Working with One of Central Wisconsin’s Top Interior Designers

“As an interior designer, I want each client to get the best look possible from the architecture all the way down to the most intricate design decision.”

-Lecia Marks-Franson

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Scottie’s Interiors has been a leader in fine furniture and interior design in Wausau, Wisconsin since 1972. We’re pleased to work with them on exciting projects.

One of our recent jobs with Lecia was a lovely home on Lake DuBay with a fresh, modern flair. We created custom cabinetry and supplied countertops for the kitchen, bathrooms, office and bar area. It was exciting to see it all come together. We caught up with Lecia to learn more about the project and her approach to design.

Tell us about yourself and how you got into interior design?

I’ve lived in central Wisconsin my whole life and I am the second-generation owner of Scotties Interiors. My dad established the business in 1972 and in 1992 my sister and I took over. I have a background in business and the fine arts and can remember being 5 years old looking at Architectural Digest magazine; probably not normal reading for a 5 year old. My parents met at Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design so some of my early toys were art supplies.

Swita Cabinetry has had the pleasure of working with you on several projects including the “Lake DuBay House.” It was exciting to see our cabinetry help define the character of the rooms. Tell us more about the project.

One of the most enjoyable things about the project was working with the homeowners. Each client has a specific taste. I love taking their flavor and turning it into a complete overall design. In this particular case, they liked a cleaner, more modern look, with some bling. The mirrored backsplash in the kitchen was a great way to create a unique, individual look for the client as well as reflect a bit of their personalities. When pulling together products, we always keep in mind the interiors and exteriors. We came up with a cohesive look weaving greys and cooler tones on the color spectrum throughout the home.

As a custom cabinet shop, we often get asked if it’s right or wrong to mix wood tones throughout the house. In the early 90’s everything seemed to be the same light oak tone from trim to cabinetry, and floors to tables. What is the current rule on mixing wood tones? 

It depends on whether the client wants to go with a very clean and contemporary look or rustic and traditional. With the cleaner look, we go with a more simplistic feel using a minimal palate of tones. If the client wants something more rustic or traditional, we’ll look at more colors and textures. There’s not a general rule of thumb however, it’s more about a feeling. The uniqueness of each client allows for an abundance of opportunity in design.

 Sometimes customers building new homes are overwhelmed by the scope of a project. How does an interior designer help bring control to the process?

As an interior designer, I want each client to get the best look possible from the architecture all the way down to the most intricate design decision. When working with a client from beginning to end–whether it’s new construction, an addition, or a remodel—it’s important that the client’s unique personality shines through. Focusing on each aspect of the home, step by step, is the best way to stay on track. Sometimes taking a break and having a laugh can help too. Once we’ve finalized designs in each area, such as lighting or flooring, we can step back and look at it as a whole to make sure all the bits and pieces flow.

How do you guide a client through the design process to make sure they get a space reflective of their own personal style instead of run-of-the-mill?

When I meet with a new client, I like to have them do a little homework first, grabbing images of spaces they find appealing from Pinterest or Houzz. If a client is unsure as to what their look is, I offer design possibilities that go with the home’s architecture. When doing design, I like to use a classic canvas or back drop, trying to select things that will have more longevity. Then I like to layer with current trends and styles that maintain their integrity over a period of time.

What design trends are popular right now in CW?

A great majority of my clients are attracted to a casual, farmhouse look. Also, many like a clean lined, transitional look. Grey tones are still very strong as a whole, as well as shades of linen in textiles. Wood flooring is either trending very light and natural or rich and chocolaty. In the hard surface department, shades of grey and neutrals are strong. Natural stones such as Travertine and Carrara marble are also popular.


Karla is married to Pete and together they own and operate Swita Cabinetry.



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