out.

Get The Hang!: Wall art trends for 2019
Are you eying your wordy wall art and colorless gallery walls and thinking perhaps the time has come for something with more pigment and pop?

Take It Outside ...With Style
“Backyard Envy.” “Desperate Landscapes.” “Going Yard.” They’re just a few of the dozens of television shows devoted to outdoor-space design. And for good reason. Whether yours is a huge yard in the suburbs or a tidy urban plot, making the most of your outdoor spaces can feel overwhelming.

Outdoor Artistry
An architect by trade, Beata Major knows the value of hiring just the right professional to bring out the best in a home, inside and out. So when Major and her partner, K. Paul Petersen, built their house on a brand-new plot of land, she admits to shopping around for the perfect landscaper to help bring her vision of a relaxing retreat to life.

Luxury on the Lake
For one Midwestern couple, the idea of a long-term, centralized family hub led them right back to Lake Country. Pittsburgh natives who raised their family in Chicago, the duo already knew of the area’s appeal courtesy of friends.

Brick & Mortar: Mark and Renee Ebert
On an unseasonably frigid February day at Ebert’s Greenhouse Village in Ixonia, Renee Ebert’s smile is a dose of pure sunshine.

Curb Appeal Counts
Whether you’re planning to sell your home or not, you should know that “curb appeal” is more than just Realtor-speak. It’s how you feel about your home when you pull into the drive. How your blockmates feel about your investment in the neighborhood.

Gentlemen’s Companions
These locally sourced home accessories add a tastefully masculine touch to your home.

In The Details: This Elm Grove home gains more room for family without sacrificing its classic appeal
Michael and Jodi Perrone bought their Elm Grove home knowing they would eventually need to add more square footage for their growing family. When the time came, the couple teamed up with designer and project coordinator Matt Retzak and interior designer Heather Scott of Bartelt. The Remodeling Resource.

Power Showers: Local design firms turn the bathroom staple into a sanctuary of sweet self-care.
These homeowners turned to Wauwatosa’s S.J. Janis Company Inc. to turn a cramped and dated bathroom into an inviting haven that reflects their worldly style.

Beachy Keen: Froze Design Build turns a water-devastated home into a lake-living dream
Most homeowners install security cameras in their homes with the hopes of never having to see anything they don’t like on them. Unfortunately, for these Lac La Belle homeowners, those cameras alerted them to unimaginably bad news.

(Un)common Areas
Raise your hand if you think online outlet or big-box retailer when you’re in need of an area rug. Now raise your hand if you’ve ever looked at your purchase and felt a heaping dose of “meh” … or, worse, a pang of regret.

Your Kitchen, Your Way
Choose one look or mix and match these local products to give your kitchen fresh and on-trend style.

Snug Style
When the holiday decorations are packed away but winter wears
on, these cabin-inspired choices will warm your room and your soul.

Organic Warmth
When two Washington County homeowners wanted to downsize from their 20,000-square-foot, traditional home but still have a dwelling that spoke to their family-centered, nature-loving lifestyle, they called upon Lisa Moore, vice president of Germantown’s Moore Designs Inc., to design and build their 3,500-square-foot dream home.

Pretty Functional
Local designers demonstrate how to add substance and style to your utility spaces.

Rethinking Shared Space
When Tom Czisny and Thom Bauldry decided to combine their lives — and their belongings — into a single home, they had multiple options to choose from.

Classically Modern
When interior designer Nick Konzal of Nicholas Carl Design bought his 1928 Craftsman home in Wauwatosa, he had big plans for a renovation — as long as those renovations maintained the integrity of the 90-year-old home, whose previous owners had lived there for six decades.
Warm Welcome
Deck out your entryway with these locally sourced holiday decorations.

'Tis The Season
Tips and trips for dressing your home for the holidays and entertaining your nearest and dearest.

Luxurious Living
Milwaukee’s new condo and apartment communities draw an active, upscale clientele.

The Designer Edit
Three industry experts share their must-have products of 2018.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Home Work
Whether you’ve decided it’s time for a kitchen update or a whole-house overhaul, home renovation is no small feat. Unless you’re an ambitious (and confident) DIYer, you don’t have to go at it alone.

Practical Comfort
For one Washington County couple, having their 1880s farmhouse extended and remodeled came with a logical next step: An 8,000-square-foot barn to house vehicles and provide additional living space.

Gothic Tudor Revived
Reimagining much of her own home recently gave Lynn Tarrence, founding owner of The Egg Design Group in Milwaukee, a whole new appreciation for the lifestyle disruption that goes into a home makeover. “Going through this has made it easier to empathize with clients,” Tarrence admits. “It does make you appreciate the inconveniences.”

Personalized Creativity
Sculptor Carrie Chimenti talks studying abroad, working with Italian plaster, and how she encourages clients to just “go for it.”

Autumnal Accents: Six ways to warm up your indoor and outdoor spaces this fall
Fall is all about feeling cozy. Inviting touches in coppery, creamy autumnal hues set a harvest-time mood indoors, while a stylish and functional outdoor fire pit extends evenings outside beyond summer’s end.

A Calming Oasis: How local design teams transformed this River Hills home
A lushly peaceful Japanese garden blooms at a Bayside home, thanks to the convergence of the homeowner’s reawakened childhood passion and the skill of a local landscape company.

Beckoning Backyard: How local design teams transformed this River Hills home
Jim Gleason paints a vivid picture of what he loves about his newly renovated River Hills home. “[There was] a doe walking through the backyard with her fawn who was on wobbly legs, very young,” Gleason says. “She slowed down to let the fawn catch up before moving on. It was a moment.”

Shop Talk: Teresa Olson of Olson House
A chalkboard sign outside the cute Shorewood store Olson House reads “Where Nordic Design Meets Local Makers.”

Hot List: What’s Trending in Home Interiors
If you’ve spent time perusing real estate listings or binge watching “Fixer Upper,” you know that hardwood floors and kitchen islands are here to stay. But before you take the plunge on bold ceramic tile or whimsical wallpaper, we checked in with Milwaukee area design experts to see which trends are on the rise and which are due for retirement.

Fit to Please
I have a friend, Frank, whose front door opens into his kitchen, which features a tear-shaped bar, a large table with seating for eight, a fireplace and more. “I think traditional homes are designed backward,” he says. “The kitchen is the heart of the house. It’s where I spend most of my time with my family, so I want it to be front and center, not hidden behind the living room.”

Purple Craze
Accents and accessories inspired by Ultra Violet, the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year.

Time Gone By
For many new homeowners, the renovation process provides the opportunity to transform an existing structure into a space that is entirely their own. But for one couple, restoring and remodeling their historic stone home, which was built in 1855, meant honoring its former owners and preserving its storied past.

Four Instant Kitchen Updates
A few fun touches to add character with no renovations.

Kitchens That Shine
A stunning kitchen is more than meets the eye, but appearance definitely counts.

Repurposed Retreat
When a professional Mequon couple dreamed of having a more casual lifestyle for family and friend gatherings within an hour drive of their North Shore home, they set their sights on building a farmhouse on an 80-acre prairie next to the Milwaukee River in Random Lake.

Nature-Inspired Landscaping
Landscape inspiration is easily kick-started by trends chronicled in national news sources. Area experts can help shape those ideas with a local sensibility.

Design For a Cause
“One of the things that I have found is that houses speak to you and rooms speak to you. Places speak to you,” says Ellen Irion, board member for Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse (WBCS) and one of the many talented designers participating in this year’s showhouse design.

10 Trends to Watch in 2018
Local professionals predict the year’s top trends for kitchens and bathrooms.
Pool School
Before you take the pool plunge, it’s important to understand what you’re signing up for. With the help of Peter Kudlata at Flagstone Landscaping Inc. in Cedarburg and Jeff Schuelke of Pool Park Inc. in Menomonee Falls, we’ve broken down some of the options available to homeowners looking to create an aquatic oasis in their own backyards.

Lush Landscape
When Jim Drzewiecki went to scope out a backyard in Cedarburg for a landscape design project, he arrived to an unusable patio and no landscaping at all, with the exception of a single tree on the lawn. “It was a pretty uninviting backyard,” says Drzewiecki, landscape designer and owner of Ginkgo Leaf Studio in Cedarburg.
Serene Sanctuary
Homeowners renovate with their long-term house needs top of mind, such as room for children to grow or home offices for big job jumps. Architects and founding principals of Johnsen Schmaling Architects, Brian Johnsen and Sebastian Schmaling, say this 3,380-square-foot home with a 1,400-square-foot lower-level walk-out was built from the ground up and designed with the impending gloomy Wisconsin winters top of mind.

Mixed Metals
Add character and depth to your home this spring by combining
various metallic hues.

The Sunny Side of Things
A three- or four-season room is a great way to bring a little bit of the outside into your home. But which option is best for you, and what are the most important considerations when designing your dream sunroom?

Wisconsin’s Wallpaper Pioneer
After living all over the world, from London and Paris to New York City, Elizabeth Rees, founder and CEO of removable wallpaper company Chasing Paper, says she’s ecstatic to be back in her hometown of Milwaukee.

Industrial Abode
Located in the bustling Historic Third Ward, this newly renovated penthouse proves that you can indeed have privacy in the busiest area of the city. Nick Konzal of Nicholas Carl Design worked closely with homeowners Kathy and Rick Weatherly to completely redesign this historic loft space to fit the family’s needs.

Shoreline Sublime
A recent addition to the Pewaukee Lake shoreline is a sleekly crafted home that blends Scandinavian-modern and Euro-contemporary sensibilities. The result is a nautically inspired residence that emphasizes natural and enhanced light, specialized furnishings, neutral hues, and an invitation for family and friends to gather in an inviting, open-concept space.

Now Trending
What's hot in outdoor living for 2018

It may seem far off, but summer is just around the corner. It’s time to start planning for its arrival now. From patios to plants and pools, here are this year’s top five trends in backyard design.

Give Your Yard A Face-Lift
Last year I visited the local garden center and bought everything I thought I needed to turn my backyard into a flowering paradise. And, just like every year since I’ve owned a home, the result didn’t quite live up to my expectations. My backyard will once again need a face-lift, but where to begin?

Scoop Style
Transform your entryway with these locally sourced, modern
farmhouse-esque accessories and fixtures.

First Impressions
“First impressions count.” (Or so the saying goes.) And that time-honored concept rings true throughout the home building and home improvement industries too. Here two local experts, Kate Schley, a project consultant with Carmel Builders in Menomonee Falls, and Mike Slawnikowski, owner of Mequon-based M Design Build, echo the sentiment, weighing in on the latest trends in exterior design, building materials and colors.
The Sequel
Sometimes the missing piece of one’s dream home puzzle is found years later — even after the picture seems perfect. Over the past 20 years, a Cedar Grove couple fell in love with a 7-acre prairie property located along a semi-private road on Lake Michigan.

Bold Approach
While neutral-washed, spa-like environments are a favored theme for today’s bathrooms, local designers say there is plenty of room for bolder approaches ­— be it in color, pattern, texture and even intent.

No Remodel Required
Six easy ways to update a blah bathroom.

Shipshape Classic
A recently supersized lake home proves that one can reimagine a longtime family residence for today’s needs.  Jeremy Hartline, studio manager of Wade Weissmann Architecture, and Emily Winters, a senior interior designer with Peabody’s Interiors, teamed up to convert a ranch retreat in Lake Geneva into a two-story main residence that maintains yesteryear’s weekend and holiday fun.

Can You Handle It?
Spruce up your cabinetry with these locally
sourced knobs and pulls.

Creative Kitchens
Three local experts reveal the most popular classic, historic and contemporary design trends for 2018.

Clean Sophistication
Interior designers are no strangers to relationship building. Referrals become one-time clients, and one-time clients become repeat clients. So when a young family of three sought interior design assistance for their newly built Lake Country home, they turned to Warren Barnett Interiors — and the staff they had previously worked with: Director of Design Emily Ebben and interior designer Mary Lewandowski, WRID — for help.

Savvy Living
Move over, phones, televisions, audio and home security systems, vehicles and a host of other “smart” items dotting our culture — space planning has joined this clever club.

Cozy Up
Ultra-luxe throws and blankets to keep you warm this winter.

Interior Designer Spotlight
Emily Winters, Allied ASID
Six questions with the interior designer at Peabody’s Interiors.

Rustic Retreat
Smart design and carefully curated interior selections shine in this family-friendly River Hills abode.

Interior Designer Spotlight
Six questions with Randi K. of Biltrite Furniture-Leather-Mattress.

Small Spaces
Homeowners with small-space dilemmas need not fret: You don’t have to give up on aesthetics to achieve functionality. Here three industry professionals share recent, smaller-scale projects, plus tips that can work for everyone.

Relaxed Respite
Find the right home in a great location: check. Secure a builder to convert the space into your version of perfection: check. In DIY fashion, furnish and decorate the home for the long haul: reset!

15 Minutes With: Lynnea Katz-Petted
In 2005, Lynnea Katz-Petted, CEO of Revitalize Milwaukee, left a lucrative corporate career to take a part-time job with the local nonprofit because, she says, “It was what I needed in my life at that point.” At the time, the organization was providing free repairs for 10 homes a year, but she saw the potential to do so much more.

Interior Designer Spotlight
Q&A with Kristy Lombardo
Six questions with the senior designer of California Closet Company Inc.

Makeover Mania
Who doesn’t love a dramatic makeover? A boring, dated look gets updated with new hair, makeup, clothes and accessories, and the result is a whole new person. That same kind of dramatic change can happen in your kitchen, and it’s one home improvement project that industry pros agree is a great all-around investment.

True Roots
A West Africa native, Amin Konkada moved to Milwaukee — a city he now calls home — seven years ago. “I have family living here, so I thought it would be good for me to be here,” Konkada says of his decision to relocate from his hometown of Benin, a country in West Africa, to Cream City. In just seven years’ time, Konkada’s entrepreneurial side has flourished.

Delicately Airy
Almost seven years after a Wauwatosa couple selected Elm Grove-based Amy Carman Design to put a clean, modern touch on their home’s lower level, they called on Carman again to extend the look to a first-floor guest suite. The result is a delicately airy space that emphasizes tone and texture, playing well against an outdoor woodsy landscape tucked along the Menomonee River.

Interior Influence
Long-term relationships between a home design-build company and its client can begin in myriad ways. It took a broken ceiling pipe in an Elm Grove residence built in the 1930s to forge a strong association between Mequon-based Ruvin Brothers Artisans & Trades and homeowners Mike and Barb Lauer.

Modern Character
Despite having good bones, many homes require certain tweaks or updates to accommodate their new owners’ wants and needs — or, in the case of this Kohler area home, an extensive, whole-house renovation spanning nearly a year’s time.

Interior Designer Spotlight
Q&A with Leslie Dohr, ASID
Six questions with the interior designer at Deep River Partners

Social Setting
An entire-home makeover provides interior and exterior gathering spaces for both the homeowners and their guests. Designing an outdoor space for a residence is as much about allowing the home’s exterior to blossom to its full potential as it is for the landscape to take hold.

Relaxed Sophistication
The basic elements of good design for a remodel are to create a space that meets the client’s lifestyle, functional and budgetary requirements while establishing an aesthetic that honors the architectural character of the home.

To Upsize or Downsize?
Turn on HGTV on any given night, and you’re likely to see someone either restoring a large house or building a tiny one. Upsizing or downsizing — isn’t anyone satisfied with the house they have?

Interior Designer Spotlight
Q&A with Betsy Hoke, ASID, WRID, NARI CR
Six questions with the owner of Sturgeon Interiors

Out of the Woodwork
A wabi-sabi-inspired craftsman celebrates the beauty in his material’s imperfections.

Urban Oasis
A custom-designed Historic Third Ward condo combines sleek lines, high-end amenities and endless city views.

Rug Layering 101
Layering rugs gives color, texture and warmth to a room. This technique also provides a focal point and helps to define a space. Ready to try the trend in your home?

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

Less Is More
A bathroom makeover in Wauwatosa is a testimonial to the notion that high-tech encompasses craftsmanship as well as products.

From Fallen to Flipped
"It was in really dire shape,” says Milwaukeean Jenni Radosevich of the 1,465-square-foot, Walker’s Point home she and four friends — project manager and handyman Alan Damato, real estate broker and contractor Mike Styke, and design team duo Mallory Davis and Benji Bernhard — flipped last year.

Interior Designer Spotlight: Q&A with Kim Streater
Interior Designer at Boston Store Furniture Gallery

Exterior Envy
Three alluring projects make the most of hardscaping, architecture and plantings.

Creature Comforts
Inspired by the home’s history, designers behind the 20th-anniversary showhouse created rooms made for lingering.

This Old House
From kitchens and bathrooms to master suites and basements, many people are choosing to remodel their entire home instead of moving to a new one. But converting an existing house into a dream home can easily turn into a contracted nightmare that drains your savings and drags on for months.

Interior Designer Spotlight: Q&A with Anna-Marie Miles
Six questions with the Haven Interiors, Ltd. interior designer.

Delicate Balance
Differing style preferences converged to create a lofty outdoor living space for a Lake Country couple who chose to upsize their empty nest.

Modern Refresh
As co-owner of QRS Group, a Waukesha-based design-remodel firm, Jake Ruiz uses his own refreshed Milwaukee area home as a model to showcase his work, and most recently the designer added an outdoor oasis.

Interior Designer Spotlight: Q&A with Sara Ryan
Six questions with Sara Ryan, Interior Designer at McNabb & Risley Fine Furniture and Interior Design

Made In MKE
Accent your home with these locally manufactured goods.

Gushing For Greens
Decorating with greenery officially became trendy earlier this year, when Pantone named Greenery its 2017 Color of the Year. “Green is popping up everywhere in interiors,” says Trish Johnson, a Waukesha County-based interior designer and owner of Trish Johnson Interiors. “It’s a great counterbalance to all of the distressed, reclaimed wood and grays that are so popular these days. It relates to the organic feel of those materials and connects us to nature and the outdoors.”

Surely you decorate your home with personal photos and mementos. But have you chosen artwork for its walls, shelves and end tables with the same care and emotional connection?  “People should feel the living essence of the person who created the art,” says mary rose, owner of willows gallery in Oconomowoc. “Original art has the energy where you can feel the artist and you can explore it yourself in the piece.”

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.”

While some folks escape to Lake Country to slow down and unwind from the pace of city living, others fall in love with the easygoing lifestyle and make a permanent home here, where they entertain family and friends. The husband and wife who recently built a Midwestern shingle-style lake house on Oconomowoc Lake fall into the latter category.

Urban Renaissance
Milwaukee’s post-World War II real estate market was marked by an exodus of residents. The freeway system expanded, and urban sprawl and weekends at the mall became a way of life.

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

The Past Is Present Again
The modern home has made a comeback of sorts — more than 60 years past its heyday in the 1950s. Design authorities nationwide have recently touted the popularity of midcentury modern design and architecture, and closer to home, local experts echo the resurgence.

Comfortable Balance
Sometimes designing and building a home is all about making the right connections. One such example is a 3,000-square-foot, modern jewel in Elm Grove, enveloped by a mini forest of trees and hidden from the hustle and bustle of nearby Bluemound Road.

Unveiled: Interior Design Trends
What's in for 2017.

Interior Designer Spotlight: Q&A with Dawn Adamec
Six questions with the Steinhafels Interior Designer.

Powder Rooms That Pop
The moment she saw it, Nancy Lindenberg knew the red Greek-key chest with the raised white geometric design on the front would be the star of her Historic Third Ward condo’s powder room. “I wanted it to be fun with a feminine flair,” says the homeowner, who knew choosing the furniture piece from Warren Barnett Interiors instead of a traditional vanity would present some challenges.

Labor of Love
A perfect blend of design and organization emerged as the ideal solution for a busy physician couple and their three young children as they moved into their newly built, 8,000-square-foot modern craftsman home in northeast Brookfield.

Interior Designer Spotlight: Q&A with Emily Ebben
Six questions with Warren Barnett Interiors' Director of Design and Marketing.

Three Stories, Three Styles
Every renovation has a backstory. Here’s a look at three kitchens, each crafted with unique inspiration.

Moving Parts
Some extensive home makeovers begin traditionally — a homeowner meets with the design-build company to go over needs, noodle ideas and work toward a plan to become reality. Other projects have a different rhythm, percolating for years while the family dreams, gets ideas through an out-of-town architect friend, and then searches for a firm willing to take on the preconceived project.

Luxe Redux
From over-the-top, extravagant features to those with more sentimental meaning and value, local industry pros dish on their most luxurious projects to date.


Deck The Halls
After almost a decade, homeowners Ed Fischer and Julie Mokhtar still revel in their expansive home, tucked amid trees and set atop a ridge, overlooking 60 acres in Jefferson. The impressive, rustic setting fits a sensibility for each — fun nuances for him, and a spectacular Christmas canvas for her.

Is a Second Home Right For You?
The choice between buying or renting a vacation home is an important financial decision for many adults, but now, with the advent of peer-to-peer rental sites, the choice has gotten a little easier.

The Business of Being Neat
Surely by now someone has told you how wonderful and how truly life-changing “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” is. The self-help book by Marie Kondo tapped into a shared feeling that we are overwhelmed by clutter, and it sold more than 1.5 million copies in the U.S. and more than 5 million copies worldwide, according to her publisher.

Smart Spaces
Creating space in any home remodeling project requires the ability to work within boundaries and craft a sensible scale that fits the big picture.

Modern Comfort
A family of four is not the Historic Third Ward’s typical demographic, but for one Milwaukee area homeowner, his fiancée and his two children, a 3,200-square-foot condo in the trendy Cream City neighborhood is home.

The New Rules In Interior Design
Forget the conventional wisdom that small spaces appear larger only when awash in light colors. Today’s expertise suggests almost anything goes.

Cost-effective choices
Not all home improvements are created equal. Fortunately for us, local remodeling/renovation, appraisal and real estate pros know which alterations make sense — and which don’t.
Lakefront luxury
For some projects, three minds are better than one. When Anne Wangman of Forbes Design was approached by a Chicago area couple to transform their second home, a nearly 8,000-square-foot retreat on Oconomowoc Lake, into an oasis fit for the pair and their four children, she called in Andre Walker and David Simmons of Walker Simmons Design to assist.
Good intentions
The newcomer at the north end of Shorecliff Lane on Mequon’s Lake Michigan bluff is a 4,500-square-foot, prairie-style home with a midcentury, modern-influenced interior.
Beauty lies in the details
Standing on the outside of this three-story, 6,700-square-foot Hartland home, one might easily believe that its inhabitants yield to the traditional. With its large stone and stucco exterior, and adjacency to the marshland, the newly constructed home seems more reminiscent of a lavish rustic retreat.
Not just a pretty view
"It’s one of the most sought after types of property in our market and holds its value better than any other kind because they just don’t make it anymore. It is also a big responsibility because ownership means you are effectively an environmental steward as well as a property owner," says Mike Ruzicka, president of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.
From front to back
For homeowner and landscaper alike, meeting aesthetic and functional needs is ultimately important. "The key to a good landscape is listening and giving advice," says Mike Manke, landscape architect for LandCrafters in Wauwatosa and New Berlin. "You have to look at the home’s architecture and also the architecture of the neighborhood."
A professional perspective
Moving into a new house is like stepping onto a blank canvas. With so many possibilities, where do you start? Luckily, you can find a partner in an interior designer with experience transforming client wishes into reality.
Real Talk: Can a zero-net-energy home be achieved in Milwaukee?
"The first thing to understand about ‘zero-energy homes,’" says Steve Homa of Muskego-based PEA Builders Inc., "is that no home by itself can really ever be zero energy. Whether it be (in) Wisconsin or Arizona, at some point in time it will be too hot or too cold to sustain a comfortable temperature.
A personalized retreat
The master bedroom should be a place to escape the haste of everyday life, but for many homeowners the retreat often resembles a bad hotel room: a bed, a picture above the headboard, double nightstands with lamps, maybe a chair.
What women want
From her condo’s vantage point, where the Historic Third and Fifth wards meet, Nancy Lindenberg can view the city’s active urban landscape, stretched out from the confluence of the Milwaukee and Menomonee rivers.
Get the look: Easy Breezy
When Veronica Sosa Agnoli and her husband, Robert Conley, bought their Pewaukee home four years ago, its interior was cast in red and gold hues, loud wallpaper covered the walls, and honey-oak woodwork framed every window and door.
Countertop Counterpart
If you’re looking for the perfect counter for your kitchen, check out the profiles of these popular options.
Ultimate kitchens
Some kitchen makeovers just don’t work. That’s what the new owners of a nearly 100-year-old home on Milwaukee’s East Side discovered with their kitchen. Despite recent remodeling, the kitchen was neither functional nor beautiful. It did not match the character of the rest of the home.
Challenging the status quo
Tucked between spec colonials along the Lower Nemahbin Lake shoreline is a private residence roused to challenge the status quo. In an area branded for its sprawling suburbanism, the contemporary pied-à-terre both acknowledges and defies its surroundings. But that doesn’t mean this dwelling sticks out like a sore thumb.
Extended potential
Any residential landscape is potentially a feast for the eyes, especially in its blend of color and texture throughout hardscapes and plantings.
Light-filled lake home
"We wanted to create a perfect relaxing getaway space for easy lakeside living," say Jessica Forston and John Edbauer of Fringe Interior Design & Home Furnishings, designers participating in Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse Inc.’s annual Showhouse for a Cure. In fact, it seems most of the designers shared that goal for this year’s home on Oconomowoc Lake.
The careful edit
For Paul Apfelbach of Mequon, restoring historic homes is more than just a day job — it’s a passion. "I have a passion to resolve nonroutine solutions versus everything being prepackaged the way new construction is," says Apfelbach, whose many hats include real estate developer, residential broker and home-restoration expert.
Factoring in
Every great landscape begins with a plan. While the amount of space is an obvious parameter to any design, three local designers point to other factors. Peter Kudlata, principal of Flagstone in Cedarburg, Wendy Wiza, a staff designer at Hartland-based Century Landscaping, and Steve Brown, president of Outdoor Accents in Thiensville, emphasize architecture/spatial relationships, function, focal points and municipal codes over lot size.
Outdoor flow
With a need to elevate an outdoor living environment to match a newly created interior, Whitefish Bay homeowners conquered the challenge with the help of local landscape and architectural experts who know their way around creating seamless transitions.
Secluded escape
When homeowners Dawn and Cameron Knuth bought their property in Nashotah, the couple instantly knew the nearly 1-acre lot adjacent to a bounty of woods and wildlife would make the ultimate backyard paradise.
Historic homes
In the late 19th century, the splendor of the Gilded Age was in full effect as rapid industrialization and economic growth propelled the country forward. Much of the growth happened in the northern United States, including in Milwaukee — a bustling beacon during an era of grace and beauty. 
Everyday glamour
When Pamela Coleman and her husband moved into their 20th-century Classic Georgian Fox Point home, the living room wasn’t exactly inviting. With red walls, inadequate seating and insufficient lighting, it had all the stuffy feelings of an antiquated parlor. Far from reflective of Coleman’s warm personality, the room went virtually unused for years.
Playful plates
There are few design essentials that transcend interior styles as effortlessly as the subway tile. It is as equally at home in a contemporary bathroom as it is in a traditional country kitchen. But to say subway tile is making a comeback may be disregarding its endurance throughout a century of American design.
Connectivity reigns
When a Menomonee Falls family enlisted David J. Frank Landscape Contracting Inc. to make over their existing backyard patio, they had one goal — to create a place where they could come together as a family.
Defined spaces
A landscape project completed during a new home construction in Mequon achieved a twofold purpose: providing necessary drainage for a structure designed without gutters and downspouts as well as crafting attractive, multifaceted outdoor living spaces.
The modern tree house
When a Milwaukee architect helped a Portage-based couple move to Madison to better suit their careers, he also assisted in their transition from an 1880s Victorian/Italianate to a new millennium modern.
Harnessing the power of color
When it comes to choosing the right hues for your home, heeding the practice of color psychology probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind. Yet between all those fan decks, paint samples and fabric swatches is a world of emotion waiting to be tapped into — and it could significantly change the feel of your home.
Boosting the backyard
According to a survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the top three most requested outdoor design elements for 2015 were fire pits, lighting and grills. Other popular choices were pergolas and decks and spa features like hot tubs, saunas and swimming pools.
High-end home trends
Although open floor plans and clean lines still dominate local home design, Milwaukee area designers are seeing homeowners increasingly embrace design trends that may once have been outside their comfort zone.
A leg up
The array of 20th century modern chairs exhibited since Nov. 24 at the Milwaukee Art Museum is more than a revealing window into past design — it is a study in various materials and shapes that some local designers say resonate today.
A repurposed gem
A repurposed home intersects with a repurposed life in Whitefish Bay, where build and design professionals created a rustic, modern gem.
Black and white resurgence
The European design scene has been experiencing a resurgence of black and white home décor as of late, and it appears the enduring duo is making its way stateside.
Redesigned and Reimagined
When designer Carol Johnson of AB&K in Greenfield tackled a master bathroom remodel in Mequon, she knew it would require a higher level of design for a taller-than-average couple. That included removing soffits to expose a vaulted ceiling and providing pivoting mirrors at the double vanity.
Natural Reign
A North Shore couple with a colorful business portfolio discovered how to put their home life in neutral (no pun intended) with the help of a local interior designer, who is ironically now part of their corporate family.
Recently renovated
Expanded space extends the possibilities. That notion was put into practice by Terri Schmidt, owner-designer of Delafield’s Dream House Dream Kitchens, when she helped an Elm Grove family expand the capabilities of their midcentury modern home’s kitchen.
Bowling in style
For Bill Koehnlein of Waukesha-based Collaborative Design, completing the bowling alley renovation of this Milwaukee area home was the final piece of the project puzzle. The house was built three years ago, but Koehnlein and the homeowners toyed with how to customize the bowling alley before deciding on a final design concept.
A collective effort
For Cameron and Dawn Knuth, building and moving into a new home meant more than fulfilling a lifestyle need for their family, which includes two children and two dogs. It also meant meeting that need with very specific style.
Accent with Brass
Brass is making a comeback. But if memories of Grandma’s house, "Dynasty" and shoulder pads come to mind, think again. Contrary to the shiny, polished variations popular in the past, this brass is set to complement any room — not to overwhelm it.
The hypnotic effect
Come gather around the fireplace. "Have you ever sat in front of a fire in the morning on a cold winter day?" asked Dennis Forston, owner of Forston Construction in Sussex.
Timeless treasure
It took a village of artisans to help a Whitefish Bay family make its 1929 home practical for today’s lifestyle without losing yesteryear’s charm.
Innovative practicality
It’s been nearly two years since the Meredith Corporation, a publishing giant whose subsidiaries include Better Homes & Gardens magazine, initially contacted Lakeside Development Company of Mequon. 
How to style a console table
Console tables are among the most versatile pieces of furniture in a home. Because they are shallow, they are great for spaces like a foyer. A console table in your home’s entryway welcomes guests and adds personality and function to your front hall.
Raising the bar
The bar has been set higher than ever. Homeowners seeking a convivial space to enjoy a beverage and much more are turning to design pros. Bill Koehnlein, president of Collaborative Design Inc. in Waukesha, and Tara Wilke, owner of McNabb & Risley Fine Furniture and Interior Design in Thiensville, served up their home bar expertise.
A majestic makeover
Hartland homeowners Jim and Sue Marriott more than refreshed their home’s 1995 contemporary interior. They reset the look and the impressive space to reflect their current life as well as their modern taste.
A sense of harmony
Renowned interior designer and fine arts expert Timothy Whealon credits his Midwest upbringing with influencing his approach to interior design. "Growing up in Wisconsin, I developed an appreciation for wide open spaces," says the Fox Point native, who now calls New York City home. Downtown Milwaukee landmarks and nearby Lake Michigan have also had a lasting impact on Whealon’s style.
Quality matters
When discussing trends in home remodeling, industry experts agree — quality is trumping quantity. "In the past, the most important thing was, ‘How big can I afford to make it?’" says Chris Egner, a member of the Milwaukee/National Association of the Remodeling Industry board of directors and owner of Design-Build-Remodel in New Berlin. 
Projects with a purpose
When remodeling the basement of a Washington Highlands home, Matthew Jahns of Refined Renovations, Wauwatosa, understood the homeowners’ desire to have an adult space to call their own.
Room with a view
Two Whitefish Bay homeowners and a local architectural designer/engineer spent a decade transforming a near-teardown home into a contemporary gem that takes advantage of Lake Michigan views and incorporates a plethora of building materials.
Perfect harmony
Glam meets mancave in a 6,500-square-foot contemporary home nestled in the wooded wonder of Delafield’s Kettle Moraine State Forest. The updated domicile came together from 2011 to 2014 in a collaboration between Lisa Minneti, an interior designer with Peabody’s Interiors, and longtime partners Christine and Rob. 
Eco-Friendly Furniture
Long before the green movement took root in interior design, La Lune Collection has been quietly crafting its environmentally friendly furniture in its Riverwest workshop for more than 35 years.
Birds of a feather
Home accessories and decor influenced by our feather-laden friends.
Historic beauty
After 13 years, the beauty, elegance and historic significance of living on Oconomowoc Lake is not lost on Dean and Tammy Laing.
Be bold
When it comes to color, Bill Koehnlein of Collaborative Design in Waukesha doesn’t like to follow trends. "I like the unexpected," he says. His room designs often incorporate blocks of color or ceilings painted a bold hue in contrast to the rest of the room.
Custom Comfort
Interior designer Linda Carver of Thiensville-based McNabb & Risley collaborated with the owners of this River Hills estate to create an environment radiating with comfort and warmth. "They live in each one of these rooms with their children, family and friends," she says of the homeowners’ lifestyle.
Lime Chandelier
Sarah Boardman-Miller built her design business, Lime Chandelier, on the premise of one simple question: "Can you do drapes?"
De-cluttering your counters
A clutter-free kitchen counter might sound like an impossible dream. After all, the kitchen is a high-traffic area and, let’s face it, a dumping ground. But there is a way to avoid clutter. Here are some suggestions of what to keep and what to let go of from Cheryl Ryan of Kitchens by Design in Elm Grove.
Furry family members get their space
Not so long ago, dogs lived in dog houses. But as we increasingly treat our pets like one of the family, we want to make space for them inside the house.
A fresh start
A trip to Las Vegas is not generally described as inspirational, but for Dave Belman of Waukesha-based Belman Homes, it was just that.
Luxurious leather
When it comes to designing kitchen spaces, installing leather cabinetry isn’t likely to top the list. Generally more enduring materials, such as wood, metals and glass, are considered. Leather, on the other hand, has long been viewed as extravagant or excessive.
Thoughtful touches
When your "roommates" include a husband and three boys, having a place to call your own is a welcomed luxury. Such was the case for a Mequon mother, homeowner and longtime client of interior designer Lisa Anne Minetti of Peabody’s Interiors, Brown Deer. "She refers to her kitchen as her own apartment," says Minetti.
Contemporary Casual
If you are interested in building a contemporary style home but are concerned about blending into a traditional neighborhood, Stephen Betts, an interior designer with SGB Designs Ltd. and Penny Mustard Furniture in Menomonee Falls, says you need not worry.
I spy DIY
For Jenni Radosevich, restoring a vintage rotary telephone and turning it into a trendy succulent planter is just another day at the office. The Wisconsin-raised designer turned DIY lifestyle blogger is the embodiment of a thousand Pinterest do’s, and she doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
Heads up
Upholstered headboards first hit the design market years ago, but like any trend, they too have evolved. It was only until recently that manufacturers and designers began seeking inspiration from the more traditional headboards of the past, incorporating sleigh bed styles and wooden trim into their designs.
Contemporary Concepts
It was a slab of Statuary marble that served as Robin Swernoff’s inspiration behind the bathroom renovation in her Bayside home. Swernoff and her husband own Lakeside Stoneworks in Brown Deer, so it seems only fitting that her creativity spawned from a piece of opulent stone.
Timeless tuscan
Now in its 18th year, the annual Showhouse for a Cure is traditionally held in a historic East Side home, but its presenting organization, WBCS Inc., took a new approach this year, instead selecting a newer home as its 2015 showhouse location. 
Sunny 365
When seeing this 1952 River Hills Colonial for the first time, designer Anne Wangman knew it was special. "The moldings, doors and trim were intact, so it was important that the design of the interiors complement the millwork, not compete with it."
Dressing your windows
While they serve a practical purpose, window treatments can also make a huge aesthetic impact. Whether you’re partial to drapes or blinds, a stylish window covering will easily elevate the design of any room.
Modern glamour
Despite the public’s general aversion to wallpaper, Suzan Wemlinger, owner of Decorating Den Interiors/Suzan J. Designs in Milwaukee, says that wallpaper is "coming back in a big way." And what’s more?
A storybook ending
Despite tearing down the existing home on their Elm Grove lot, homeowners Madan and Gwen Kandula wanted their new house to blend into the established feel of the surrounding neighborhood. The couple hired John Van Rooy of John Van Rooy Architecture, Milwaukee, to take on the challenge.
Pool paradise
Design and build pros worked together swimmingly well to redefine outdoor residential life for a Mequon family.
Seasons of change
Being a transplant from California, I’m not a fan of long Wisconsin winters. I do, however, love experiencing the dramatic change of seasons. When it comes to interior décor, spring and summer call for a home refresh. 
Natural beauty
How do you double the size of a home, use its original foundation and salvage a crumbling wood ceiling without taking anything away from the natural beauty of the setting? That was the challenge faced by architect Bruce Wydeven and builder Erik Knuth of EarthRite Construction on a large-scale renovation project of a Lake Michigan cottage.
Vintage find
When Kim and Owen Sullivan of Wauwatosa found themselves on the brink of an empty nest, the parents of four wanted to find a home to emanate the next phase of their life. They mulled over a move west to Lake Country, then east to downtown Milwaukee, but ultimately realized they wanted to stay near and dear to their beloved Tosa neighborhood.
Taking flight
A Rockton, Ill., couple turned to a Milwaukee architect to make their dream of living on the Rock River a reality. The result is a modern three-bedroom structure — a "bird" the owners named Kingfisher that takes flight, showcasing natural beauty and melding the river’s shimmering surface and the sloping, sometimes rugged, terrain above.
2015 home trend forecast
Watching TV and film could easily lead one to believe that the modern home is loaded with enough high-tech, glossy amenities to make the Jetsons envious. Yet for all the world’s technological advancements, home designers say Milwaukee’s high-end property owners are striving to preserve a more traditional aesthetic.
The art of Oriental rugs
No matter what its color, scale, origin or pattern, a good-quality Oriental rug never goes out of style, and it works with just about any decor.
Wooded retreat
Originally, the owners of a home on the Root River in Franklin debated the idea of building a cabin in northern Wisconsin, but the setting of their own property made them change their minds. 
Farm Fresh
Before construction ever began, the owners of a new home in Mequon made two things very clear. The style should be modern farmhouse, and they wanted it to incorporate some of their favorite furnishings. Achieving that look started with the design of the exterior.
Consider Copper
Warm metallics, especially copper, is a hot trend in home decor. With its reflective sheen and rich tone, the metal instantly injects warmth into a space. From light pendants and furnishings to accessories, hints of copper add a touch of glamour to any room.
Natural influence
For Hubertus-based mother of two Ann Schellinger and her husband, Brian, building a third home together meant the chance to incorporate their family’s favorite pastime — exploring and enjoying nature — into the home’s design.
Masterfully transformed
Architects Nick Blavat and Richard Scherer of Deep River Partners, Milwaukee, encountered a unique experience when recently remodeling a Gothic Victorian on Milwaukee’s East Side — one in which the homeowner served as the project’s general contractor.
Building a chef's kitchen
The rising popularity of television cooking shows has upped the ante in today’s residential kitchen design, with homeowners seeking kitchen renovations fit for a professional chef. 
Positive flow
Placing a powder room in the middle of the kitchen might have been de rigueur in home design in the 1940s, but it’s squarely out of fashion in 2015.
Kitchen Trifecta
When Dr. Madan and Gwen Kandula began conceptualizing their new home in Elm Grove’s Indian Hills neighborhood, they knew they wanted their kitchen to be both kid-friendly and conducive to entertaining. 
Walking the line
With it's classic symmetry, Cream City brick and black shutters, the Georgian revival brick home along Lake Michigan in Fox Point looks as if it has been there for decades. 
Holiday Soiree
Hosting a holiday get-together doesn’t have to be elaborate and time-consuming — you can be holiday ready for an impromptu affair or a more formal soiree with these simple preparations.
Timeless Elegance
When Mark Hackbarth and Eric Nelson purchased their 1891 Victorian 10 years ago, it had good bones but no style, Hackbarth says.
Condo ready?
Downsizing used to be about the only reason anyone considered moving to a condo.  It was the option of choice for empty-nesters tired of cutting the grass, raking the leaves and shoveling snow. Today the market is no longer limited to retirees. 
The next chapter
As a financial adviser who primarily consults clients who are retired or nearing retirement age, Karen Ellenbecker routinely sees retirees build their dream homes only to be disappointed when suburban living falls short of their lifestyle expectations. 
Gallery in the sky
Step off the elevator on the 30th floor of the Kilbourn Tower and you might think you’ve entered an art gallery. In a way you’d be right. But this is no ordinary art gallery. This is the home of Peggy Ann, and what you see around you is the product of a lifetime of collecting.
Secrets from a stylist: How to decorate your fireplace mantle
Fireplaces make natural focal points in a home. Yet, it seems to be a decorating dilemma for many a homeowner. How much stuff is too much? Is art a must? Should it feel balanced or more playful?
Reclaimed and rebuilt
Reminders of the 2013 fire that destroyed their 1800s farmhouse are scattered throughout the rebuilt Burlington home of Richard and Sharlene Pasko.
Relaxed elegance
You wouldn’t think the words "refined" and "laid-back" could be used together in the same sentence. Yet, they perfectly describe Timothy Corrigan. One of the most sought-after designers in the world, he has made a career out of bringing easy elegance to home decor. 
Cottage castle
While some drive hours to an Up North getaway, one Waukesha County family can leave it all behind simply by walking across the driveway.
Going glamping
How do you create a home that’s big enough to entertain 50 people yet feels warm and cozy for two? That’s the challenge architect John Vetter faced when he was commissioned to build a Waukesha County lake home.
Mod pod
In the whole house remodel of a Fox Point 1960s contemporary, curves are used sparingly. "A strong emphasis on line and form — two essentials of good contemporary design — gives this particular style its energy," says Terri Schmidt, owner and director of design at DreamHouse/DreamKitchens, who headed up the project.
Table talk
Both nonconforming traditionalists and modern design diehards can agree that dining tables are still a necessary component in today’s homes
Worlds Collide
In searching for an older character home in a walkable community, Sharath and Nirmal Raja narrowed in on a 1920s English-inspired white brick house on a double lot in Whitefish Bay.
Secrets from a stylist
Have you ever walked into a home and immediately felt enveloped by your surroundings? You couldn’t put your finger on it, but you were drawn in by the home’s effortless design.
Designer's Gallery
From family friendly spaces to spa-like retreats to swanky business interiors, area designers showcase their work
Hawaii Life
The first time interior designer Emily Winters set foot in the cottage she designed was to set it up prior to the client’s arrival.
Meet a designer
With an artist father, Ariel Steinke grew up surrounded by creativity. She began sewing in eighth grade — blankets, pillows, etc. — and after a visit senior year in high school to Waukesha County Technical College, she was headed toward a career in interior design.
Universal Themes
Even though it seems as if people started talking about universal design only recently, the concept of adaptability was developed in 1997. 
Hardware Heroes
When Pamela Anderson was designing her kitchen, she thought there was a lack of appealing handles and pulls for cabinets. "I wanted something stunning, but everything was ho-hum," the artist says.
Mountain Timbre
Who Lives Here: David and Molly Madsen, owners of AB&K Remodeling, and their two boys, Joe, 14, and Ryan, 13. This is the fifth house the kitchen and bath pros have built.
Kitchens that work
In terms of kitchen design, it’s time to retire the styles of the 1990s. Homeowners are seeking an openness and functionality in the hub of the home dictated by busy lifestyles.
Go bold at home
It’s summer! Introduce some color and some fun into your home interiors with these big-impact pieces.
The Art of Hardscaping
There’s more to a dazzling garden or a serene patio than a lush lawn and fragrant flowers. Hardscape elements, from stone retaining walls to brick fire pits, are making outdoor spaces more enjoyable and user friendly.
Sea-worthy tour
Breathtaking views of Lake Michigan are an impressive feature of the 2014 Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse for a Cure, but the architecture of the Classical Revival Georgian home on East Lafayette Place has secured its standing in one of Milwaukee’s most distinguished neighborhoods for more than 100 years.
The beauty of boathouses
Most lakes in the area have at least a few historic "wet" boathouses that reside on the shore. Boathouses that were completely or partially built below the ordinary high water mark are called wet boathouses.
Summer staycation
With a towering woodland as his backdrop and environmental restrictions dictating the footprint of the project, landscape designer Peter Kudlata created a resort-worthy backyard for an Ozaukee County couple.
Gadgets gone wild
Family time. There’s a Norman Rockwell painting for that. A scene in which family members gather around the table, eagerly sharing the adventures of their day, with smiles as wide as their faces. 
All in for green
In property development, sustainability has become the industry buzzword. Many developers are claiming to be eco-friendly, but not all can back up their words with brick and mortar.
The Elements of design
Patricia Algiers has been written up in the New York Times, ICON and Contract magazines, among numerous other publications.
Love it or leave it
In the pursuit to own a dream home, families must determine if their current house can be remodeled or if new construction is a better route. Both options require careful consideration.
Urban upgrade
When Paul and Natalia Hackbarth sought decorating help for their house on the East Side, they knew just where to find it. 
Still Life: Home
With their daughter going off to college, Lisa and Jim Gleason decided the time was right to spruce up their Whitefish Bay home.
Backyard refuge
Rick Swiontek loves the North Woods and frequently travels there to relax and unwind. One day it occurred to him that instead of relying on these trips to de-stress, he could bring the North Woods to his five wooded acres in River Hills.
On the edge
When architect Stephen Bruns visited the piece of land on which he was commissioned to design Fieldstone House, one thing was clear: The driving force behind the project would be the two glacial kettles on the property.
Team approach
There was never any question William Koehnlein would join the family design business. While other kids were no doubt idling away their after-school hours, the young Koehnlein was learning woodcarving.
Milwaukee's forgotten architects
When architectural historian Chris Szczesny-Adams and her husband were buying an 1899 home on Milwaukee’s East Side, she called her dissertation adviser to see if he knew of its architect, Elmer Grey. "‘You mean Elmer Grey of Pasadena?’" Szczesny-Adams recalls him saying. "From then on, I knew I had found something that was going to be very interesting."
Luxe Living
Shopping for a luxury property? You’ll be hard-pressed to find one in the Milwaukee area. There’s a historically low supply of high-end homes available. 
Investment property
Years ago, on a trip to Colorado, a house featured in a newspaper home section caught the eye of the traveler. He carried that newspaper home with him to Wisconsin, and when he and his wife began to concept their family dream home, that house influenced the design.
Home Work
When it comes to designing a home office, form and function share equal roles. Here are three designs that promote productivity and look good, too.
Color conscious
No matter where you fall on the topic of color, choosing the right color for your bedroom is more than just personal preference. Color affects restfulness, and romance, too, say local design experts.
Industrial chic
Mary Ann Matter of Elm Grove combines industrial chic with antiques in her master suite. She worked with Theresa Vaughan of Forte Interior Design to help execute her vision. The high wingback upholstered bed by Lee Industries is trendy but gives off an old-fashioned feel.
Presto chango
Children’s retailer Land of Nod’s Lottie Dots Decal set contains 48 3-inch dot decals in silver, gold or white. Paste them in uniform rows, rainbow shapes or randomly for just the right amount of whimsy.
Winning whites
When it comes to home design, white is always popular among homeowners. It’s a color that never really goes out of style, yet easily lends itself to reinvention.
Kitchen Styling
When Stephanie Quinn of Modern Edge Design visited the downtown Milwaukee condo of a potential client, she saw a kitchen that, while functional, needed an update.
To Hollywood, with Love
Who would have guessed that Milwaukee has its finger on the pulse of what’s hot in Hollywood? Since May, Russell Levin and his staff at Argosy, a distinctive home accessories store in Brookfield, have been selecting birthday and holiday gifts for the staff and stars of the AMC network.
Design well-lived
Only one thing could tear Teresa Manns away from a globe-trotting design career in New York City working for the renowned Steven Gambrel — true love. After marrying her former high school classmate whom she met at their 20-year reunion and commuting from Wauwatosa to NYC for two-plus years, Manns decided to make Milwaukee her home base at Peabody’s Interiors in Brown Deer.
Setting the bar
Party guests may be known to congregate in the kitchen but they will also migrate toward the bar if you have it set for holiday entertaining.
Casual Christmas
Even before they were married, Dave and Linda McFadden scoured flea markets, estate sales and antique shops. "I like old things," Linda McFadden says. "I like them even more when they are a little bit rustic."
Secrets from a stylist
I have expensive taste, far beyond my budget. As a movie set and photo stylist in California and now in Wisconsin, I’ve learned some trade secrets on how to satisfy my designer tastes without sacrificing budget or style.
Style points
An uninspired basement in a Wauwatosa home became a high-style yet comfortable space for work and play. The lower-level redesign includes a home office and a large open area for dancing and game playing, along with a movie room. 
Inspiring design
Local designers are feeling the love on, the online platform for ideas about architecture, interior design, landscape design and home improvement. 
In a scene right out of an HGTV design show, Dr. Michael and Mary Ellen McCormick walked into their renovated condo greeted by their design team for the big reveal.
Out of the box
After 15 years of building for other people, Craig and Georgia Rakowski finally built a home for themselves. "I’ve taken bits and pieces from all the models I’ve built and put them all together," says Craig Rakowski, owner of James Craig Builders. "It took three years to design my house," he says.
Design speak
I love the feeling gray walls bring to a space. To me, gray is and will continue to be a "hot neutral" by creating a wonderful palate or backdrop to work from. It’s the perfect showcase for bold fabrics, a trend I am happy to see continue. 
Inside the design
Beneath its comfortable and dreamy exterior, this outdoor getaway is tough as nails, from the heavy duty drapery fabric to the PVC potted faux wheat grass. "We made sure everything was designed and manufactured to withstand the elements," says interior designer Nicholas Konzal of Nicholas Carl Design.
Newport of the West
An 1884 Victorian home on Fowler Lake in Oconomowoc certainly lives up to the adage of standing the test of time. It has been home to generations of families, converted to apartments and recently restored to a single-family home by Chris and Frank Both.
Telling stories through design
A background in the performing arts helps Polish-born interior designer Aga Artka of Aga Artka Interior Design, Milwaukee, create spaces that reflect her clients’ unique stories. "Growing up I spent a lot of time on stage acting, singing and dancing. 
Build Out
If you grew up watching the animated series "The Jetsons," then you’re already familiar with its visionary predictions of modern life: Piloted in 1962, the show’s creators imagined a life chock-full of leisure, with homes flanked by technology in every room, from flat-screen televisions to mobile devices, and remote controls and push buttons for every household task in between.
Favorite homes
Thoughtful design, beautiful landscapes and meaningful possessions are, by themselves, not what makes a house a home. As editors of this magazine’s home section, we have seen hundreds of wonderfully appointed homes through the years.
Chasing Dreams
Elizabeth Rees is not your typical 20-something. The Whitefish Bay native has traveled across the globe, and, after coming back to the United States, started her own business.
Vintage Industrial Chic
Walking into Mary Ann Matter’s Elm Grove condo is a little like walking into a homey Iron Horse Hotel. "I absolutely love the hotel," says Matter. "When we came here we wanted to capture that vibe." To fulfill her dream, Matter hired Theresa Vaughan of Forte Design, John McWilliam, owner of Scathain Collective, and Jennifer Espenscheid of Soma Gallery.
Showplace kitchens
In approaching the whole house remodel of their Mequon home, Rob and Amy Prellwitz wanted first to bring in more natural light, particularly in the kitchen. Architect Rory Palubiski of Fein Design brightened up the north-facing room with lots of glass and some skylights.
Trunk to Punk Tour
You don’t need to be decked out in Steampunk to participate in this year’s Historic Concordia Neighborhood’s Steamtrunk to Steampunk home tour June 15, but they’ll waive the admission if you do.
Castle Collective
From its picturesque and historic setting on one of America’s Great Streets, "The Castle on Newberry" is ready to welcome visitors as the 2013 Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse for a Cure from June 1 through 16.
Living Luxe
Jeff and Lisa Pereles’ Whitefish Bay master bathroom was a cramped and "strictly functional" space before a remodel by SJ Janis Co., says Nathan Wachtl, senior design consultant.
No boundaries
Multifaceted is how Nicholas Konzal describes his design abilities, which include working with organic materials (floral design), textiles (interior design) and manmade materials (furniture design). "Good designers can work in different mediums," says the Wauwatosa designer.
Treetop adventures
Dustin Feider is building a business based on a simple question: Who doesn’t love tree houses? "It immediately draws people back to their childhoods," says Feider, owner of O2 Treehouse. "People love to tell their tree house stories."
Double decker
When the warm weather finally arrives, Dana and Tom Schreibel don’t waste a minute of it. From their home on Lake Keesus they have views of Marshall Bay and two outdoor living spaces from which to enjoy it. "We entertain quite a bit. We actually hosted a wedding two years ago," Dana Schreibel says.
Extreme Pool Party: Fox Point Edition
Fox Point’s tree-lined streets and quiet neighborhoods now disguise its former status as a social hub during the early 20th century when a popular golf club attracted socialites to the area. Though golf ended in the 1930s, reminders of the country club remain, such as the beach house, swimming pool and tennis courts.
Set in stone
Tom Halquist didn’t want to be a slave to his garden, so when he hired Ginkgo Leaf Studios, Cedarburg, to renovate the landscape at his Menomonee Falls home, he made that point very clear.
Prairie reinvented
"I knew right away," recalls the owner of the 1950s Bayside home, about the day she first saw it. The 3,000-square-foot Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home is at the end of a winding driveway and tucked into a wooded landscape. After a walk-through with the Realtor — during which she saw past the dated décor — she was even more smitten.
Element of surprise
Walk inside the suburban Cedarburg home and prepare to be surprised. Peabody’s Interiors interior designer Emily Winters helped a young couple create an urban sophisticated space to showcase their extensive art collection. "I feel so strongly that your home should reflect you and your personality," Winters says.
Waterfront revival
You might say fate led Gwen Adair-Strangohr and her husband, Jim Strangohr, to the doorstep of their Lake Keesus home in 2007. After the tragic death of their friend, the couple purchased the home where their friend had lived. "I think she always wanted me to have this house," Adair-Strangohr says.
Design trends: Bold colors, patterns prevail
They make our surroundings beautiful, and they do it with aplomb, ease and wit. They take an idea and whip it into a space that flourishes with vibrant personality and charm. That’s why we tapped a few of the area’s interior designers to share their choices of the latest home design trends.
Moderne Man
Rick Barrett is doing something no other Milwaukee developer has ever done. He’s building a high-rise development in downtown Chicago.
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