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An eye for unique finishes and a passion for fine craftsmanship is the backbone of Leanne Rische’s business, Clutter Restyled Furniture. The Oconomowoc resident transforms furniture and furnishings into customized pieces by painting, refinishing and distressing.

“I’m not an artist, but I’ve always been doing crafts,” Rische says. “I’m self-taught, and I’ve learned through trial and error.”

Rische’s finished pieces run the gamut from simple salt and pepper shakers to large bureaus and dining room sets. She works with clients looking for specific items or who bring in their own furniture.

Rische also shops for treasures on her own - “I’m a great bargain hunter," she says - and then sells her refinished products through There’s No Place Like Home, a boutique on Main Street in Oconomowoc offering vintage and upcycled furniture and home decor. Her work is also on display at the Green Garage, a traveling group that holds several weekend sales in a number of locations throughout Lake Country. “They have no physical address, but Green Garage is on Facebook and posts the location of their upcoming sales,” Rische says.

Sometimes the family heirlooms or recently discovered treasures are truly diamonds in the rough and repairs are needed before Rische can work her own magic. A handyman is kept on retainer to tighten wobbly chair legs or to make any major changes a client may request. Rische usually takes two weeks for a custom order.

The hunt for furniture is a challenge that Rische really enjoys and she is delighted when she finds an unusual item. “I like the carvings – there’s fun in the designs and interesting styles.” But Rische admits that she works on anything she can get her hands on and loves to create her own works of art. “I like to think I put soul in the piece.”

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