Looking good

Last updated on April 21st, 2022 at 08:35 pm

Cape Cods are space-efficient homes. But while the square footage in them is all put to good use, a growing family can find that space limiting. So when Karen Lee Johnson decided to renovate her Hartland home, the plans included an addition.

Her work on the renovation was recently honored in the annual design competition of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). The project took a silver award.

Held at the Broadway Theater in the Third Ward, the awards ceremony was attended by “ladies dressed to dazzle and men in designer suits,” she said. “The work that garnered the awards was dazzling too, in the eyes of the individuals that hired the designers,” said Lisa Rolenc, the Wisconsin chapter’s PR co-chair.

“The winners were evaluated on their talent, work, originality, and project description,” she said.

Mary Meinz of Peabody’s Interiors won a gold award for her work on a Richfield residence.

Winners of silver awards were Meinz and her follow designers at Peabody – Greg Holm and Geneane Francour, for their design of a Symphony Showhouse loft; Johnson, who runs a design firm bearing her name, for creating a renovation design of her own home in Hartland; Peabody’s Donna Sweet for her work on a six-bedroom, trailside home in Colorado; and Peabody’s C.J. Mueller for her renovation design work for a condo residence in New York City.

Mueller also won a bronze award for a renovation design for a home on Milwaukee’s East Side. Other bronze award winners were Hallie Weissman Cohn, of Lise Lawson Interior Design, for her kitchen design for a home in Shorewood; Jane Klein for her work on a riverwalk residence in Milwaukee; Linda Moses, of Plunkett Raysich Architects, for her work on a 1522 on the Lake condo, and Lisa Anne Minneti of Peabody’s for her work on a residence in Elm Grove.

Johnson, who remodeled her own home, has been in the design business for about six years. “We bought our three-bedroom house, a traditional Cape Cod, about three years ago and it was in dire need of updating. We wanted to renovate and, fortunately, the land afforded us the opportunity to increase the space. We decided to put in a main floor master suite, increase the size of the kitchen and add a family room, screened porch and offices for both myself and my husband. We have 13-year-old twin boys and this allowed them to have their own rooms.”

Johnson said she and her husband wanted a “trademporary” look that would combine traditional style and contemporary style.

“We wanted a contemporary look but didn’t want to discard our antique treasures and furnishings,” she said. “And since we’re about a block away from Nagawicky Lake, we wanted a formal/casual weekend cottage feel. We used such details as wainscoting, painted white woodwork and trim. I’m into color, so light woodwork enabled me to utilize color in several spaces.”

Minneti said her award-winning project was a partial renovation of the Elm Grove house was fun to do “because we were trying to turn a 1950s colonial ranch into more of an urban, upscale look.” It involved redoing the home and giving it a clean, urban, downtown look.

“We tore down the colonial brick fireplace and replaced it with a limestone fireplace, which gave it a simple contemporary look. We constructed an étagère, which is an open bookcase, and also did some silk (from Switzerland) window treatments. We also did custom, cove recessed lighting and some Japanese ceiling fixtures. And brought in furniture with a contemporary Asian feel.”

Sweet’s award work was on a Colorado multilevel home located on a mountainside near the city of Vail. A 16-year design veteran, she said it was an elegant, rustic home that is large scale with big logs, lots of integrated, colorful plaster and natural materials, including stone floors, stone fireplace, iron hardware and alder wood cabinetry.

“We used a lot of earthy tones-browns, sage greens, spicy oranges, reds, to accent the furnishings, complement the logs as well as the outdoor environment. We also used a lot of chenilles, because of the fabric’s durability and warm texture. We also put in a long, planked dining room table that was custom made in England.”

Cohn, who has been designing interiors in a variety of cities for the past eight years, entered her kitchen remodeling project for the Lake Drive residence in Shorewood in the competition because it had some unique and outstanding features, she said.

“First, from a design point of view we used existing space for updating but with no thoughts of enlarging the room. That was a challenge because the owners wanted a kosher kitchen. That meant they needed to have two work triangles, each with its own cooktop, refrigerator and sink. Because the family keeps kosher, they need a separate area for dairy food and a separate area for meats.”

Working within the space restrictions, she used a birdseye maple for the cabinetry, and created “very pretty” stainless steel lighting to stand out over the work island. She also used the existing quarry stone floor in her design.

“We used a neutral color palette because the quarry stone floor basically set the tone for the rest of the color scheme. Then we threw in a splash of color, including turquoise, with the window treatment because of the proximity of Lake Michigan. One of our goals was to bring the exterior color into the house.”

Mueller, who has been a designer for about 22 years, and Jennifer Schuppie, her associate at Peabody’s, created a “transitional” design for the upper east side Georgian colonial residence. “Our client asked us for a fresh, cheery, family look that would also be appropriate for entertaining business clients. We redid the walls, selected new carpeting, changed the window treatment, and updated the livings room, sun room, den and family room, along with the powder rooms,” she said. “Our color palette was a brighter gold with reds and greens, but the den was a little more subdued with a darker sage and topes. We used velvet and chenille textures.”

Mueller said the renovation was completed last October and was “well received.”

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