Kitchen Goes From Plain Jane to Midcentury Modern Masterpiece

Home 2: 8227 Creekside Circle, Bloomington, MN 55437
ASID Designer Kitchen Tour
Designed by Rita Larson, Allied ASID • Larson Design Build, Inc.

This 1994-era townhome, though graced with a fully functional floor plan and ample space, was a little bit of a Plain Jane. The challenge for designer Rita Larson with Larson Design Build, Inc. was elevating the aesthetic appeal, “bringing the home alive.” Her clients liked the idea of having a midcentury modern kitchen, and “we hit upon the idea of warming up the space by imitating the look of their teak furniture in the kitchen and family room,” says Larson, who worked in tandem with cabinetmaker Keith Johnson of Woodworks Fine Custom Cabinetry to create a truly unique design. The simple, sleek, Danish modern furnishings provide the warmth, while a white and grey color scheme “shows it off beautifully.” Every architectural detail was touched in some way. The entire home is open during the ASID Designer Kitchen Tour.

Q&A with designer Rita Larson: 

Where do you typically find design inspiration?
I get so much inspiration from all forms of art—I love museums and theater, travel (we just returned from Japan), and I regularly read shelter magazines.

How do you guide homeowners to help find their own design style when they aren’t really sure what their style is?
Visuals are the best, whether it’s an online source or a photo in a book or magazine. I ask clients to not only find pictures of what they love, but also what they don’t love—which almost tells me more about their taste.

How can people achieve a minimal look in their own homes? (Do they have to get rid of everything?)
I believe strongly in balancing the volume of a space with the objects in it.  A vaulted room, for example, needs more to make it feel appealing to live in.  Souvenirs and art from traveling, family pieces, or reminders of personal hobbies are what make our homes “us.” I would never suggest eliminating anything for a minimal look, rather where and how these items are displayed is key.

What is just ONE thing you would recommend a homeowner do to completely change the look of their kitchen without doing a complete revamp?
The obvious answer is to paint the walls. You could also switch out the countertops and backsplash for a very new experience, without breaking the bank.

What’s one of your favorite trends right now?
I love the look of grasscloth wallpaper. I’ve had it in my own home for a long time. It’s fun that it’s not such a “hard sell” right now.

What would you tell someone who dislikes their kitchen but is too intimidated to hire a professional to help?
I would say: “Trust me, every designer simply wants to help you through this challenging process!” We will listen, we will be there right alongside you, and we’ll hold your hand when necessary. And we can show you the best products for the best prices—there’s so much more to life than big-box store selections. I think designers are just like nurses; we care very deeply about our clients’ health and happiness.  For most of us, this sanctuary is found in our homes.

For more information about this project on the ASID Designer Kitchen Tour, visit For more information about Larson Design Build, Inc., visit 

Tickets to the ASID Designer Kitchen Tour can be purchased for $15 in advance or $20 at the door ($10 for single home visits). Purchase tickets online here:



By Chrissy Sarinske


Personal Designer

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