High-End Apartments Come to Middleton in Breath-Taking Fashion

High-End Apartments Come to Middleton in Breath-Taking Fashion

Published on March 15th, 2017
By Jennifer Oppriecht

When the firm Brownhouse embarks on a new project, they like to be the trendsetter instead of a trend follower. And while high-end apartments are a trend, Brownhouse has taken the concept to an entirely new level with Brownpoint Reserve in Middleton, WI.

Laurel Brown

Photo courtesy of Laurel Brown

Laurel Brown is the owner and founder of Brownhouse, an architecture and interior design firm located here in Madison, WI. She and co-owner Shane Fry have created a wide range of projects (we’ll touch on that in a bit), with the express goal of creating “unforgettable environments for their clients.”

We spoke with her about her new project, Brownpoint Reserve, a spectacular high-end apartment development in Middleton.

“We asked ourselves what a high-end homeowner would want in a home, and then translated that into a multi-family setting,” Brown said. It’s a task easier said than done. Let’s find out why.

Today’s boomers moving to apartments

Laurel Brown is part of the Baby Boomer generation, and she knew that for Brownpoint Reserve, she only had to look into the mirror to figure out what the customer wanted.

The Boomer in Laurel Brown wanted to create apartments for the 50-something suburbanite couple, who has owned their own home and raised a family in it. Now empty nesters, the couple finds that without the kids, the big house feels a little too big.

They want to downsize, but the Boomers also want more access to what downtown areas like Madison and Middleton have to offer: restaurants, music, cafes, culture. Their kids are gone — now Mom and Dad need people.

“But they also like the quality of their home,” Brown said. “They don’t want to step down in lifestyle.”

Young professionals want high-end quality too

The Boomers aren’t the only people looking for a beautiful living space that doesn’t come with a big lawn to mow. There is a continuously expanding population of young professionals in the Madison area, fueled by the growth of companies like Epic.

These up-and-comers have the income to afford a home, but because of their busy lifestyles, they don’t have the time for all the upkeep a house requires. Like the Boomers, they also want the finer things, and access to all the culture and activity of Madison and Middleton.

The goal: Redefine high-quality in an apartment

The wants and needs of these two populations can be a challenge for multi-home developers. You’re often working within a tight budget and a stringent municipal approval process.

But Brownhouse is no stranger to challenges like this. They’ve created unique concepts and designs not only for multi-family homes, but also industrial, healthcare, hotels, restaurants, and other types of buildings.

“From chiropractors offices to doggie daycare, we’ve done it all,” Brown said.

With so much exposure to so many different types of building project, Brownhouse has been able to cross-pollinate the best and brightest ideas — particularly what they learned in the hospitality industry.  

“We use our knowledge in the hospitality world, and apply it to the multi-family housing world,” she said. She notes that many developers and the professionals they hire only focus on one area –building apartments.  They have little or no exposure to other building types.

Brownhouse integrates these multi-disciplinary concepts to create a very different appartment experience.  And with Brownpoint reserve, they’ve also tapped the influence of a specific state: Colorado.

The soaring architectures of Colorado

Laurel has spent time in Colorado, soaking up soaring architectures with colors that blend with the landscape. “I wanted to bring the heart and feel of what I experienced in Colorado to Middelton,” she said. “So many multi-family housing units are bland and square.”

Brownpoint Reserve brings the feel of Colorado to Middleton.

The influence is apparent through the complex. The building features spectacular stone from western quarries, open-framed timbers, and unique siding colors.

It’s all integrated with the beautiful natural surroundings.  From marshland water features, to outdoor fireplaces and easy access to walking trails, Brownpoint Reserve is filled with “outdoor spaces that people can create as their own.”

The materials girl has her day

Laurel and her team draw on more than just their multi-disciplinary work and Colorado influence.  As designers, they are constantly meeting with vendors on the latest new building materials.

“We’ll see hundreds of new products,” she said, “and I’ll always think, ‘This is so spectacular! I want someplace to put it!’ “

Typically Laurel makes note of many of the top materials, then uses one or two of them with each new project. With Brownpoint Reserve, she’s brought about 10 of those spectacular materials to the project.

Bringing it all together

So what does this look like when it all those influences mesh? Here are just a few of the features that distinguish Brownpoint Reserve:

Rendering of the kitchen in apartment 302 at Brownpoint Reserve.

Rendering of the kitchen in apartment 302 at Brownpoint Reserve.


Free-standing, 10 foot long islands.
Laurel knew the kitchen had to be the centerpiece of the apartments, so many floor plans have a 10-foot long, freestanding island with a granite countertop.

Superior details throughout. Quality was the key in every aspect of the apartment — a few examples include:

  • Wood floors throughout – no carpet or tile
  • High ceilings
  • Thicker doors with larger casings
  • Huge walk in closets with custom shelving systems
  • Open accent shelving in the kitchen
  • Free standing custom made vanities and matching linen towers
  • Framed bathroom mirrors
  • French door refrigerators
  • Panel doors
  • Spectacular accent pendants
  • State of the art access door systems

“We create spaces where people might not know exactly why or how our designs feel better — they just know the apartment as a whole is better,” Laurel said.

Bigger space. The units are, on average, 10 to 25% larger than other apartments on the market. Bigger bedroom, bigger kitchens, bigger throughout.  Boomers who have lived in a five-bedroom home want to downsize, but they still want and need space. As a self-described clotheshorse, Laurel knows first hand how important closet space is, so she takes advantage of every nook and cranny to optimize it.

Breathtaking clubhouse. Simply put, the “Clubhouse Retreat” will be “over the top,” Laurel says.

Sign a lease at Brownpoint Reserve.


See it for yourself: Tour Brownpoint Reserve

We’ve included pictures of Brownpoint Reserve in this article, but this is a place that needs to be experienced, not just seen. Hard hat tours start in April – make sure to add your name to the waiting list!

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