June 2011

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from our staff It’s What you Make it I started my college career working toward a degree in interior design. It took me one semester (and a few messy art classes) to realize I didn’t necessarily want to be the one designing spaces—I just loved seeing how other people create their own. Th at was the impetus behind this month’s cover story. We want- ed to get a peek at how great local designers create spaces they love to live in. To step inside their favorite rooms—and maybe fi nd a few ideas for your own home—turn to p. 41. Our at-home inspira- tion doesn’t stop there. Th ree don’t-miss home tours this month will give you an up-close look at the latest trends in building, remodeling and décor. Turn to p. 20 for the details on each, then turn to p. 56 for a few product recom- mendations from your favorite garden centers on how to spruce up your home’s landscap- ing as well. When all these home and garden ideas wear you out, catch a breath of fresh air with a few easy, breezy summer style options (p. 49) or follow the journey of Darlene Ballweg, a woman whose success today came after an in- credible personal tragedy (p. 34). Now, I have to change gears for a second; we have an assignment for you. As we look way ahead to our November 2011 issue, we’re excited to do something a little different. Each November, our cover story highlights the talented woman we bring to the annual Madison Women’s Expo. As for the rest of the issue? Th is year, it’s up to you. We’ve combed through the hundreds of ideas you’ve sent us (my apologies to the person who e-mailed last January. I will get back to you!) and compiled the similar ideas into a list. In our e-newsletter and on our website, you’ll fi nd a link to vote on the mix of topics you want to see covered in our fi rst ever Readers’ Choice Issue. You pick the topics, you nominate the people—and we’ll write the stories. Vote today! We can’t wait to see what you make of it. Sarah DeRoo Editor in Chief 8 BRAVA Magazine June 2011 Finding Your Passion “I Love BRAVA!” Whether I’m in meetings or out and about, I hear this over and over. And you know what? I love it, too! When I joined this team as one of the owners almost two years ago, I was looking for a home—a place where the work wasn’t just work, but was full of passion and inspiration. What I didn’t realize was just how inspiring this group of women I was becoming in- volved with would be, and what a change this would be for my life. I found exactly what I was looking for here. you do, When you love what the line be- tween work and life gets blurred. Whether I’m on a bike ride, watch- ing my kids at swim practice or catching up on e-mails late at night, ideas are always coming to me. I like to call it my “BRAVA brain.” I’m al- ways excited to get back to the offi ce and share my ideas with our team. Some stick and others don’t, but when you’re surrounded with amaz- ing people and a great product to work with, they just keep fl owing. So I am honored to take the next step into the role of publisher. I have big shoes to fi ll, but here in our offi ce you never have to walk into something alone. What you hold in your hands is a cumulative effort from a group of women who love what they do. Th e passion within our BRAVA family is unlike any I have seen in my career. In future issues, you’ll be meeting each of them right here. In addition to moving forward alongside this team, I am excited to work with you, our readers! You are the amazing group we think of as our BRAVA community. Th is magazine is for you, and we’re con- tinually striving to work in more of your ideas. I’d like to encourage you to sign up for our e-newsletter and visit our Facebook page if you haven’t yet. Th is is where we’ll be announcing new ways to get involved in every issue, along with up-to-date information on give- aways, special BRAVA events and offers from our partners. And of course, you can fi nd links to all of this at Whether we cross paths online or out on the town, I’m looking forward to taking you with us on the road ahead. Michelle Reddington Publisher

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