Welcome to the Team: Devin Nelson

Back in March, I put out an announcement that I was hiring an up-and-coming designer to join my team. I received a lot of great portfolios and met some wonderful candidates. I am happy to announce that in April, I added Devin Nelson to my team. Over the past three months, we have been working away on some great projects (like this one) and have a lot of exciting things in the works. 

Devin is a Wisconsin native, growing up in Portage area outside of Madison. Like me, she has small town roots, but big dreams for design. Her love of the arts started from a young age. A particularly cute story is that she'd spent much of her childhood drawing new layouts for her family home. When she exhausted the wall layouts, she would turn her attention to furniture placement. I can definitely tell that her love of layouts runs deep - she is quick to sketch out kitchen remodels and has a great eye for efficient flows. 

After a few years of drawing out spaces she was eager to learn more about the art of interior design. In high school she took drafting classes, learned AutoCAD and Photoshop and all available studio art classes. After she graduated high school she took a college-level Interior Design course that solidified her desire to pursue the field as a career. Devin attended Griffith College - Dublin in Ireland, where she received her BA in Interior Design. Going from small town Wisconsin to Europe was an eye-opening experience. While in college, Devin traveled across Europe and Africa, soaking up the diversity and history of different culture's art and architecture. Inspiration drawn from her travels carries through to her designs today. She fondly reminisces on her time in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona is a city with a unique architectural flare - Gothic mansions sit beside graceful churches and the streets are littered with Modernista masterpieces. This juxtaposition between the historic and modern show strongly through Devin's portfolio and design sense. 

Since graduating college she focused on developing expertise in kitchen and bath design, as well as working in the lighting field. Devin has a love for design and wants to experience everything the design field has to offer, which fits the company's brand as a full-service interior design firm. We are excited to show you projects that Devin and I have worked on this summer as different spaces get installed.

If you'd like to get started on a project with Devin and I, feel free to reach out; we'd love to work with you!   

Project Update - Craftsman House Renovation

Hi all, JZID has been super busy this year. One exciting project that we are working on is restoring a historic 1920’s Craftsman home from a duplex back into a single-family home. The current state of the house isn’t great. There are exposed pipes, missing flooring and several things that haven’t been brought up to code. The front entry is in the worst condition – sewage pipe running down the wall beside the entry door, no finished floor and a poorly blocked off doorway. It takes a brave client to purchase a house that needs to be rehabbed so drastically! 



Downstairs Bathroom

Downstairs Bathroom

Living Room

Living Room

Upstairs Kitchen that will become laundry and the master en suite

Upstairs Kitchen that will become laundry and the master en suite

Home office

Home office

Underneath all of the obvious issues that most potential buyers would dwell on, my clients fell in love with the traditional Craftsman woodwork, a useful butler’s pantry and several stained-glass windows. With so many newly-built homes or the McMansions of the 1990’s and early 2000’s, it’s refreshing to design for an older home. Older homes come with their own blend of challenges. Of course, this home needs all new finishes, but beyond that, the layout just doesn’t quite work for a modern family. Really any home built before 1960 is bound to have strangely sectioned-off rooms that are good for holding heat, but not for closet storage, master suites or open kitchen and dining rooms. Early on in this project, JZID consulted on the architectural plans to make sure the clients could get the en suite of their dreams – including a water closet, double vanity, soaking tub, rainhead shower and walk-in closet. Here is what we ended up with: 

After the architectural plans were finalized, JZID started on the phase of the project that can be most daunting for the client (but just happens to be my favorite part) – selecting and pricing all finishing materials. Since this is such a large renovation, we have to replace everything! We pulled:

  • plumbing fixtures for three bathrooms and the kitchen, 
  • wall and floor tile throughout the house, 
  • wallpaper for the butler’s pantry, 
  • wall paint colors, 
  • cabinet door style and finish for the kitchen, pantry, laundry and all bathrooms,
  • countertops, 
  • cabinet hardware, 
  • and light fixtures for all rooms. 

The overall design is a hybrid of minimal contemporary furniture with traditional features. Think clean lines, simple textural fabrics and a cool-toned color palette with pops of geometric patterns, wood elements and historic light fixtures. For the entryway and dining room, we are even installing two fixtures taken from another historic house on Milwaukee’s East Side in order to keep the authenticity of the design. A strong element throughout the house is the tile work – we are bringing in different types of elongated and hand-glazed subway tile to the kitchen and bathrooms. Bringing the tile up to a tall wainscoting and capping it with a wood picture rail will help keep the design in that Craftsman lane. 

Here are a couple of examples of the overall look that we are trying to accomplish – 


The clients were recently interviewed by their local newspaper, The Waunakee Tribune, as a part of an ongoing series on their renovation. You can read more about the project here.  

JZID is Hiring!

I am so excited to announce that I am ready to hire my first employee! I am hiring a Junior Interior Designer to help make creative residential and commercial remodels come to life. JZID is looking for someone who can offer a great eye for design and who wants to learn and grow with our company. The ideal candidate must possess very strong creative passion, organization, communication, and time management skills.  

On a daily basis, you will be... 

  1. Meeting with clients, taking notes and answering questions
  2. Assisting with the project planning phase by doing site measures and taking photos
  3. Specifying furniture, lighting, décor, fixtures, finishes, millwork and flooring for projects 
  4. Obtaining material samples and working with reps to price out all items
  5. Creating design presentation boards and materials
  6. Coordinating shipments and final installation
  7. Generating purchase orders 
  8. Administrative duties as necessary to maintain client files and keep sample library  organized
  9. Running necessary errands (such as picking up samples and materials, delivering to clients)
  10. Working to draft and adjust floor plans, elevations and 3D renderings of the design
  11. Working as Lead Designer on smaller scale client projects
  12. Meeting at the project site with contractor and sub-contractors
  13. Writing blog posts on design trends and current projects

The ideal candidate will possess the following skills/characteristics...

  1. Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design or art-related field
  2. Strong organizational and multi-tasking skills, ability to meet deadlines and very attentive to detail
  3. Ability to maintain a strong sense of focus and confidence under tight deadlines and varying workloads while working independently
  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. Ability to plan ahead, help clients make decisions, identify red flags and be aware of deadlines in order to help keep construction jobs on schedule
  6. Advanced knowledge and experience with Google SketchUp, Adobe Photoshop, and Microsoft Office required
  7. 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 jerricazaricdesign@gmail.com.  

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

Thiensville Remodel - Progress Report

Hope everyone is having a great end to the week. I have been working on a big remodel in Thiensville, WI where we did significant demo work in the first floor to build a new kitchen, laundry, half bath and office. The condo is in a great location, but it was just a bit outdated. There we are lot of narrow hallways and rooms that were just begging to be opened up. We are still waiting on counter top installation, plumbing and appliance hook-ups and styling. Everything will be done in February and I'll share final photography on my site. In the meantime, here are a few photos to show the transformation so far.  


Demo Phase:


In Progress Phase: 


Need help updating your home so it's more open and functional? Contact me to get started!

I Bought a New Sofa!

The most exciting news - I purchased a new sofa! After months & months of searching for the right look, I finally made a commitment to the Milo Sofa from Sandro. I see a ton of sofas in my day-to-day, but I'm just so picky when it comes to my house. I wanted a Danish-inspired look with wider track arms and a low profile. The sofa had to be deep and down-wrapped. The most complicated factor was that I needed a modular piece that could fit up my super narrow staircase (we had to lift our last sofa up the balcony to the second floor - it was a nightmare). 

The Milo sofa has all of my requirements. Plus, I've been dreaming of that gorgeous bluish-gray velvet upholstery!

As with any custom furniture, the wait is going to be quite long. I'll be lucky if I see this sofa by the end of May. It will totally be worth the wait!

You can purchase the Milo sofa here.

Need help selecting a sofa for your house? Take advantage of my vast offerings through my designer programs to get a quality sofa at a great price. Contact me to get started!

Experimental Household Items

I stumbled across this experimental rendering project from Mainframe (North). I am absolutely in love with it! Aside from the amazing rendering capabilities, this video's subject matter is so charming and unexpected. Everyday household objects that we are all super familiar are manipulated in humorous and sometimes cringe-worthy ways. I particularly like the bowling ball (00:14) and the glass of milk (00:44). For some reason the light bulbs are making me nervous... 


JZID Profiled in Beloit College Magazine

My alma mater, Beloit College, profiled my company in their Winter 2017 magazine issue. I am featured alongside four other more recent graduates that have also started their own business. You can read my feature below.

Rethinking the Entrepreneur 

By Paul Engleman’76

Jerrica Zaric’12 can pinpoint the moment when the seed for her career as an interior designer was planted in the fertile soil of her imagination. “I was about 6 years old, and I was at my grandparents’ house on Easter,” she recalls. “I was coloring, and my grandfather said I had to stop because there was no working allowed on Easter. And I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, is coloring work?’”

From an early age to when she entered college, Zaric remained seriously enthusiastic about pursuing an art career. Of her double major at Beloit, she says, only half facetiously, “Studio art was my serious major, econ was my fun elective.” 

Shortly after graduation, Zaric landed a job as a project manager at an advertising agency in Milwaukee, where she worked on digital-based projects such as website and app development, doing budgets, and setting timelines. She worked there full-time for about two years and continued working part-time from home as an independent contractor for another six months while transitioning to her own business.

“I was lucky to get a job in the city that I wanted,” she says. “Through working in project management, which is kind of the opposite of being an artist, I realized quickly that what I wanted to do was interior design. I always had a passion for interiors, architecture, and furniture design. I was doing interior design on the side for family and friends, and I decided to try to make a full-time career out of it.”

For the last two years, Zaric has been a one-person band, operating her company, Jerrica Zaric Interior Design, a full-service, independent design firm, out of her home in Milwaukee. Soon, she plans to be in a position to rent an office and hire an assistant designer.

Photo by: Ryan Hainey Photography

Photo by: Ryan Hainey Photography

Noteworthy on her early roster of clients is her alma mater. She has completed two projects at Beloit College: the lounge at the Emerson Hall apartments and the new visitor center on the main floor of Middle College (shown at right). Her other clients are both residential and commercial, mainly in Wisconsin and Illinois, but she’s started offering a room design service across the country through remote consultations.

While a student at Beloit, Zaric worked at CELEB as the assistant director of Gallery ABBA, a student-run art gallery. Although her work experience at CELEB is not directly related to her current endeavor, she notes one similarity: “Getting people to sign on to what you’re selling. Sometimes it would take a lot of convincing to get a student artist to put together a show.”

In the early days of establishing her business, she says it was a challenge to identify customers who sought her services, which include layout, design, material and product selection, purchasing, competitive bidding, and management of everything from smaller budget face-lifts to full-scale renovations.

“In my first year, it was kind of a struggle to get clients,” she says, expressing some disappointment with a 50/50 success rate, bidding on 22 jobs and getting hired on 11. “But this year I’ve tripled my business,” as a result of referrals and the use of a lead generation service.

One area in which Zaric feels a need to improve her game is being able to accurately estimate the number of hours a project will take. It may be the one aspect of her business in which her optimism is not an asset. “I’m the type of person who thinks I can do it faster,” she says. “At first I was drastically underbidding. I still feel like I’m underbidding. I’m still spending more hours on a job than I’m billing for.”

She was somewhat surprised to discover that launching her own firm is “80 percent business and 20 percent creativity.” As her company grows, and she has employees to delegate tasks to, she looks forward to being able to focus more on design and less on project management.

Although Zaric has no expectation of tripling her billings every year, she is confident that the business is designed to succeed and thrilled to be on her own.

Read the full article to learn more about other entrepreneurs on the Beloit Magazine website.

Check out JZID's work at Beloit College Welcome Center and Emerson Hall

JZID Awarded 2017 Best of Houzz for Design and Service

I am happy to announce that my work throughout 2016 with my wonderful clients has earned me two Houzz Awards - Best of Design and Best of Customer Service for 2017. Houzz is a leading platform for home remodeling and design with an online community of more than 40 million monthly users.

Jerrica Zaric in Milwaukee, WI on Houzz
Jerrica Zaric in Milwaukee, WI on Houzz

“We’re so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals, including Jerrica Zaric Interior Design,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “Each of these businesses was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”

A couple of notable projects in 2016 have been my work with Beloit College on Emerson Hall and the Visitor Center, as well as my Lilly Road redesign that was featured on House of Turquoise

I look forward to what I have in store in 2017. I have some very interesting residential and commercial projects that I'm currently working on - including condo remodels, designing a University of WI sorority house and creating a modern office break room. I can't wait to share it with you all! 

To see all of my work, check out my portfolio or Houzz profile

6 Ways to Brighten a Dark Room

The cave, the bane of your interior design goals, the one room that just won’t lighten up — almost everyone has a room that’s always lacking light, regardless of sunny days. But it doesn’t have to be that way any more. If you’re lacking in natural light but want to give a room a fresh makeover to chase away the darkness, try these tips from ABODO.

1 | Paint the Walls

Probably the most intuitive tip on this list, painting your walls a light color will immediately give any room a brighter atmosphere. Prevent any entering light from disappearing into dark blues, browns, or reds currently residing on your walls, and instead amplify that gleam with light yellow, gray, green, or white. Your ceiling, especially, should be painted a very light color.

2 | Hang a Mirror or Metallics 

Naturally, the mirror’s reflective surface — or that of a mirrored statement piece — will bounce around light and add the appearance of openness. Metallic accents on wall-hangings or furniture will have a similar, though smaller, impact.

3 | Accent the Furniture

Dark furniture could be exacerbating the room’s lack of light, but reupholstery can be expensive and change the look of the chairs and couches that you so carefully picked out. Instead, opt to drape them with light-colored blankets and pillows, and choose a bright accent rug to bring it all together. 

4 | ...Or Replace It

If you’re having a hard time making your bulky furniture appear lighter through accessories alone, it might be time to swap that heavy, solid-wood coffee table for something smaller and more airy, perhaps with a glass top. Replace cabinets with open shelving. Instead of a couch, try a loveseat and a chair to retain seating while spreading out the visual weight of the furniture.

5 | Add the Right Lighting

Don’t hold back when it comes to lamps — illuminate every dark corner and side table you see fit. But, choose your lampshades carefully. If they’re the traditional cone-shape, they’re directing light downward, which concentrates it on whatever surface it’s standing on and therefore not doing much to make the room feel brighter. Instead, look for cylindrical shades that allow the light to bounce off the ceiling and walls to add indirect light to the entire area.

While you’re handling your lamps, swap out dim incandescent bulbs with LEDs or CFLs that are far brighter with lower wattage (and they’ll help your energy bill, too). 

6 | Declutter

Look around the room — are the walls lined with trinkets, books, and other decor? Sometimes simpler is better. Reduce a bookshelf to a small selection of your favorites, and display just those. Apply the same process all around the room, and you’ll have more breathing space in no time. 

If these tips still leave you in the dark, there is one final option (short of adding windows and glass doors): Embrace the darkness and build yourself a cozy room, with deep colors on the walls and plenty of comforts. Either way, you should end up with a room that’s hard to leave.

JZID Project Reveal - Beloit College Welcome Center

This summer, JZID continued its work with Beloit College (see Emerson Hall renovation) in Beloit, WI to redesign the Welcome Center in Middle College (built 1847). As an alumna of the college, I was excited to help engineer future Beloiters’ first experience with the campus through interior design. I remember my first time on the campus. It was an early April afternoon and despite the snow that was still falling, I was taken by the breathtaking campus and friendliness of the faculty. I wanted to ensure that prospective students feel the same way on their first visit. 

When I was approached to redesign the first floor of Middle College, the main goals presented to me were: 

  1. Creating an inclusive and interactive experience for all visitors
  2. Showcasing Beloit’s past, present and future through design 
  3. Setting up seating areas to accommodate large numbers during Visitor Days
  4. Laying out the series of rooms in such a way that would direct traffic through all areas

The first floor of Middle College is a particularly difficult space planning challenge. The first floor could be described as three long “bowling alley” rooms surrounded by small offices. Prior to the redesign the Welcome Center fell victim to a very common space planning flaw that often happens with these corridor rooms, the sofas and chairs lined the perimeter of the room, really narrowing the walkways and minimizing the amount of people that could sit in the center. 

Before Photos 

Before Photos 

The Space Plan

Middle College is where prospective students come to interview with Admissions counselors, meet faculty and staff and kick off their campus tour. I needed to create a layout that reflected and accommodated all the diverse activities throughout a campus visit while still providing seating for about 10 families at a time. 

I divided the first floor by rooms with designated purposes. 

  1. A streamlined welcome desk with receptionist sits at the main entry to help direct visitors. A wall-mounted screen shows a video of campus highlights on loop. 
  2. The space to the left of the main entry has a layout that resembles a traditional residential seating arrangement, aimed to put prospective students at ease. 
  3. The space to the right of the main entry has a more private layout that allows families to sit together if they need a moment to themselves. There is also a functional aspect to this space with a bar-height charging station and mounted campus map. 
  4. A gallery space exhibits student and alumni work, as well as pieces from the museums on campus. A couple of tables allows for visitor seating. A wall-mounted screen plays student art performances on loop. 
  5. Visitors can enjoy a complimentary beverage and snack at the bistro bar. 

The Design


After finalizing the layout, I concentrated on the furniture styles and upholstery story that I wanted to tell. I combined classic collegiate patterns (Greek Key and Houndstooth) with luxe [performance] suedes and velvets. The color palette is warm and welcoming and each room has a bold feature piece. Gold metals and gold leaf finishes are an elevated use of one of the college's colors and the black creates depth and dimension in otherwise neutrally painted and carpeted rooms.  

The image to the right shows select fabric swatches used in this project. 

The furniture styles are a mixture of traditional frames complete with turned legs and nail heads (see the houndstooth settees and yellow sofa) and more modern tables and chairs. The combination of styles and bold mixture of prints doesn't pigeon-hole the design into a certain era, making it so the Welcome Center doesn't need to be updated to reflect ever-changing trends. 

Seating Area #1

I love the upholstery pieces in this seating area. The black Greek Key swivel chairs are so comfortable and luxurious and the sofa is the perfect blend of whimsical and traditional design. 

I also set up smaller seating groups on either end of the room for families to sit together. I'm in love with these gold base chairs from Century Furniture! 


Seating Area #2

My pick for favorite room keeps going back and forth between the room pictured above and the one with these amazing settees. I grouped the settees to mimic restaurant booth seating for more private seating for families. The blue houndstooth with yellow pillows represents the blue and gold of Beloit College's colors without being too on the nose.  

Across from the settees is a 12-foot long counter top that serves as a charging station. The seamless Corian surface blends the modern (strong horizontal lines, waterfall edge, black and white contrast and minimal texture) with the traditional design of the building (corbel supports, paneled wall and historical campus maps). 

Peeking out of the corner in the image below is a pre-existing coffee bar, open to all guests. 

The Gallery

The room on the farthest side of Middle College's first floor is dedicated to the campus's arts and culture. Prior to the redesign, the college was having a difficult time funneling traffic to this side of building. As a part of this project, I wanted to design a traffic flow that would encourage visitors to travel throughout all of the public spaces in the Welcome Center. I kept select artwork and artifacts from the college museums and the looping wall-mounted television that plays student dance and theater performances. I added two tables for people to sit and drink the coffee from the coffee bar outside the room. 

On the wall across from the mounted television is a new feature that will help boost the interactive nature of prospective student's visits. Beloit College will soon roll out a new technology that will allow prospective students to capture their favorite part of their visit by taking a quick video and printing still images on-site to take home. The still image will then play that video when the device with the uploaded app is overlaid on top of it. The admissions staff will then curate a selection of these images to display in the gallery area so visiting families have a chance to see other student's experiences while waiting for their own tour and interview. 

Interview Rooms

For the interview rooms it was important to select fabrics and frames that made the nervous interviewing students feel confident and also made them imagine themselves as a Beloit College student. Both rooms have a causal sectional and swivel chair covered in performance velvet fabric. The two interview rooms are mirror images of each other, with the exception of the wall decor. The image below shows the Blue Skies Award themed room while the second interview room focuses on student activities. 

Blue Skies Interview Room - Before

Blue Skies Interview Room - Before

Blue Skies Interview Room - After

Blue Skies Interview Room - After

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

Does your business or school need to redesign its visitor center in order to put your best foot forward to clients? Contact me today to get started.

After images shot by Ryan Hainey Photography.

JZID Project Reveal - Beloit College Emerson Hall

This summer I worked on renovating Beloit College's Emerson Hall. JZID was hired to make material selections for the dorm lobby, lounge and select dorm rooms. The press release from the grand opening is below.

Beloit College Emerson Hall Grand Opening - August 19, 2016

Before image of the Emerson Hall lounge.

Before image of the Emerson Hall lounge.

Beloit College officially welcomes historic Emerson Hall back to campus Beloit College students once again call Emerson Hall “home.” After almost 40 years, the historic student residence hall built in 1897 is again part of the Beloit College campus, reopening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, August 19. Generous lead donations from Nancy Packard and Jim Packard (a college trustee), and additional generous donations from alumni Frances Trout Norgren’53, Robert Norgren’52, and Barbara Roth’37, allowed the college to regain ownership of the building in 2015 and begin renovations. Many other alumni and friends have also stepped in to help fund this endeavor. The restoration of the parlor was possible from a group gift to honor the memory of Donna-Rae Cianciotto’70 who passed away in March of 2011. This effort to honor Donna-Rae was led by her husband Philip Cianciotto; his daughter, Katherine-Rae Cianciotto; his mother, Martine Cianciotto, and their friends: Elizabeth Mercer Roseman’70 and Curtis Roseman; Ellen Huizenga Henert’70 and Marty Henert ’71; Robyn Facinelli Bishop’70 and Allen Bishop; and Anne Wilson-Dooley ’71. Though there is still much restoration work needing completion, 55 junior and senior students moved in to Emerson Hall as the first class to reside there since 1977. The ribbon cutting ceremony and reception was attended largely by the Beloit College campus community, trustees, city officials, and building donors, builders, and architects. The event included the unveiling of a bench and wall plaque handcrafted from the building’s original grand staircase and created by local woodworker Mike Truesdale, owner of Turtle Creek Woodworking. The pieces are dedicated to the building’s donors. Emerson Hall was named after Beloit College Professor Joseph Emerson, who laid its cornerstone on Nov. 19, 1897. The building was originally the college’s only women’s dorm, but it became co-ed in the 1960s. The building closed in 1977 and was sold, with a right of reversion, in 1979, the same year that it was also placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Upon its sale by the college, Emerson was converted to an apartment complex that housed city residents until 2013 when a fire caused extensive damage and forced the evacuation of those residents. It was after this, and another slight disaster of freezing pipes, that the college was able to reacquire Emerson Hall. In the Beloit College 1978 yearbook, a student mused about Emerson Hall’s closing: “Emerson Hall, another relic, the Victorian hotel of the north end, that was once a stately and crowded home for underclass students, sits locked up in need of renovation, but awaiting destruction. The black wood piano, the grandfather clock, the noisy hallways, even the clanking pipes are gone – all silent. Many people began their careers at Emerson. I was there where we grew up learning how to study, party, and live with others until the big move off campus. Emerson is lost to the times: too big, too old, and too expensive to heat. This building, open or closed, will retain its place in the Beloit community….” Today, after almost 40 years, Beloit College students once again call Emerson Hall “home.” 

After Photos - Lounge and Lobby

JZID selected flooring, wall color, lighting, fireplace tiling, and millwork design for the lounge.

JZID selected flooring, wall color, lighting, fireplace tiling, and millwork design for the lounge.

Custom bench crafted from the original Emerson Hall staircase. 

Custom bench crafted from the original Emerson Hall staircase. 

Back entry has a built-in bench for seating and to help direct traffic.

Back entry has a built-in bench for seating and to help direct traffic.

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

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

Master Bathroom Turns Spa Retreat

I hope everyone is having a great Labor Day! I know that I am relaxing after my design presentation yesterday for a master en suite remodel. The client is near my hometown in Illinois, so it was nice to visit family for the long weekend and also be able to meet my client in person. 

My client currently has a large bathroom off of the master bedroom. For a 160 square foot bathroom, it's no wonder that my client wants to remodel - just look at that TINY shower. A 36x35" enclosed shower does not give them the spa-like feel that they want. Having this 64x85" large bathtub would be nice... if there was an equally large shower, because let's be honest, who is really taking a bath everyday when you work full-time? One super nice element of the current floor plan that I'm keeping is the separate water closet. Having a closed off toilet in an en suite is a must-have if there is room for it. 

To turn this bathroom into a spa-like retreat, the client had a few requests - a large shower with a built-in bench, a freestanding bathtub with hydro-therapy jets, elements of natural stone and wood and plenty of linen storage. This bathroom has the square footage, so these requests are all in the realm of possibility. Because this is pretty much a full gut remodel, I created two animated 3D renderings so the client can see what the finished space could look like before ever picking up the sledgehammer. 

I will receive revisions from the client and hear which layout of the bathroom works better for them later this week, but I just love both designs and wanted to share them right away! 

Design Option #1 

Design Option #1 follows the current footprint of the bathroom fairly closely. I'm rotating bathtub so it is perpendicular to the entrance, which leaves room for a large glass shower that measures 70x40" (about twice as big as the current shower). I kept the vanity where it is, but am swapping it out for a double vanity and separate linen tower. The materials are a mix of dark wood, Carrara marble , River Marble porcelain from DalTile and natural sliced pebbles. The overall look is bright and open with a mix of organic and timeless materials.  

Watch the 3D rendering below - 

Design Option #2

Option #2 is a visually impactful design that optimizes the layout of the room. The configuration is changed so that the first thing you see when you enter the room is a marble feature wall with a floating bamboo vanity. This layout gives more privacy since the shower is hidden behind a tile wall and the bathtub cannot be seen from the bedroom. In addition to being more private, the shower is slightly larger than in Design Option #1 – 84” x 55”. Outside of the shower is a built-in tiled bookcase that can house linen and toiletry storage. In order to make room for the freestanding bathtub in front of the window, the water closet door is moved to a different wall and will swing inwards. The material choices in this design are bamboo, Carrara marble, travertine stone and glass mosaic tile. The overall look is more contemporary and compartmentalized.  

Watch the 3D rendering below - 

I'm in love with both of these designs and can't wait to hear which design concept the client wants to proceed with!

Curious what your master bathroom could look like if it was remodeled to finally fit your needs? Contact me to get started to creating your new bathroom.

Scandinavian Kitchen Remodel - Before and After

This summer has been a busy one. One project that I have spent a lot of time on since May is an East-Side Milwaukee condo kitchen remodel. There are still some items on the punch list that need to be addressed before being totally done (like paint touch-ups and replacing an under-cabinet light), but I was finally able to see the final picture yesterday and I couldn't wait to share this transformation! 

My clients are a younger married couple that are first-time owners of a condo in a very walkable neighborhood in Milwaukee. The condo doesn't get a lot of natural light since it faces another condo building, so priority #1 was lightening up the space. I had the entire condo painted in a cool color palette to make the rooms feel larger. All woodwork and the open-concept main entry, dining room, living room and kitchen area are painted in Sherwin Williams High Reflective White (SW 7757). This is a super bright white that has almost no color pigment in it - a great look but definitely requires a few extra coats of paint to get it even. 

To achieve the minimal, Scandinavian feel in the kitchen, I ripped out all of the wood cabinets and replaced them with Thermofoil two-toned cabinets and a floating aluminum shelf. The white uppers and gray lowers are balanced out by the combination of white subway tile with gray grout. Carrying the subway tile to the ceiling helps give the kitchen a more industrial/restaurant feel. 

I took off the raised breakfast bar portion of the countertop and replaced the granite with pure white quartz. I had a waterfall edge installed on the peninsula in order to keep the shape from the top and sides of the cabinetry uniform. The countertop is about 50 inches deep (the side opposite of the sink base has a built-in bookcase), so capping it with the white quartz gives it a more finished look and helps bounce light into the rest of the open living area.   

The transformation on this one is big! Check out the before and after photos below >>



Do you dream about having a bright, minimal kitchen but don't know where to start remodeling that outdated space? If so, let's work together and get that look you really want! 

My First Piece of Adult Furniture

After graduating college, I moved in with my now Fiancé, Eli. I could fit all of my belongings into a small Ford Escort and most of our furniture was gifted from family. This meant that half of our small apartment's rooms were empty. Flash forward four years to now and we live in a similarly-sized place but now there are definitely no empty rooms! Still, most of our furniture pieces are temporary or items that were built specifically for the house. 

In a Wayfair blog post today, I share what my first adult furniture purchase was - 

My first piece of ‘real’ furniture was a modern leather recliner that I purchased right after my significant other and I closed on our home. With its down cushions, custom leather upholstery, and sculptural metal arms, this chair not only represented my personal style, but it also signified a permanence in my adult life that I hadn’t felt before.
— Jerrica Zaric of Jerrica Zaric Interior Design

I seriously love this leather chair. I bought it for Eli so he'd have a nice place in the house to be able to relax away from the TV or bedroom to read of do a bit of work. We actually got rid of our dining room table and transformed it into a small study for him. Once my house is in a bit more order, I'll post a photo so you can visualize the space better and actually see the chair! 

I feel like once you get a taste of well made furniture, you can't go back to IKEA for the major pieces. As an interior designer, I am always finding unique quality pieces for clients but my own home still has a bit of work needed to make everything reflect our style. My next big purchase? A new sofa! We are sitting on an old World Market sectional right now that's served us well, but I have my eye out for a Danish-inspired sectional that I can lounge in. 

You can see the Wayfair blog post here: Apartment Living: 5 Items to Invest in Now

JZID Project Reveal - Donmar Lane Ranch House

A Midwest ranch home doesn't typically inspire awe in hearts of architectural lovers, especially when you add popcorn ceilings, white walls and overstuffed furniture. My clients purchased a ranch home in a Milwaukee suburb based on its amazing location. The home is the best of both worlds: close to shops while still overlooking a wooded yard. My services were brought in to bring my client's eclectic style into this outdated house. 



It's amazing what a paint color change can do to room! The first step in this project was to brighten up the space and remove the ceiling drywall texture. Warm toned woods in the home tend to suck up the light and make the room look darker and smaller than it is. To keep the space bright, I had all woodwork (trim, built-ins and doors) painted in Site White from Sherwin Williams (SW 7070). The living room and dining room are painted in Moonmist (SW 9144) and the fireplace sitting room is in Faded Flaxflower (SW 9146). Two accent walls in Smoky Blue (SW 7604) highlight fireplaces and a divider wall. The mixture of cool toned colors make the space feel bigger and more contemporary. 

My favorite design element in this house is this wonderful orange leather sectional. Let's be honest, not every house can pull off such a bold color, but in this case the mix of complementary colors makes the design more dynamic! I also added a floating TV console from Crate and Barrel (see here) and wall shelves to add some interest to the wall. 

New light fixtures were also installed. This sculptural suspension LED light (see here) illuminates a white high lacquer dining table from CB2 (see here). I seriously love how this modern, almost futuristic, light and table play off of the wood tones and brightly colored papier-mâché fish sculpture.    . 

Off of the living room/dining room area is a sitting room with great windows and a fireplace. Aside from painting and adding new furniture, I had the fireplace refaced with a ceramic tile with a steel finish from a local company, Great Lakes Distribution (see here).

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

Is your home outdated?  If so, let's start updating today to turn your house into your dream home. 

JZID Project Reveal - South Pond Drive

Sometimes a client really loves their home - the neighborhood is great, the number of bedrooms is perfect, the layout is ideal - but they are just not in love with the style. This was definitely the case for my client, a young couple living in a suburban neighborhood with three small kids. The house was a new construction home built in the 2000's and the contractor-grade finishes were starting to look outdated, especially in the kitchen. While wood cabinets come in and out of style, the combination of oak cabinets with wood floors, beige walls and laminate countertops wasn't doing this house any justice. I was hired to give the kitchen a facelift and increase functionality in the laundry room. 



Once we peeled away the beige walls, oak cabinets and laminate cabinets the great architecture of the room started to reveal itself. My client wanted a neutral and contemporary design for the kitchen that would keep the footprint the same. To accentuate the high vaulted ceiling, I shifted the color palette away from basic beige to a combination of grays and bright whites. To keep from having the gray cabinets blend into the gray walls, I took the cabinets in a warmer direction to anchor the room and the walls in a cooler gray to make the room feel larger.

Trim and doors are Arcade White (SW7100), cabinets are Dovetail (SW7018) and walls are Mindful Gray (SW7016).

White 3x6" subway tile from American Olean was installed with a darker Delorean Gray grout to tie the overall color palette together and reflect the minimal contemporary look we were going for. Installing a tile backsplash not only adds visual interest to the kitchen, but it increases the functionality greatly. Without a high-powered vent above the range, any grease that collects is infinitely easier to clean off porcelain than it is a painted wall. 

The White Arabesque quartz countertop from Silestone has a gorgeous marble look that my client envisioned without the heavy maintenance that marble stone requires (see my advice on marble in the kitchen). 

Across from the main cabinets is a side countertop area that used to have a bar sink. Since my client never used the sink I had the plumbing capped and extended the countertop the length of the nook. I retained the teal accent that my client originally had in the space to give a pop of color that ties into the decor and wall color of the sitting room off of the kitchen.  


My client has three young kids, so organization is key. More often than not, the family enters the house from the garage into the the laundry room. Prior to the project, the kids' backpacks, coats and shoes would be thrown into a poorly organized and small closet. I decided to have the front of the closet demoed and leave the side wall to enclose new wall cabinets, coat hooks and bench seating with cubbies.   

The best part of this makeover is that the length of the previous closet made it possible to fit in prefab cabinets and benches. Since custom millwork wasn't needed, we were able to keep the budget down without sacrificing functionality. 

Removing the front of the closet opens up the laundry room and adds a few square feet. I changed the color from a dark green to one of my favorite Sherwin Williams colors - Sea Salt (SW6204). This color bounces from a green undertone to a blue depending on the lighting and really brightens up the space. 

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

Do you feel like your home could benefit from a cosmetic makeover?  If so, let's start updating today to turn your house into your dream home. 

After photography by Ryan Hainey


JZID Project Reveal - Commercial Office

Last year, I worked on taking 8,000 square feet of mostly abandoned warehouse and transforming it into a functional office for an engineering company in Menomonee Falls, WI. When you think about it, the average person spends the majority of their waking hours in their workplace, so it is imperative that the workplace is a comfortable and energizing environment. 


I was brought in to work on this project in February 2015. What I had to start with was an empty canvas of broken ceiling tiles, unfinished drywall, a few holes in the wall and no regard to ADA standards. Clearly it wasn't fit for engineers to work out of, it needed a lot of help! 


The goal of the remodel was to tear down the existing wall separating the abandoned office space from the warehouse to create an open-concept cubical area with offices, conference rooms and informal whiteboard rooms on the perimeter. By removing the ceiling tile in this area, the height raise from 9 feet to 18 feet, making the space feel gigantic. Since the audience was a group of engineers, I opted to leave the cords, duct work and beams exposed for a more industrial feeling. The walls in the open area are a light gray (Benjamin Moore's Sidewalk Gray) with accents of their company color (Benjamin Moore's Million Dollar Red). The side offices are a light blue (Benjamin Moore's Winter Lake) and the conference rooms and copy room are Benjamin Moore's Aegean Teal.  Overall, the color palette is fresh and energizing without being aggressive, as red rooms sometimes are.  


The new office features a large break room with glass doors on each side to bring in more light to the windowless room. My favorite feature of this room is the graphic herringbone tile floor that transitions from white tile to black. I also had custom red table tops and banquette created for this project to comfortably seat the employees.  


The company often has customers visit for on-site demos and presentations, so I was tasked with creating a comfortable lobby that would function even without a receptionist. To accomplish this, I placed a large sculptural console table between the entrance and the locked door to the office. This way, customers are stopped and prompted to call the person they are meeting from the phone directory as soon as they walk in. While they are waiting for their meeting, they can sit in the lounge area or look into the Marketing Display area that can be seen from the large glass doors.  

Overall, this project took about seven months to go from looking abandoned to being customer and employee ready. You can see more angles and details in my portfolio - check them out here

Are you wanting to expand your office, open a new location or remodel your existing space? Then contact me today and we can get started on creating an environment where everyone wants to work! 

After photography by Ryan Hainey.


JZID Featured on House of Turquoise

My latest project, Lilly Road Coastal Home, is featured on one of my favorite blogs - House of Turquoise. House of Turquoise is a collection of interior photography that prominently feature all of the lovely shades of the bloggers favorite color,  blue.

As a guest blogger today, I walk the House of Turquoise readers through the Lilly Road project's blue ceilings, wave marble mosaics and sandy accents. 

Check out the post here >> 

JZID Project Reveal - Coastal New Construction

I'm so excited for this project reveal. When I first got the job in this new construction Brookfield, WI home, I knew it was going to turn out spectacular. My clients were willing to take risks and I think they really paid off. The home is no longer a generic new construction home, but a coastal retreat reminiscent of my client's upbringing in the Florida-Georgia area. 


The home had good bones from the get-go, but it just lacked some of my client's personality. The dark beige walls and pure white bedrooms were a safe choice for the developers (which worked since the house sold!), buy my clients wanted to make their stamp on their "forever home".


The house already had a great layout with a large open concept floor plan, making it ideal for entertaining. To spruce it up, the first thing we did was replace the entryway light fixture from a flush mount to a brushed nickle and glass pendant made by Savoy. The rest of the lighting in the room was consistent with the look we were going for, so I happily left the island pendants as is. The dining room chandelier was altered just slightly with new mini chandelier shades to soften up the light. 

Since my client's really wanted to bring a coastal vibe to the space, I chose a bright and airy color palette reminiscent of Southern beaches. All walls in the great room went from beige to Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace. To keep the room from looking too clinical, I had the ceiling painted in Benjamin Moore's Ocean Air. Painting the ceiling blue livens up the room, makes a big statement and... if you are superstitious, it keeps the evil spirits away (see this article on haint blue ceilings)

Beachy blues, crisp whites, sandy beiges and gray wood tones were then brought in to carry the coastal look through the space. Despite the snow piling up out of the windows in the photographs, my clients are transported to the beach when they get home.  

Another big transformation was in the kitchen. Prior to moving in, the granite countertops had an attached lip as the backsplash, with no decorative tiling. This dark lip shortened the perceived height of the wall and darkened up the space. Because it was granite, the lip was able to be removed with no damage to the counter underneath. I then wrapped the counters in Thassos white marble 3x6"tiles to add a slight shimmer and had a custom marble mosaic from Akdo installed behind the range. Custom mosaics take up to 8 weeks to arrive, but it was totally worth is. The cool shades of marble in a wave pattern tie the entire look together.  

The last significant update made to the home was the installation of tongue and groove ceiling cladding to three recessed trays - one in the dining space, one in the entry and the other in the living room. This cladding was painted the same color as the rest of the ceiling so it brings in a subtle rustic texture. 


Before we started the project, the bedroom was pretty basic - white walls, a bed with no headboard and a few dressers. I wanted to maintain the room's simplicity while still updating it to a calm, coastal look that will be a nice retreat for the clients after a long day. I kept the layout of the room the same, but added a large 4x4 upholstered panel headboard. The headboard starts with a row of an icy blue velvet from Robery Allen and then transitions to a dark navy. I used 2" foam and thick batting so the panels were comfortable enough to rest on. The blues from the headboard and wall (painted Benjamin's Moore Glass Slipper) are offset by the yellow lamps, accent pillows and bench.  

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

Do you feel like your home really reflects your personal style? If not, let's start updating today to turn your house into your dream home. 

After photography by Ryan Hainey

JZID Project Reveal - Newton Avenue Bungalow

If you live in the Milwaukee, WI area, then the chances are that your house has a few common characteristics with the rest of the neighborhood - 10" wood baseboards, archways blocking your open-concept plans, plaster walls, wood built-ins and small bedrooms with even smaller closets.

This Craftsman architecture is definitely charming and cozy (and I even have it in my house), but it tends to squash some people's dreams of a more modern style.  JZID was hired late last summer by a couple who just bought a bungalow in Shorewood, WI. They loved the location, but not the traditional Craftsman look. The clients brought me in to inject a bit of their industrial style into the home. 

There is one school of thought in design that leans more toward the "the design of the interior should fit the period and architecture of the house" mentality. I'm not disregarding that fully, but I do think that people should be able to have whatever design style they want in their home as long as they aren't ignoring the home's architecture. If there is some architectural feature that really speaks to the era in which it was built, then I think that feature should be highlighted in a way that makes it cohesive to the rest of the chosen aesthetic. 


The photos below are from the real estate listing for this home. The house has a nice traditional look, but it definitely didn't have vintage or industrial touches. 


To start this design, I selected a color palette that would be reminiscent of an old factory - think grays, blues, leather, bronze. In the living room, I kept the floor plan pretty simple since it is a very narrow room. I added an apothecary chest, leather trunk and vintage accessories to bring some personality to the room . The (vegan) leather side chair fits the space well and matches the leather detailing on the trunk. A spotlight floor lamp and wire stool add a touch of metal to the room. 

A great feature in the house was this pass-through bar from the kitchen to the dining room. Typically in a Milwaukee Craftsman house, this would have been a built-in with drawers and a mirror, but the old owners must of had the top part cut out to open the floor plan. I love that they left the archway, so I highlighted this feature by painting an accent wall in dark blue. The kitchen was recently updated, but still had laminate countertops when my clients moved in. To give the industrial feel, we replaced the light fixtures and did DIY concrete countertops. 

The long-term plan is to transform the finished attic space into a master bedroom with walk-in closet and on-suite bathroom, but for now the clients are sleeping in a downstairs bedroom. Using the concrete finish that was applied to the countertops, I created a 3x3 concrete panel grid (sanded so the pillows don't snag) and mounted it to the wall behind the bed to give more texture to the room. I like the mixture of the hard concrete with the soft, billowy curtains and bedding.  

The second bedroom on the first floor was then transformed into a home office. Neither of the clients work from home full-time, so this office space serves mostly as a study for reading and light computer work after office hours. The sofa folds out into a bed so guests have a place to sleep when they visit. I really like the look of this piece, it is such a nice take on a typical futon.

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

Do you have an area of your house that isn't reaching it's full potential - kitchen outdated, furniture placement is off, don't like the lighting or paint? Contact JZID today to get started on your design project in 2016: