In Style: Bjorn Nasett

A modern living room: nontraditional couch with vinyl cushions makes it easy to clean up after Bjorn's three Italian Greyhounds. The living room functions as a gallery, displaying Bjorn's favorite pieces; replicas of the Verner Panton S plastic chair from Overstock.com

Bjorn and Pharaoh standing in front of a portrait painted by late artist and performer Holly Brown as a gift for Bjorn's 26th birthday; Frank Sinatra/Sid Vicious "My Way" painting on top right by Gene Evans at Lucky Star Gallery

Bjorn Nasett wasn’t exactly born and raised in a thriving cultural metropolis swarming with artists, designers, musicians or performers, yet from an early age (and well before the internet), he was fascinated and inspired by fashion, interior design and art. He credits his mom for cluing him into design–design born out of necessity. “My mom was a wizard at making something out of nothing.” But Rockdale, Wisconsin, a tiny unincorporated farm town where Bjorn was raised, may have inspired his most important lesson in style and fashion: “I don’t aspire for luxury, I aspire for how things make me feel.”

At the young age of sixteen, Bjorn left home for a bigger life in Madison, where he met some amazing people, like the late Holly Brown, a transgender performer from Australia who inspired Bjorn to delve deeper into the art scene. So he began–first by modeling then performing at clubs and in theaters; he soon made a name for himself. In 1982, Bjorn was invited to perform at the infamous Club 219 (also frequented by Jeffrey Dahmer). He was twenty-two, living in Milwaukee, performing in drag to packed houses (which he continued to do for thirteen years) and enjoying the “mini-Warhol scene” taking place in Madison.  Wanting to be remembered at the height of his youth and fame, he decided to bow out gracefully.

I wondered what kept him from moving to New York City, a place where I imagine his success would have been that much greater. But family, friends and an already burgeoning career kept him from relocating. Milwaukee is that much luckier for having him. He’s a forefather, a visionary and punk well before it was accepted or understood.

His life since then has been filled with incredible experiences and an even broader wealth of talent. Years performing taught him a few things about hair, wardrobe and makeup. Bjorn now works as a self-taught makeup artist, hair stylist for Beauty salon, fashion stylist, fashion writer for Milwaukee Magazine (read him online here) and a style expert and weekly columnist for Amazing Goodwill (for fashion updates, follow him on Twitter).

Bjorn has lived in his Riverwest home for the past ten years, sharing it with his three Italian Greyhounds, Pharaoh, Devo and Sinclair, ages 9, 11 and 17 respectively. Bjorn’s perspectives on life and beauty shine through in his home that’s abundant in art or what he calls a “collection of my moments.” The spaces he’s created and colors chosen allow the vibrancy of his collection to come through, while simultaneously creating a wistful and comforting atmosphere that feels just like home.

The living room with kitchen entrance on left, office center and front entry on right

Warhol inspired front entry way

Bjorn's sunny office filled with local Milwaukee art and photographs

A terrarium, books, photos and memorabilia fill the bright office

The dining room was converted into a zen room. Glass etch used on windows for privacy & mystique; painting (right) by Scott Reeder

Paintings (center) of the band Mars Volta by Daemon Marquardt; decorative pillows made by Bjorn and his mother from napkins, curtains and vintage zippers

The big beautiful kitchen reminiscent of a classic 1950s diner

A collection of white planter pots on display in the kitchen

Sinclair and Devo living the chic life

The bedroom feels like a vacation gettaway, no wonder it's Bjorn's favorite part of his home. He chose the color blue because it "feels like sitting in a sky at dusk."

A collection of vintage magazines

A former attic now  an open and airy master bedroom

The family wall: top left is a painting of the family farm (1916); top right and bottom left are both paintings of rural Wisconsin by Bjorn's aunt in the 1960s; bottom right is a family photo taken by J. Shimon and J. Lindemann (1998)

An antique commode and mirrors make a perfect bedroom nook

The bathroom: green vintage stand on left was once a dentist's cart

Collages made with found objects by Milwaukee artist Mike "Ringo" White

Bedroom nook filled with frames, mirrors and plants creates a whimsical effect

10 thoughts on “In Style: Bjorn Nasett

  1. Bjorn, your place is marvelous, you’ve made it your own and yet everyone take away great ideas. You are such a talent! Anna

  2. Wow!!! Absolutely incredible. Your place is such an inspiration to anyone really being true to themselves and being surrounded by things that make you the happiest. True beauty!

  3. Bjorn! I finally got around to checking out the ‘homeagainblog.com’ note to myself, found jammed in a book I’d carried into Beauty last time I was there. Beautiful digs you’ve got!

  4. I notice the article mentions the late Holly Brown, can anyone fill me in on that? I used to attend the La Cage shows quite often.

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