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 We see so many homes built in the 1990's that have become outdated and almost soulless over time.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.

2018 Color Forecast

It's the most wonderful time of the year... the color forecasts are in for 2018! And it's not all boring white and beige. Three of the major industry leaders have all chosen dramatic and deep colors that have historical significance while still feeling fresh and contemporary.

Just last week Pantone released their Color of the Year as Ultra Violet. Pantone helps set the tone for the design industry (graphic design/packaging, home decor, fashion and beauty) by taking into account what's currently trending and by selecting a color that their experts think we need in our world today.

And Pantone isn't alone. Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams also chose powerful colors. Benjamin Moore with a radiant red named Caliente and Sherwin Williams with a mesmerizing blue named Oceanside.

I can feel 2018 will be a very colorful year. Take a look below to see all the colors and inspiration images to get you in the mood for a whole new color scheme in the New Year. Enjoy!


Need help selecting a fabulous color for your home? We can help with that! Contact us today for a consultation and we'll get started.

Loving Vincent

Has anyone seen the movie Loving Vincent that is in theaters now? The trailer is so captivating and it's received a lot of praise , I'm dying to see it! The movie is a really interesting take on a biopic about the world's most famous painter - Vincent van Gogh. Even from the few clips that I've seen, you can really tell that the film is a labor of love by directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman. By commissioning tens of thousands of oil paintings from different artists, the filmmakers take on the question: What if van Gogh's paintings, with their vivid colors and bold brush strokes, had been able to move?

Watch the trailer here - 

If you live in the Milwaukee area, the movie is playing at the Oriental Theater on North Farwell for the next week or so. I'm planning on seeing it over the weekend. 

Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, Saint Rémy, June 1889, oil on canvas, 29 x 36 1/4". Source: MOMA

Van Gogh's paintings are infused with emotion, vibrancy and a sense of urgency. Probably one of his most iconic paintings, The Starry Night (1889), is a great example of how the painter used brush strokes to create expressive and emotive imagery. The painting is dominated by the moon- and star-filled night sky, depicted by turbulent, swirling patterns of wind rolling across the canvas like waves. Taking a note from his painter friend,  Paul Gauguin, van Gogh drew from direct observations as well as his imagination, memories, and emotions for this painting. Such a combination of visual contrasts was generated by an artist who found beauty and interest in the night, which he described in a letter to his brother, was “much more alive and richly colored than the day.”

Art and design have always had a symbiotic relationship and van Gogh's work has been a direct inspiration for us when designing for Clients. We've even used the Almond Blossom painting shown in the banner as wallpaper in a Client's dining room.

In our interior design world, we thrive on the emotions and drama that emanate from well thought out spaces. Rooms inspired by van Gogh have primary and complementary color palettes, balance created through asymmetry, movement through pattern and a slight sense of whimsy. Here are a few great examples: 

Image Source: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

A particular favorite element of van Gogh's subject matter to us is his ability to combine saturated, vibrant colors with natural earth tones. An exemplary painting of this juxtaposition is the 1889 work Irises (oil on canvas, 29 1/4 × 37 1/8", J. Paul Getty Musesum). The painting features various shades of green, blue and yellow against the natural browns of the soil. We were so inspired that we put together a style board based on this painting. 


We love talking about what inspires us while designing - check out a previous blog post about John Rawlings's influence on interior design. 

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

Going to the Dark Side

The heat wave in Milwaukee [finally] broke - there is a crisp chill in the air and I'm walking through more leaves on the sidewalk than before. I'm ready for sweaters, fuzzy socks and a nice cup of hot tea. This changing of seasons has me really loving the deep, saturated direction a lot of paint companies are going with their color trend reports. One way to instantly create a cozy environment perfect for hibernation is to go darker on the walls. Just think about curling up with a plush blanket in front of the fire with a glass of wine and watching the flames reflect on your saturated wall color - so dreamy! 

Going dark and moody with your room can be a bit high-maintenance (just like your last high-drama relationship). Dark paint shows any imperfections in your painting, so professional application is highly recommended. When going dark, just remember the principles of light and dark. Light colors will expand a space, dark ones will contract it — so only go dark if have a room with a lot of natural light or if you are going for a more cavernous feel (like in a study or a bedroom). 

If the space is right for it, then painting a room in a deep color palette is totally transformative and allows you make metallic finishes, upholstery prints and wall decor really stand out. There's nothing to fear from the dark side, just look at these breath-taking rooms!

Need help deciding what paint color is right for your home? We can help - contact us today to get started on creating you personal oasis!

Image Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 

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

60359 Lt Avocado Variation.jpg

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.  

JZID is Hiring!

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

On a daily basis, you will be... 

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

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

  1. Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design or art-related field
  2. Strong organizational and multi-tasking skills, ability to meet deadlines and very attentive to detail
  3. Ability to maintain a strong sense of focus and confidence under tight deadlines and varying workloads while working independently
  4. Spatial planning skills with an eye for creative product and material selections in order to produce beautiful, functional and creative spaces for residential and commercial clients
  5. Ability to plan ahead, help clients make decisions, identify red flags and be aware of deadlines in order to help keep construction jobs on schedule
  6. Advanced knowledge and experience with Google SketchUp, Adobe Photoshop, and Microsoft Office required
  7. Functional automobile, as candidate will need to run errands, attend client meetings and visit job sites. Projects range from Milwaukee Metro area, Madison and Northern IL

If you feel you meet these requirements and would be a great candidate for this position, please email me your cover letter, resume and portfolio to jerricazaricdesign@gmail.com.  

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

Thiensville Remodel - Progress Report

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


Demo Phase:


In Progress Phase: 


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

I Bought a New Sofa!

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

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

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

You can purchase the Milo sofa here.

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

Experimental Household Items

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


JZID Profiled in Beloit College Magazine

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

Rethinking the Entrepreneur 

By Paul Engleman’76

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by: Ryan Hainey Photography

Photo by: Ryan Hainey Photography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JZID Awarded 2017 Best of Houzz for Design and Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

6 Ways to Brighten a Dark Room

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

1 | Paint the Walls

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

2 | Hang a Mirror or Metallics 

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

3 | Accent the Furniture

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

4 | ...Or Replace It

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

5 | Add the Right Lighting

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

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

6 | Declutter

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

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

JZID Project Reveal - Beloit College Welcome Center

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

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

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

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

Before Photos 

Before Photos 

The Space Plan

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

I divided the first floor by rooms with designated purposes. 

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

The Design


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

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

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

Seating Area #1

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

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


Seating Area #2

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

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

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

The Gallery

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

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

Interview Rooms

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

Blue Skies Interview Room - Before

Blue Skies Interview Room - Before

Blue Skies Interview Room - After

Blue Skies Interview Room - After

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

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

After images shot by Ryan Hainey Photography.

JZID Project Reveal - Beloit College Emerson Hall

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

Beloit College Emerson Hall Grand Opening - August 19, 2016

Before image of the Emerson Hall lounge.

Before image of the Emerson Hall lounge.

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

After Photos - Lounge and Lobby

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

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

Custom bench crafted from the original Emerson Hall staircase. 

Custom bench crafted from the original Emerson Hall staircase. 

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

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

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

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