To accommodate two toddlers and a large dog, these homeowners traded their loft in Minneapolis’ North Loop for a unique, modern home in the first ring suburbs. The house had some great features, but the kitchen…
The kitchen and adjoining living space was dark and isolated from the open flow of the rest of the house. The complaints were numerous:
- An odd floor plan left no room for kids or spouses in the kitchen;
- Dated and obsolete surfaces;
- An awkward cluster of doors to the mudroom, small powder room, and basement;
- No direct windows in the kitchen;
- Unclear how to create outdoor entertaining spaces with good “flow”;
- No reflection of the unique architecture and materials in the rest of the house—generic drywall with “golden oak” trim;
The owners’ directions were clear: “Surprise us! No generic modern spaces. We are not worried about style—we want something that feels unique and personal but that fits the house. And practical—nothing with fancy trim or hard to clean surfaces.” Their wish list included:
- A blend of steampunk, industrial, and their Asian furniture collection.
- Reflection of favorite hangouts from their travels: bars, coffee shops, and teahouses.
- Room for large groups and kids to play on the floor —but not a family room.
- A bar-like island in scale and function
- Access to a deck and future screen porch
- One of a kind and found objects and furniture
- A big TV for game days or working on homework (connected to a computer)—but not the focal point.
- Space for kids to hang artwork and for notes.
- Something that reminded them of their old loft.
The final design was the result of deep collaboration with the homeowners and reflects their unique aesthetic and personalities. At a home tour, after the project was completed, a visitor commented that the space felt like their favorite neighborhood coffee shop. The homeowners enthusiastically agreed.