Photos by Spacecrafting
Josie Fix’s new home in Edina was almost perfect. Located in a beautiful neighborhood close to both her and her husband’s jobs as well as their kid’s school, it had plenty of square footage, a great floor plan, and a big backyard. But the kitchen, though built in 2010, seemed to be a throwback to an era of dark cherry cabinets, brown speckled granite, and over-the-range microwaves, while windows were confined to the narrow space over the sink. Worse yet was its limited functionality, lacking common storage solutions and optimized cabinetry that updated kitchens typically feature.
To remedy their problems, the couple sought the help of designer Bria Hammel. “The Fixes wanted something classic that would stand the test of time—clean and simple with layered textures,” explains Hammel, who runs her own interior design firm as well as local retailer Brooke & Lou. She envisioned a lighter, brighter space with a modern cottage vibe for the kitchen, breakfast nook, and adjoining family room to better fit their taste and lifestyle.
Working with contractor Builders by Design, they tore out the old stock cabinets and splurged on custom cabinetry with lots of functional details, including easy-access drawers, hidden storage for the coffee maker and microwave, and pull-outs for the towel bar and trash bin. “It was an investment, but in our opinion, the cabinetry is one of the most show-stopping moments,” Hammel says. “The detail on the cabinets and curved range hood can only be done through custom woodwork and really brought the kitchen to the next level.” Adding two new windows on the sink wall was also a game-changer, transforming the stuffy room into a lighter, airier space.
A variety of materials—brass, glass, and woven light fixtures; a herringbone tile backsplash; fabric window treatments; wicker stools; and a stained alder wood island—add depth and interest. Seagrass armchairs and a round pedestal table in the informal dining area soften the angular lines of the kitchen. Traditional details such as furniture-style feet on cabinet bases, cove moldings, and five-inch baseboards throughout the kitchen and family room keep the space from feeling too modern and out of step with the rest of the house.
To help stretch the budget, Hammel reused existing kitchen appliances and, instead of replacing the family room’s original stone fireplace surround, added soft beige accents to make it fit the new design.
The refreshed space has certainly been getting a workout while the Fixes spend more time at home working, playing, and eating family dinners. “These beautiful and functional spaces bring us a sense of peace and safety despite these uncertain times,” Josie says. “We’re so happy to have completed this project when we did.”