Home Tours 2012

Tour six houses full of creative people and energy for our ninth-annual Home Tours edition.

Home Tours 2012
Photographs by Steve Henke


Mauro Porcini and Elisa Padrin


Porcini and Padrin in the open living space with a mix of furniture from Italy, IMS, and Hopkins antiques stores. To create the dining table, Porcini purchased a vintage table, painted it gold, and cut it in half. He combined this with a new, glossy white table, which he also cut in half.

WHEN MAURO PORCINI CAME TO MINNESOTA from Milan to work as the chief design officer for 3M, he and his wife, Elisa Padrin, were well aware that a move to a Midwestern suburb would mean a different kind of life than the one they had in Italy. "If we had lived in the city, we probably would have missed Milan and what it offered, so we focused on the differences, the space, and nature," Porcini says.

The couple moved into a Hopkins rambler, gutted the interior, and made it all white with modern details and angled doorways for their own slice of la dolce vita, complete with a pool out back. When not cooking or watching 3-D movies at home, they’re usually at Butcher Block, Bar La Grassa, or the Walker, where Porcini became a board member, hoping to elevate the Twin Cities on the design map.

Next up for the couple is New York City, where Porcini has recently been named chief design officer for PepsiCo. "We're not leaving because of Minneapolis. I became an advocate for this city," he notes. "We're leaving for a job." Porcini, who will leave a legacy as one of our most interesting transplants, has good advice for others new to town: "Embrace the city, think about everything it can give you that others can't—like the people, the arts scene, and the nature."

We’re Mad For . . .

The front lawn's pink lion, made famous in Fast Company.
Water glasses designed by Alessi, "a good friend."
Shoes: Porcini has 100 pairs, Padrin has 250. The working cuckoo clock, a reminder to not take design too seriously.
A mini pink lion perches on the bookcase.
Porcini drinks espresso in his Walker-like angled doorway, next to a custom espresso cartridge wall rack by Nespresso. Most important to the couple was finding a house with a pool.