Edge condos in Milwaukee is the setting for the 2011 M Magazine
Designer’s Challenge. We paired three of Milwaukee’s top
landscaping firms with a few of our favorite furniture places to
create an urban lounge on the balcony of the sixth-floor penthouse at
The Edge. Their inspired designs up the cool factor on city living and
might just motivate you to create your own outdoor paradise, whether
you’re living in a high rise or in the ’burbs.
Landscape Design by Flagstone Landscaping
Furniture by Design Within Reach
by the architecture of the project he is working on, Flagstone’s
Peter Kudlata collaborated with Kristin Krantz of Design Within Reach
to create this urban garden. "I react from the building and work
outward," Kudlata says of his design style.
in the furnishings and accessories and the purples and oranges in the
organic materials add punches of color and a modern vibe. "We
definitely wanted it to be a modern, fun and lively space,"
Krantz says. "Since the patio is concrete and steel, we wanted to
warm it up and soften it with woods and dark wicker, but still keep it
really modern and clean."
Kudlata uses the
technique of creating outdoor rooms in this design and frames them
with the container plantings. "I like my spaces more tailored,
not overgrown or real organic." He says the garden at MoMA in New
York City and Paley Park in Soho are sources of inspiration in his
The use of
different textures and materials from pieces from several Design
Within Reach collections adds dimension to the space. "I think it
shows everything doesn’t have to be super matchy," Krantz says.
"You can pull a look together with a few key pieces and mix and
match them to suit your style."
provided by Bayside Garden Center.
Landscape Design by David J. Frank Landscape Contracting
Furniture by Steinhafels
A sculpture by Milwaukee artist Guido Brink is set against a green
wall of arborvitae in the terrace design by David J. Frank Landscape.
The trees soften the hard architectural lines of the building and the
aluminum totem complements the contemporary gray metal finishes of the
designer Jane Frank directed the design, which is highlighted by
colorful flowers and unique art elements. "Why not have fun and
make your outdoor space a reflection of your style?" Frank says.
The balcony is
divided into three distinct zones — a seating area, dining area and
bar — all of which are designed for entertaining and relaxing.
"The seating area is comfortable for entertaining, reading or
(enjoying) a luxury afternoon nap in the sun," Frank says.
"The sectional pieces can be moved and rearranged as
The bar, a
rustic multipurpose console, is convenient in its location near the
kitchen. Whimsical folk art mermaids by Milwaukee photographer and art
aficionado Mark Gubin hang above the bar and tie the balcony to the
river below. "Using art in your garden makes going outside more
enjoyable, but it also provides interesting views from inside the
house, especially when you’re stuck indoors," Frank says.
"Art can complement your shrubs and flowers in a variety of ways,
including adding texture, color, motion, sound and light."
Pots are filled
with colorful flowers that can easily be changed out for winter greens
and holiday accents as the seasons change.
Landscape Design by La Rosa Landscape Co.
Furniture by Patio Place
In tackling the design of the 900 square feet of outdoor living space
at The Edge, La Rosa landscape architect Aaron Schlines focused on
developing activity zones while maintaining a unity throughout the
really struck me was the size and the linear feel of the space,"
Schlines says. "I started to think of the activities that can
take place in that size space and how to cohesively section off that
space to create different environments."
A composite wood
decking brings warmth into the urban setting but does not compete with
the building’s architecture. "We also have some warm wood tones
with the furniture, but the furniture also has more of a modernist
feel to it," Schlines says.
It’s also very
user-friendly, says La Rosa owner Mike La Rosa. "With the outdoor
grill island right off the kitchen, it’s very functional to be able
to grill out even if the weather isn’t the greatest to sit
design features the grill area, an outdoor family room and a dining
space. There is also room for a sun deck on the 70-foot-long balcony.
The stainless steel grill is housed in a La Rosa custom-made unit made
of cedar and ipe wood and topped with granite, which gives it a
permanence in the space. "The outdoor living room is just a very
relaxing area where you want to read a book or socialize with friends
or family," Schlines says.
He describes the
overall feel of the space as modern, energetic and usable.
provided by Frenz Market and Garden Center. m
1902 N. Commerce St., Milwaukee
residential enclave along North Commerce Street in Milwaukee’s up
and coming River North neighborhood, The Edge condos is in the heart
of the area’s urban renaissance. The modern design by Chicago’s
Built-Form architects flows with scenes of joggers and kayakers on the
Milwaukee River and Riverwalk, bicyclists and dog walkers zigzagging
their way through the neighboring urban park. The shadows, steel and
concrete of the Holton Street Viaduct lend a grittiness to the
changing neighborhood as does the bustle of the nearby Lakefront
Brewery and the vacant land that holds the promise of future
gentrification. "It’s more of a residential area," says
Jean Stefaniak of The Stefaniak Group. "It’s not on top of a
bar or restaurant, but restaurants, entertainment and other activities
are all within walking distance."