Pictures by Spatialship
“Ninety percent of the time we’re here during the day, we’re outside,” says one of the owners of this 3,800-square-foot home nestled among 40 acres of lush fields, grasslands and wetlands in the Twin Cities. ‘western suburbs. “When we do come in, we want to be able to rest and relax.
A simple concept, but easier said than done. The multi-level property was built in the late 70s and its interiors were already dated by the time the owners moved in in 1993. Although the couple undertook a major renovation in 2005 (taking everything down to the poles) , the two were more than ready for another change after 15 years. “I wanted it lighter, brighter and more livable,” explains the owner. “I wanted it to be softer, more fun and a place that reflected our personalities.”
With high ceilings, large windows offering beautiful views of the surroundings on three sides, and a relatively open floor plan encompassing the kitchen, dining area, dining and living room and screened porch, the proverbial bones of the main level were fine. What needed to change, however, was the old-fashioned color scheme, worn furniture, and overall aesthetic to create the comfortable space that customers wanted. Fortunately, Maureen Haggerty of mint interior design knew exactly what to do, starting with changing the burgundy and gold color scheme that spoke of a bygone era.
“In 2005, faux painted finishes were all the rage,” says Haggerty. “The entire hull, including the ceiling, has been washed gold and paired with upholstered furniture and carpets in burgundy tones.” The floors, cabinets, and ceiling beams were all gold oak, and even the kitchen backsplash was adorned with gold tiles. To break up the color monotony, a new ivory tile backsplash was installed and the kitchen island painted Benjamin Moore Monroe Cookie—a warm, creamy shade that adds elegance to the space.
“Useful layers had to be established. Warm and cool elements were needed to spark interest and showcase architectural details and whimsical client collections,” says Haggerty, who reimagined the space by juxtaposing timeworn antiques with new bespoke furniture. and inventing ways to update existing parts. (For example, the couple’s McGuire Target Back Dining Chairs — classic pieces they purchased in 2005 with a cinnabar finish that’s no longer available.),” says Haggerty. “To renew them, we covered them with a fiery woven Schumacher stripe which serves as a “color wheel” for the whole space and amplifies the cinnabar color of the frames.”
Bringing the outdoors in was one of the main goals of the renovation, while finding ways to showcase customers’ beloved collections, which ranged from folk art to vintage wall pockets – usually decorative pieces. ceramic and commonly used to store flowers, plants or ornaments, and of which she had at least 100 or more. “Curating these diverse and extensive collections was a huge undertaking,” says Haggerty, who, along with art consultant Nicole Kappus Solheid of NKS Art source and the client herself, meticulously sorted and chosen the best ones to exhibit. “It allowed everyone to shine and complement the decor,” she continues, “and the client is thrilled to be surrounded by her favorite treasures.”
The living room features vintage Belgian linen side panels that the client found several years before, and its centerpiece is a custom wooden coffee table from a barn owned by the client’s grandfather. “Sometimes it’s just about bringing things you already own back to life, whether it’s cleaning up a painting, touching up a frame or reframing an older piece,” says Kappus Solheid, who has no only helped place clients’, but also found additional artwork to complement their existing works, such as the colorful painting of an abstract face in the living room which acts as a modern take on a portrait in the room to eat. “I like unexpected pieces that can play what [clients] already owns.
The dining room also showcases a vibrant trio of John J. Audubon bird prints, a favorite of everyone involved and a great example of an introduction to the outdoors. The clients, both avid horticulturalists who have spent years cultivating their land (turning what was originally fields and farmland into acres of native prairie, a 3-acre pond, wetlands and habitats natural wildlife), had created a list of some of their most beloved birds living on the property, and Kappus Solheid found and framed the large-scale prints. “Audubons are really special to us because we actually have these birds [a green heron, sandhill crane, and trumpeter swan] living on our land”, explains the client.
According to Haggerty, it’s the screened porch, filled with weatherproof furniture to allow doors and windows to be opened during the warmer months, that is now the go-to room in the house. “Before, it was jumbled up and unused, a passage to the bridge,” she says. “Now it’s a sanctuary where guests can enjoy the spectacular views of the wetlands and prairie.” A comfy daybed, custom-crafted from knotty pine for a vintage farmhouse flavor, anchors the room, and an overdyed rug from Pakistan adds a pop of color that echoes the sky. With a side table displaying a collection of vintage pots and a wall displaying prized wall pockets (some from Czechoslovakia), the space has become a favorite spot for coffee breaks and naps, and one that exemplifies the personality of its owners. “A lot of what Maureen and Nicole have done indoors reflects what we’ve spent years doing outdoors,” the client explains. “It perfectly reflects who we are and how we live – and have lived – our lives.”