When Julia Miller, creative director of Yond Interiors, began planning the renovation of her family's southeast Minneapolis home, she knew she had her work cut out for her. "The home was built in the 1920s and the layout was untouched," she says. "Many of the finishes had been updated by the previous owner, but were significantly outdated. It needed a ton of love and maintenance."
Video of the Day
The designer was sure that this was going to be her family's "forever home," so she focused on materials and high-quality pieces that would stand the test of time — and the wear and tear of kids. "We chose to add an enameled V-groove paneling in the back mudroom that doubles as an eat-in kitchen space, since we knew grimy kid hands would be all over it," she explains. "We also used oak cabinetry in high-traffic areas, since it wears better than paint-grade materials."
Located across from the Mississippi River, the home's idyllic setting also influenced the design. One of Miller's major priorities was "a screened-in porch with a seamless connection to the house and a wood-burning stove." The new space contains seating and dining areas tailor-made for entertaining.
"In Minnesota, you have to consider all the seasons (especially winter), so we really wanted the house to be comfortable throughout [the year]," says Miller. The designer used Clé tiles on the screened porch and in the mudroom/eat-in-kitchen, visually connecting the two spaces. An Allied Maker light fixture hangs above a table from Design Within Reach.
In the mudroom, Miller installed custom storage with a built-in bench and plenty of room for coats, shoes, and backpacks.
The eat-in kitchen area is anchored by a built-in banquette, which is paired with cane chairs and a Lostine table. The Lambert & Fils chandelier and Allied Maker sconces are a contemporary contrast to the traditional V-groove paneling. "I wanted a mix of ages since the home is so old," says Miller. "I went with a few more modern fixtures combined with some more historic elements."
Miller chose durable soapstone for the kitchen counters. "I love the soft movement and it just gets better with age." The cabinets are made of white oak and are painted in Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter on the perimeter and Midnight Blue on the island. "The house is long and lean, so the kitchen and dining area are very long and lean," the designer explains. "The island is narrow and houses our sink, so it's a total workhorse for our family." Lostine stools are pulled up to the island, which is illuminated by Allied Maker pendants.
"I'm a neutral-loving person at heart," says Miller. "I love the warmer colors and I wanted this space to be timeless. We chose colors that we loved and moved forward with a quiet palette full of texture." In the dining room, Miller grounded the space with a vintage rug and complemented the custom walnut table with leather seat cushions and a Workstead pendant.
By mixing classic details with modern accents and creating a connection to nature, Miller turned this 1920s home into one her family will enjoy for years to come.