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A new path
Interior designer applies skills to landscape design

Photos by Doug Edmunds

October 2013

Winters used her expertise in lighting to create the perfect ambiance for outdoor entertaining.

Inge Wintersí background in interior decorating is evident in the designerís eye she bring to the landscape of her Cedarburg yard. The design of the nearly 2-acre property on Hidden Valley Lake is loosely modeled after palace gardens in Europe she and her husband, Frank, have visited in their travels.

"It really does come into play a lot," says the ASID-certified Winters of her design expertise. "Balance is important inside and out."

She designed the wide wooden staircase that leads from the house to the beach to be 12 feet wide, the same proportions as the sliding doors on the house. "I donít like to do small things. I think it looks more elegant when itís done on a large scale," she says.

A grand staircase designed by Winter ties the house to the lake and beach below.

The stairs are lined with golden blooming daylilies and purple Russian sage. The blue-flowered plants that spill onto the landings are Rozanne geranium, a perennial, and the roses along the top are specially selected for their color that matches the brick on the house.

The patio adjacent to the house comfortably seats 10 or more. Birch trees create shade and hostas, daylilies and ground cover roses add interest without overtaking the area. Winters has incorporated LED lighting on the steps and outdoor speakers keep the party lively. The fire pit is ideal for roasting marshmallows.

The Winters have lived in the home they built since 1974 after discovering the area while looking for a place to rent. No motor boats are allowed on the spring-fed lake. The lake property has been ideal for entertaining, and the Winters have hosted many gatherings: anniversary parties, graduation parties, retirement parties, pig roasts, fundraisers. "Itís important for me to make a contribution to the environment," Winters says. "Iíve had an annual fundraiser for Clean Wisconsin for the last nine years with a buffet and speaker on clean air, clean water and clean energy. We usually raise over $3,000."

Itís also important to the Winters their guests take advantage of the propertyís natural attributes. "I want to be sure people get out on the lake and experience how tranquil it is," she says.

Winters says, though, she isnít one to sit back and admire the landscape. "I have to admit Iím usually thinking about how much work I have to do."

This striking sculpture in the circular drive is surrounded by a succession of seasonal blooms: tulips, oriental lilies and asters. The sculpture is by a Houston artist whom Winters discovered at the Lakefront Festival of Arts in Milwaukee.



Winters tends the winding Autumn Joy sedum that border the beach where she has installed 28 in-ground lights. After a day of fishing and boating on the lake, the Winters and their guests enjoy a nighttime fire on the beach. 


This story ran in the October 2013 issue of: