Photos by Spacecrafting
The empty nesters who inhabit this dreamy Tudor Revival in Minneapolis’ Lowry Hill neighborhood raised a family of creatives: Their two grown children (plus their partners) all boast artistic talents, and it’s no surprise considering she’s an upholsterer and furniture restorer and he a woodworker. “We are all makers of various kinds,” says the wife, also an avid beekeeper and gardener. “We appreciate and are drawn to beautiful details.”
Perhaps that’s why they bought the hidden gem after 12 years of residing in England. Although an unintentional find, the couple were smitten with the listing’s large backyard, room configuration, and architectural design—all of which teemed with potential.
That potential didn’t assure a problem-free property, though, and an early garage renovation by TEA2 Architects was the first order of business. Through this initial project, the clients met Peter Crain of Trestle Homes, who later led renovations of the main residence.
In this stage, maintaining the 1906 home’s integrity was paramount. The fireplaces, main staircase, built-in bookcases, decorative gratings, and signature windows by Harry Wild Jones, the home’s original architect, were to stay. The kitchen, with its gray color scheme and lack of personalization was not. To transform the space while staying within its original footprint, Crain enlisted Christine Frisk of InUnison Design.
“We wanted the new kitchen to reflect how [the wife] prepared and stored food,” says Frisk, interior designer and owner of the Minneapolis-based firm. “She’s a culinary at heart and knew exactly what she wanted.” That wish list of wants included modern appliances, the ability to properly display collections, and an English-inspired aesthetic.
“Not many clients are as educated on what they want,” Frisk adds, which allowed the designer and client to collaborate on materials, custom cabinetry, and more. One specific selection—a neutral honed-quartz stone—ignited a trickle effect of inspiration. On the countertops, behind the range, and surrounding the cooktop’s front controls, the locally quarried stone adds a touch of modern-day luxury. The material even guided the cabinet color (a “soft, muted shade that’s not quite green, but not quite blue,” Frisk explains) that, in turn, informed the custom glaze for the North Prairie Tileworks backsplash tile.
In the middle of the English country kitchen, a branch-like Holly Hunt light fixture suspends above a large island and modern barstools. Behind the island, a charming Dutch door leads to one of the home’s two stairwells.
Nearby, a reimagined quarter-sawn hutch connects the main kitchen to the adjacent pantry and matches original built-in shelving in the dining room. To appear authentic, Frisk designed drawers and inset cabinet doors indicative of the early 1900s. China and dishware (inherited from the wife’s mother) decorate the upper shelves of the floor-to-ceiling wooden hutch, while linen storage and file cabinets below add function.
In the pantry itself, storage for small appliances and miscellaneous kitchen gadgets is both strategic and plentiful. A bar zone features retractable doors with a clever, space-saving ratcheting system, a Moooi Perch wall sconce adds whimsy to the nook, and a restored copper sink (previously built into an old bar in the den) makes a statement beneath a diamond-paned window. “I love everything about [the space],” the wife says. “Most of all, I love cooking in it. We all love to cook in this family.”
The family of makers also love the result of their home’s remodel—especially the modern, yet respectful kitchen update that elegantly elevates the artful details so near and dear to their hearts.