This year’s HGTV Urban Oasis home is all about Nordic charm, hygge and a Scandinavian sensibility.
It’s no wonder that a tree-lined Minneapolis neighborhood was chosen as the setting for this totally renovated residence.
The lucky winner of the network’s annual sweepstakes will own this fully furnished, two-story modern Scandinavian farmhouse, valued at $700,000, by the end of the year.
The interior design is pure coziness, expressed through sheepskin throws, knit sweater-patterned pillows and rocking chairs on the front porch.
“Scandinavian homes are packed with mostly organic elements and natural textures,” said HGTV interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn.
“To really bring the Nordic texture into the house, I used fluffy, wintry elements that you’d find in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.” Texture added to sleek and modern, creates “a really beautiful, effortless balance,” he said.
For the fifth year, Flynn has been the creative force behind the uber-popular home giveaway. In the summer, he escapes to his Nordic-style home in Reykjavik, Iceland, which is decorated in “all blues and whites,” he said.
As Flynn became more familiar with Minneapolis while traveling, he recognized the same Scandinavian influences on architecture and lifestyles.
HGTV found the Minneapolis property to rehab in the walkable Hiawatha neighborhood, which is near millennial magnets such as parks, an arts scene, restaurants, shopping, public transportation and best of all — a two-block walk to Minnehaha Falls.
A light, bright and airy Scandinavian-inspired farmhouse was the best direction for this HGTV-style re-imagined house, said Flynn. “The design is centered around a feeling of hygge for a united vibe.”
Flynn, an Atlanta-based designer, collaborated with local architecture firm Peterssen/Keller Architecture and builder Reuter Walton Construction on the top-to-bottom makeover of the 1920s classic foursquare.
The reconfigured open floor plan includes a 510-square-foot, two-story addition on the back of the house, which created space for a family room and mudroom on the main floor and a deluxe owners’ suite upstairs.
Now you can see clear through the main floor — from the front to the back — and beyond to the outdoor patio.
“We made the foursquare fresh and inviting — to capture what Minnesota is all about,” said Gabriel Keller, designer for Peterssen/Keller.
Flynn’s fresh take on Scandinavian minimalism-meets-function includes three popular trends: well-edited, pared-back decorating, muted pink as a new neutral, and a strong emphasis on interior architecture, such as the stairwell screen wall.
He picked the dining room as his favorite Urban Oasis space. “It’s super simple, pared back, practical and packed with architecture.” (Visit HGTV.com/urbanoasis for design ideas, videos and scores of photos.)
You can register to win the house starting Oct. 1 through Nov. 21. The HGTV special about the transformation premieres Wednesday.
The Urban Oasis promotion’s popularity has exploded, from 15.5 million entries in 2010, the first year, to 65.3 million entries in 2018.
So don’t start packing your boxes just yet.
Here are some other highlights of the Minneapolis home:
Graphic by design: On the main floor, Flynn chose a black-and-white color palette because it never dates, and the simplicity is easy to live with, he said. “Stick with black and white, then add organic texture with everything else — sheepskin, cable-knit wool in the sofa,” he said.
While upstairs, “we wanted to appeal to all tastes, so the bedrooms are for people who love color,” he added.
First impression: The front porch’s black-painted rockers on an outdoor area rug welcome visitors to the crisp white, clean-lined contemporary farmhouse facade. Climbing plants create a living wall — and privacy.
Modern-day parlor: The light-filled entry is designed as a comfortable “midcentury modern lounge,” with layers of organic texture, including lamb’s wool stools, sweater-print pillows and a jute area rug. A catchall for coats and bags keeps the space organized.
Maximized minimalism: A simple concrete-clad fireplace radiates heat throughout the main floor.
Hub of the home: The expanded open kitchen boasts a 10-foot-long working island topped with matte black granite contrasted with a lighter natural oak base. The cast-iron undermount sink, easy-pull-out cabinet drawers and pro-style range add modern functionality.
How to hygge: The interiors are like a showroom for ways to infuse homey hygge qualities, from layers of soft sheepskin throws and Nordic print sofa pillows, to a textile wall hanging that mimics a chunky wool sweater. Candles and mood lighting create ambience.
Must-have mudroom: Vertical shiplap walls and whitewashed wood floors add farmhouse charm to the mudroom and back entry, which opens to a covered porch. Sit on a rustic bench to take off your shoes, and organize stuff inside an industrial black metal cabinet.
Backyard escape: The covered back porch steps out to a massive patio strung with twinkling bistro lights. It’s furnished with an L-shaped sectional, rocker and dining table for outdoor dinner parties. The coffee table even converts to an outdoor fire table. A Nordic mountain mural is painted across a once boring garage wall.
“It’s more like California, where outdoor spaces are defined as rooms and places — not just a yard,” said Keller.
Flynn’s fave: An edgy Euro-style dining room is defined by an oak and concrete pedestal table, a mod black steel chandelier and a vertical-slat screen wall.
Let’s get together: Crisp white walls contrast with black-framed windows in the monochromatic family room. The L-shaped sectional sits on a geometric-patterned area rug by designer Genevieve Gorder, a Minneapolis native. Sweater-inspired Nordic wall art and a shag chair add cozy texture.
Tranquil palette: Flynn melded a calming gray-and-blue color palette with homey textiles in bedding and pillows for the owners’ suite. A pair of skylights keep it bright and airy.
Sleek retreat: The owners’ bathroom’s curved iron trough sinks and wall-mounted matte black faucets give it an industrial vibe, warmed by a butcher block floating vanity. Two medicine cabinets above the vanity resemble modern mirrors. It’s also equipped with a spa-style walk-in shower.
Danish darkness: Many of the Airbnbs Flynn stays at in Nordic countries have rooms painted black or charcoal, “and I always get the best sleep in them,” he said. “Since we have this light-soaked guest bedroom on the second level, I liked the idea of bringing that sleepy feeling to the house.” The striking ceiling light fixture shaped like spider legs can be positioned in many directions to brighten up the room.
Blushing beauty: Splashes of blush and pink on the ceiling and in retro faux-fur chairs add playful touches to the home office/studio (that can also be used as a bedroom).
A large patchwork rug made from old traditional Anatolian carpets introduces more hues. Flynn kept an original architectural feature — the chimney — and painted it white like the walls.