For Coni Marotz, a room is never really done. As owner of ICONI Interiors, a West Washington Avenue shop selling new and vintage home furnishings and offering design services, she’s constantly privy to fresh ideas and items that could enhance a space.
When she and husband Mike Zirkel, a music engineer, decided to downsize from their large Monona home, the plan was to simplify. “We were hoping to find a place we wouldn’t have to do much to,” he says. “But I’m married to a designer.”
They purchased a ranch house on Madison’s west side in late 2011. Since moving in with cats Hunter and Izzie, they’ve transformed nearly every room, working in phases and with a specific goal in mind (Marotz blogs about the progress on iconiinteriors.com). “The purpose of this house was to repurpose as much as possible,” Marotz says.
The couple has opened up spaces and added texture, pattern and sophistication. Throughout the house, grays, browns, blacks and creams create a soothing palette, which Marotz and Zirkel spice up with a mix of modern and vintage furniture and accessories.
“What I wanted to do is make it timeless, to keep it earthy and add color through accessories,” she says.
At the center of the home is the kitchen, which features an eclectic combination of laminate-fronted cabinets, stainless steel appliances (including a Jenn-Air stove from a resale shop) and countertops in wood butcher block, stainless steel and granite (a beautiful remnant from Madison Block and Stone).
A large semicircular wood table extends from the kitchen and is surrounded by tall stools in black and white fabric. It’s a favorite spot for the couple to spend time, and it opens to the dining room and light-filled solarium overlooking the backyard.
A resurfaced fireplace separates the dining and living rooms, the latter of which is filled with vintage pieces the couple has found on their many furniture-hunting adventures.
Master suites book-end the home, with the couple’s bedroom opening onto the backyard deck. Even with new bamboo floors from Sergenians Floor Coverings, where Marotz once worked, a headboard made from an old door and a bedside table that’s actually a vintage radio (Marotz gave it to Zirkel as a housewarming gift), they didn’t anticipate how much they’d enjoy the space.
“This room surprised us the most,” he says.
“I thought it would be neat, but this room is one of my favorites,” she adds.
But that’s exactly the result Marotz wants for her home, even if it will always be evolving.
“Whenever I do a house—whether for a client or for myself—I really do try to make it comfortable, and a space people want to be in,” she says.
Katie Vaughn is managing editor of Madison Magazine.
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