What makes a home just right? For some, it’s a brand-new house in their favorite style and ideal location. For others, it’s just a few more square feet of living space, so their existing house can be reconfigured to accommodate their lifestyle.
Both types of projects are well represented at this year’s Home of the Month awards program, a partnership between the American Institute of Architects Minnesota and Star Tribune. A panel reviewed 42 submitted architect-designed projects from throughout the size and style spectrum, to choose 12 winners.
Here’s a preview of the dozen projects you’ll be seeing the first Sunday of every month, starting in June, in the Sunday Homes section. You’ll find interviews with the architects and homeowners, plus photos, to inspire you to create your own just-right home.
Project: A small addition to a 1920s-era house in south Minneapolis allowed for reconfiguring the space to include a new modern kitchen with custom island, mudroom, pantry and powder room. The home now functions well for both entertaining and daily family life, while still preserving the house’s original charm.
Design team: Christine Albertsson and Tammy Angaran, Albertsson Hansen Architecture.
Lake > City > House
Project: Minneapolis homeowners wanted to make the most of their site overlooking Lake of the Isles. To accomplish that, the existing 1960s-era split-level home was replaced by a new house, with a design that was “wedged” apart to take advantage of the curved property line facing the lake. Two wings, each one room wide, maximize light and views, while a bridge-like space between them facilitates passage from side to side and from the public spaces in the front of the house to the private spaces in back.
Design team: David O’Brien Wagner and Chris Meyer, SALA Architects.
Madeline Island Retreat Home
Project: Madeline Island in Lake Superior is the setting for a rustic and efficient retreat that can accommodate family groups both large and small. The new 1,100-square-foot cottage includes two bedrooms and one bath, while a storage building with a sleeping loft can expand capacity to 12 people.
Design team: Christine Albertsson, Albertsson Hansen Architecture.
Harriet Tudor Renovation
Project: A traditional Tudor-style house overlooking Lake Harriet needed a family-friendly kitchen and mudroom. The kitchen was updated, and an adjacent arcade was salvaged and reworked to better connect with an old maid’s quarters, which was converted into a study and office with built-in desk, bookshelves and window seat. A narrow addition provided space for the mudroom, a half-bath and a connection to the garage and laundry room.
Design team: Jean Rehkamp Larson and Ryan Lawinger, Rehkamp Larson Architects.
Golden Valley Midcentury Modern
Project: A half-century after architect Don D. Davies designed a house for his family, another family fell in love with the simplicity of his design, with its cherry-paneled walls, ceiling beams and other midcentury details. The family wanted to update the kitchen, inspired by Davies’ design elements, including the home’s original teal and yellow colors, and transform the original breezeway to create a formal entry, mudroom and screened porch.
Design team: Lars Peterssen, Gabriel Keller and Kristine Anderson, Peterssen/Keller Architecture.
A House in White
Project: A Victorian-era home in the Kenwood neighborhood of Minneapolis had been remodeled in the 1980s, but in a way that blocked natural light. Opening up the floor plan created better flow and reconnected the updated kitchen and dining room. Original wood pocket doors were uncovered in the process and re-used in the master suite. A window, covered up during the previous remodeling, was restored to bring in more natural light.
Design team: Todd Hansen and Ian McLellan, Albertsson Hansen Architecture.
Project: A house on Lake of the Isles’ Kenilworth lagoon, originally designed by renowned architect Harry Wild Jones in 1905, was in need of a more open floor plan to bring the lake views into the interior. The home’s original wraparound front porch was restored and integrated into the living spaces, creating open, sun-filled rooms that retain the home’s original detailing, including leaded-glass windows and metal work. The kitchen and family room also were reconfigured, creating a living space that opens to a courtyard.
Design team: Lars Peterssen, Gabriel Keller, Kristine Anderson and Jason Briles, Peterssen/Keller Architecture.
Project: The homeowners had purchased a site Up North about 40 years ago, where they retreated on weekends until they were ready to make it their primary residence. Their new home has an open floor plan with flow from indoor to outdoor living areas, connecting the home to its natural environment. Large triple-pane windows combine with horizontal forms to create a flow from interior to exterior spaces.
Design team: Charles R. Stinson and Larry Ward, Charles R. Stinson Architecture + Design.
Project: The clients, who were relocating from a midcentury modern home in Washington, D.C., back to the Twin Cities, were searching for a walkable neighborhood and found it in Edina’s Morningside community. On a deep but narrow lot, with a shared driveway, they created a new modern-style home with an open floor plan, his-and-her studio spaces and an unobtrusive garage at the home’s midsection.
Design team: Tim Quigley and Bob Le Moine, Quigley Architects.
Gnarly & Northeast
Project: A 2,300-square-foot tract home in northeast Minneapolis was transformed from a warren of dark rooms into a modern dwelling filled with light. The homeowner originally wanted to add on to gain more space and light, but instead, was able to achieve both by reducing the square footage but opening up the floor plan.
Design team: Eric Odor and Chris Meyer, SALA Architects.
Project: A new house, situated on the Kenilworth Trail of Minneapolis, updates the traditional cottage style with a clean-lined aesthetic. The home’s open front porch, signature blue door and traditional forms allow it to blend with the surrounding homes in its historic neighborhood.
Design team: Lars Peterssen, Gabriel Keller, Andrew Edwins and Jason Briles, Peterssen/Keller Architecture.
Family Heritage Cottage
Project: The homeowners had purchased a cottage on a lake peninsula as a summer getaway home for their extended family. They wanted to replace it with a cottage that would be a gathering place for generations to come — large enough for the family but small enough to sit comfortably on the peninsula, leaving ample lawn for grandchildren to play. The new cottage’s great room and two bunkroom suites accommodate larger gatherings, while a secluded master suite provides the grandparents with a quiet oasis.
Design team: Dan Nepp and Tom Van de Weghe, TEA2 Architects.