The do-it-herself designer

Kay Aaseby is her own extreme home makeover artist. Aaseby, director of procurement at St. Francis-based Wixon Inc., has spent much of her free time on do-it-yourself renovation projects in her homes, from tiling a shower stall to digging under three layers of linoleum to recover hardwood floors.

Aaseby, who gravitates toward vintage homes and likes “quirky, eclectic design,” has been an interior designer on the side for about 20 years and first delved into design at a cottage she rented Up North. Her most dramatic redesigns unfolded at her two previous homes – a 1930s home she owned in Appleton and a 1900-era Stevens Point home she lived in up until about two months ago, when she relocated to the Milwaukee area for her position at Wixon.

She received an offer on that home two weeks after putting it on the market.

Aaseby has completed each of her renovations over a nearly five-year span, chiseling away at one room at a time. Most of her projects were self-designed and self-guided, with priority on restoring original fixtures and features.

Kay Aaseby’s kitchen in her Stevens Point home was among her favorite projects.

“My first choice is always to go back to what was original if it’s still there,” Aaseby said. Otherwise she tends to modernize elements of her home.

Aaseby finds inspiration for her designs from magazines, the outdoors, antique shops, home stores, and paint departments.

“I truly believe that you just take what you like or what speaks to you, whether it goes or is a certain style or whatever, and just try things,” she said.

Her next project? A Milwaukee bungalow.

“I see a small Milwaukee bungalow in my future at some point and it will likely need some work, (but) maybe not (the) whole house this time,” she said.

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