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Plain 1950s Minnesota rambler becomes cool midcentury space

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Until that they had twin toddlers, and eventually uninterested in endlessly going up and down stairs between bedrooms, an workplace, the TV room and the laundry room.

“The house felt too big, and we were climbing stairs all the time,” stated Jill.

Even after some updating and transforming, “it just never felt comfortable,” added Robert.

Jill began researching midcentury trendy structure after the couple celebrated an anniversary at Canoe Bay resort in Wisconsin, which options cottages designed by an architect protege of Frank Lloyd Wright.

“Midcentury modern is clean and simple,” stated Jill. “And living on one level sure was attractive.”

In 2012, the couple enlisted Lars Peterssen and Gabriel Keller of Peterssen/Keller Architecture to assist with their seek for a sprawling older rambler with renovation potential. The agency’s portfolio included the transformation of a number of ramblers, so the couple knew it was a very good match for them.

After scrutinizing 12 houses, Jill and Robert turned excited a few 1952 three-bedroom rambler with a spacious yard in St. Louis Park, just a few blocks from Cedar Lake. The location was splendid, because the Prevosts are each triathletes, and the neighborhood provided a spot to swim, in addition to biking and operating trails.

“We came from a boxy house to this open floor plan,” stated Robert. “We could really see the possibilities.” So might Peterssen and Keller.

“It was a typical suburban rambler without much character,” stated Keller. “We knew we could make it more functional and give it a warm midcentury modern style.”

The home already had a very good begin — leading to huge value financial savings — because of a earlier proprietor’s trendy kitchen addition from 2000, famous Peterssen. “The kitchen was nicely done — but we wanted to continue and take it all the way,” he stated.

The Prevosts knew precisely what was on the prime of their want record for enhancements: a pair’s bed room retreat, mudroom and a main-floor laundry room, which might require added sq. footage. “But we didn’t want anything ostentatious or showy,” stated Robert. “Our everyday life is filled with scuff marks, so it had to be durable for 6-year-old twins.”

P/Okay Architecture has re-imagined at the very least a dozen ramblers in recent times. “We see ramblers from the ’50s and ’60s like this all the time,” stated Peterssen. “The door from the garage dumps right into the kitchen with no transition space.” Fortunately, the houses’ easy simple rooflines make them straightforward so as to add on to, he added.


As a part of the rambler renovation, P/Okay Architecture made modifications to deliver heat and a contemporary vibe to the prevailing primary flooring. An entry closet was torn out and a structural help beam was moved a couple of ft to broaden sightlines from the entrance door to the rear of the home, providing views of the yard.

Multitoned walnut flooring was put in. “Walnut is a classic midcentury modern material,” stated Keller.

To draw in additional mild, two small kitchen home windows have been changed with three bigger home windows overlooking the yard.

The most dramatic improve is within the eating space, which is probably the most seen and regularly used space of the house. To counteract the voluminous open space, Peterssen/Keller designed a cedar centerpiece that wraps round a double skylight, then continues down the wall to type built-in bookshelves.

This design factor anchors the room, visually raises the ceiling and provides it a way of place, stated Keller. Not solely do the cabinets create storage and show space, however they’re additionally a contemporary interpretation of a standard built-in buffet in an previous home, stated Peterssen.

The multifunctional eating space has develop into a bustling hub the place the household does homework, artwork tasks and eats meals. Twins Griffin and Siena wish to make mazes with tape and yarn within the spacious open space, stated Jill.

To proceed a contemporary aesthetic, Jill picked out an industrial metal Prouve eating desk and Herman Miller Eames chairs “that are indestructible and easy to clean off permanent markers.”


The two additions coming out the rear of the house complete solely 380 sq. ft. But Peterssen/Keller was capable of create sought-after areas that add consolation, comfort and group to on a regular basis dwelling.

A reconfiguration of present bedrooms offered extra sq. footage for the newly designed suite, which is appointed with a walk-in closet and double-sink rest room. The custom-built walnut mattress and aspect tables match the walnut flooring. The bed room’s nook home windows echo the unique home windows within the house’s front room.

The addition on the opposite finish behind the storage homes a mudroom with an enormous pantry and a separate laundry room. Light flows into the addition by way of a glass door opening to the yard, and a tall awning window within the laundry room. “We really needed this transition space from the garage — especially in the winter,” stated Jill.

Peterssen/Keller didn’t cease on the interiors. The low-slung rambler’s beige vinyl and stone facade badly wanted a contemporary face-lift.

The revised exterior combines the prevailing Kasota stone with new shiplap cedar siding and white stucco. The group determined to maintain the mod Corten metal wall that earlier house owners had added by the entrance door.

“The new exterior is beautiful and understated — yet it stands out,” stated Keller.

The crisp and clear versatile dwelling areas are accented with a palette of metal and wooden, reworking the plain-Jane rambler right into a cool midcentury trendy abode.

“We love the openness because it feels like we’re always together,” stated Jill. “Yet there’s enough getaway spaces.”

Robert agreed. “It fits us so well and has everything we want.”

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