Bright, bold patterns breathe new life into a classic East Side home.
Left to her own devices, decorator Kate Kazlo gravitates toward a palette extending from white to… off-white. “I like the serenity of neutrals,” says Kazlo, owner of Home Market, a home furnishings store in the Third Ward. But a project on Milwaukee’s East Side gave Kazlo an opportunity to show off her aesthetic range. “When I met with the homeowners, I had two very different proposals,” she recalls. “One was typical of my work. The other was outside the box, with bold hues and lots of pattern.” The clients were unequivocally smitten by the latter. “I knew right then that this would take me out of my comfort zone,” says Kazlo. “And I thought of it as an adventure.” She incorporated vintage pieces the couple had inherited, items they purchased while traveling and contemporary finds to create an overall effect that is eclectic as well as personal.
A pair of white linen love seats (Lee Industries) with nailhead trim helps create a contemporary look and feel, providing a backdrop that allows the ikat pillows and curtains, plus trellis-patterned stools, to take center stage.
Floral chinoiserie wallpaper (Chiang Mai Dragon by F. Schumacher) sets the exuberant tone for the rest of the house. “We wanted a pop right when you walk in the door,” says Kazlo.
How to Mix Patterns Like a Pro
- Choose a color palette and stick with it. This secret shortcut makes creating harmonious combinations easy.
- Geometrics ‑ including stripes, dots and chevrons ‑ work well with florals, so for a fail-safe method, select one geometric, one floral and one solid.
Sit It Out
A pair of chairs (Lee Industries) offers a more intimate seating option in the living room. The suzani print upholstery adds yet another layer of pattern, and mixes remarkably well with an antique Delft ginger jar lamp.
“You open the door and discover this little treasure,” says Kazlo of this half-bath off the kitchen. The dragon-print wallpaper (Tibet by Clarence House) gives the room an exotic edge. A graceful sink is original to the house.
Photos by Matt Haas