Opened House

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January 20, 2009

A few years after moving into their stocky, cavelike 1970s bi-level 20 miles southeast of Milwaukee, JJ and Eric Edstrom decided it was time to renovate. New to the world of architecture and construction, the Edstroms turned to Johnsen Schmaling Architects. The creative young couple—Eric is a songwriter and JJ is a life coach—provided the architects with a list of must-haves to accommodate their flexible-but-busy lifestyle. The result is a warm, modernist update that embodies their core Midwestern values: simplicity, connection to nature, and strong family ties.

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  Maintaining a connection to their wooded backyard was an important consideration for the Edstorms. The back wall is designed to let in as much light and air as possible.  Photo by: Cameron Wittig
    Maintaining a connection to their wooded backyard was an important consideration for the Edstorms. The back wall is designed to let in as much light and air as possible.

    Photo by: Cameron Wittig

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  Designed to be a welcoming space for visitors, the glassy foyer addition is clearly defined against the more private interior of the house.  Photo by: Cameron Wittig
    Designed to be a welcoming space for visitors, the glassy foyer addition is clearly defined against the more private interior of the house.

    Photo by: Cameron Wittig

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  The main area opens onto the back deck for a seamless transition between house and surroundings.  Photo by: Cameron Wittig
    The main area opens onto the back deck for a seamless transition between house and surroundings.

    Photo by: Cameron Wittig

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  In the main living area, Eric sits on a Theatre sofa from Design Within Reach, while JJ and Ella lay at the Girard table from Knoll. Also seen here are a Brno Bar chair, also from Knoll, and the Tolomeo Mega floor lamp by Artemide.  Photo by: Cameron Wittig
    In the main living area, Eric sits on a Theatre sofa from Design Within Reach, while JJ and Ella lay at the Girard table from Knoll. Also seen here are a Brno Bar chair, also from Knoll, and the Tolomeo Mega floor lamp by Artemide.

    Photo by: Cameron Wittig

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  The couple opted for a smaller kitchen without fussy appliances and a larger dining area. They concentrated on achieving a high-quality space through carefully chosen furnishings, including the Cross Extension table in wenge a Cherner side chair, and the LEM piston stools, all from Design Within Reach.  Photo by: Cameron Wittig
    The couple opted for a smaller kitchen without fussy appliances and a larger dining area. They concentrated on achieving a high-quality space through carefully chosen furnishings, including the Cross Extension table in wenge a Cherner side chair, and the LEM piston stools, all from Design Within Reach.

    Photo by: Cameron Wittig

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  The stairway to the office loft is lit by translucent windows insulated Nanogel.  Photo by: Cameron Wittig
    The stairway to the office loft is lit by translucent windows insulated Nanogel.

    Photo by: Cameron Wittig

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  Ella's bedroom sports walls covered in polka dots that JJ hand-cut from fabric.  Photo by: Cameron Wittig
    Ella's bedroom sports walls covered in polka dots that JJ hand-cut from fabric.

    Photo by: Cameron Wittig

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