Anytime someone mentions breast cancer, nearly everyone involved in the conversation knows someone who has been impacted by the disease.
I have a family member and a family friend who are survivors and a neighbor who is preparing to enter hospice because the cancer has come back and spread. Beyond that I know a number of acquaintances and friends of friends who are bravely fighting breast cancer.
The good news is that research like that being done right in Wauwatosa at the Medical College of Wisconsin is helping to understand the disease and aid in early detection. The college has received significant financial assistance from the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse for a Cure, which opens its door for its annual designer showhouse June 1-16.
"Pilot programs supported by WBCS can lead to larger, federally supported research projects," said Dr. Ming You, director of the Medical College of Wisconsin's cancer center. "We are grateful for WBCS's support; moneys provided help advance research, and the showhouse itself brings public awareness to our efforts."
Picking up design ideas
Each year, an impressive home is chosen to serve as the showhouse — this year a Bavarian-style Tudor home at 2228 E. Newberry Blvd., Milwaukee. The owners move out and designers move in to spruce up the rooms and show off their styles. Design and decorating work is all donated and the funds from ticket sales to tour the home go to the college.
"Who doesn't like to pick up a few new decorating ideas, or see the new color trends, while touring a historic Milwaukee home, and if the designer happens to acquire a few new clients, through this process, then so much the better," said Jim Jung, interior designer with Boston Store Furniture Gallery in Brookfield.
He has participated in the showhouse since its inception 16 years ago. This time around he transformed the third-floor bedroom and staircase into a "student au pair retreat" to suit a space for the student/nanny who occupies it.
Visitors will notice an upholstered headboard flanked by mirrored nightstands in the sleeping alcove, an unusual minimal window treatment created with crystal pendants from old chandeliers and work and relaxation areas.
Paint that changes colors
Cheryl Ryan, owner of Kitchens by Design in Elm Grove, took on the kitchen, back entry and powder room. She painted the walls "a color that would change throughout the day and give some freshness to the space."
In addition, she found "the artwork in the kitchen and back entry are playful and inviting" with blue, orange, charcoal, and green colors that pop.
"People can expect to see a lot of old-world charm mixed with modern ideas for designing their home," said Nicholas Konzal, owner of Nicholas Carl Design in Wauwatosa. "I acquired a buffet for the showhouse made out of reclaimed bamboo, I used a gorgeous patterned linen for the window treatments, we are also planning some unique floral designs for the room."
Mary Schaufelberger, designer with Steinkellner Decorating Center in Tosa found it challenging to give a current feel to the guest bathroom with original 1930s fixtures.
"It has an art deco vibe so I have some beautiful wallpaper and fabrics and an interesting niche detail," she said.
This 4,500-square-foot home, nicknamed, "The Castle on Newberry," was built with two fireplaces, five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a ballroom, and a solarium between the vestibule and dining room. It was commissioned in 1930 by Charles Boltz, founder and president of Milwaukee Brass and Aluminum Co., which was located in Milwaukee's Third Ward.
Admission to tour the house cost $20. The house will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends. For information, go to breastcancershowhouse.org.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Breast Cancer Showhouse
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; from June 1 to June 16
WHERE: 2228 E. Newberry Blvd., Milwaukee
MORE INFO: breastcancershowhouse.org
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