JZID Featured as Designer of the Month

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

What would you say your preferred design style is?

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

 What is your biggest achievement?

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

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

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

The most frustrating part of your job?

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

You can find the full interview here >>

New headshot by Mariah Braddock

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 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

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 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 Awarded 2016 Best of Houzz for Design and Service

I am happy to announce that my work with my wonderful clients has earned me two Houzz Awards - Best of Design and Best of Customer Service for 2016. Houzz is a leading platform for home remodeling and design with an online community of more than 35 million monthly users.

I was awarded the Best of Design for my Mohawk Avenue dressing room project - a project that has been featured in many Houzz editorials and on Apartment Therapy. My photographs from this project were added to almost 800 Ideabooks to serve as inspiration for homeowners around the world. 

A big THANK YOU to my amazing clients that worked with me and reviewed me in 2015.  My Best of Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews received in 2015.

I look forward to an exciting and creative 2016. There are many more project that will be popping up on my website in the first part of this year and I can't wait to show you all. 

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

JZID Featured on Thumbtack

I was featured this morning as a Designer Spotlight on Thumbtack this morning. Thumbtack is an online marketplace that allows people to get connected with professionals that can complete their home improvement needs (among many other things). My brief interview covers why I love what I do, what inspired me to start my own business and which project has been most memorable. You can read the spotlight below, or click here to view it on the Thumbtack site. Thanks for the shout out, Thumbtack!

JZID Featured in Houzz Editorial

JZID's dressing room project from earlier this year was featured in an editorial on Houzz this morning! 

The article is titled, Decorating: How to Create a Dressing Area Even in a Small Space and helps readers realized that designated dressing areas aren’t just for big bedrooms. My dressing room redesign (also featured on Apartment Therapy - see link here) is one of  eleven designer-remodeled spaces that achieve the Sex in the City dream of having a walk-in closet, while being affordable and space efficient. No big remodels needed here. Good space planning can help you get a dream closet with just some simple tweaks to your space.

The key takeaway from my spotlight - Transform your spare room into a dedicated dressing area (especially one that’s small or awkwardly shaped). See all the tips on Houzz >>

While you are on Houzz, feel free to check out the rest of my portfolio and my customer reviews

Contact JZID today to get started on creating your dream dressing room.