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.  

ON A DAILY BASIS, YOU WILL BE... 

  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

THE IDEAL CANDIDATE WILL POSSESS THE FOLLOWING SKILLS/CHARACTERISTICS...

  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 jerrica@jz-id.com.  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. 

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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. 

BEFORE - 

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. 

AFTER - 

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. 

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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. Tuck.com 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!

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

Houzz

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.  

BEFORE PHOTOS - 

DEMO PHASE - 

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. 

Minimalism + Managing Holiday Stress

If your week is anything like mine, then you are also in the weeds with Holiday craziness and scrambling to finish loose ends at work before the end of the year! I'll be traveling to Pittsburgh tomorrow to visit my in-laws and then off to my hometown the following week to celebrate with my side of the family. With so much to do, it's hard to power down enough to really embrace the special moments of the season. Going into this weekend, let's all take a moment to clear our head and think about one of my favorite aesthetic movements - Minimalism. In the art world, the Minimalism movement is defined as:   

/minəməˌlizəm/: an extreme form of abstract art developed in the USA in the 1960s and typified by artworks composed of simple geometric shapes based on the square and the rectangle

"Hang Up" by Eva Hesse (1966). Acrylic paint on cloth over wood; acrylic paint on cord over steel tube. 182.9 x 213.4 x 198.1 cm. The Art Institute of Chicago.

The Minimal aesthetic seeks a highly purified form of beauty in search of order, simplicity and harmony through literal depictions, repeated forms and direct engagement with the space it occupies. There is no display of artist emotion as in Expressionism. In fact, according to the Tate Modern, there was often a "deliberate lack of expression: With no trace of emotion or intuitive decision making, little about the artist is revealed in the work. Minimalist artists rejected the notion of the artwork as a unique creation reflecting the personal expression of a gifted individual, seeing this as a distraction from the art object itself. Instead they created objects that were as impersonal and neutral as possible." 

The movement was criticized by art critics of the day (and my husband any time we go to the museum) as being too cold and novelty. That the lack of standard aesthetic qualities that art should have was lessening the experience of the viewer and undervaluing the art object. 

The movement started to break up by the late 1960s, but the aesthetic marked a turning point in the history of modernism. The roots of the movement still remain hugely influential today for contemporary artists, architects, interior designers and product designers. You might have also heard about the Minimalist lifestyle that is such a buzz word right now.   

“The Marriage of Reason and Squalor, II”, by Frank Stella (1959). Enamel on canvas. 230.5 x 337.2 cm. MoMA.

"Two Open Modular Cubes/Half-Off", by Sol LeWitt (1972). Enamel on aluminum, 1600x3054x2330 mm. Tate Museum.

For us, Minimalism means creating interiors where every element of the design is taken into consideration and distilled into its purest form. All materials selected take into account how it will resolve when meeting other textures and forms. Layouts and furniture frame shapes are kept simple as to not become busy with intersecting and competing lines. Not all Clients want a pure Minimalist room, but every design should take these elements into consideration in order to create visual harmony.

Not sure if you want to go all the way and have your living room look like the Tate yet? One safe place to inject some of the aesthetic is in the bathroom. Take a look at these jaw-dropping bathroom fixtures we are currently gushing over!

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I feel like with bathrooms like these, Holiday stress wouldn't even phase me! They feel so calm and pure, but luxurious through the material selection. I'm especially in love with the Axor Starck Organics faucet in the first photo. Their entire collection is perfection (check it out here);  Let's build your new bathroom around it! Contact us today to get started on injecting a bit of that Minimalist philosophy into your home.  

JZID Project Reveal - River Oaks Transformation

I'm excited to start off the week with a project reveal that we worked on for the majority of this year! We see so many homes built in the 1990's that have become outdated and almost soulless over time. The combination of oak trim, brass knobs, and matchy-matchy light fixture sets just isn't standing the test of time and doesn't quite reflect the unique aesthetics of homeowners in 2017. Our latest 90's home renovation is set in Pleasant Prairie's picturesque and architecturally diverse River Oaks neighborhood. 

BEFORE PHOTOS

My Clients bought this home knowing that they would need to make updates in order to truly make it feel like a home for their family. The house was very specific to the previous owners' style, with hand-painted murals on the walls and frilly window treatments. The layout of the home was nice and open, but the multiple types of flooring made the first floor seem small and disjointed. Despite its size (17' along the back wall), the kitchen didn't have a lot of storage. The pass-through window leading to the four seasons porch cut out a large portion of cabinet space and the oddly shaped island only got int the while cooking. 

AFTER PHOTOS

When our Clients brought us in, they initially just wanted a new island in the kitchen and hardwood flooring installed throughout the house. The more we got to know them and their style, the more it was obvious that the first floor of the home needed a more comprehensive makeover in order to fit their storage needs and reflect their personal aesthetic. 

The Clients wanted a design that had elements of Traditional and French Country design, without being too on-the-nose. In order to pull the house out of the 90's and marry Old World touches with modern conveniences, we had to completely transform the heart of the home - the kitchen. We ripped out the speckled high-pile carpet in the living room and dining room and the 12x12" contractor-grade white tile in the kitchen and entryway and put in a rich medium-toned maple hardwood floor throughout. We painted the oak woodwork throughout the house in Benjamin Moore's Chalk White (BM 2126-70) and contrasted it with a dark grey crown molding in Benjamin Moore's Escarpment (BM CC-518). 

The darker crown molding adds an interesting architectural element, making the home feel more Traditional and elegant. The darker color is then balanced out by the graphite quartz from Artisan Counters and the rich-toned maple flooring from Kentwood Floors. The Escarpment color also pulls out the glazing treatment on the cabinetry, making the recessed panel detail shine. 

My favorite element of the remodel is this gorgeous island in a beautiful saturated French provincial blue tone. Instead of the oddly shaped island shown in the before photos, we added a deep 8-1/2 foot long island that houses storage on both sides, the dishwasher, a cast iron sink and seating for 2. We also were able to get more storage in the kitchen by taking the upper cabinets to the ceiling and by closing up the pass-through window to make room for a large pantry and refrigerator. The color of the island really pops and pulls out the cool tones from the stunning marble mosaic backsplash from Soci, Inc. 

After installing the new kitchen, floors, lighting, and painting the woodwork and walls, we decided to also wash the two-sided fireplace with a dark charcoal stain to tone down the red brick. Now that the fireplaces are darker, the white mantels feel more luxurious.

I love that we were able to photograph the house with my Clients' Christmas decoration up. The house feels so homey now and is well set up for entertaining their family. The elegance and warmth of the design make it the perfect Christmas house!    

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

Is your home stuck in the 90's? We can help! Let's talk about how we can transform your outdated or inefficient space into your dream home! Contact JZID today to get started. 

After photos taken by Kayser Photography.

2018 Color Forecast

It's the most wonderful time of the year... the color forecasts are in for 2018! And it's not all boring white and beige. Three of the major industry leaders have all chosen dramatic and deep colors that have historical significance while still feeling fresh and contemporary.

Just last week Pantone released their Color of the Year as Ultra Violet. Pantone helps set the tone for the design industry (graphic design/packaging, home decor, fashion and beauty) by taking into account what's currently trending and by selecting a color that their experts think we need in our world today.

And Pantone isn't alone. Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams also chose powerful colors. Benjamin Moore with a radiant red named Caliente and Sherwin Williams with a mesmerizing blue named Oceanside.

I can feel 2018 will be a very colorful year. Take a look below to see all the colors and inspiration images to get you in the mood for a whole new color scheme in the New Year. Enjoy!

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Need help selecting a fabulous color for your home? We can help with that! Contact us today for a consultation and we'll get started.

Loving Vincent

Has anyone seen the movie Loving Vincent that is in theaters now? The trailer is so captivating and it's received a lot of praise , I'm dying to see it! The movie is a really interesting take on a biopic about the world's most famous painter - Vincent van Gogh. Even from the few clips that I've seen, you can really tell that the film is a labor of love by directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman. By commissioning tens of thousands of oil paintings from different artists, the filmmakers take on the question: What if van Gogh's paintings, with their vivid colors and bold brush strokes, had been able to move?

Watch the trailer here - 

If you live in the Milwaukee area, the movie is playing at the Oriental Theater on North Farwell for the next week or so. I'm planning on seeing it over the weekend. 

Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, Saint Rémy, June 1889, oil on canvas, 29 x 36 1/4". Source: MOMA

Van Gogh's paintings are infused with emotion, vibrancy and a sense of urgency. Probably one of his most iconic paintings, The Starry Night (1889), is a great example of how the painter used brush strokes to create expressive and emotive imagery. The painting is dominated by the moon- and star-filled night sky, depicted by turbulent, swirling patterns of wind rolling across the canvas like waves. Taking a note from his painter friend,  Paul Gauguin, van Gogh drew from direct observations as well as his imagination, memories, and emotions for this painting. Such a combination of visual contrasts was generated by an artist who found beauty and interest in the night, which he described in a letter to his brother, was “much more alive and richly colored than the day.”

Art and design have always had a symbiotic relationship and van Gogh's work has been a direct inspiration for us when designing for Clients. We've even used the Almond Blossom painting shown in the banner as wallpaper in a Client's dining room.

In our interior design world, we thrive on the emotions and drama that emanate from well thought out spaces. Rooms inspired by van Gogh have primary and complementary color palettes, balance created through asymmetry, movement through pattern and a slight sense of whimsy. Here are a few great examples: 

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A particular favorite element of van Gogh's subject matter to us is his ability to combine saturated, vibrant colors with natural earth tones. An exemplary painting of this juxtaposition is the 1889 work Irises (oil on canvas, 29 1/4 × 37 1/8", J. Paul Getty Musesum). The painting features various shades of green, blue and yellow against the natural browns of the soil. We were so inspired that we put together a style board based on this painting. 

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We love talking about what inspires us while designing - check out a previous blog post about John Rawlings's influence on interior design. 

Bay View Condo Sneak Peek

Happy Monday! I wanted to kick this week off with a sneak peek into one of my favorite projects that we have been working on over the last few months. In early 2017 I was hired by my Clients - a lovely and adventurous couple from Northern Illinois - to furnish their new condo in Milwaukee's hip Bay View neighborhood.

The condo was feeling very Midwestern despite having exposed ceilings and a very cool metal spiral staircase. My Clients wanted their getaway condo to fit their unique blend of aesthetic preferences - classic Mid-Century Modern meets Industrial with a touch of Traditional through furniture frames they already owned. We reupholstered antique furniture frames, hung existing artwork, painted all of the walls (including the trim in black) and purchased new furniture and rugs. 

We still have one area to furnish and might be making slight updates in the kitchen, but I wanted to share the in-progress photos. It's really coming together! 

Need help creating your home away from home? Contact JZID today to get started. 

JZID Project Reveal - Westchester Lakes Master Bath

I'm excited to share our latest project reveal - a master bathroom in a quite Mequon neighborhood. JZID turned an outdated bathroom with a cramped layout into an airy master retreat. 

There is no getting around it, the bathroom is part of our daily ritual. It is the space where most of us start and end our days. And although the basic functions of the bathroom continue to be the same each and every year, bathroom trends have really changed from when my Client's home was built in the 1990's to today. 

BEFORE PHOTOS

Not much had changed in this bathroom since the house was built - painted faux wallpaper, old oak cabinets and square tile galore (even as the countertop). It was definitely time for a refresh. 

SPACE PLAN - BEFORE

While the finishes were outdated, the real driving force for my Client wanting this remodel was the layout. This bathroom fell victim to a lot of errors that were often made in suburban homes in the 80's and 90's. It was very common with new builds of this era to try and cram in as many features as possible. In a way, the builders had the right idea when focusing on resale. I mean, who doesn't want a nice freestanding bathtub and double vanity, right? Where they went wrong was the wonky layout of all of these pieces. A Jacuzzi tub filled up most of the floor plan, leaving the toilet feeling shoved in the corner and the shower too cramped for adults. And don't get me started on the sinks! An angled vanity only makes sense if there is enough clearance so two people can use the sinks at the same time without bumping elbows. This set up definitely didn't satisfy that rule.  

SPACE PLAN - AFTER

The goal of this remodel was to simplify the layout of the bathroom and update the finishes. We would have loved to give our Client a nice freestanding bathtub, double vanity, walk-in shower and a ton of storage, but the size of the room just didn't allow for that - it is just shy of 100 square feet. So, we had to prioritize and a spacious shower and storage won out in the end. 

To get away from that awkward angle in the wall, we squared off the corner of the room by eating into a hallway closet that wasn't being fully used. By doing this we could now fit in a double vanity along the wall parallel to a new walk in shower where the Jacuzzi used to be. This freed up the space where the shower previously was located to be for a nice large linen cabinet that hides extra towels, toiletries and laundry baskets. We blocked off the world's most narrow built-in cabinet and did a nice tile wrap-around instead. The only thing that stayed the same was the toilet placement! 

AFTER PHOTOS

My Clients wanted a design that was bright and airy, while still fitting with the rest of their traditional home (think: oak trim, classic color palettes and touches of ironwork in the lighting).  We created a design that focused on enlarging the space through the use of glass panels, over-sized mirrors and elongated tile. The color palette is light - the walls are painted in Sherwin William's Light French Gray (SW 0055) and the wall tile from Marrazzi is in a glazed white glossy finish that really amplifies the natural sunlight coming in from the window and from the ample fixtures we installed. We then paired these light elements with high-contrast dark wood cabinets from Master Brand and a graphic marble mosaic floor tile (featured in this blog post about our favorite tile!). For the bonus, we installed heated floors to add in that luxurious element everyone wants in their master en suite! The effect is a well-balanced design that is timeless and functional. 

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

Does your bathroom fit your lifestyle and design preferences? If not, let's talk about how to create your personal oasis! Contact JZID today to get started. 

After photos taken by Ryan Hainey Photography

Going to the Dark Side

The heat wave in Milwaukee [finally] broke - there is a crisp chill in the air and I'm walking through more leaves on the sidewalk than before. I'm ready for sweaters, fuzzy socks and a nice cup of hot tea. This changing of seasons has me really loving the deep, saturated direction a lot of paint companies are going with their color trend reports. One way to instantly create a cozy environment perfect for hibernation is to go darker on the walls. Just think about curling up with a plush blanket in front of the fire with a glass of wine and watching the flames reflect on your saturated wall color - so dreamy! 

Going dark and moody with your room can be a bit high-maintenance (just like your last high-drama relationship). Dark paint shows any imperfections in your painting, so professional application is highly recommended. When going dark, just remember the principles of light and dark. Light colors will expand a space, dark ones will contract it — so only go dark if have a room with a lot of natural light or if you are going for a more cavernous feel (like in a study or a bedroom). 

If the space is right for it, then painting a room in a deep color palette is totally transformative and allows you make metallic finishes, upholstery prints and wall decor really stand out. There's nothing to fear from the dark side, just look at these breath-taking rooms!

Need help deciding what paint color is right for your home? We can help - contact us today to get started on creating you personal oasis!

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Our Favorite Backsplashes

We are always on the hunt for the perfect backsplash tile. Recently, we have been remodeling a lot of kitchens. Right now we have seven active kitchen redesigns or full gut-remodels (like this in-progress one)! We will be photographing a couple projects over the next couple of months and we're excited to show you. It is always a pleasure helping families remodel the heart of their home.

When it comes to backsplash tile, it is important that the tile enhances the countertop and cabinetry, while adding some contrast and texture to create a dynamic design. There are so many options out there that clients can sometimes get overwhelmed. That's where JZID comes in to narrow the focus and choose the needle in the haystack. Here is a look inside a few of our current favorites:

1 | Classic Moroccan Arabesque  

I'm a sucker for an arabesque tile. The shape gives a nod to historic Morocco while still easily translating into a contemporary design. The tile really works well with kitchens that already have clean lines through simple hardware and shaker doors. When clients have a more traditional or transitional aesthetic preference, having too many straight lines can come off cold and contemporary. The interplay of curved lines adds a touch of femininity, movement and elegance. The shapely arabesque comes in so many finishes and material. We've seen them made of natural stone, concrete, glass, ceramic... there is no shortage of arabesques right now! For a client's lake house on Pretty Lake in Dousman, WI, we chose a crackle ceramic arabesque mosaic in polished dove gray from MSI's Highland Park collection. We paired this with a stunning Calcutta marble quartz and white shaker cabinets.  

2 | Bold Mosaics

A kitchen backsplash isn’t only a practical feature that adds durability to your walls, it’s also a décor detail and a way to make a statement. If you're looking for a not-so-subtle design feature, then a graphic mosaic tile is for you. There are endless options out there from feminine flowers to metallic geometric shapes to this awesome showgirl waterjet mosaic...

If you decide to go bold, then you can't do it half-way. You need to fearlessly install the tile all the way to the ceiling for a big impact. When you find a tile you fall in love with, there can never be too much! We used the tile to the right in a bathroom remodel that we will be photographing in early September It has a nice balance between contemporary high-contrast and traditional shapes. You can find this marble mosaic at Glazzio Tile.  

3 | Natural Stone

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There is nothing more luxurious than a beautiful natural stone tile, particularly marble and travertine. I'm obsessed! Not only is this material timeless, but natural stone tile is universally loved by homeowners and designers, which gives the look top-notch staying power. If done right, a natural stone backsplash will still be a big hit with potential buyers, whether you’re selling in five, 10 or 15 years. Natural stone works best when installed on an entire wall to give the illusion that you have a slab running from countertops to ceiling. If you don't have any breaks in your cabinets, then try a natural stone mosaic like the one pictured to the right (from DalTile). We just put this tile in a Thiensville kitchen remodel and it adds so much texture to the space!

Natural stone isn't without it's maintenance - you have to seal it like you would stone countertops and it's not impervious to water. If you like the look, but aren't keen on the up-keep then there are plenty of porcelain tiles out there that look very close to natural stone. This tile from DalTile is one of my go-to porcelain tiles for bathroom flooring. The only downside about the porcelain versions is that it doesn't quite have the same variation you get tile to tile with natural stone where no one piece is the same. 

4| Contemporary Metallics 

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In my opinion, every room needs a some degree of metal accents to add texture and drama.  In the last 5 years, metal tiles have come a long way. Metal tiles were once thought of as too clinical and cold for residential spaces. But like concrete floors and cage pendant lights, metal tiles can be seen in homes of all styles today due to the increasing variety of tile created; stainless steel, copper, bronze, gold and nickel backsplashes have become a hot trend for kitchens and bathrooms. 

Aside from its good looks, metallic backsplashes have incredible durability and protective qualities when it comes to handling water and grease. These metal tiles really are just as easy to keep clean as your stainless steel appliances. We are proposing the tile pictured for a kitchen backsplash we're doing in Muskego, WI next month! You can find metallic tiles from all of the large manufacturers, but his tile is from TileBar.

5 | Subway Tile

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Subway tile will always have its own place in design. It's just about as classic as you can get!  When in doubt, DIY'ers seem to default to the 3x6" white ceramic Subway tile, but there is so much more out there. Each tile manufacturer has it's own spin on the subway tile, whether it's an elongated shape, hand glazing, made of glass of crafted from luxury material (like this gorgeous marble subway tile I put in the Lilly Road kitchen). With all of the options out there, no two houses with subway tile should look the same! Another trick to make your subway tile look more special is to install it on the ceiling as well like we did in this charming house's bathrooms. 

With so many options out there, we'd understand if you're feeling a bit overwhelmed! We're here to help - whether it's just adding in a new splash to your kitchen or totally remodeling your kitchen.  Are you ready to discuss updating your kitchen? Contact us today to get started!

JZID Project Reveal - Pretty Lake Remodel

To combat the rain and gloom in Milwaukee over the last few days, I wanted to channel warm breezes and lemonade with my latest project reveal! January through May of this year, we were working to remodel a lakefront property on serene Pretty Lake in Dousman, WI. This was a big job! My Clients were brave to even buy the house in the first place. The dimensions of the rooms were strange, the upstairs didn't feel secure and there was an awful smell throughout the house. I knew it was a gut job at first glance, but the Clients were ready for the challenge. And I'm glad they were because the end result is spectacular!

Before Photos

Saying that the house had outdated finishes would be an understatement! And it was clear that the kitchen wasn't built for modern appliances - a refrigerator shouldn't be blocking the doorway like that. Despite these major design faux pas, we could tell that the overall bones of the house had potential. 

Kitchen overlooking the front entryway and garage entrance. 

You can see the potential in the space, the layout is just inefficient! 

Family room off of kitchen with a non-functioning fireplace. 

Sitting room off of family room with access to upstairs bedroom and the backyard.

Half bath off of master bedroom. Yes, that is a wall of mirrors! 

Master bedroom with small deck overlooking Pretty Lake.

Space Plan - Before

The original layout of the house wasn't as efficient as it could have been. The first floor felt closed off due to a series of rooms blocking the view to the lake and the second floor just made no senses. There was a large walk-in closet but the smallest bathroom possible that didn't even have a shower. 

First Floor - 

Second Floor - 

Space Plan - After

Like any project, we kicked off the remodel with finalizing the new layout. The new layout now had a large kitchen and dining area, an extra bedroom, a shower in the master bedroom and great views to the lake. The first thing we did was open up the walls to the hall and utility room so we could reclaim these areas as an open-concept kitchen and dining area. We carved out a new bedroom from the existing living room and added a fireplace and sliding door to the backyard in the sitting room. 

One of the biggest changes was switching the orientation of the stairs so we could fit in a shower and large closet in the master bedroom. The floor plan is now much more open and there are clean lines of site to the lake view.

First Floor - 

Second Floor - 

The demo phase is always my favorite part of a project. Here are two amazing views from this winter when all of the walls were knocked down and the lake was frozen over. 

After Photos

My Clients wanted a home that was durable enough for their kids and pets to run around in, but luxury enough that they could move in full-time after the last of the kids went off to college. The design delicately balances these two often dueling requirements while highlighting the amazing lake view. The Calacatta quartz countertops are stunning mixed with the dark flooring (can you believe those are CoreTec LVT?!) and that arabesque tile makes such a statement! 

Kitchen and Dining - (with that amazing lake view!)

Downstairs Bath - 

Laundry Closet in Mudroom - 

Living Room - 

Master Bathroom - 

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

Do you need to go through a large renovation project? Contact JZID today to get started.