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Photographs by Spacecrafting
Taking cues from Mad Men, the repetitive octagonal shapes on the fireplace wall create an alluring backdrop reminiscent of a retro New York City style.
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For this entertaining-loving family, Peterson installed an extra-long island that allows for gathering and food prep. “It’s a wall without being a wall,” Peterson says. “It’s more like an artistic object in the room.”
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In the kitchen, the Colemans and interior designer Lynn Woodruff Peterson “fell in love” with this glazed ceramic tile backsplash for its water-esque color and linear shape.
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In the entryway, the staircase was curved to be “more gracious and welcoming.” The dark walnut plays off the blue and brown porcelain tile imported from Italy, which Woodruff Peterson describes as “calm but grand.”
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When Chris and Dannette Coleman purchased a home for their family of five in Edina in January 2014, they had no intention of a big remodel. “We just wanted to refresh the kitchen a bit,” Dannette says of the 1960s midcentury build. “And that got away from us.”
They loved the big, open spaces on the main level—it’s one of the elements that initially attracted them to the home—but when they hired Mark Peterson of MA Peterson Designbuild to tackle that kitchen project, he presented the homeowners with opportunities to improve an ineffective, clunky flow from room to room.
“They had one very large room, and the other rooms [on the main level] were virtually unused because they were not really seen and weren’t part of the larger space,” Peterson says. With the dining room boxed in by walls, it was impossible to expand the table beyond the boundaries of the space—not ideal for a family who loves to entertain. A fireplace that encroached into the room also made the furniture in the room feel cramped. “So even though it was a large room, it didn’t live like a large room,” he adds. “It lived like a small room.”
Rather than add square footage to the home—the only addition came from bumping the fireplace out to the exterior, in order for it to be flush with the wall inside—Peterson and his team strategically worked with the existing bones to improve aesthetics and functionality.
Simple beams added to the great room’s ceiling create visual interest and make the room feel more intimate, while octagonal millwork offers an unexpected twist without distracting from the cast stone fireplace surround. Peterson repeated the octagonal pattern with Italian-imported tile in the refreshed entryway, which was reconfigured to house ample storage for Dannette, Chris, their 22- and 20-year-old sons, and their 14-year-old daughter. “We decided to go a little more contemporary with this, so between myself, the homeowner, and the interior designer, we came up with some shapes that we liked and I had an idea of how that could look,” Peterson says.
In the kitchen, a 16-foot quartzite waterfall island—running nearly the entire length of the room—was crafted to act as a divider between cooking and living spaces. “It’s a wall without being a wall,” Peterson says. “It’s more like an artistic object in the room.” It also plays to the Colemans’ passion for hosting parties. The dual-level countertop accommodates food preparation and gathering, while refrigerators on both ends of the island allow easy access to refreshments without interrupting traffic flow inside the kitchen. Off to the side, a banquette upholstered in blue fabric and surrounded by ikat-patterned chairs is ideal for informal everyday dining because it doesn’t take up too much floor space.
Although the main level is now more open, each space has its own unique look. “We wanted to visually see the spaces but give each space its own personality so that there’s a reason you go to the hearth room,” Peterson says. “You know it’s got a different feel, a different character.”
Keeping it visually cohesive is the blue-gray color palette that Dannette envisioned long before construction began. “For years and years, the homes that we lived in had really warm colors, and I just had this vision. I didn’t even know what I wanted the architecture or the design to look like, but I knew I was interested in the cooler tones,” she says. “My favorite flowers are blue hydrangeas. I kept thinking I wanted a house where I could have a vase of fresh blue hydrangeas that just popped in the room.”
Despite the cool tones, the main level is by no means cold. Dark walnut floors are a warm contrast to the blues and grays. The original skylights allow lots of natural light to bounce off of the smooth finishes, like the white cabinets and stainless steel appliances.
“Small changes for big impact” is how Peterson explains the scope of the project. “If we just do these strategic key moves and make the space flow really well, then after that it’s just finishes and personalization.”
Designer: MA Peterson Designbuild, 6161 Wooddale Ave., Edina, 952-232-0381, mapeterson.com
Interior Designer: Lynn Peterson Design, 612-986-1255, lynnpetersondesign.com.