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: