JZID Interiors

Welcome to the Team: Madeline Spain

I am happy to announce that I have added Madeline Spain. For the last month or so, Madeline has been quickly getting up to speed on JZID’s processes and open projects. She has brought an energetic and positive vibe to the office and is surprisingly good at making phone calls for someone straight out of college! She’s a great addition to the team…

Meet Madeline

Like Ashley and I, Madeline has small-town origins; growing up in Paddock Lake, WI. It was in this small town that she discovered her love of design and architecture early in life. Madeline went from scheming up new layouts for her family home and helping her mom remodel to majoring in Interior Design at the University of Wisconsin – Stout.

While in school, Madeline became a rendering wizard. She quickly grew to love drafting and all of the technical aspects involved in the design process. Due to her penchant for technical, Madeline became a Revit and rendering tutor where she gave full demonstrations and one-on-one lessons to multiple levels of interior studio classes and helped to prepare for the CIDA accreditation renewal. Her skills definitely surpass my own so odds are that your next space plan will be created by Madeline!

Even though she’s a rendering wiz, Madeline also has a great eye and appreciation of art. At school, she enhanced her Interior Design degree by taking printmaking and furniture design studio art classes. Through these classes, she was able to participate in a four-week program in Los Angeles that worked with a group to build a virtual reality experience inspired by local historical sites. Perhaps it is this time in LA that blossomed her love of the Mid-Century Design aesthetic.

In addition to MCM, Madeline is also partial to the Surrealism. No wonder Spain, a hotbed of the Surrealist movement, has been her favorite travel destination so far. There is such a rich history of design to explore, that I’m sure Madeline will be traveling back to Spain soon. While she waits for her next trip, Madeline enjoys embroidery, drawing, and exploring places with historic architecture.

Madeline graduated in May of 2019 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design and is now a full-time Interior Designer at JZID!

I am excited to show you all what we have been working on as a team. Keep an eye on our Instagram page for updates on our new projects. Lots of exciting things in the works!

We would love to work with you. Contact us to get started on your new build, remodel, or redesign today!

JZID Project Reveal - 7SEVENTY7 Penthouse

Nothing is better than Milwaukee in the summer, we get to enjoy all that the lake has to offer and the city is alive with events. It makes perfect sense that a luxury high-rise apartment building has sprouted up in the heart of downtown. 7SEVENTY7 is reinventing downtown living and offers an alternative to the Cream City brick (which we love) with it’s high-end hotel feel and sprawling views of the lake and city.

Last Fall, 7SEVENTY7 reached out to us for assistance with creating a model unit in one of their spacious pent house floor units. Using a few items that were already in a model unit on a lower floor, JZID brought in a few new pieces and styled the unit for future resident tours.

Our brief was to create a design that blends contemporary lines with glam finishes and draws the eye to the gorgeous view of Lake Michigan.

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.

Welcome to the Team: Ashley Hockers

I am happy to announce that I have added Ashley Hockers to my team! For the past couple of months, Ashley has excelled as an intern and is now a full-time Project Coordinator for JZID.


Ashley is a native of Wisconsin’s favorite getaway - Door County. Growing up, she would accompany her parents on site visits of different homes that they were either building or renovating to sell. Ashley definitely caught the remodeling bug from her parents! Being exposed to the building process at an early age allowed her imagination to run wild with endless possibilities that architecture and interior design brings. She was able to see how the different phases of construction progress through a project and the risks that are involved with each step. This will be a great asset as she begins to have a greater hand in implementing some of our remodeling projects coming up.

Aside from getting first-hand experience with construction, Ashley immersed herself in art classes at school and workshops through the Peninsula School of Art. Her involvement in the Door County art community and background in remodeling drove her to pursue her passions and attend college at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.

While at MIAD, Ashley thrived in classes focusing on interior design and architecture and got the opportunity to study abroad for a summer in Europe. Just before starting her Junior year, Ashley took off for Burren College of Art in Ireland where she learned about their rich history and importance of the landscape. She’s gone full-circle from studying in County Clare, Ireland to now working across the street from Milwaukee’s County Clare pub!

After her summer program, Ashley did a European tour. She found London particularly exciting. The juxtaposition between the historic and ultra-modern architecture in the city is inspiring. This dynamic between respecting the history but injecting strong principles of Modern design show through in Ashley’s work. She has a great eye for selecting and mixing hard surface materials as well as specifying interior architecture elements.

Ashley graduated in May of 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Architecture.

I am excited to show you all what we have been working on. Keep an eye on our Instagram page (Ashley has taken that over for me too!) for updates on our new projects. Lots of exciting things in the works!

We would love to work with you. Contact us to get started on your new build, remodel, or redesign today!

Photography by Mariah Braddock, owner of Empower Her Clothing.

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

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:

JZID Wins Best of Milwaukee!


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


Thank you to all of our great Clients and supporters for nominating and then voting for us for this award. Since starting JZID, I really wanted to create a design studio that is Client-oriented and provides a bespoke turnkey approach to remodeling and design services.

It's amazing to see how our jobsites transform into our Client's dream homes. We love the process and working with wonderful people. We have the best Clients! See what our previous Clients have to say about our services on Houzz

We would love to work with you to transform your home in 2018. Let's talk about how we can create your dream home! Contact JZID today to get started. 

Project Update - Interior Pool Remodel

Hope everyone is having a great start to 2018! We are in the midst of a cold snap here in WI, but have been thinking warm thoughts while we work on remodeling an interior pool in Elm Grove. It is such a cool project. A young couple recently moved into this house and have decided to overhaul their pool, which needed a lot of attention in order to even really be functional. And while they were fixing humidity and efficiency issues, why not transform it into their dream pool?

Digging out this kidney-shaped pool is a huge, messy task. We've had a crew working on this for weeks so we can transform it to a rectangular-shaped pool with a hot tub. Once the pool is the right shape, we will do a textured concrete floor, install new lights, wire it for automated blinds and projector system, and paint (don't worry we aren't getting rid of the wood cathedral ceiling!). The final look will be much brighter and will have a contemporary meets retro vibe that will match the rest of the classic MCM house.  



I'm working with a great team on this one. The project started with Swimming Pool Services in Waukesha, who brought in a company that I do a lot of work with - Connor Remodeling from Menomonee Falls. We are going to have our Clients in the pool in the next few months and will have great photos to show you then! 

In the meantime, you can check out our recent projects in our portfolio or follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get frequent updates on what we are up to. 

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.

Bay View Condo Sneak Peek

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

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

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

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

JZID Project Reveal - Westchester Lakes Master Bath

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

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


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

Our Favorite Backsplashes

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

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

1 | Classic Moroccan Arabesque  

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

2 | Bold Mosaics

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

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

3 | Natural Stone

Daltile Limestone Collection.JPG

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

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

4| Contemporary Metallics 


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

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

5 | Subway Tile

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

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

JZID Project Reveal - Pretty Lake Remodel

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

Before Photos

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

Kitchen overlooking the front entryway and garage entrance. 

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

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

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

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

Master bedroom with small deck overlooking Pretty Lake.

Space Plan - Before

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

First Floor - 

Second Floor - 

Space Plan - After

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

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

First Floor - 

Second Floor - 

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

After Photos

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

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

Downstairs Bath - 

Laundry Closet in Mudroom - 

Living Room - 

Master Bathroom - 

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

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

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.  

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.