Michael & Danijela's Modern Minimal Milwaukee Home

House Tour

(Welcome to Elizabeth from Milwaukee, one of the bloggers trying out for a place on the Apartment Therapy editorial team as a House Tour Contributor. Enjoy her work!)

Name: Michael & Danijela
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Size: 1300 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5

Newlyweds Michael and Danijela still seem a little surprised by their home and location. Young, design-loving, tech-savvy, Eurocentric professionals, they might seem more at home in a hip, downtown warehouse convert. But the creamy Cape Cod, which sits in a Norman Rockwell-esque neighborhood north of Milwaukee, offers many features missing from the condo set.

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A yard makes it possible for the couple to grow their own vegetables, and the home is located close to the Lake Michigan lakefront and its bike paths. The house also makes good investment sense, as it is situated in a sought-after neighborhood with excellent schools.

A traditional Cape Cod goes well with a Pottery Barn aesthetic. But this couple delights in modern design and minimalism. The solution is deceptively simple; a restrained but warm color palette is repeated throughout the home, and spare, high quality furnishings are punctuated with personal, whimsical accessories. The many paintings throughout the home are Michael's work, and the cheese grater-as-lampshade in the kitchen reminds us not to take it all too seriously.

The result is a comfortable, inviting home as befits a Cape Cod in a bucolic suburb...with a clean, uncluttered, sophisticated interior as befits the couple.

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our style: Modern style with appreciation for Scandinavian minimalism. More focused on single pieces.

Inspiration: Old European apartments (the ones with parquet floors and floor to ceiling windows).

Favorite Element: The fact that our home feels warm even with so many modern pieces. It's modern yet warm and inviting.

Biggest Challenge: Blending our style with the architecture of the house, a Cape Cod; merging the two without stripping one of its identity. With our next project, the kitchen remodel, our biggest challenge will be to maintain mass appeal (for resale-ability) while putting in the touches that make it ours.

What Friends Say: "Your house is too clean."

Biggest Embarrassment: Hidden underneath our bed is a waterbed box frame. We have not been able to find that perfect bed frame for a California King bed. So it does the job for now.

Proudest DIY: Mike made the living room coffee table and matching TV stand from scratch. Nothing fit the exact dimensions that we were looking for. So it was a trip to the steel mill instead of Ikea. It turned out great, if we don't say so ourselves!

Biggest Indulgence: The Barcelona Chair. Mike purchased it as a tax return gift to himself. It's one of
the best purchases we made. So far we've gotten a better return on the Barcelona Chair than the 401K.

Best advice: Buy what you like, figure out where it goes afterwards. Quality will always triumph over quantity. If you don't like it, don't be forced into a purchase -- there is more out there than what's at the major furniture farms.

Dream source: Our trips to Europe.

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Resources:
Dwell, antique stores, old European apartments, HGTV House Hunters International. We're inspired by architecture.

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(Thanks, Michael & Danijela!)

Images: Elizabeth Setterfield

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