Photos by Alyssa Lee
After a Saturday morning workout in 2019, the owner of this Maple Grove kitchen came home to a not-so-lovely surprise. Drip, drip, drip. A line break in the refrigerator’s ice maker was sending water into the lower level, and the ceiling—soft and soggy, she soon discovered—was on its way to falling through. Although a main-floor remodel was already on her and her husband’s radar, the unexpected blow to the integrity of the 1990s structure warranted an expedited timeline.
Their first call was to MA Peterson Designbuild, the same Edina firm that renovated the couple’s master suite a few years prior. Spearheading this second project would be owner and lead designer Mark Peterson, who encouraged the pair to not only fix the original problem but also reconsider the kitchen’s orientation—a change that could drastically increase flow, natural light, and views of the property.
They were hesitant at first, the wife admits, as Peterson’s plans included nixing her beloved walk-in pantry and trading the original U-shaped kitchen for a more open, L-shaped layout. He also proposed a large quad-door system that would overlook the wife’s gardens and nearby Elm Creek. “I said to them, ‘You have such a great backyard, why don’t you open it up to bring all that beautiful light and nature into the kitchen?’” Peterson recalls. (The wife, a master gardener, now considers the addition a “game-changer.”)
Interior designer Bridget Chirigos of Chirigos Designs was tasked with translating the wife’s somewhat-obscure desires into a space free of inefficacies in form, function, and flair. “It was more of a feeling than an exact direction,” Chirigos says, “but I knew we would be onto something whenever her eyes would light up.”
They landed on a classic vintage aesthetic, achieved through Chirigos’ careful attention to selections and finishes. In fact, she likened the kitchen’s qualities to a Cadillac—pointing out its custom cabinetry, Calacatta quartz countertops, Hudson Valley light fixtures, and crackled ceramic tile backsplash. Above all, the diamond-pane leaded windows that flank the range are a unanimous favorite. The old world-inspired element maximizes adjacent light and provides the perfect home for the gardener’s potted topiaries. She also adores her two new pantries—which, despite her original fear of saying farewell to the walk-in—are fabulously functional, she says.
The result is an open, light-filled kitchen with hints of French flair, where drips of water were transformed into a space that now drips luxury. “When it was all done and I walked into the house for the first time, there were tears in my eyes,” the wife says. (Now that’s a different kind of water we can certainly support.)