Home Tour: Arts and Crafts Foursquare in Minneapolis

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.

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    Craftsman-Style Home Renovation

    Undoing a midcentury remodel returned stately charm to this brick Arts and Crafts foursquare, built in 1912. The home's exterior mirrors the inside renovations, both defined by modern materials with classic style.

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    Charming Foyer

    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.

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    Comfortable Living Room

    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.

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    Focal-Point Fireplace

    Restrained moldings and built-in bookcases flanking the fireplace give the living room an authentic Craftsman feel.

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    Dramatic French Doors

    The custom French doors just off the living room echo the exterior door's style and allow light to pour through.

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    Cheery Sunroom

    The sunroom returned to its roots: Double-hung windows replaced a picture window that had been installed during the previous renovation, long-lost transoms were uncovered, and a beaded-board ceiling was installed.

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    Formal Dining Area

    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.

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    Dining Room Wood

    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.

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    Welcoming Family Room

    In the family room, nearly floor-to-ceiling windows and a side entrance provide access to a new patio that's perfectly located for outdoor dining and entertaining.

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    Classy Kitchen

    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.

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    Breakfast Area

    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.

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    BEFORE: Floor Plan

    Before the renovation, the home plans and design were functional, but the interior suffered from an outdated 1950s remodel.

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    AFTER: Floor Plan

    In addition to decorating and interior design upgrades, the home received an addition that houses the new family room, garage, and patio area. The result is a great family home and a smart renovation investment.

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    House Tours: Decorating with a Nautical Theme

    Brenda Eastman is an interior designer and a partner with Susie Mitchell in Les Interieurs, a design firm and shop in Newport Beach. For this home, they launched a nautical theme that is child- and budget-friendly, smart, stylish, functional, and, most of all, comfortable.
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