Photos by Troy Thies
Minnehaha Parkway is a nature hub in the middle of urban Minneapolis, and located on a semi-secluded corner of the parkway is local builder Mark Williams’ newly remodeled home. With the help of interior designer Siri Knutson, Williams (both the homeowner and owner of Excelsior-based Mark D. Williams Custom Homes) originally set out to remodel his Craftsman-style home to make it more functional for his family. The end result?
A refreshed abode with a modern Scandinavian kitchen, mudroom, and powder room addition in the entry, plus a full-basement renovation—resulting in a new recreation room for the children, a laundry room, and a second mudroom connected to the attached garage-turned-fitness room.
Originally built in 1919, the kitchen was cramped, outdated, and “looked like a kitchen out of Menards from the ’90s,” Williams says. The upgrade included new white-painted wood cabinets and an open kitchen layout, both of which help the kitchen flow while feeling sleek and spacious. Unique light fixtures were added along with windows that open to face the sprawling backyard.
With three kids to keep busy, the space was designed to suit a modern-day family—but believe it or not, there’s not a single television in the house. “I grew up without a TV,” Williams explains. “The distractions are too much.” He makes up for it with other engaging features, though: The backyard is complete with a playhouse and sandbox, lots of open space, a fire pit, hidden speakers, a pergola and, of course, a Finnish-themed sauna. “We spent a lot of [effort] outside, making the backyard the space you want to be in with the kids,” he adds.
The fun continues in the new basement, where beautiful Douglas fir cabinets and shelves hold games, puzzles, toys, and books for the entire family to enjoy. A nook stores a pinball machine for old-fashioned entertainment.
But one of the most striking features of the home is the abundance of light that streams in from the south- and west-facing windows, perhaps explaining why the sunroom is a family favorite. Featuring oak accents that continue throughout the main level to the dining room (which houses original leaded glass detailing), “the place is like a jewel box,” Williams says. “There’s always natural light.”