October 28, 2021

McKenzielee Blog

Wicked Clever House Experts

Meet 12 local designers working in home design

6 min read

These 12 local names in home design are adding stylish touches to Madison interiors.

Kris Aman of Green Rhino Design
Years before the DIY concept became trendy, Kris Aman was installing sinks, tiling floors and working on her own home. Why hire a builder, she thought, when you can work at your own pace? “I loved the creative process and having to kind of problem-solve some of the challenging issues,” says Aman, who founded Green Rhino Design in 2016.

Aman does it all by herself, identifying as a home improvement specialist rather than an interior designer. “I’m never afraid of trying anything and I think that’s probably my biggest asset,” she says.

Her design aesthetic is clean, contemporary and minimal, with neutral color palettes and a focus on textures, light, natural elements and simplicity. She enjoys working with an empty space rather than a prescribed design layout. Still, she comes prepared. Many days are spent ruminating over plans, sketching her vision out on graph paper, looking at the measurements and fine-tuning details. “I love inspiring people to try and do things themselves,” she adds.

Pamela Xiong of Pamela Interiors

Courtesy of Pamela Xiong

It’s no wonder Pamela Xiong fell in love with the concept of transforming spaces. As a child, she watched her mom host HGTV viewing parties and her parents completely renovated her childhood home. To the budding Madison interior designer, good design “just makes all the difference.”

That understanding has been especially clear throughout the pandemic. Xiong says many of her friends reached out asking for advice and ways to redecorate. “It makes them a lot happier if they have a space that they feel comfortable in,” she says. Xiong is tapping into that, working to help people feel at ease. She’s also worked with small businesses and homeowners on projects. Xiong describes her personal style as Scandinavian-modern with some boho, but she’s also open to eclectic or modern farmhouse design. And incorporating plants is a must.

As much as she enjoys the process, launching the business in January 2021 was both “scary” and “great,” and she still works as a full-time dental assistant. “I enjoy doing both, but interior design is, frankly, like my first love,” she says.

Amanda Van Wie of DesignWell Interiors

bedroom space with bars at the top

Courtesy of DesignWell Interiors

Art is creative, and Amanda Van Wie — owner and designer at DesignWell Interiors, which started in 2017 as a window treatments-only business, but quickly expanded to full-scale interior design services in 2018 — takes that to heart.

“When you’re young and you start a business — regardless of what it is, I think, in order for it to be successful, you have to be prepared to do everything,” Van Wie says. For her, that meant nailing every nitty gritty detail including moving furniture, installing blinds and cleaning toilets. Van Wie opened her studio one year before the pandemic hit, which presented a host of new challenges to her small business. But the adjustments have made for a more flexible workplace with a focus on family and building relationships with clients.

Before she starts working on the design process, her clients receive a consultation and answer a questionnaire about their project goals. From there, Van Wie’s team creates an inspiration board: a one-page visual of their interpretation of the client’s vision for a space. “The designing and creativity portion is my absolute favorite,” she says. Van Wie says they’re really good at melding couples’ design styles together. “We joke all the time that we’re kind of ‘relationship people’ as much as we are designers.”

Bill Beaudreau of Caryer Ryan Beaudreau Interiors

kitchen space

Photo by Zane Williams

Bill Beaudreau has always gravitated toward design related to residential buildings. Even in middle school, he knew interior design was a career path worth pursuing. But heading a whole company? That’s been a dream come true.

Beaudreau, the president and owner of Caryer Ryan Beaudreau Interiors, has turned a childhood hobby into a lifelong passion, allowing him to forge connections and see transformations of light commercial projects, single-family homes and condominiums. “I like the work so much, particularly because of the relationships I form with people who are truly grateful for the difference that the work I do makes,” he says. “I love the sparks of creativity that can really bend someone’s brain, and it gives me just simple, great joy — it feeds my soul personally.”

On average, Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, and that matters, Beaudreau says. “I would ask people to consider that fact … and what a difference an interior designer can make,” he says. With confidence and natural curiosity, Beaudreau has found success in taking a “learn as you go” approach.

Beaudreau says his focus has evolved into an emphasis on creative interior design space solutions, materials and lighting. “I’ve learned so much about the power of interior design, and the passion, and how we can channel it to deliver better results to everyone who is a beneficiary of the work,” Beaudreau says.

Angie Schwab Interiors

bathroom space

Photo by Beth Skogen

Angie Schwab balances openness and privacy in this updated and upgraded master bathroom. Taking inspiration from an accent tile the team found locally, Schwab mixes two types of marble with different textures, but they work well together.

Haven Design Studio

kitchen island

Photo by Larissa Anderson

A fan of DIY, Larissa Anderson of Haven Design reused and recycled items when possible, transforming a dark, wood-heavy house into a light, airy space in a sustainable and eco-friendly way. “Not only does reusing decor prevent it from going to a landfill, it also adds character and story to a home,” she says.

Calnin Design Studio

space with an overarching loft

Photo by Christina Hussey

Intrigued by the challenge of renovating a barn built in the early 1900s, Katie Calnin of Calnin Design Studio wanted the space to feel as if it had been curated and collected over time. Drawn to a classic English style paired with a modern Scandinavian aesthetic, she sourced vintage and new furnishings throughout, including hand-knotted Turkish and Moroccan rugs, a velvet chaise and a Chesterfield sofa for the TV room.

Mojo Home Interiors

large kitchen island

Courtesy of Mojo Home Interiors

In Mojo Home Interiors’ favorite refreshed space of the year, designers say they “mixed, stirred and baked home goodness into this kitchen makeover.” After reconfiguring the stained cabinets into a more spacious layout, they painted them white and added modern elements of wood, metal and stone, inviting cooking and conversation.

Alexis G. Blake Interiors

bathtub with a piece of art

Photo by Shanna Wolf

By the looks of this bathroom project in the Noll Valley neighborhood of Verona, it’s no surprise Alexis G. Blake says a successful remodel is all about the details. They all add up to a stunning result, from the freestanding bathtub to the floating stone shelf to the cream tile to the brass finish to the personal piece of art. We would be stoked to take a soak in this tub.

Zander’s Interiors

wine rack with a table

Courtesy of Zanders Interiors

This home has breathtaking views, and now a breathtaking interior to match. Erica Meier, owner and designer of Zander’s Interiors, complements a contemporary look — soft grays and whites with dark accents — with a black-painted kilned glass backsplash and wood-veneered wallpaper to add some texture. (Also, can we talk about that walk-in wine cooler for a second?!)

Denise Quade Design

interior space with a large kitchen space

Courtesy of Denise Quade Design

Taking a modern look and adding some contrast, Denise Quade Senior Design Coordinator Pam Nesbitt combined brushed and polished metal, using various textures that add warmth to the space. As much as the white and black countertops draw the eye, the greenery when you peer outside the window is the real showstopper.

Oak & Olive Design Studio

white kitchen space with cabinets

Photo by Natural Intuition Photography

Interior Designer Krizia Villanueva of Oak & Olive Design Studio managed to preserve this home’s original woodwork, create more storage and function, add two glass door built-ins and balance traditional, vintage influences with light. We love the blend of the soft, white cabinetry contrasted with the matte black hardware.

Read more home features here.

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Meet 12 local designers working in home design

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