Remembering Ray

Ray with her Dot Pattern fabric in 1947.

Ray with her Dot Pattern fabric in 1947.

As we look forward to 2020 trends, we are certain that elements of Mid-Century Modern design will still stand strong, even as Art Deco and Scandinavian influences start to creep in. We have all seen the rise in molded plastic chairs and plywood furniture in the last decade so I thought we’d shed some light on the lesser-known half of the massively influential Eames duo. I’m going to assume that a majority of those reading this have heard of Charles Eames. He worked in equal partnership with his wife, Ray Kaiser Eames, to create a prolific career that ran the gamut from furniture design and architecture to film making, textiles, toys, and much more.

Ray and Charles were the ultimate power-couple for producing work and bouncing new ideas off one another. Charles had a saying throughout their career together, “anything I can do, Ray can do better.”  Since Charles took on roles with the press more often, Ray often remained in the shadows. Her influence, however, is undeniable.

Ray first started her career as an artist, doing abstract expressionist paintings and sculpture in New York. She exhibited around Manhattan and became a founding member of the radical American Abstract Artists group. This time in the city helped her develop a visual language that would inform the shapes and colors of her work for decades to come. From the lithograph and sculpture in the following photos, it is evident how the shapes translate to future furniture designs like La Chaise and the DCW chair.

Lithograph by Ray, New York, 1937

A molded-plywood sculpture by Ray, 1943

After her mother’s death, Ray left for the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, where she met Charles in 1940. The couple married in 1941 and immediately moved to California to start their company. Their aim was to utilize new materials and technology so that everyday objects of high quality in both form and function could be produced at a reasonable cost.

Ray had a signature touch to design, one that was graceful yet biomorphic. Because the married couple worked so well together, the furniture comes off as a harmonious juxtaposition of feminine curves and traditionally rigid and masculine materials. We also have Ray to thank for creating one of the most recognizable patterns of mid-century modern design - Dot Pattern (shown in photograph of Ray above). This textile was created in 1947 and is still being used in designs today (can you say timeless?).

Though lesser-known half of the Eames duo, the design world definitely has Ray to thank for her huge influence on Modern design. We will be drawing inspiration from her life and work for years to come.

All photos courtesy of

Welcome to the Team: Madeline Spain

I am happy to announce that I have added Madeline Spain. For the last month or so, Madeline has been quickly getting up to speed on JZID’s processes and open projects. She has brought an energetic and positive vibe to the office and is surprisingly good at making phone calls for someone straight out of college! She’s a great addition to the team…

Meet Madeline

Like Ashley and I, Madeline has small-town origins; growing up in Paddock Lake, WI. It was in this small town that she discovered her love of design and architecture early in life. Madeline went from scheming up new layouts for her family home and helping her mom remodel to majoring in Interior Design at the University of Wisconsin – Stout.

While in school, Madeline became a rendering wizard. She quickly grew to love drafting and all of the technical aspects involved in the design process. Due to her penchant for technical, Madeline became a Revit and rendering tutor where she gave full demonstrations and one-on-one lessons to multiple levels of interior studio classes and helped to prepare for the CIDA accreditation renewal. Her skills definitely surpass my own so odds are that your next space plan will be created by Madeline!

Even though she’s a rendering wiz, Madeline also has a great eye and appreciation of art. At school, she enhanced her Interior Design degree by taking printmaking and furniture design studio art classes. Through these classes, she was able to participate in a four-week program in Los Angeles that worked with a group to build a virtual reality experience inspired by local historical sites. Perhaps it is this time in LA that blossomed her love of the Mid-Century Design aesthetic.

In addition to MCM, Madeline is also partial to the Surrealism. No wonder Spain, a hotbed of the Surrealist movement, has been her favorite travel destination so far. There is such a rich history of design to explore, that I’m sure Madeline will be traveling back to Spain soon. While she waits for her next trip, Madeline enjoys embroidery, drawing, and exploring places with historic architecture.

Madeline graduated in May of 2019 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design and is now a full-time Interior Designer at JZID!

I am excited to show you all what we have been working on as a team. Keep an eye on our Instagram page for updates on our new projects. Lots of exciting things in the works!

We would love to work with you. Contact us to get started on your new build, remodel, or redesign today!

JZID Project Reveal - 7SEVENTY7 Penthouse

Nothing is better than Milwaukee in the summer, we get to enjoy all that the lake has to offer and the city is alive with events. It makes perfect sense that a luxury high-rise apartment building has sprouted up in the heart of downtown. 7SEVENTY7 is reinventing downtown living and offers an alternative to the Cream City brick (which we love) with it’s high-end hotel feel and sprawling views of the lake and city.

Last Fall, 7SEVENTY7 reached out to us for assistance with creating a model unit in one of their spacious pent house floor units. Using a few items that were already in a model unit on a lower floor, JZID brought in a few new pieces and styled the unit for future resident tours.

Our brief was to create a design that blends contemporary lines with glam finishes and draws the eye to the gorgeous view of Lake Michigan.

JZID Project Reveal - Small Powder Room, Big Impact

Happy April, everyone! Now that Spring is finally here, we have been getting a ton of calls for interior design assistance with kitchens, living rooms and powder rooms. Everyone has come out of their winter hibernation and is excited for a refresh. We worked on some really exciting projects over the winter but for my latest before and after transformation, I was definitely inspired by warmer weather.

I worked with a couple that has lived in West Allis for a few decades. They raised their daughter in the house, had big annual Mardi Gras parties, and shared wonderful memories with grandchildren. While their lives evolved and even parts of their home were remodeled, the powder room off of the front entry was stuck in time and never updated. JZID was brought in to help them solve some funky space plan issues and create a design that was elegant enough to be a big wow factor by the foyer but also functional enough for daily use


We have been tearing out so many peach and purple bathroom sets lately, especially in the western and southern Milwaukee suburbs. It’s hard to imagine that the coordinating pastel plumbing was ever a fad!


With just 23.25 square feet to work with in this tiny powder room, there wasn’t a lot of layout changes we could make. You might notice the large gap between the back of the toilet and the wall. Due to how the floor joists were running, we couldn’t move the toilet rough-in to correct this without putting in a significant amount of work so we had to get creative. To trick the eye into thinking it was a bit more flush, we added wainscoting to all four walls. We also corrected a couple of funky things going on with the vanity. Instead of having a pendant hanging on the right side and orienting the sink to the left, we ended up centering everything and installing a sconce above the mirror. Not only were we able to cast better light in the area, we also were able to give the visual impression of a taller ceiling height.


This is such a dramatic before and after transformation! My clients actually want to use this bathroom now instead of avoiding it at all costs like before. There is no doubt the bathroom is still small (notice how I can’t even get a wide-angle photograph!), but at least now it is bright and calming. The wainscoting draws your eye up from the light travertine tile floor to one of the most beautiful wallpapers we’ve ever installed from York Wallcoverings. The elegant lines of the wainscoting and vanity are then contrasted with a contemporary faucet from Hansgrohe. Since my Clients are what I like to call “wood purists”, we opted to anchor the design with a stained oak wood vanity to match the doors in the rest of the home. The warm tones of the oak are pulled in nicely by the quartz countertops and silver leaf mirror and contrasted by the blues and greens in the wallpaper.

Does your powder room need an injection of personality and style? JZID can help redesign your home into an exciting and functional space! Contact us today to get started.

JZID Wins Best of Milwaukee 2019!


Great news - JZID has won the Shepherd Express Best of Milwaukee award in the Interior Design category for the second year in a row!

Thank you to all of our great Clients and supporters for nominating and then voting for us for this award. My team and I really take pride in creating a design studio that is Client-oriented and provides a bespoke turnkey approach to remodeling and design services.

It's amazing to see how our jobsites transform into our Client's dream homes. We love the process and working with wonderful people. We have the best Clients!

We would love to work with you to transform your home in 2019. Let's talk about how we can create your dream home! Contact JZID today to get started.

JZID Project Reveal - Water Street River Condo

Let’s end 2018 right by featuring a huge transformation we did over the summer on Water Street in downtown Milwaukee. It’s always a treat when we work with clients that have an appreciation of art and design and aren’t afraid of a gut remodel!


Living in the heart of Milwaukee’s downtown shouldn’t be bland but that is exactly what this condo was before the client and I got involved. When we initially walked into this unit, the potential was immediately evident. There were reclaimed wood columns, an original Cream City brick wall, soaring exposed ceilings, and an expansive view of the Milwaukee River. These gorgeous design features just weren’t being highlighted as the design currently stood. White walls and contractor-grade oak cabinets never do a place justice! Just check out that bathroom below - the glass block shower enclosure, wall of mirrors, and all-white finishes make the room feel clinical and cheap.



The nice thing about the state of the condo was that it was a blank canvas! We have been extremely fortunate in that we just work with the best clients that trust our design direction and remodeling expertise. When we met this particular client, he gave us a simple brief: create a Modern Masculine design that is dramatic and unique. Apart from that, we had free reign to interpret the aesthetic as we wished.

During the design conception phase of the project, we brought in a darker color scheme, a mix of natural and man-made textures, low-lying furniture, and bold artwork in order to make a Modern design feel more masculine. We pulled in denim blues, dark greens, blacks, and various grays to contrast again the warm-toned woods on the floor, bar, ceiling, and column. The result makes the wood feel richer and warmer than the previous white color scheme and really pulls in the colors from the river.

Since we were suggesting a finish change on most surfaces, a gut remodel of the bathroom, and all new furniture, the Client had JZID put together a virtual walk-though of the new design. Check out the YouTube video below to see how close we stuck to the design plan. Other than a few items that were omitted due to budget prioritization and artwork changes, the rendering looks super close to the final product.


Other than gutting the bathroom, this entire transformation was done by just bringing in new paint and furniture. One of my favorite parts of the project was the artwork selection. We pulled vintage photos from the Milwaukee Historical Society, had them printed on metal, and then suspended them from the ceiling on airplane wire to create a dramatic installation in the entryway and to create more visual privacy between the bedroom and kitchen.

With JZID’s design expertise and the help of our general contractor, the old all white condo is now just a distant memory!


There are more angles and details from this project in our portfolio - check them out here.

Does your home or condo lack personality? JZID can help redesign your home into an exciting and functional space! Contact us today to get started.

JZID Project Reveal - Sheffield Avenue

Hello all! Hope everyone is enjoying the start of Fall. We have been super busy with remodels this year that is seems like just yesterday that we met our wonderful clients in Whitefish Bay to discuss their entire home remodel! In reality, we started working on this project in early February and after remodeling the interior and tacking on a new addition of a three-seasons porch, construction ended just a few weeks ago.

We were able to get in and photograph at the perfect time. Now that the weather is getting chillier, I am excited to show you the house that we designed with the concept of perpetual summer in mind. Even though the clients are from Colorado and are used to winters, they really adore a New England Coastal aesthetic. I wanted them to walk into their home and instantly feel like it was summertime all year round!


These before photos were taken after a bit of demo was done, so don’t be fooled by the condemned looking interior rooms. The house was actually livable! My clients enlisted JZID and their contractor, Lakeview Remodeling, to turn this under-2000 square foot bungalow into their downsized dream home.

Dining room off of the kitchen. The built-ins were charming, but not in good condition.

The laundry area and basement were entirely unfinished.

Master bedroom before getting gutted it. Yes, that is a blurred finger in the corner!

The screened-in porch had seen better days!


The goal of this project was for the architect to add more livable square footage to the home. The basement was finished, a bathroom added, the laundry shoot restored, the kitchen was expanded, and the three-seasons porch was redone.

Basement -

Before: The basement was totally unfinished. Concrete floors, low exposed ceilings, and dim lighting.

Main Floor -

Before: The bathroom was separating the kitchen and dining room cutting off lines of sight into the living room.

After: A living area, bathroom, and laundry room were built out. Recessed lighting and wood-wrapped columns were added.

After: The bathroom was moved to right above the master bedroom. It shrunk the dining room but enlarged the kitchen.

Having proper flow and open lines of sight in a small house is crucial. By moving the bathroom, we were able to install a large kitchen with countertop seating. The trade-off was that the dining room only sits 4 people regularly. This wasn’t a big issue for the clients since they are empty nesters and understand that they will need to expand the table into the living room for large holidays.

What isn’t represented in the photos or the plans is that the living room ceiling was originally quite low. The clients got lucky and had a pretty unusable crawl space directly above it that was able to be demoed. The result is a cathedral ceiling in the living room that makes the room feel grand. The addition of faux wood beams to the ceiling give it that extra charm!

The house didn’t become beautiful overnight. Here are some in-progress photos during the rough-in phase. This happened in the middle of last winter so luckily the heat was operational for the crew!


The ultimate goal with the design was create a comfortable home that was rich through material mixing and blended typical Coastal color palettes with Traditional elements. We kept the walls in the main areas light and cool-toned in order to make the space feel larger and to contrast with the dark gray stain on the white oak floors. We mixed Coastal elements of shiplap, nautical-inspired light fixtures, and blue tones with more Traditional patterns like the arabesque on the stair runner, hexagon tile in the upstairs bath, and variations on subway tile on the walls. Our client had existing furniture from Ethan Allen that folded nicely into this aesthetic. The end result is a refreshing home that feels larger than its square footage.

Main Level -

Second Floor -

Basement -

Three-Seasons Porch -


There are more angles and details from this project in our portfolio - check them out here.

Are you interested in buying a fixer-upper and remodeling it into your dream home? JZID can help! Contact us today to get started.

Welcome to the Team: Ashley Hockers

I am happy to announce that I have added Ashley Hockers to my team! For the past couple of months, Ashley has excelled as an intern and is now a full-time Project Coordinator for JZID.


Ashley is a native of Wisconsin’s favorite getaway - Door County. Growing up, she would accompany her parents on site visits of different homes that they were either building or renovating to sell. Ashley definitely caught the remodeling bug from her parents! Being exposed to the building process at an early age allowed her imagination to run wild with endless possibilities that architecture and interior design brings. She was able to see how the different phases of construction progress through a project and the risks that are involved with each step. This will be a great asset as she begins to have a greater hand in implementing some of our remodeling projects coming up.

Aside from getting first-hand experience with construction, Ashley immersed herself in art classes at school and workshops through the Peninsula School of Art. Her involvement in the Door County art community and background in remodeling drove her to pursue her passions and attend college at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.

While at MIAD, Ashley thrived in classes focusing on interior design and architecture and got the opportunity to study abroad for a summer in Europe. Just before starting her Junior year, Ashley took off for Burren College of Art in Ireland where she learned about their rich history and importance of the landscape. She’s gone full-circle from studying in County Clare, Ireland to now working across the street from Milwaukee’s County Clare pub!

After her summer program, Ashley did a European tour. She found London particularly exciting. The juxtaposition between the historic and ultra-modern architecture in the city is inspiring. This dynamic between respecting the history but injecting strong principles of Modern design show through in Ashley’s work. She has a great eye for selecting and mixing hard surface materials as well as specifying interior architecture elements.

Ashley graduated in May of 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Architecture.

I am excited to show you all what we have been working on. Keep an eye on our Instagram page (Ashley has taken that over for me too!) for updates on our new projects. Lots of exciting things in the works!

We would love to work with you. Contact us to get started on your new build, remodel, or redesign today!

Photography by Mariah Braddock, owner of Empower Her Clothing.

The White Interior: Timeless or Trendy?

There has been one trend dominating the industry in the last few years – white interiors. Just open any social media site and you will see a whitewash of rooms with painted trim, all-white cabinets, and the ever-so-trendy Scandinavian-inspired room that is drenched in white from floor to ceiling. In 2016, Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams even named white tones as their colors of the year. Since then, homeowners and renovators have used white paint as a panacea. Moved into an old home with a lot of woodwork? Paint it white for a fresh look. What a small space to look bigger?  Wash the walls in white paint. Building a new home? Make sure your kitchens are all white so it doesn’t look dated.  

With the white dominating images from online and in design magazines, it begs the question: Are white interiors timeless or trendy?

When I meet with design clients, there tends to be two distinct camps. The first is the client that embraces whitewashing and the second are the wood-purists that would never dream of painting good solid wood cabinets. Neither of these approaches are wrong. Good design is about creating a balance between all visual elements. Just like how we inject a curved line to break up the visual rhythm of rectangular rooms for a more dynamic design, designers use color contrast for a larger visual impact. A well-designed home mixes wood tones, paint colors, and material in order to feel more luxe and unique to the homeowner.

In my opinion, white is timelessly chic and endlessly adaptable. It transcends style. The color lends itself well to all design aesthetics – from airy coastal interiors to glossy modern architecture and Scandinavian minimalism.

With white being so versatile, the question then becomes how to use it. If you want a more historical or traditional look then keep with stained wood millwork and bring in a warm-tone white on the walls to brighten up the room. For a coastal or contemporary look, go with white on the millwork and walls and then mix in more weathered materials to add warmth and texture to the space.

While shades of white are ever-so present in our day-to-day, for most of history white pigments were incredibly difficult to create and were therefore rarely used. We have British interior designer, Syrie Maugham to thank for popularizing rooms decorated entirely in shades of white. In 1927, she introduced her all-white room at her townhouse in London. Harper’s Bazaar described the room thus: “White walls, white satin curtains, white-flowered chairs, white lilies and the light softened by a white velvet lampshade, all give that modern feeling, which in conjunction with old furniture, is so attractive.”

Today, the goal is to use white strategically in order to maximize light and highlight artwork and furnishings. Luckily there are great products out there to help inject a bit of white into your home without having to get out your paint roller. Most cabinets companies carry at least one shade of bright white and one antiqued white so you can get that dream white kitchen but still have a factory finish cabinet for durability. One thing I am convinced of is that the white kitchen is here to stay for years to come. To bring home the look, many companies carry in-stock painted doors and mouldings that range from more traditional Colonial base to Mid-Century Modern 2-step casing.

The possibilities are endless! If you need a little direction, then we are here to help. We can help determine what your house needs in terms of stained or painted wood and then pick out the perfect color. Contact us today to schedule your in-home consultation with our expert designers.

Image Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Note: this blog post is a part of a series of articles that JZID has written in coordination with Western Building Products. You can see this article published on their website, as well.

JZID Featured as Designer of the Month

Thanks to Cocoweb for featuring us as their featured designer of the month. We are among some great company. Here are a few highlights from the interview. Check out the full interview at Cocoweb's blog to hear more about my take on what makes a happy home, advice for small spaces, and learn what I'd do if money was no issue! 

What would you say your preferred design style is?

I have very eclectic tastes and a passion for many aesthetics. My work blends the strong principles of Modern design with amped-up elegance. I'm definitely not afraid of a lot of color and pattern mixing! It is important to me that the design brings in my taste-level while still reflecting the client's aesthetic preferences so they can grow into the space.

 What is your biggest achievement?

I'm most proud of how quickly business is growing. I went from being a solopreneur working from my house to having an office space and hiring my first employee within 3 years of opening. We have a great network of past clients that continue to refer us to friends and hire us again for other projects. We work with great people and work hard for our clients, so I was really proud when we were voted the Shepherd Express's, Best in Milwaukee for Interior Design for our great designs and attentive service.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job as a designer?

I love a good before and after story. There is often a few months between the time we create our design to final install and during that time we really get into the weeds with the details of it all. Once the design is implemented and we do our final walkthrough, I like to look back at the before photos to remind myself and the client how far we came. Often times, the house is unrecognizable! That transformation into something that the client loves is so rewarding!

The most frustrating part of your job?

Working with long lead times or backordered products. Once we find the perfect material or furniture piece and get the client excited about it, it's hard to wait. And if there is a factory error are if a product comes in damaged then we have to break the bad news to clients and talk them through the waiting game all over again. It's always worth it so I just have to keep client morale up through the tough points in projects.

You can find the full interview here >>

New headshot by Mariah Braddock

JZID is Hiring - Design Intern Wanted

JZID is hiring a part-time Interior Design intern to support our project load. I'm looking for someone with a great eye for design and who is eager to learn the ins and outs of a full-service design firm. The ideal candidate must possess very strong creative passion, organization, communication, and time management skills.  


  1. Assisting with the project planning phase by doing site measures and taking photos
  2. Specifying furniture, lighting, décor, fixtures, finishes, millwork and flooring for projects 
  3. Collecting material samples and working with reps for pricing
  4. Creating design presentation boards and elevation drawings
  5. Coordinating and tracking shipments 
  6. Administrative duties as necessary to maintain client files and keep sample library  organized
  7. Running necessary errands (such as picking up samples and materials)
  8. Working to draft and adjust floor plans, elevations and 3D renderings 
  9. Writing blog posts and posting on social media about design trends and current projects


  1. Obtained or are working on obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design or Art-related field
  2. Excellent organizational and multi-tasking skills, ability to meet deadlines and very attentive to detail
  3. Strong writing and presentation skills
  4. Spatial planning skills with an eye for creative product and material selections in order to produce beautiful, functional and creative spaces for residential and commercial clients
  5. Advanced knowledge and experience with Google SketchUp, Adobe Photoshop, and Microsoft Office required
  6. Functional automobile, as candidate will need to run errands, attend client meetings and visit job sites. Projects range from Milwaukee Metro area, Madison and Northern IL

If you feel you meet these requirements and would be a great candidate for this position, please email me your cover letter, resume and portfolio to  Hours are negotiable and can be discussed during the interview. 

I'm excited to see what talent comes my way!

Wallpapers We Love

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great Easter and Passover weekend. I just got back from Pittsburgh from visiting my in-laws and checking in on their remodel that we've been working on. The star of the project has been the addition of some stunning wallpaper from Voutsa. It really turned out amazing! These koi fish brighten up my day - even during a typical Pittsburgh overcast. Check out our Instagram for a few more detail shots from the Pittsburgh project. 


The right wallpaper adds so much to a space and we've been installing a lot of it. Wallpaper can get a bad wrap - a lot of people associate it with a over-designed country B&B's and think that it is impossible to get off. This design feature has been trending for a few years now so there are a ton of pattern and texture options to select from. And if the wall is primed right and the paper installed correctly then it shouldn't be impossible to later remove.

We've been loving wallpaper so much lately that we have installed it in a few Client's homes already and will be adding it to a few more designs in the next few months. Here is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of projects we've featured wallpaper. 

Elm grove makeover

This Client had recently bought a home in Elm Grove, Wisconsin. The overall house is very traditional but the homeowner is on the younger side and has a young family, so we wanted to add touches of whimsy to livened up the home. This powder room is on the first floor by the front entry and really gives any visitors an idea of the spirit of the family. The fun wallpaper we chose is called Guadeloupe from Thibaut. This wallpaper has so much character and feels so natural with the rest of the house. I'd love to install it in the other colorways! 

Cambridge Drive makeover

This is one of our most dramatic makeovers. Our Client's powder room featured both light blue paint and "pool liner" blue wall tile... it was a lot of look that just didn't fit the elegant feel of the rest of the home. What you can't see in the photo is that these walls are super high - like 12' high - and it has a skylight window shining down into the room. With the walls being so tall, we added 42" tall wainscoting and then wallpapered the top in Martello, Grey from Thibaut. This wallpaper is both graphically geometric and elegant. 

I love when Clients step out of their comfort zone and try new designs. Here are a few wallpapers that we would love to feature -  

Birds on Gray  by Voutsa

Birds on Gray by Voutsa

Nani in Poni  by Paper Mills

Nani in Poni by Paper Mills

Feather Grass  by Farrow & Ball

Feather Grass by Farrow & Ball

Nira in Grey  by Thibaut

Nira in Grey by Thibaut

Chameleon in Teal  by Thibaut

We keep finding new wallpapers to love everyday. Contact us if you'd like to see what wallpaper we have in mind for your home. 

Comment below your favorite wallpaper! I'd love to see what you've had your eyes on.

JZID Project Reveal - Modern Master Bathroom

Here is an exciting project reveal to get you through the second half of this week! Today is my last full day in the office before I fly out to Pittsburgh to help my in-laws with their house and celebrate the holiday weekend. I'll be posting some photos of their condo on Instagram over the next few days, so follow me for updates.

Speaking of condos... here is our latest before and after project. This time it's a super transformational bathroom remodel in Milwaukee's Third Ward neighborhood. 


When I think of a downtown condo I think of exposed brick, open floor plans, stylish finishes, and Clients who enjoy entertaining. When a previous Client of mine brought us back in to remodel her master bathroom, the room was anything but my vision for a downtown condo.

The finishes were contractor-grade and deteriorating and the storage was not efficient (think melamine cabinets, laminate countertops, frameless mirrors, and square tile). The rest of the condo is rich in texture, but this bathroom was feeling very white. What isn't pictured in this before photo is the exposed wood beam ceiling. The room had potential, but the old finishes weren't doing it any justice. 

Check out the layout below. The overall size of the bathroom is pretty small. Yes, those are TWO doors leading into a bathroom that is just shy of 63 square feet. The shower was also a bit tight at only 31" wide. The drywall partition was about 6" thick making the shower interior feel even more crowded. There were OK elements about the layout, it just needed some tweaking. 


Our mission was to create a bathroom that was open, had more storage, and brought in a Modern design sense. In order to gain additional square footage, we eliminated the second door leading to the den. The condo has an additional powder room right outside of the den, so a dedicated entrance into the master just wasn't needed. By getting rid of that redundant door, we were able to install a tall pantry cabinet for maximum storage. The pantry leads into a floating vanity cabinet, toilet, and then a grid-glass shower panel. Other than removing the door and knocking out the drywall partition into the shower, this was mostly just a cosmetic upgrade.

I'm totally in love with the end result. It's dramatic, yet functional. The overall design fits a Modern aesthetic with its strong horizontal lines, neutral color scheme, exposed structural elements, and mixture of natural woods and reflective metals. The bathroom isn't very large, so tiling all walls in the large format black tile helps blur out the boundaries of the room and allows for the chrome lighting and plumbing fixtures to really pop. Check out this blog post where we share even more rooms with dark walls. In this bathroom, we used Benjamin Moore's Newburg Green paint color, a mixture of DalTile and Happy Floors tile, Caesarstone countertops, KitchenCraft cabinetry, and Kohler plumbing. 

There is a lot that I love in the bathroom, but my favorite element has to be the floating vanity cabinet with the under-cabinet lighting. The lighting makes a huge impact for its relatively inexpensive cost for materials and install. The illumination makes the vanity feel light and airy while the wall tile anchors the space. The dichotomy between these elements creates a well-balanced design that is functional and stylish. 

You can see all photos from this project in my portfolio >> 

Do you have an area of your house that isn't reaching its full potential - bathroom outdated, furniture placement is off, don't like the lighting or paint? Contact JZID today to get started on your design project in 2018:

Design Trends that Cut into Your Sleep Time

A few of times a year I am bombarded with blogs, Instagram posts, and magazine features about trends for bedrooms. The titles are always something like "New Year, New Bedroom" or "New Trends for Dreamy Bedrooms" or "Bedrooms of your Dreams in 2018"... and they almost always feature something a bit out of the box (think minimal beds and all mirrored walls). Changing trends can add fun and sophistication to the bedroom, but there are some bedroom trends worth skipping because they affect the quality of your sleep. The bedroom should be your sanctuary where you leave the rest of the world behind, but it’s hard to do that if the very room you love is working against you. To help you out, Tuck Sleep Foundation sent me a list of few trends you might want to avoid to get the best sleep possible. 

Multi-Use Room

In most areas of the house, multi-functional spaces are a great way to maximize usage and make every inch count. The bedroom is a different story. As tempting as it may be to put your home office in the corner of your bedroom, avoid it if at all possible. The reason--it sends your brain the wrong message. Your mind and body have to be able to relax, and if you’re drawn to a computer screen where emails await you, that’s not going to happen. If you cannot avoid having a multi-use space, divide the areas as much as possible. Visible barriers or even a change of paint colors will help your brain create the mental space it needs to shut down for the day. 

Bright Color Palettes

Color impacts your mind and body. Reds, oranges, and other bold colors subtly affect your mood and make you feel more awake. The bedroom needs to be a place of relaxation and calm. Subdued neutrals like beige, whites, and grays in soft tones can help calm the mind. Gentle, not dark, greens and blues are also associated with relaxation. In general, steer clear of warm colors as they stimulate the brain to an awakened state. 

Minimalism That Doesn’t Support the Mattress

Minimalism reduces clutter which promotes an equally uncluttered mind that falls asleep easier. But, there are some minimalist trends you might want to pass by if you have trouble sleeping or a bad back. A mattress placed on a platform rather than a box spring might not provide the right kind of support. Box spring designs have changed significantly so that now many have a wire support system that prolongs the life of your mattress while reducing body fatigue and pain. 

Large Televisions

You might be tempted to binge watch your favorite streaming service or watch your favorite movie until you fall asleep, but the light from a television (or any screen for that matter) stimulates the brain. It can confuse the circadian rhythms and make it harder to sleep. Having a screen in your bedroom creates a multi-purpose room, and you want to avoid that. A bedroom that has too many distractions doesn’t send the message that it’s the place to sleep. If you have to have a TV, consider a small screen that doesn’t give off as much light. Try placing the TV in a cabinet with doors where you can shut it away so you’re not tempted to watch at bedtime.

Bring Back the Ceiling Fan

A cool sleep environment helps the body maintain the low temperature it needs for high-quality sleep. Fans give you more temperature control options. Ceiling fans also provide white noise to drown out outside disturbances and lull the brain into a deeper sleep. Ceiling fans have come a long way from the faux wood with brass accents you may remember. They now come in everything from minimalist to modern farmhouse designs so don’t let aesthetics prevent you from making a move that could help you get better rest. 

Your bedroom should be your oasis - a place for you to relax and reset after a long day. If you are having difficulty getting a good night's sleep or want to know if a certain trend you saw online would be beneficial to your sleep then contact us and we can help you out. 


Tuck Sleep Foundation aims to improve sleep hygiene, health, and wellness through the creation and dissemination of comprehensive, unbiased, free sleep resources. Tuck aims to power consumers, sleep professionals, and the troubled sleeper looking for answers. is a comprehensive platform to help you understand sleep health and hygiene and research sleep products. 

Time for a Refresh

If there's one thing I love about my job its transformations that we make to our Clients' homes. A lot of times we do large-scale renovations that make a huge impact, but there are so many small things that can be done to a room to change the look or amp it up. Especially in winter we tend to notice those areas of the home that need some design assistance - like when we are taking down our holiday decorations or sitting in the house getting cabin fever, things just stick out! Why not tweak a few things to help you feel refreshed when you come home?

To help you know where to start, we've put together a few suggestions that you can easily switch out or change that will make a positive impact in your living space. 

1. Painting

This is such an easy fix and so many people miss opportunities in their house by passing this up. A simple coat (or two) could change your place completely! Below is a comparison of one of my own jobs, Lilly Road Coastal Home.

Finding the right paint for your home can be a lot of work! I recommend starting a Pinterest board and pin some images you like. Once you have enough images you should be able to see what direction you are wanting to go towards. You can then go to your local hardware/ paint shop and get some samples. Here are my steps for finding the perfect sample.

  • Purchase sample pints/quarts of each color along with foam brushes to apply it.
  • Apply two layers of the color in at least two different areas of the room so you can see how the color looks in different lighting and next to trim color.
  • Make sure to feather out the edges when painting so the sample doesn’t show through the final painted wall. The paint doesn't need to be very thick. If you are nervous about putting samples directly on your wall then you can purchase cheap drywall from any hardware store and use that as your surface. 
  • Remember that paint needs time to cure, so wait for the layers to dry before judging them. You should live with the swatches for a few days so you can see how the paint changes with different light levels.
  • And, of course, make sure you label which swatch is which color so you don't get mixed up!

Check out some of our paint blogs below. We are IN LOVE with dark walls at the moment and the new 2018 colors that Pantone released.

2. Add New Throw Pillows

Adding in new pillows is a great and non-committal way to change up your look. There's no need to be limited by what you see at Crate and Barrel or AtHome since you can turn any fabric into a pillow. If you have sewing skills then it will be super easy for you to whip out a new pillow cover but if you don't then you can find a local seamstress (I use one from Etsy) that will create it for fairly cheap. A while ago I did a blog post on some of my favorite fabrics (check it out here). I'm still drawn to graphic and whimsical prints for small pillows that will be feature statement in a room and help inject an eclectic aesthetic into your home. Here are a few fabrics I would love to see on pillows - 

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3. Update Furniture

There are endless options for furniture out there so Clients can often find this a stressful process. But that's also the fun of it! If you're stuck on where to start updating I recommend starting small. A dining room can be a great place to start. We spend a ton time with our families eating and talking over the dinner table, so why not love what you're sitting on?

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You can also inject new life into your living room with a great new side table. It can be functional with storage or just a statement piece with a metallic surface. Just make sure it is the right scale for the room. All of the dining chairs and side tables here are a part of our Trade accounts where we can get you great discounts or even Trade exclusive items. 

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4. Wall Decor

In my house, I am always rotating art pieces that I've picked up from travels, galleries, thrift stores and family members. Artwork can truly transform a room. If it's in the budget, I always recommend supporting local galleries and artists. If you're located in Milwaukee, then you can check out a couple of my favorites galleries - David Barnett Gallery and Tory Folliard. Buying originals or even artist prints really ranges in price so don't count it out. 

If you don't want original art or if you need art in a space where it needs to be durable (like a bathroom), then you can check out one of our custom art sources. One of my favorite online galleries is Zoe Bios Creative. There is a wide range of styles and so many artists to choose from. The art below is just a sliver of pieces they carry. We also have accounts with Wendover Art, Art Classics Limited and Trowbridge Gallery

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However you decide to update the house, just have fun with it! We are firm believers that your home should really reflect your personal style. You want your home to look like you, not like a Pottery Barn showroom! If you get stuck or want access to our exclusive and discounted Trade accounts, then give us a call at (309) 371-6676 or shoot us an email. We'd love to work with you! 

JZID Wins Best of Milwaukee!


I'm very excited to announce that JZID has won the Shepherd Express Best of Milwaukee 2017 award in the Interior Design category! 


Thank you to all of our great Clients and supporters for nominating and then voting for us for this award. Since starting JZID, I really wanted to create a design studio that is Client-oriented and provides a bespoke turnkey approach to remodeling and design services.

It's amazing to see how our jobsites transform into our Client's dream homes. We love the process and working with wonderful people. We have the best Clients! See what our previous Clients have to say about our services on Houzz

We would love to work with you to transform your home in 2018. Let's talk about how we can create your dream home! Contact JZID today to get started. 

Project Update - Interior Pool Remodel

Hope everyone is having a great start to 2018! We are in the midst of a cold snap here in WI, but have been thinking warm thoughts while we work on remodeling an interior pool in Elm Grove. It is such a cool project. A young couple recently moved into this house and have decided to overhaul their pool, which needed a lot of attention in order to even really be functional. And while they were fixing humidity and efficiency issues, why not transform it into their dream pool?

Digging out this kidney-shaped pool is a huge, messy task. We've had a crew working on this for weeks so we can transform it to a rectangular-shaped pool with a hot tub. Once the pool is the right shape, we will do a textured concrete floor, install new lights, wire it for automated blinds and projector system, and paint (don't worry we aren't getting rid of the wood cathedral ceiling!). The final look will be much brighter and will have a contemporary meets retro vibe that will match the rest of the classic MCM house.  



I'm working with a great team on this one. The project started with Swimming Pool Services in Waukesha, who brought in a company that I do a lot of work with - Connor Remodeling from Menomonee Falls. We are going to have our Clients in the pool in the next few months and will have great photos to show you then! 

In the meantime, you can check out our recent projects in our portfolio or follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get frequent updates on what we are up to. 

Happy New Year

Thank you for helping make 2017 a great year for JZID! We worked with amazing clients, vendors and contractors. Just looking at these transformations in the carousel below makes me excited to see what 2018 has in store for us. 

Hope everyone has a great start to the year. Let's work on creating your best home in 2018 - whether that's a smaller furniture refresh or a full remodel. Contact us to get the conversation started

Merry Christmas from JZID

A happy holidays to you and yours from JZID!

To celebrate, have some fun with these modern DIY project: 

  1. Marij Hessel talks us through fab DIY baubles. You'll just have to use Google Translate on your browser to translate it from Dutch.
  2. I know I'm late for Chanukah this year, but this would be a great one for next year! Josef Frank Inspired Menorah by David Stark Design from Design Sponge.
  3. Wow your guests with a festive and bubbly champagne punch from Design Love Fest.
  4.  Create a modern wreath out of foliage and wooden beads from Homey Oh My. This wreath is peaceful enough that it looks great for the holidays, but could also work all year round. 

Have fun and safe travels to all of our readers.