My Great Outdoors: Leen's Milwaukee Outdoor Sanctuary

My Great Outdoors: Leen's Milwaukee Outdoor Sanctuary

Janel Laban
Jun 9, 2009

Name: Leen

Location: Milwaukee

Type of space: Balcony

Tell us about your outdoor project and how you enjoy it: In Milwaukee you only get a small window of opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and when I moved into my new place a little over a month ago I knew my large balcony had to be transformed into an outdoor sanctuary. It's a beautiful place to sit all day and read a book, we can hear Jazz in the Park in the distance on Thursday nights, and now I'm excited to break it in as a dining area.

How did you create it?:
We had three goals for this project:
1) to put up a barricade along the railing so our cats don't go up to the edge
2) create a tiered container garden that thrived in minimal sun light
3) have a multi-functional space for eating, conversation and lounging.

We then hit the ground running for the better part of the past three weeks buying plants and containers. I personally don't like a uniform look so we bought different colors, shapes and sizes of containers and plants. We then needed furniture that met our goals. We decided on a bench and two chairs for seating. The bench is wonderful because below we can store unused pots or tools and it goes virtually unnoticed. I had my heart set on a folding table that could be small enough to go between the chairs but then expand into a large dining table. The last thing was the umbrella. The sunset is harsh to the eyes so we purchases a small umbrella that clamps onto the railing to shield against the sun. All in all I'm thrilled with the result!

Recommended store, site, product or resource?
Most of the plants and pots came from Steins Garden & Gifts. Others came from Whole Foods, Anthropologie, @home (in Savannah GA) and Ikea. The bench & chairs are Martha Stewart's from Kmart. And the gate-leg table & umbrella from Ikea.

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