Before joining the Vikings and being named Defensive MVP in 2010 by his teammates, Chad Greenway was a country boy who grew up on a pig farm in South Dakota. So when he and his wife, Jenni, decided to build a new home for their family near Lake Minnetonka, they wanted to channel those pig farm roots.
“The concept was farmhouse chic,” says Jennifer Cramer-Miller of L. Cramer Designers + Builders, who oversaw everything from the city requirements and crisp millwork to installing sky-high windows and all the other details that go into making a family home. “They wanted chicken wire and farmhouse sinks, and we loved how casual and comfortable they wanted it to be.”
Planning the nearly 10,000-square-foot multi-level home began with a sports court. The lower-level room was very important to Chad, so the team manipulated the setting and grade of the home to accommodate the high ceilings. Dave Kopfmann of Yardscapes helped manage the home’s tiered backyard, complete with a pool and playset, which stretches to a network of outdoor paths, bridges, and channels. Inside, maximizing interior windows and the indoor-outdoor connection was key.
“We love the neighborhood because of the lake access and the location,” says Chad. The family's former home in Eden Prairie had a lot of brown tones, so both Chad and Jenni were eager to fill this home with color. To make that happen, they turned to Martha O'Hara Interiors, whose style they had admired in the home of former Viking Ben Leber and his wife, Abby.
“We started in the bedroom and got bolder with colors as we went on," says Jenni. "I got really into it and basically wanted to be Martha’s intern by the end,” says Jenni.
The home has an overall neutral background with colorful accents in every room. Jenni wanted to stay away from anything too fancy or formal, and the couple stayed true to their farmhouse aesthetic, adding sliding barn and Dutch doors in a few spaces and using chicken coop wire in the pass-through serving area between the kitchen and dining room. In the lower-level bar, where a pool table is cued up and Miller Lite is always on tap, the Greenways repurposed a railway tie from Chad’s family farm as a footrest under the barstools.
Darsi Floersch, a senior designer with Martha O’Hara Interiors, used a mix of dark and light millwork along with variety of vivid yet soft colors and fabrics in every space to bring in color and pattern.
“Our challenge was furniture—she’s so little and he’s so big,” Floersch says. A custom ottoman in the living room and lots of comfy couches and window seats keep the scale right for both the couple and their home.
With ceilings stretching 10 to 12 feet high and floors made of five-inch-wide plank oak, the home is durable for the energetic family of four. Jenni, who moonlights as a fitness instructor when not running after two kids, daughters Maddyn and Beckett, and two dogs, loves the craft room where she can get messy with the girls. Chad spends a lot of time in the sport court with Maddyn—who says it’s her favorite room in the house.
The house has a great inside-to-outside flow for plenty of fun when this family is off the clock. From farmhouse accents to chic patterns, everything’s kept casual enough to kick up your feet and rest for a while.
“I always love working with clients from the start—when all their thoughts are just thoughts. And we write them all down on paper and the process starts,” says Cramer-Miller. When those early notes become the home they live in, it is exciting every time.”