Design at its Finest: The 2020 ASID-MN Interior Design Awards

Meet the winners of ASID-MN’s 2020 design competition
Natural wood floors, exposed ceiling beams, and organic materials give this coastal-inspired remodel by Martha O’Hara a touch of West Coast flair.

Photo by Andrea Calo

A flawless design is not determined as such just because it’s easy on the eyes (although that’s certainly a plus). Clients often turn to interior designers to entirely rethink and revitalize their spaces; to transcend aesthetics and ensure every element is thoughtfully functional and tailored to each client’s needs. The designers’ works featured here accomplish all that and more, whether it meant re-envisioning a floor plan or working meticulously to curate a homeowner’s dream-come-true kitchen. Flip through the following pages for a closer look at the winning projects in the American Society of Interior Designers’ annual competition amongst its Minnesota members, all of which are true examples of residential and commercial design at its finest.

Best in Show Residential: Kitchen (350-500 square feet)

Photo by Annie Schlechter

Project Name: North End Brownstone

Designers: Bruce Kading, ASID; Eric Kaufmann, Allied ASID; and team

Firm: Bruce Kading Interior Design

Designers’ Note: Marrying a classic industrial warehouse style to a modern New England aesthetic, a kitchen that’s both modern and warm came to life. The open-concept kitchen flows seamlessly into a cozy hearth room, anchored by a fireplace and built-in wood shelving. The interior designers carefully selected a mix of new and reclaimed materials to give these spaces—which together take up an entire floor of a narrow Boston brownstone—a nuanced, vintage look. The space features steel-framed windows, cerused oak cabinetry, modern lighting, iridescent backsplash tiles, a center island with a 14-foot pewter countertop, aged hickory plank floors reminiscent of old warehouse flooring, and an antique cast-iron fireback from 1788—the year Massachusetts became a state.

Residential Kitchen (less than 350 square feet)

Photo by Troy Thies

Project Name: Culinary Workshop

Designers: Lisa Antenucci, Allied ASID; Jackie Colpaert, Allied ASID; Jackie Millea, AIA, ASID; and team

Firm: Shelter Architecture

Designers’ Note: Empty-nester clients were looking for an innovative kitchen design to meet their entertaining desires. Quick to think outside the box, the designers created a space that’s not only beautiful but includes many creative functions. The sink, for example, is embedded in the large kitchen island and controlled with foot pedals. An accordion window above the counter opens to create a seamless indoor-outdoor dining buffet, and one of the floor cabinets is on casters, which enables the homeowners to direct the flow of foot traffic. The kitchen is swathed in a deep blue shade, and the silky surface of the soapstone countertops establishes a palette that feels warm and inviting. Together, it is an immensely functional space with ample room for it all—whether that’s cooking for a crowd or winding down after a long evening.

Best in Show: Residential Multiple Rooms (more than 6,000 square feet)

Photo by Annie Schlechter

Photo by Annie Schlechter

Project Name: Great Plains Chateau

Designers: Bruce Kading, ASID; Eric Kaufmann, Allied ASID; and team

Firms: Bruce Kading Interior Design

Designers’ Note: The Great Plains Chateau is a new build but could easily pass as an original 18th-century French-style estate. Built on a 22-acre wooded property, the clients wanted their new home to have a timeless, formal ambience and spirit of place while providing modern comfort and functionality. Staying true to the French standard of quality, the designers used their encyclopedic knowledge of classical French architecture to hand-draw and commission a wealth of custom products and materials for the living and dining rooms, including plaster moldings, artisanal metalwork, parquet floors, carpeting, cabinetry, lighting, upholstered furnishings, draperies, wall coverings, decorative paintings, and other luxe details. The designers also sourced a trove of period-appropriate antiques, elegant accoutrements from around the world, and formal (yet comfortable) French-style furniture.

Residential Multiple Rooms (3,000-6,000 square feet)

Photo by Andrea Calo

Project Name: Coastal-Inspired Remodel

Designers: Martha O’Hara, Associate ASID; Heidi Feliz-Grimm, Allied ASID; Heather Berardi, Allied ASID

Firms: Martha O’Hara Interiors

Designers’ Note: After relocating from a coastal area, these homeowners bought a dated 1980s home with big plans for a dreamy main-level remodel inspired by California living. Designers opted for a creamy white palette to brighten the space, while simple lines and casual organic touches were chosen to add West Coast flair. The redesign also thoughtfully incorporates various blues—from the statement-making shade of turquoise on the lounge walls to the formal dining room’s velvet chairs. The entryway features a starburst light fixture that hovers over a beautiful staircase. The master bath was transformed into a sanctuary of soft light with floor-to-near-ceiling marble. Thanks to calm tones and carefully made decisions, this once drab home is now a modern retreat.

Residential Multiple Rooms (less than 3,000 square feet)

Project Name: Second Nature

Designers: Lucy Penfield, ASID; Stephanie Lalley, ASID

Firm: Lucy Interior Design

Designers’ Note: This cabin remodel evokes nature in every way—which is more than fitting considering the client is a lifelong environmental advocate. The property offers stunning panoramic views, perched in a location where the sun, moon, and stars shine through skylights and open doors and windows welcome lake breezes. Eco-friendly furnishings make the space both smart and sustainable. For example, the designers chose organic materials like fir-wrapped walls, ceilings, trim, and doors; basalt stone; natural steel; and lichen-colored cabinetry to create an earthy palette. The star of the space? The indoor-outdoor connection, made complete with a 23-inch folding door that allows the gathering room to flow seamlessly into the screened porch, ensuring both the shoreline and wildlife can greet you at eye level.

Residential Singular Living Space (more than 500 square feet)

Photo by Spacecrafting

Project Name: Betwixt & Between

Designer: Maureen Haggerty, Allied ASID

Firm: mint interior design

Designer’s Note: The goal for this empty-nester couple (who was downsizing from an estate-sized home to an urban penthouse) was to make their new space feel welcoming and lived in. By refurbishing existing and cherished furniture and objects in the space, the designer was able to breathe new life into it while creating a “traditional-meets-tailored” aesthetic. The penthouse is filled with art and antiques, and the designer chose to thoughtfully reupholster and reframe various pieces, refreshing them with classic, modern textiles and color. Small but impactful choices were made during the design process, including strategically placed accent paint colors and decorative lighting. Forgoing a modern, minimalist design, this penthouse is filled with personality and character that pairs time-worn furnishings with eclectic design selections.

Residential Singular Living Space (less than 500 square feet)

Photo by Annie Schlechter

Project Name: Great Plains Chateau – Dining Room

Designers: Bruce Kading, ASID; Eric Kaufmann, Allied ASID; and team

Firm: Bruce Kading Interior Design

Designers’ Note: Although this entire home is a work of art, the dining room is an obvious gem. Surrounded by formal French dining furniture, a large wood table with gold detailing sits under two wrought-iron chandeliers that hang above. Look down and gaze upon classic hardwood parquet floors. Look up again and you’ll discover an ornate ceiling featuring both horizontal and vertical plaster beams that create a squared-off pattern. A trio of French doors, all artfully rounded at the top, opens to a spacious patio—one of the designers’ favorite features of the home. The room alludes to an elegance only old European architecture has mastered, capturing a refined indulgence the design team knows well. Despite its opulence, the space is comfortable and ready for entertaining.

Showcase Room/Model Home Room

Photo by Spacecrafting

Project Name: A City Home Designed for Family

Designers: Martha O’Hara, Associate ASID; Emily Anderson, ASID; Krystal Kellermann, ASID

Firm: Martha O’Hara Interiors

Designers’ Note: While keeping their ideal client in mind, these designers created a family-friendly home (one that is both aesthetically beautiful and buyer-ready) with a tailored design that emphasizes an open layout, natural light, and functionality. The home boasts just that—featuring oversized windows, white walls, and wide hallways that allow light to travel throughout the main level. Black railings, a pantry backsplash, kitchen island, and powder room vanity add interest, while white oak floors and a focal wall add warmth to the space’s minimal black-and-white palette. Additional details in neutral tones make the home welcoming and easily customizable to future buyers.

Residential Bedroom Suite

Project Name: Great Plains Chateau

Designers: Bruce Kading, ASID; Eric Kaufmann, Allied ASID; and team

Firm: Bruce Kading Interior Design

Designers’ Note: The homeowners of this Midwestern chateau wanted their suite to be a formal, private retreat with a spacious bedroom and bathroom, sitting room, and dressing area with abundant yet discreet storage. The design team’s creative solutions for this dreamy aesthetic included hiring artisans to paint murals; creating custom upholstered furnishings, draperies, and carpeting; and sourcing antique and new chandeliers and lamps. The bedroom is divided by a marble-clad pier that features a see-through fireplace with a Rococo-inspired mantel. Step into the dressing room and find specialty closets flaunting curved, mirrored cabinet doors. The suite is finished with a bathroom covered in Calacatta marble and a decorative painting over the tub—a truly ornate space within a masterpiece of a home. The result is an owners’ suite fit for Versailles.

Bathroom (more than 100 square feet)

Project Name: Serene Contemporary

Designer: Lisa Pope, Allied ASID, AKBD

Firm: Partners 4, Design

Designer’s Note: This designer took a once dark, aged, and drab bathroom to new heights with a revamped functional design. Relocating the shower and bathtub provided space for a toilet and additional storage in the form of sleek cabinetry with minimal hardware. The new shower features multiple shower heads, and a digital shower system allows each user to customize their own shower experience. The design is truly luxe, including updated technology such as heated floors, a towel warmer, humidity sensor ventilation system, washlet, and speakers. Using one tile type throughout the bathroom adds to its clean and contemporary feel, and a special paint was selected to minimize mildew in this high-humidity environment. The clients received exactly what they asked for: a bright, uncluttered master bath that incorporates low-maintenance materials for easy cleanup.

Bathroom (less than 100 square feet)

Project Name: North End Brownstone

Designers: Bruce Kading, ASID; Eric Kaufmann, Allied ASID; and team

Firm: Bruce Kading Interior Design

Designers’ Note: When approaching this bathroom’s design—part of a new brownstone on a narrow lot in Boston’s historic North End neighborhood—the clients requested a unique combination: Pair an old warehouse style with a clean, modern design. The designers began by collaborating with the clients and their architect to gain approval from the local historic preservation committee on the building, materiality, windows, and more. Taking cues from the colors and textures of the surrounding area, the designers went to work, combining the styles to create a warm, welcoming environment with functionality and sophistication. Inspired by industrial vernacular, materials were selected to give the space a timeless look, made possible with marble flooring, a frosted glass wall, vintage-style fixtures, floor-to-ceiling windows, and modern lighting.

Custom-Designed Object/Detail

Project Name: North End Brownstone

Designers: Bruce Kading, ASID; Eric Kaufmann, Allied ASID; and team

Firm: Bruce Kading Interior Design

Designers’ Note: The client of this brownstone in Boston’s historic North End neighborhood wanted the space to feel like an old industrial warehouse transformed into a clean, simple, and sophisticated modern home. Inspired by industrial vernacular, the designers carefully selected every detail to give the interiors’ bones a nuanced yet gutsy look—with prior approval from the city’s historic committee, of course. To create a striking focal point in the living room, the interior designers incorporated a bold pièce de résistance: an original metal coal fireplace from England, which was converted to gas and set into a wall of waxed steel panels with riveted seams. A nearby built-in wood bookshelf creates a backdrop for an inviting gathering space.

Historic Restoration/Preservation 

Photo by Rich Michell

Project Name: Prairie Preservation

Designer: David Heide, Allied ASID; and team

Firm: David Heide Design Studio

Designer’s Note: This historic home, constructed in 1910 and emblematic of Prairie School architecture, deserved a thoughtful makeover. The owners requested that the remodel fit seamlessly into the home’s historic surroundings and function well for their busy lives. By celebrating details original to the house, including leaded glass, terracotta tile work, and lighting that features aurene shades by Tiffany & Co., the designer created a space that is a synthesis of modern needs, historically sensitive details, and Prairie doctrine. The remodeling of what was originally the kitchen and butler’s pantry features a custom, movable worktable that allows for a variety of work configurations. Light fixtures in brass and colored glass enhance the Prairie aesthetic, while red birch cabinetry (lighter in tone than the original oak found throughout the rest of the first floor) shimmers beneath a shellac finish.

Universal Design

Project Name: Make it Universal, Please!

Designer: Anne Newman, ASID

Firm: Partners 4, Design

Designer’s Note: Using principles of universal design, this once dark and cramped bathroom received a simple and refreshing renovation. The owners of the condo had specific mobility requirements, so the designer replaced the bathtub with a spacious shower. Additionally, with the shower’s floor level raised and shower curb eliminated, the designer further accommodated the homeowners’ needs. The new space also includes full-height cabinetry for linen storage and open shelving for bathroom essentials and décor. Frosted glass accents—used as a half wall to separate the toilet zone from the vanity and incorporated in the new hinged bathroom door—add textural interest to the room. The result is an airy, accessible master bathroom that not only works for its current owners but is universal in design.

Sustainable Design

Project Name: Lakeside Renewal Center

Designer: Sheree Vincent, Allied ASID

Firm: Fusion Designed

Designer’s Note: Lakeside Renewal Center’s original site (a 3,000-square-foot building constructed in 1930) no longer provided the space needed for its educational programs and nonprofit private events. The newly constructed 15,000-square-foot center has it all: nine bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, a four-season sun porch, covered outdoor porch, butler’s pantry, library, lounge, and a classroom space with ample seating. The designer ushered in an understated elegance while retaining the retreat center’s “feeling of home,” which was important to the client. While meeting the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, the center’s design also abides by the rules of Feng Shui—creating peace, comfort, and harmony in the space. Without sacrificing its original charm, the updated furnishings are now durable, functional, and sustainable—a combination that will allow this center to thrive for decades to come.

Best in Show: Commercial (less than 10,000 square feet)

Photo by Brandon Stengel

Project Name: Visiting Clear Waters

Designers: Lisa Antenucci, Allied ASID; Jackie Colpaert, Allied ASID; Jackie Millea, AIA, ASID; and team

Firm: Shelter Architecture

Designers’ Note: The designers behind this project took on the challenge of completely reinventing a small-town visitors center. A colorful painting purchased by the client became inspiration for the space. The painting’s mix of warm and cool colors also provided an appropriate palette to support a design plan, which was influenced by clear, natural waters. The designers employed various shades of blue—punctuated with splashes of green, golden yellow, and light earth tones—for furnishings, signage, decorative panels hung from the ceiling, and other subtle accents integrated into the space. This innovative design also features a counter and wet bar, complete with iPads visitors can use to access travel information. The space’s most interesting feature? Versatile wall units with cleverly hidden interior storage spaces.

Commercial Project (more than 10,000 square feet)

Project Name: Historical and Handcrafted

Designer: Annie Graunke, Allied ASID

Firm: Studio M Interiors

Designer’s Note: Nestled in a quaint Minnesota town near the Canadian border, this one-of-a-kind distillery and boutique hotel was designed with the area’s history and post-industrial flourishes in mind. The designer used substantial materials like heavy textured upholstery, leather, reclaimed wood accents, and salvaged tin ceilings, creating a modern take on a moody speakeasy atmosphere in public areas. Throughout the project, the visitor experience remained a priority. Guests can now choose from four different main-level areas that provide seating for restaurant dining, cocktail tasting, live band viewing, and more. The second level features a secluded lounge space with a live-edge wooden drink rail that overlooks the distillery tanks. And, for those in need of a self-care session, the third level is an oasis—made complete with a rooftop sauna, outdoor hot tub, and reclaimed wood-clad yoga studio.

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