For the last three years Stephanie Quinn has channeled her passion for
modern design into the renovation of her Wauwatosa home. "My
style is pushing a very, very modern and contemporary style for
remodeling and decorating, but I also love midcentury furniture and
designer and owner of Modern Edge Design used high-end eco-friendly
materials in the rebuild of the formerly mint green 1950s exposed
ranch, which included new roof, siding and windows, cork floors
throughout the main level and a sleek new kitchen.
on her large base of midcentury design resources ó from consignment
shops to Internet sites ó for furniture and accessories. "I did
a lot of searching and hunting for treasures, which is a part of it I
really enjoy," Quinn says. "If you constantly search you
will find some really cool things."
She also made
the exterior spaces a priority in the renovation. "An outdoor
living space is super important to me. I love to incorporate that into
any house Iím designing," Quinn says.
there is a niche to be filled in Milwaukee in modern design. "Iíve
made it my world," she says. "I decided at this time thatís
what I want to focus on."
Though it wasnít
part of her renovation plan, Quinn recently sold the house and
purchased another í50s ranch to renovate. Sheís already designing
her new outdoor space and where sheíll put the hammock.
front door of the condo faces the Riverwalk and offers views
of the Milwaukee River. Jim Fricke and Deb Miller have enjoyed
watching the seasons change along the river, particularly the
spring when the baby ducks walk along the Riverwalk.
When Jim Fricke
and Deb Miller moved from Seattle to Milwaukee in 2004, they employed
the same house-hunting strategy that worked for them there. "We
defined what we wanted and not where," Fricke says. "We
wanted to be able to walk to restaurants, a movie theater, the grocery
"modern urban," Fricke checked out the Third Ward, but that
seemed too built up and pricey. "Initially we kind of set our
mind on a condo or we thought maybe we would find one of those great
midcentury ramblers, but there werenít any that met our
criteria," Fricke says.
Then from across
the Milwaukee River, Fricke (Miller moved to Milwaukee sight-unseen)
saw the three-story glass and concrete River Homes at Beerline and
knew thatís where they wanted to be. "In some ways this is sort
of a vertical rambler," Fricke says.
Miller was taken
with their new home immediately. "We love the neighbors so much
and we have become good friends with a lot of them."
Fricke is the
curator at the Harley-Davidson Museum and Miller is a collections
manager at the Milwaukee Public Museum. As one would expect, they have
an interesting collection of furnishings, books and artwork. "We
like modern and some midcentury, but we like to incorporate personal
touches into it," Fricke says.
pieces is a dining table made out of bowing alley lanes ("It fits
in better here than it did in Seattle," Miller says), and a
photograph by well-known grunge photographer Charles Peterson of
Courtney Love and daughter Frances Bean Cobain. ("We lived near
his studio and he had a studio sale once a year," Fricke says.)
nice to have things with stories. I guess that is the museum part of
us," Fricke says.
worked with interior designer Amy Carman of Amy Carman Design to pull
everything together. (Coincidentally, Carman was in Seattle in their
old neighborhood when she got their call.) "The changes that we
made were designed to show off what they already had," she says.
"I think the best projects are working with clients who have a
style and taste of their own. Itís a really good
"One of the
great aspects of collaboration," Fricke says, "is that you
might have a whole bunch of interesting stuff, but you benefit when
somebody new comes in and looks at it differently."