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Seamless Renewal


Remodel & Addition


Lowry Hill
Minneapolis, MN

The renovation and expansion of a two story 1909 built Craftsman Style home in South Minneapolis, originally started with a disparate need for a major kitchen remodel. The existing kitchen, remodeled years ago with a poorly functioning layout was the biggest concern of the younger growing family. Too many doors and access points left very little uninterrupted walls and spaces for working area and cabinets. The kitchen was isolated and the small eating peninsula was not nearly adequate for family’s everyday use.  The home on the other hand has all the historic charms and character you would expect from many homes of its era in this neighborhood, with brick and stucco exterior and beautiful woodwork interior detailing. On the other hand besides the kitchen with desperate need of redesign, the family needed better functioning informal spaces for everyday living; sitting, sleeping and dining. In addition, the home lacked a guest bathroom on the main floor, a major concern, and could really benefit from a new service entry area from the backyard garage, via a mudroom.

The design concept then was to address all these issues through a holistic approach by looking at the entire larger picture. 

One of the keys elements in making the main floor more functional was to tie the entire spaces through a new mudroom addition. The idea was to create new spaces and modify certain existing spaces, seamlessly integrating the new with old. For example, two small and redundant rooms; a wall between existing sunroom and sitting room was removed to combine the spaces and create a much needed family space on the main floor.

Extreme care was given to preserve the integrity and character of the home. There was a 100 year old original stained glass window at the main stair landing, which was restored and preserved by relocating to the new dinette area, providing visual interest and privacy from the next door neighbor on the side.  The steep and narrow stair access to the attic floor which housed the master suite was replaced by extending the existing staircase, replicating exact details. The vaulted ceiling at the top of stair with operable skylights introduced natural light and ventilation.

The existing connection to the outside from the detached garage at the rear was an underutilized, poorly conceived enclosed porch addition with leaky flat roof, built a number of years ago. The design concept on the main floor was conceived based on a new mudroom area at its core, connecting the outside via a covered entry porch, to the new kitchen centered around a working island with a snack bar and a new dinette area.

The new covered entry porch provides shelter from the elements, at the point of entry, while its floor was elevated above the existing entrance, providing a unified main floor without any interruptions or level changes. The new mudroom was designed to help tie the entire main floor, allowing the connection between the kitchen and the expanded family sitting area.  A small but efficient powder bath was carved out of the space within the existing kitchen area, accessible from the main hallway.

The new addition and the remodeling of some of the existing spaces provided opportunity for additional spaces badly needed on the upper floors. It also allowed a holistic approach to the entire design and style of the exterior architecture at the back of the house, complementing the detailing, material and massing of the home’s existing architectural vernacular. This was a great example of sensitivity to the historical nature of the house and seamless expansion and merging of the new with the old.

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