Midwest Home Design Awards Best in Show: Country Club Classic

This year’s Midwest Home Design Awards Best in Show project is playful, yet classy

Photos by Alyssa Lee  

With gold hardware, luxury finishes, and coastal accents, this classic kitchen within a 1933 Edina colonial embodies traditional interior design at its finest.

Sarah Schaffer, a Minnesota-native realtor, has always been happy to call the Twin Cities home. After marrying her high school sweetheart, the couple settled down in southwest Minneapolis—but she envisioned their life elsewhere. “Our goal was always to move into the historic country club neighborhoods,” Schaffer says. So, after finding and living in a 2,800-square-foot Edina home for several years, they jumped on the opportunity to lead their dream remodel.

Using her professional background and industry connections, Schaffer assembled an impressive team, including Susan Nackers Ludwig, architectural designer at LNA Design, and Natalie Talley, owner and principal designer of Talley Jane Interiors, to help renovate the 1933 home. Both having known Schaffer for over 15 years, their relationships fostered a unique dynamic. “I think having a client like Sarah who knows the details and understands the process makes it a really fun way to work with people,” Nackers Ludwig says.

With Schaffer acting as both the homeowner and general contractor, the three worked together to complete a whole-home renovation that upheld the home’s original style. To maintain its charm, Talley incorporated soft details that achieved a sophisticated, yet simple and not-too-fussy look. After the original flooring was refurbished and 1-inch red oak was feathered in, the boards were updated with a natural stain. In the kitchen, the walnut island, porcelain marble backsplash, and durable quartz countertop provide cozy contrast—exemplified by gold accents, sleek paneling, and various shades of crisp white.

Inspired by homes in South Carolina, Schaffer wanted to incorporate pops of color for a more unique, custom feel. From the pastel pink wallpaper in the half bath and blue trim off the kitchen to the green baseboards in the bathroom, bold accents and feminine touches were embraced throughout.

Meanwhile, on the exterior, Nackers Ludwig abided by neighborhood restrictions and kept true to the colonial structure while enhancing the shutters, trim, and eaves. Detaching the garage also provided the Schaffers with more space on the main floor and easy access to the backyard.

Post remodel, the home sits at 4,100 square feet and continues to serve the Schaffers’ bustling lifestyle. While it might sound cliche, Schaffer has always prioritized the phrase, “Home is where the heart is”—and right now, her Edina abode reflects that notion in its entirety. She says, “Home is wherever my family is. I think what matters to me is that there’s always a place for my kids to come home to.”

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