Andrea Rugg, Otogawa-Anschel Design & Build

Good design starts here

  • Article by: KATY READ
  • Star Tribune
  • March 20, 2012 - 5:57 PM

In spring, a homeowner's fancy turns to thoughts of paint. And window treatments. And light fixtures. And maybe even countertops.

In other words, it's that time of year when many people look for ways to spruce up our dwellings. Not necessarily to undertake ambitious whole-house overhauls, which would be nice, of course, but most of us can only dream.

No, we're aiming for those improvements that lie between, let's say, a whole-kitchen remodel and a new set of dish towels. We're looking for ways to freshen, to tweak, to suggest spaciousness or coziness, to add touches of drama or whimsy or nature or glamour. And it's practically too obvious to mention, but we want to accomplish all of this on a budget.

We asked four local home designers to provide tips of their own for each room, each drawing on his or her own individual style and philosophies. On a few topics, they are more or less unanimous (dimmer switches, natural colors for expensive-to-replace items like countertops or tiles) and on others, there are varying opinions (green or peach for a bedroom? is an open floor plan a pleasure or a pain?).

We invite you to roam through this edition of At Home room by room, consider the ideas and tips, and borrow any suggestions that suit your own personal design style.


Michael Anschel, a principal with Otogawa-Anschel, aims for a design style that emphasizes color and line, respects existing architectural style, uses healthy and durable materials, and reflects human connection to the natural world. "Form and function are partners, not adversaries," he says.

Tan Nguyen

Tan Nguyen is a Minneapolis-based residential architect specializing in renovations, additions and new construction for a variety of different project types, including some projects with a green focus. He specializes in modern, mid-century and contemporary design.


Lisa Peck, a principal at LiLu Interiors in Minneapolis, is an award-winning interior designer who leads a design team in creating environments. "It's not about how spaces look but about how they make you feel," she says. "Your environment should support you in living the life you aspire to."


Minneapolis interior designer John Lassila has completed numerous residential projects locally and across the country. He does not subscribe to one particular style but achieves comfort, livability, and personality in his work by tailoring design solutions to his client's lifestyle and needs.

Katy Read • 612-673-4583

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