Cottage Industry

The desire for classic architecture meets modern livability.

  • Sarah and Nathan Kreykes in their Kenwood living room
    Photos by Wing Ta of Canary Grey
    Homeowners Sarah and Nathan Kreykes with their kids in their Kenwood home.
  • Photo supplied by Streeter Homes
    Without a back alley to work with, the architects and builders had to create a proportionately scaled attached garage in the front of the house. Achieving this also enabled the team to preserve the home’s indoor/outdoor connection to the Greenway, which backs up to the house.
  • The Kreykes family in their Kenwood home
    Photos by Wing Ta of Canary Grey
    Sarah and Nathan Kreykes with Roman, 6, Rocco, 3, and Poppy, 1.
  • Kreykes family kitchen
    Photos supplied by Streeter Homes
    The designer and homeowner let their gray and white color palette skew a little more blue after selecting the bold front door color and the kitchen backsplash tile.
  • Kreykes kitchen
    Photos supplied by Streeter Homes
    GET THE LOOK: Front door color: Benjamin Moore Hale Navy.
    Kitchen backsplash tile: Wizard Moroccan Field from Tile By Design
  • Kreykes bathroom
    Photos supplied by Streeter Homes
    A classic, neutral bathroom is a luxe oasis.
  • Kreykes living room
    Photos supplied by Streeter Homes
    White-on-white woodwork and moldings keep the fresh cottage feel throughout the living areas.
  • Kreykes couch detail
    Photos by Wing Ta of Canary Grey
  • Kreykes mudroom
    Photos supplied by Streeter Homes
    Slate tile helps the mudroom transition from the outdoors.

Older neighborhoods such as Kenwood are where builders and architects find opportunities to meld the past with the present. This slice of shiny new construction gives a strong nod to classic form and style. It boasts plenty of bygone cottage charm with board and batten siding, flowerboxes, farmhouse sinks, and crisp whites throughout.

However, modern accent colors, strategic window placement, and fresh materials keep it from feeling too cute. Striking that perfect balance of authentically “old” and comfortably “new” is harder than it looks.

To achieve the best of both, homeowners Sarah and Nathan Kreykes worked with Elevation Homes, Peterssen/Keller Architecture, and Martha Dayton Design. The Kreykes wanted a livable home that their family of five could grow into, with everyday comforts like an attached garage.

“The challenge with building on a city lot where the garage is front loaded is that the garage can have a tendency to dominate the front of the home aesthetically,” says Nate Wissink, project director for Elevation Homes. “The house design artfully puts the main gable form of the house and the front porch forward of the garage on the site, giving the site balance while preserving a unique, private indoor-outdoor connection to the Greenway.”

The classic old houses around Lake of the Isles helped plan the look and layout of this 4,500-square-foot home. Drawing inspiration from the neighborhood, the team felt that a front porch was a must-have to give the family a traditional Minneapolis streetscape experience. Inside, toward the front of the home, a butler’s pantry adjoins a flex room to the kitchen, while historically placed windows face the street, much like they would 100 years ago. For a modern twist, larger windows were added in the rear of the home to brighten up the living spaces.

Playing off classic grays and whites, Sarah worked closely with interior designer Martha Dayton, who helped bring her Pinterest boards to life. First they added blues to the palette from the front door to upholstery to tile.

“The kitchen backsplash set the tone for the house—it’s fresh and clean and current, but also very appropriate and not something that the homeowners will tire of easily,” Dayton says. “The house has just the right amount of traditional elements and materials and some whimsy. While the materials are more traditional—slate tile on the mudroom floor, tile backsplash, marble countertops, etc.—the shapes are more whimsical and modern.”

To complement Dayton’s design, Sarah studied Pinterest and took her ideas to retailers including Traditions Classic Home Furnishings and Jonathan Adler for soft goods from matching stools to accent pillows, giving each room a clean, fresh look.

“I love that our home is open in concept and beautiful, but functional—there is no wasted space,” Sarah says. “We love the paneling in the entryway, the blue Moraccan tile backsplash, and the large orange barn door. The mudroom is a dream, and the large basement, with the bonus room under the garage, will allow room for our family to grow into the house.”

From the street, no one would know how roomy this “cottage” is. Melding classic style with modern amenities is always tricky to pull off correctly, especially with design requests like an attached garage. As principal designer Gabriel Keller says, it has to feel quaint and contextual, yet be able to house an SUV. “That’s always the goal in urban infill. It’s really important to make the homes feel in scale,” Keller adds. “The not-so-big house lives on, as it should.”