The challenge: The homeowners loved their stately Georgian, but a 1980s family room addition by a previous owner didn't complement the home's architectural style. It also felt cut off from the rest of the house, and was seldom used. The homeowners wanted to turn it into an inviting space with character and purpose.

The design team: Gabriel Keller, Carl Olson and Lars Peterssen of Peterssen/Keller Architecture ( and interior design by Linda Engler and Emily Thull of Engler Studio.

The solution: The Peterssen/Keller team gutted the existing family room and converted some of the square footage into a new family room and kitchen addition. Then they built a sunroom framed by windows on the bright south side of the home. After unearthing the home's original blueprint, they discovered their design had come full circle. "The new sunroom is actually in the footprint of the home's original sunroom," said Keller.

Period style: To give the room the traditional aesthetic the homeowners wanted, Keller installed beadboard on the walls and ceiling. To give the room an updated look, he painted the ceiling a vibrant blue. The window shutters and millwork match design details in the original part of the home.

Tile art: The concrete tile pattern on the floor is a variation of a traditional Spanish tile from Mexico. "The gray-toned pattern gives the floor texture but it doesn't overwhelm the room," said Keller.

French character: Keller reclaimed and restored two sets of leaded glass French doors and installed them in the sunroom.

Mood lighting: The wrought-iron retro fixture features old-style Edison light bulbs.

Mixing period and updated materials: "Architecture defines the space," said Keller. "Materials give it life and character."

The result: The homeowners consider the room a peaceful sun-lit oasis where they can start and end their day.

"It looks fantastic," said Keller. "But I'm really pleased that they actually use it."

Lynn Underwood • 612-673-7619



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