Skip Forrest has done a number of things professionally over the years, mostly in design and marketing.
He worked with his father, one of the region's more prominent interior designers, worked for an architect, launched a startup, had an art and collectibles gallery inside the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee and organized international rallies for Harley-Davidson.
But his best life's work — so far, anyway — just might be his home.
He lives in the smallest home on Holly Court in Fox Point, Wis., among a collection of mid-century ranch homes. Forrest's is perhaps the most modern of the bunch. The house is organized around one giant room, with high ceilings, angular volumes, bright white walls, lots of natural light and an impossibly pristine white carpet inherited from a previous owner 18 years ago.
Rarely does a week go by when Forrest doesn't move things around, take one painting down and replace it with anothe or move one of his decorative objects from India or a textile from Afghanistan to a new spot.
For every object, piece of furniture and arrangement in the home, Forrest seems to have a great tale to tell.
But he was ready to swap Milwaukee for a warmer city so he put his home on the market fully decorated and an artist snapped it up in a matter of weeks. Forrest recently sat in his favorite corner to talk about the place.
You seem to love this house so much. Why are you leaving it?
I've reached this point in my life where I don't think I should be comfortable. I want to keep my life exciting. I have been a serial dater for a long time, and it's gotten to the point where any new woman I meet knows someone else who I've dated. It's not that I have a bad reputation, I just have a reputation. I have very good relationships with almost all of my exes. I'm in touch with them, I'm friends with them, and I have wonderful stories. But that's part of it.
I am also getting tired of winters as much as anyone else. I'll probably go to a condo because I'm tired of the yard work. Now, it's time to turn a corner.
This seems like a great house for someone who is living alone and perhaps a solitary life.
I think it is. It's been very good for me for a long time. I knew that giving up a second or third extra bedroom would be a sacrifice. Most of us, you create that as a guest room, and you can push stuff in there that you don't want to deal with. It's tough without that extra room.
And living in a small house, it's a very precise way of living, too, right? You really have to make decisions, and everything has to have a place. Do you like that?
Yes, I really do. This is not cleaned up for you, for instance. This really is how I keep it. I do have things I like to look at, and if you put a stack of papers there, it's going to ruin that view. One of the epiphanies I've had in the last few years is about art, how much we bring to it.