Before and After

JZID Project Reveal - Small Powder Room, Big Impact

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

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


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


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


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

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

JZID Project Reveal - Water Street River Condo

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


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



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

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

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


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

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


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

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

JZID Project Reveal - Sheffield Avenue

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

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


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

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

The laundry area and basement were entirely unfinished.

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

The screened-in porch had seen better days!


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

Basement -

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

Main Floor -

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Main Level -

Second Floor -

Basement -

Three-Seasons Porch -


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

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

Wallpapers We Love

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


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

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

Elm grove makeover

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

Cambridge Drive makeover

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

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

Birds on Gray  by Voutsa

Birds on Gray by Voutsa

Nani in Poni  by Paper Mills

Nani in Poni by Paper Mills

Feather Grass  by Farrow & Ball

Feather Grass by Farrow & Ball

Nira in Grey  by Thibaut

Nira in Grey by Thibaut

Chameleon in Teal  by Thibaut

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

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

JZID Project Reveal - Modern Master Bathroom

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 


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. 


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.

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. 


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. 


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.  


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! 


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

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. 

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!

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.

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! 

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 - 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: 

JZID Project Reveal - Third Ward Condo

The photographs from my latest project are in! JZID was hired by a young couple to furnish their newly purchased condo in the heart of Milwaukee's downtown. Overlooking the trendy Third Ward shops, restaurants, parks and theaters with it's large windows, this loft had all the makings to be a contemporary living space. The goal of this project was to highlight the loft's exposed natural brick wall and exposed ceiling to elevate the room to a trendy area with industrial details. 

There were a couple of challenges to this space, the first being that the living area was one long rectangular room (think bowling alley). Overall the room was about 17' wide by about 27' long, with tall 12' ceilings showing off beams and duct work. The second challenge was utilizing a raised brick platform in the corner of the room for a functional purpose in an aesthetically pleasing way. 


The photos below are from the real estate listing for this condo. The room has good bones, but the styling didn't do much to highlight the natural beauty or use the room in a functional way. 


When dealing with a long and narrow room, I like to break the space up into different functions. This condo has a section for the kitchen, island seating with a bar cabinet, seating area in front of the TV and a dining area. 

The key to a successful open-concept living area - cohesion in the prints and color palette. For this condo, I paired graphic geometric and tribal patterns (see the rugs, pillows, sideboard) with more solid black elements (see the dining chairs, bar stools and pendant lights). The bold prints set off nicely against the exposed brick walls and beamed ceiling to elevate this historic Cream City Brick condo to a contemporary and global-inspired environment.

A raised brick platform, which surely housed an old stove heater, was one of the design challenges in this room. The platform isn't big enough to create a traditional seating or dining area, so we went with a hanging rattan chair suspended from an exposed beam. Now the clients can relax in this chair and overlook downtown Milwaukee, or rotate towards the seating area to watch TV or socialize. 

The dining area features a steel table paired with black molded plastic chairs and a custom upholstered hairpin leg bench.   

The kitchen area was already remodeled by the condo's previous owner, so I enhanced the design by adding modern upholstered stools with aluminum bases and a graphic sideboard that serves as a bar cart and extra storage. 

Two of my favorite design elements in this project are 1) the hidden fuchsia interior of the kitchen sideboard, and 2) the embroidered koi fish upholstery on the hanging chair cushion that I had made custom for this project. 

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: 

Master Bedroom Project Reveal - Before and After

For the last few weeks, I've been teasing you with snapshots of a master bedroom redesign I did in Glendale, WI. The final photographs are finally in!

Before - 

My clients spent a lot of time putting together the company-facing rooms of their first home, but when it came to their master bedroom the design was really lacking. Like a lot of first-time home buyers, my client's master bedroom was a hodgepodge of furniture left over from their college and apartment days. The space wasn't being utilized to it's fullest potential and most of the furniture didn't fit well in the room. 

After - 

JZID was hired to update the floor plan and furniture in this room to follow the client's preferred contemporary, yet sophisticated aesthetic. 

The focal point of the room is the 3x6' custom headboard that JZID made out of hand-marbled paper. I love how this turned out, it is the perfect blend of sophistication and unexpected artistic detail. Paired with a gold throw, pillows with yellow and orange accents and a dark braided quilt, the colors of the marbled paper really pop. Check out this blog post for a more in-depth description of how I made the headboard.

To make the most of the floor plan, the desk that was previously in the room was moved to a separate room that is now used as an office and is replaced by a small seating area. A couple of my favorite elements from this room are the metallic side tables. The mix of metal and high gloss white glass  pair perfectly with the concrete pillar lamp. It's also a great container for this collector edition of the Vogue Editor's Eye book.

Other than adding a seating area, I kept the floor plan pretty much the same. The bed is in the same spot, but a more narrow dresser is being used as the TV stand. This allows for a wider walkway to the other side of the bed, as well as hidden wire storage and drawers for clothing. 

Filling up the wall across from the seating area is a seven-cube storage wall unit filled with curious decorative objects collected throughout the years. The metallic clock and bowl mimic the metals in the side tables, tying the design together. 

To see more photos from this project, check out the JZID portfolio or Houzz page. Interested in redesigning your master bedroom? Contact JZID today for your free consultation.

All project photos taken by Ryan Hainey Photography.

Commercial Install Progress

My commercial office project is moving along nicely. The contractors have all of the aesthetic things done in the main open cubicle area, bathroom tile is laid and the break room is starting to look amazing! In the next few weeks, the contractors will tackle the other side of the building that will have conference rooms, a marketing show room and the main entry waiting room. Here are some progress photos to tie you over until the space is totally done and photographed in late August. 

Employees have started to move in and get comfortable in their cubicles.

Employees have started to move in and get comfortable in their cubicles.

Bathroom wall tile is from DalTile. I love the glass ripple effect!

Bathroom wall tile is from DalTile. I love the glass ripple effect!

Break room mill work has started and pendant lights are hung.

Break room mill work has started and pendant lights are hung.

And here's a close-up of the tile pattern.

And here's a close-up of the tile pattern.

DalTile wood grain tile installed in a herringbone pattern. 

DalTile wood grain tile installed in a herringbone pattern. 

The white tile fades to dark in a graphic pattern.

The white tile fades to dark in a graphic pattern.

So you have a frame of reference, here are a couple 'before' pictures of the space. It's definitely come a long way.

Guest Bedroom and Home Office Remodel - Before and After

The photos are in! Thanks to my wonderful photographer, Ryan Hainey Photography, my latest design project is ready for viewing. See the before and after photos below. 

Before - Like any spare room, a guest bedroom runs the risk of becoming a dumping ground for things that haven't found their place.They are often the room to come last in the list of priorities when moving to a new home. For my clients, this was a space they could keep old furniture that no longer fit in the flow or aesthetic of the rest of their home. It was functional, guests could sleep there and have extra drawers to store their clothes, but it wasn't my client's ideal space. 

After - My clients came to me earlier this year to help combat the spare bedroom syndrome. They wanted to create a room that would be relaxing and functional for guests - a retreat for them to go to after a long day of socializing. I kept the bed in the same position, but dressed it up with a new duvet cover, pillows, pendant lights and bedside tables. I brought in a new dresser from IKEA and elevated it by painting the drawer fronts high gloss white. Wall shelves were installed to hold decorative accents, books and spare towels for guest. 

A new wooden headboard was installed behind the bed. The headboard is 8 feet long and was sanded and sealed so there won't be any pillow snags. The sides of the headboard are painted high gloss white to help elevate the natural wood and tie into the rest of the furniture. The wood grain definitely is a showstopper that provides a great backdrop for the white saucer pendant lights flanking the bed. 

JZID-Guest-Bedroom_Bed headboard detail.jpg

To offset the natural wood and mid-century modern color palette mixed in with the shelf brackets, a large framed graffiti piece by Mr. Brainwash was hung above the dresser. Guests won't be able to come over without commenting on this statement piece. 

Additional seating is a must-have for any guest bedroom or home office. In this room, I brought in an Eames molded plastic rocking chair so guests have place to relax and read or get ready in the morning. 

The clients don't have a huge house with tons of room to spare, so this room had to also be functional for the homeowners for those times that they don't have house guests. In the nook by the closet, I created a home office space that will allow the clients to work while at home. 

Opposite the desk is a JZID custom-made bookshelf that stores the client's book collection and printer. Check the blog in the next couple of weeks for a DIY tutorial on how to construct this bookcase yourself.

This nook creates a cozy area for the client's work space. The open closet stores a few extra clothing items from the clients, but is mostly open with spare hangers, ready for guests to store items. 

The overall effect of the room is a clean, airy aesthetic that ties in natural wood elements with modern furniture and decor. The room is relaxing while still showcasing interesting decor that gives the room a more personal touch. 

Are you suffering from spare bedroom syndrome? Contact me today to get started on your bedroom remodel.