When Peg Invie was growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, her family’s rural Medina rambler was surrounded by dairy farms. Peg rode her horse, while her dad raised ducks on their 10-acre property.
Nearly 40 years later, Peg and her husband, Mike, moved back to the west metro community and bought her childhood home from her mother, who lives in a senior living complex.
Not much had changed — if you exclude the Target store and an explosion of new housing developments a few miles away.
“It still feels the same, with flocks of wild turkeys and blue herons,” said Peg. “Except the gravel roads have been tarred.”
Ditto for the house. Not much had changed since her parents built it in 1960.
The boiler, septic system, plumbing and electrical were all original to the rambler and required replacing or updating. Peg’s mother had covered the floors in white carpet, and the bedroom walls with floral wallpaper.
Like many homes of its era, the living spaces and kitchen were compartmentalized and closed off from one another. However, the big windows and vaulted beamed ceilings were a definite asset. And overall, the structure — and pristine woodwork — were in good condition.
“We always liked this house,” said Peg.
“And we’re always up for a challenge,” added Mike, a skilled mason, craftsman and homebuilder. Mike planned to enhance the original dwelling with “modern conveniences and a more modern look,” he said.
The Invies own Green With Invie, a custom building business. Before moving to Medina, they lived Out West, where they built and remodeled homes in Wyoming, Oregon and Idaho.
‘Modern mountain’ style
Over two years, the couple made many 21st-century improvements to Peg’s childhood home, while honoring its original character and 1960s vibe.
Mike reconfigured spaces, and designed and built new features, all within the home’s 3,200 square feet, which includes four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The new interiors, featuring raw stone and wood, are “modern mountain” in style, similar to many homes in the West, Peg said.
During the renovation, Mike tore down four walls to create one large great room with clear sightlines to the outdoors.
“I wanted to open it up for better views of the countryside,” he said, referring to the rolling hills, wetlands and Krieg Lake across the road.
He also designed and built a new front split entry, which dramatically improved the flow from the main-level kitchen and living areas down to the lower-level walkout.
In the original home, you entered at ground level, which opened to the recreation room and attached garage. Then you had to ascend a long flight of stairs to the living spaces. Mike’s new split-level entry is more welcoming and easier to navigate, with five steps up to the living room, and five steps down to the lower-level walkout.
On the new staircase and throughout the home, Mike intermixed reclaimed distressed beams and posts, some from old tobacco farms in Alabama. He even strung a steel cable from a Jackson Hole, Wyo., ski resort up the railing.
“The staircase is also a beautiful showpiece,” said Peg. “Not just a way to go up and down.”
The Invies followed their remodeling philosophy of blending old recycled elements with new ones, and kept the walnut-paneled walls. “Most people get rid of dark paneling,” said Peg. “But it’s pretty 1960s wood.”
For flooring, they installed maple on the main level, and acid-etched concrete in the lower level, both with toasty-warm in-floor heat. They also applied dark stain to the original pine ceilings to tie together all the rich wood features.
The newly remodeled kitchen is triple the size of the old one, thanks to space taken from a three-season porch.
Mike’s design combines down-to-earth materials with a modern edge, including poured-concrete countertops. He also built maple cabinets and a raised Douglas fir bar for casual dining and entertaining.
Peg’s kitchen must-haves included a commercial Wolf stove and a Subzero refrigerator. “They’re spendy, but worth it,” she said.
In the living room, the original massive floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace was not up to code or worth fixing. So Mike replaced it with a lodge-style dry-stacked stone wood-burning fireplace, which spans two levels.
Lastly, Mike spruced up the exterior with fresh paint on redwood siding. And he built a new front entry with a roof to shelter visitors from the rain. The final modern touch is a steel-cable railing strung between rustic posts.
It’s been a pleasant nostalgic time for the Invies, who have lived in the Medina rambler for the past year. Yet the couple can’t resist the lure of the mountains. “We like it here,” said Peg, “but we love the mountains more.”
They’ve already bought a fixer-upper in Idaho, where they will move after the home sells. “I can’t stop Mike from building,” said Peg.
Erik Myhran of Coldwell Banker Burnet has the listing, 612-810-3745. He will hold an open house from noon to 3 p.m. July 23 at 2552 County Road 24, Medina.