A Craftsman-style Minneapolis home had its original character buried during a 1950s remodel. A recent renovation lightened and brightened the home back to its original splendor.
During the home improvement project, the central foyer was opened to create an easy transitional space between old and new sections of the house. To make the change, space was borrowed from a small closet and a service stairway that had been added in the 1950s.
Contemporary materials mixed with signature Craftsman components add modern ease and authenticity. In this living area and throughout the home, Kasota stone on the fireplace blends with wood floors, simple woodwork, and plaster walls.
The dining room was handsomely trimmed in quartersawn oak, but over the years, the natural woodwork had been covered with paint. To highlight the formal feel of the room, the renovation team refinished the wood, added an oak chair rail, and hung a chandelier made from an antique fixture with art-glass shades.
Removing paint from quartersawn oak can be easy or tedious. It all depends on the condition of the original finish, type of paint used, and number of coats. Here's how these renovators let the original wood show through: • In the dining room, 90 percent of the paint came off within six hours. • The remaining paint took a worker six weeks to remove from nooks and crannies using chemical stripper, steel wool, and dental tools. • The new tawny stain was a custom blend developed by trial-and-error testing on scrap wood.
In the kitchen, finishing touches such as new brass door hardware, custom-designed light fixtures with art-glass shades, and custom quartersawn-oak cabinets pay homage to the house's history. They reflect the period so well that the kitchen has a historical flavor despite its contemporary renovation.
For continuity, quartersawn oak was extended from the kitchen into the breakfast area and living room. The stained-maple door is new, but a strip of mahogany veneer, inset into a 1/8-inch-deep channel, mimics original paneled doors found throughout the house.