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Lynn Underwood

Reporter | Homes
phone: 612-673-7619
Lynn Underwood writes about new home construction, remodeling, architecture, design, decorating and real estate for the Sunday Homes section. She also writes garden-related stories for the Variety Home + Garden section.
Recent content from Lynn Underwood
Before & After: Dated Edina home now has rooms to cure cabin fever

Before & After: Dated Edina home now has rooms to cure cabin fever

A dated Edina home transitions from 1980s “Miami Vice” to 21st-century smart design.
Midcentury modern house in Golden Valley now has sleek Scandinavian style

Midcentury modern house in Golden Valley now has sleek Scandinavian style

The 1958 Prairie-style brick dwelling, with a tuck-under garage, sits on a wooded half-acre lot abutting Wirth Park in the North Tyrol Hills neighborhood. You can have it for $799,000.
Everyday Solutions: Tiny powder room is expanded into full, accessible bath

Everyday Solutions: Tiny powder room is expanded into full, accessible bath

The challenge: Make a tiny powder room bigger, more accessible and easier to maneuver for a homeowner with limited mobility.
An Arts and Crafts revival on Lake Minnetonka

An Arts and Crafts revival on Lake Minnetonka

A turn-of-the-century home on Lake Minnetonka seamlessly blends the handcrafted beauty of yesterday with modern-day functionality. It's the AIA Minnesota Home of the Month.

Project: AIA Minnesota Home of the Month

The Home of the Month program is a partnership between the Star Tribune and the Minnesota chapter of the American Institute of Architects. It features architect-designed houses selected by a jury of experts. The houses represent a range of prices, styles and locations.
Tour highlights midcentury modern Rapson homes in University Grove

Tour highlights midcentury modern Rapson homes in University Grove

Architect Ralph Rapson’s midcentury modern gems in University Grove will be showcased on upcoming tour, part of a national symposium.
Eden Prairie back-yard makeover: from ho-hum turf grass to inviting outdoor room

Eden Prairie back-yard makeover: from ho-hum turf grass to inviting outdoor room

A back yard of ho-hum turf grass is transformed into an inviting outdoor living room.
Modern retreat in northern Minnesota is one with nature

Modern retreat in northern Minnesota is one with nature

AIA Minnesota Home of the Month: Nature takes center stage inside a year-round modern retreat that merges with its northern Minnesota setting.
Lowry Hill mansion boasts vintage elegance, modern updates

Lowry Hill mansion boasts vintage elegance, modern updates

The turn-of-the-century house has abundant woodwork and a Minnehaha-themed stained-glass window, along with amenities today's buyers covet. You can have it for $2.395 million.
First peek at year's Home of the Month selections

First peek at year's Home of the Month selections

Home of the Month choices range from a remodeled industrial loft to a gracious Lake Superior retreat.
New and improved homes on display for urban tour

New and improved homes on display for urban tour

Urban residences on the Minneapolis & St. Paul Home Tour show how homeowners have injected eco-friendly features, along with re-used and recycled materials.
Ex-science teacher has formula for beautiful garden

Ex-science teacher has formula for beautiful garden

A retired high school teacher capitalized on her scientific curiosity, passion for arborvitae and summer breaks to make a barren lot beautiful.
Beautiful Gardens: Elysian couple create a path to tranquility

Beautiful Gardens: Elysian couple create a path to tranquility

Gardeners Dan and Nancy Engebretson regarded an unfinished, weed-infested walking path as an opportunity, not an eyesore. So they planted what has become a mini-arboretum that draws people from the neighborhood.
Beautiful Gardens: A fanciful landscape in a small lot

Beautiful Gardens: A fanciful landscape in a small lot

A Minneapolis couple didn't let a compact city yard stop them from creating a fanciful landscape of waterfalls, shade and sun beds, and even a hobbit house.
Beginner's luck for gardeners in Andover

Beginner's luck for gardeners in Andover

Self-taught gardeners transformed their suburban back yard from green turf into a colorful oasis to become winners of our Beautiful Gardens contest.
Beautiful Gardens: Two Plymouth gardeners create place of peace

Beautiful Gardens: Two Plymouth gardeners create place of peace

Two Plymouth gardeners combine their love for roses and waterfalls into a lavish landscape.
Beautiful gardens: A labor of love

Beautiful gardens: A labor of love

A Champlin couple transformed their back yard from a sandbox to the setting for their wedding reception.
Just like grandma used to grow

Just like grandma used to grow

A granddaughter's sprawling cottage gardens honor the two grandmothers who passed down their cherished plants and wisdom.
From novices to know-it-alls

From novices to know-it-alls

The Shannons of St. Paul scaled a steep learning curve to create their "collector's garden," which features specimens from around the world.
Back-yard bouquet

Back-yard bouquet

A Bloomington woman interweaves old-fashioned coneflowers, flowering shrubs and flagstone walkways to turn her turf-covered suburban back yard into a massive cutting garden.
Home of the Month: Camping inspired Eagan house design

Home of the Month: Camping inspired Eagan house design

A challenging, hilly site didn’t deter an Eagan couple from building a house inspired by gathering around the campfire.
A contemporary Deephaven house is reimagined

A contemporary Deephaven house is reimagined

A renovation of a 1980s contemporary ranch home mixes a modern spirit with family-friendly comfort in the AIA Minnesota Home of the Month.
Modern, flat-roofed home breaks mold but still blends with Seward neighbors

Modern, flat-roofed home breaks mold but still blends with Seward neighbors

A modern flat-roofed home breaks the mold but still blends with its neighbors.
Reworking the floor plan of a Minneapolis Dutch Colonial

Reworking the floor plan of a Minneapolis Dutch Colonial

AIA MN Home of the Month: A few subtle shifts transform an “awkward” floor plan in an earlier addition, improving flow and function.
AIA MN Home of the Month: Reinventing a classic

AIA MN Home of the Month: Reinventing a classic

An early 1900s house – overlooking Lake of the Isles and designed by Harry Wild Jones – gets a worldly, modern makeover.
Home of the Month: Lodge-like lakeside retreat fits family

Home of the Month: Lodge-like lakeside retreat fits family

A large extended family shares a new lakeside cottage designed to feel as though it's been on the peninsula for the past 100 years.
Madeline Island cottage combines 'soul' with sustainability

Madeline Island cottage combines 'soul' with sustainability

A new cottage on Lake Superior’s Madeline Island combines rustic interiors for the soul, and energy-saving strategies for sustainability.
Smart split: Transforming a 1990s tract home in NE Minneapolis

Smart split: Transforming a 1990s tract home in NE Minneapolis

Homeowners Mary Glas and Mark Larsen were close to giving up on finding the perfect home when a Realtor friend tipped them off about a house for sale in the quiet St. Anthony neighborhood of northeast Minneapolis.
Modern ingenuity produces a 1950s flashback home

Modern ingenuity produces a 1950s flashback home

A couple didn’t let an odd-shaped lot stop them from building a retro-inspired rambler in Edina.
Kenwood cottage puts a modern spin on a tried-and-true tradition

Kenwood cottage puts a modern spin on a tried-and-true tradition

AIA Minnesota Home of the Month: A new Kenwood cottage puts a modern spin on a tried-and-true tradition, while blending into an older urban neighborhood.
New recipe for an Old World Minneapolis kitchen

New recipe for an Old World Minneapolis kitchen

AIA Minnesota Home of the Month: A reconfigured floor plan turns a dining room into a spacious kitchen at the hub of a 1920s home.
AIA MN Home of the Month: A Minneapolis Tudor for the 21st century

AIA MN Home of the Month: A Minneapolis Tudor for the 21st century

The renovation of a 1929 house facing Lake Harriet in south Minneapolis balances period charm with modern functionality for a family of five.
Minneapolis mom now has a home for the holidays

Minneapolis mom now has a home for the holidays

For the first time, a Minneapolis woman and her young son will celebrate the season in a home of their own.
Tried-and-true holiday decorating

Tried-and-true holiday decorating

Two design pros deck their halls in dramatically different styles, and share their tips for adding festive flair. John Hinschberger goes vintage.
A drab '60s great room updates its 'Mad Men' vibe

A drab '60s great room updates its 'Mad Men' vibe

A dark and drab 1960s great room is livened up with fresh materials and a modern “Mad Men”-style bar.
Fresh ideas for DIY holiday centerpieces

Fresh ideas for DIY holiday centerpieces

Do-it-yourself holiday centerpieces get a fresh look with fresh materials, from wine bottles to pears to long-stemmed white roses.
Midcentury modern gem on Lake Minnetonka is all about the water

Midcentury modern gem on Lake Minnetonka is all about the water

Freshwater Society co-founder Dick Gray’s midcentury modern gem hugs the shoreline of Lake Minnetonka. You can have it for $1,299,900.
A white home, in color, in Minneapolis

A white home, in color, in Minneapolis

A creative Minneapolis mom infuses her white-on-white spaces with pops of bright hues, mod patterns and distinctive prints.
Lower levels go upscale

Lower levels go upscale

Today's remodeled lower levels boast stylish finishes and family-focused features.
Before & after: More room in the kitchen

Before & after: More room in the kitchen

Cooks have room to maneuver and easy-to-reach work spaces, thanks to a remodeled kitchen’s universal design features.
New book showcases grand homes of Minnesota

New book showcases grand homes of Minnesota

A new coffee-table book by St. Paul architectural historian Larry Millett combines colorful tales with sumptuous photos.
Lynne Rossetto Kasper's Crocus Hill home is on the market

Lynne Rossetto Kasper's Crocus Hill home is on the market

Lynne Rossetto Kasper tested recipes, wrote her award-winning cookbooks and prepped for her radio broadcasts in the century-old Crocus Hill home in St. Paul. You can have it for … $748,500.
Strategic storage is just a built-in away

Strategic storage is just a built-in away

Today's new built-ins put everything at your fingertips in kitchens and baths. Here are some smart ideas on organizing and storing your stuff.
Owners reinvent their longtime homes

Owners reinvent their longtime homes

Architectural problem-solving — from maximizing natural light to floor plans that flow — will be on display in 16 Twin Cities residences open for touring next weekend.
A tale of two rehabs

A tale of two rehabs

Renovators who share a passion for old houses and preservation have each taken on an abandoned 1880s property.
Restoring a 19th-century Queen Anne in St. Paul

Restoring a 19th-century Queen Anne in St. Paul

The rehabber: Robert Hengelfelt of Hengelfelt Restorations has been reviving turn-of-the-century houses, especially rebuilding front porches, since the mid-1990s. He studied art at Hamline…
Saving a $1 house in Minneapolis

Saving a $1 house in Minneapolis

Last year, Robin O’Brien traded in her flight-attendant uniform for a tool belt, intending to use her architecture degree and pursue a new career as an old-house renovator.
New remodeling tour focuses on upscale projects

New remodeling tour focuses on upscale projects

Need ideas for your next room redo? A new home remodeling tour offers an inside look at upscale projects.
Everyday Solutions: Kitchen/eating area reflects vintage character

Everyday Solutions: Kitchen/eating area reflects vintage character

A new and improved kitchen and eating area remains true to the home's 1930s Tudor character.
A Scandinavian-inspired home offers a taste of Finland in Bryn Mawr

A Scandinavian-inspired home offers a taste of Finland in Bryn Mawr

A Scandinavian-inspired home offers a taste of Finland in Minneapolis’ Bryn Mawr neighborhood.
Nostalgia on wheels at Airstream-only trailer park near St. Cloud

Nostalgia on wheels at Airstream-only trailer park near St. Cloud

An Airstream-only trailer park offers a “slice of retro heaven,” along with quirky camaraderie.
Basic master bath gets an Arts and Crafts-inspired makeover

Basic master bath gets an Arts and Crafts-inspired makeover

The challenge: Redesign a basic “builder-beige” master bathroom in a 1980s home to give it Arts and Crafts-inspired character, better functionality and pampering amenities.
Outdoor-living trend drives bigger, better outdoor rooms

Outdoor-living trend drives bigger, better outdoor rooms

Summer means lounging in outdoor rooms, which can be equipped with just about every amenity under the sun.
Homegazing: Midcentury modern mosaic gem on Diamond Lake

Homegazing: Midcentury modern mosaic gem on Diamond Lake

A tile-company owner built a 1950s split-entry home across from Diamond Lake that still boasts its original tiled interiors. You can have it for $899,900.
Double the luxury: June now brings two high-end home tours

Double the luxury: June now brings two high-end home tours

This June brings not one, but two competing tours of high-end homes. Are there enough gawkers and prospective buyers to support both?
Man disappears in St. Croix River; teen drowns in Mississippi River

Man disappears in St. Croix River; teen drowns in Mississippi River

As the search for Tou Hu Vang continued in Taylors Falls, the body of a 14-year-old St. Paul Park boy was pulled from the Mississippi River.
Before & after: Creating a back-yard oasis

Before & after: Creating a back-yard oasis

An uninviting, under-used back yard was transformed into an appealing, easy-care city oasis.
Homegazing: Mississippi River Tudor has all the bells and whistles

Homegazing: Mississippi River Tudor has all the bells and whistles

You can have it for $1.29 million: The stucco-and-stone exterior is classic Tudor style, but inside is a multicolored slate floor and iron circular staircase, creating an aura of an Italian villa.
Minneapolis mom shares her clever ideas for kid-friendly decorating

Minneapolis mom shares her clever ideas for kid-friendly decorating

A Minneapolis mom of three shares her clever ideas for kid-friendly decorating.
Everyday solutions: Garage is built up instead of out

Everyday solutions: Garage is built up instead of out

A new garage, built up instead of out, houses two cars on a small city lot.
Home buyer turn-ons and turn-offs

Home buyer turn-ons and turn-offs

Buyers can be turned on – or off – by a host of details when they’re house-hunting, triggering an emotional reaction that prompts them to make an offer or move on.
What would make your home a perfect fit?

What would make your home a perfect fit?

Whether you’re building a brand-new home or pondering a kitchen makeover, there are dozens of big and small details to lose sleep over. Architects weigh in on trends, tips and strategies.
Royal revival: A St. Paul Queen Anne shines in the Remodelers Showcase

Royal revival: A St. Paul Queen Anne shines in the Remodelers Showcase

A turn-of-the century Queen Anne in St. Paul, boasting an indoor fountain and woodwork to die for, is restored and updated to last another 100 years. It's one of the “Dream Homes” on the Remodelers Showcase.
Everyday Solutions: Bring down the walls

Everyday Solutions: Bring down the walls

A 1950s rambler is lighter and more livable after two walls came tumbling down.
DIY bloggers update their St. Paul dream home

DIY bloggers update their St. Paul dream home

Resourceful, hands-on homeowners update their century-old house for modern living, with help from a TV design pro.
A Parade of Homes model in Excelsior evokes traditional farmhouses

A Parade of Homes model in Excelsior evokes traditional farmhouses

The simple, down-to-earth shapes of traditional farmhouses inspired a model home featured on this year’s Parade of Homes.
Going solo can help kids at Twin Cities area camps

Going solo can help kids at Twin Cities area camps

While it may seem scary, going it alone can allow kids to branch out, take risks and spread their wings.
Homegazing: Inside Irwin Jacobs' retreat on Lake Minnetonka

Homegazing: Inside Irwin Jacobs' retreat on Lake Minnetonka

The financier made his fortune dealing in the fast lane. But after business hours, he liked to retreat to his traditional family home on the shores of Lake Minnetonka. You can have it for $22 million.
Homeowners find respite under the roof with attic conversions

Homeowners find respite under the roof with attic conversions

Looking for a great escape, two couples found it in the attic, converting empty space into inviting master suites.
Tonka Bay kitchen makeover inspired by home's midcentury modern roots

Tonka Bay kitchen makeover inspired by home's midcentury modern roots

A kitchen update is inspired by a home’s midcentury modern roots.
Everyday Solutions: Columns add character to '70s home

Everyday Solutions: Columns add character to '70s home

The homeowners wanted to infuse Arts and Crafts character into a bland 1970s split-level in Mound. Here's what their designers came up with.
Organizing pros offer suggestions for controlling clutter

Organizing pros offer suggestions for controlling clutter

Organizing pros help solve your clutter conundrums – for a happier new year.
Everyday Solutions: A room with a view

Everyday Solutions: A room with a view

A new “marsh room” brings the outdoors in with panoramic all-season views.
Bungalow makeover is eco-friendly – and cat-friendly

Bungalow makeover is eco-friendly – and cat-friendly

A Minneapolis couple’s home makeover, which won an EcoBlend award, is good for their pets and for the environment.
Secrets of successful remodeling

Secrets of successful remodeling

“Remodelista” blog editors offer insights and inspiration in a new book.
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