What's big and white and getting a complete makeover?
A historic house on Lake of the Isles Parkway that will be this year's ASID Designer Showcase Home. The fundraiser/decor spectacle will return this spring after its 2011 hiatus, said co-chairwoman Holly Bayer of Hauthaus Design.
Designers weren't able to locate a suitable house last year, so the popular event was canceled for the first time in its 14-year history. This year, however, the local chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers and Mpls.St.Paul magazine were able to find a good candidate: an 1899-built house near Kenwood Park in Minneapolis.
The Victorian-era house was the longtime home of Martha and Stanley Platt, prominent human rights advocates and philanthropists. (Stanley died in 1997 and Martha in 2008.)
Current owners John Larsen and Mike Stewart continue that philanthropy tradition, according to Bayer, with Larsen recently receiving the 2011 "Engaged Philanthropist" award from the Minnesota Community Foundation.
Larsen, also an architect, had already drawn up plans for renovating the 6,650-square-foot house, Bayer said, including bumping out the kitchen and adding a detached garage with studio space above, connected to the main house by tunnel.
Once construction has been completed, a team of 30 interior designers will transform the interior spaces on its three floors, plus the lower level.
Green design principles and materials are a high priority for this year's showcase, Bayer said. "We're striving for Minnesota Green Star Gold" certification.
The renovated house will make its debut May 18 at the Showcase gala, and will be open for tours for three weeks.
"There's such a wonderful story behind the house," Bayer said. "We're so excited to show it to the public."