Lianna’s Lovely Milwaukee Loft
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Name: Lianna Utley
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Size: 900 Square Feet
Years lived in: 5 years
We first got to see a peek of Lianna’s lovely Milwaukee loft in her house call. Now with a longer look, it’s obvious this home is a great mix of contrasts: rough brick and flirty florals; open loft space but cozy seating arrangements. Lianna grew up around beautiful homes, and the thoughtful layers she mixes in through the space show off a personal design philosophy she keeps (as well as a natural talent for design): “…the more you can mix in unexpected styles together the more unique your home starts to feel.”
Along with being a master of melding different styles in the same space, Lianna’s home she shares with her husband also shows her (and his!) creative design spirit, too. A hand-painted wall in the bedroom is the perfect balance to a brick wall behind the bed. Tall ceilings plus unused space above the kitchen cabinets make for a unique opportunity for a gallery wall. And yet, none of these choices feel overwhelming. Under 1000 square feet, the loft doesn’t feel overstuffed or cluttered, despite the impressive variety of design styles and elements represented.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Traditional with plenty of old and new mixed all together.
Inspiration: Both of my grandmothers and my mother had beautiful houses, so I grew up with a love for lovely spaces. I have also had a subscription to House Beautiful since I was in high school. I still love flipping through all the pages of my favorite magazines. I love looking at all the inspirational blogs out there these days. I like examining styles that are different to mine, the more you can mix in unexpected styles together the more unique your homes starts to feel. I think blogs have shown me you can mix in some contemporary or more edgy styles in with the traditional styles I am drawn to, making some really fun spaces.
Favorite Element: I love the way I made a very masculine space traditional and uniquely me. The exposed pipes and brick helps make the space feel special, and mixed in with very feminine details like my floral wallpaper, chandeliers, and hand-painted wall it sets apart my space from most normal lofts.
Biggest Challenge: At first I thought I didn’t have a lot of room to hang all kinds of fun art. It didn’t keep me from buying up prints that I loved; I just stored them in the closet until I found a home. Then one day my husband and I were at one of our favorite restaurants and my husband found inspiration in a very large gallery wall, and suggested we create one above the cabinets. Our ceilings are so tall I never thought of utilizing that space. So the next day we pulled out all the prints we collected and arranged them all the way to the ceiling. It was the best way to open up the space and make the room feel layered.
What Friends Say: Usually they say they never would have thought to do the things I attempt. Like the gallery wall. One friend said “only you would think to do that.”
Proudest DIY: My pink and orange Ikat upholstered chair. I found it on craigslist for $30 and took the whole chair apart down to the frame. It was the first time I re-upholstered a chair down to the dry bones and brought it back to life. It was definitely tricky (lots of Youtube videos) but I like the way it turned out, and doing it myself helps make it feel very special.
Biggest Indulgence: Good wine, flowers, and hosting elaborate dinner parties.
Best Advice: Find things you love and make them your own. Don’t be afraid of color or prints.
- Pendant light: Pottery Barn
- Bench: Hand made and upholstered by myself and my dad
- Print: Hand made by my sister
- Rug: Rugs USA
- Chair Pillow: Crate and Barrel
- Ikat Chair: Craigslist and re-upholstered
- Sofa pillow: Hand made with Tilton Fenwick for Duralee Fabric
- Chandelier: Zgallerie
- Dining Chairs: Craigslist upholstered and re-painted
- Table: Hand Made by my brother-in-law
- Pendants: West Elm
- Scout Print: Art.com
- Constellation Print: Art.com
- All other prints: Flea markets
- Moose Head: Etsy
- Bed: Zgallerie
- Nightstands: Pottery Barn
- Nightstand Lamps: Pier 1
- Wallpaper Panels: Spoonflower, Vendor: Domesticate
- Pink Paint: Behr (can’t remember color) Martha Stewart Glaze for the lettering
- Dresser: Vintage Belonged to Grandmother
- Bed Pillows: Hand-made by me
- Duvet: PB Teen
- Buffet: Craigslist repainted and Anthropologie knobs added
- Floral Wingback Chair: Craigslist Reupholstered
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