When interior designer Laura Bischoff of Metropolis Design Group was approached by her friend regarding a kitchen remodel in their side-by-side townhome, she jumped at the opportunity. Bischoff’s friend (who happens to be her son’s Montessori teacher) and her husband purchased a 1980’s townhome in the Dewey Hill neighborhood of Edina for their family of four. Over time, the couple updated many of the rooms throughout the home to fit their minimalist lifestyle, but the kitchen proved too big of a challenge to tackle on their own.
Having seen Bischoff’s work in the past, the couple trusted her to create the perfect space for their family. “They didn’t really have a vision,” she says. “They knew my style. We’ve known each other for years and they were very trusting.”
The existing kitchen was an entirely interior space with no windows to let natural light in. The layout of the room limited cupboard and counter space, and there was no way to socialize with guests or family while cooking. Just on the other side of the wall, however, was a bright, window-filled dining room that let ample daylight in. Bischoff decided to move the doorway (allowing for an L-shaped working space in the kitchen and more cupboard/counter space) and open up the wall by creating a passthrough window from the kitchen to the dining room.
The passthrough window turned out to be Bischoff’s favorite part of the remodel. “I loved how that worked out,” she says. “It was a really big game-changer for the room and how they lived. Having access to healthy daylight, you can’t substitute that. And they love it!”
A bench seat, added per the client’s request, was created so her kids could visit with her while she cooked. “She’s a teacher, so she’s very attuned to those relationships,” Bischoff says. “She didn’t need to cram every inch full of storage, so she really wanted a comfortable place for where her kids could pop in and pop out.” (But don’t be fooled, the bench seat also provides some storage.)
Aesthetically, Bischoff opted for an all-white color scheme, seen on the walls, lacquer cupboards, and tile backsplash to follow the couple’s minimalist style and allow the architecture to shine. Meanwhile, the wood flooring, passthrough window frame, storage, and bench seat add warmth to the space. Plus, the kitchen is sprinkled with fun pops of bright orange and Tiffany blue.
“The client found the orange range,” Bischoff says. “I like my clients to go out and explore appliances on their own. I’ll help, but I think that’s a very personal decision. [Her choice] actually really surprised me. She came back with this range and almost apologetically asked if it would work. I was super excited about that. [The idea of simple white finishes throughout and pops of bright color] is reflective of their personality. They like things minimal but not sterile. That was always the parameter of the project—to keep it clean and simple, but have these fun, welcoming, delightful aspects.”
Bischoff says the best designs come when the interior designer/client relationship is based on trust and good listening. “You can yield fantastic results,” she says. “[Something] I thought was a really strong thing in this project. It was really transformative for them and me.”