Photos by Wing Ta unless noted
Carissa and Casey Holley home
When Carissa and Casey Holley moved their family from California’s Central Valley back to Minneapolis where Casey is from, they knew they wanted their house to have an open, livable floor plan. It would have been easy to dismiss the 1962 rambler that many—even Casey’s parents who were in the market for their own new residence—disregarded as cramped and cobbled together. But even from California, the Holleys could see the home’s potential in the photos. “It just took the right kind of buyer,” Casey says. “The structure was there; it was weird and angular, but if you just think about the basics of it, it was all there.”
Ten months after buying the 2,900-square-foot, three-bedroom home, the Holley family moved in, and not long after, construction began. “Our focus was to visually connect each of the spaces,” Casey says. They partnered with Eric Odor from SALA Architects to help them open up spaces and cohesively arrange the house’s varying shapes and angles. “More than anything, we wanted a first floor where we literally used every square inch of the house,” Casey says. “And something that made a statement,” Carissa adds.
Odor worked with Jay Stills from Urban Rebuilders to create long views that soak in natural light from the home’s many windows. “Our main objective was to simplify it as much as possible,” Odor says. “That meant tearing down walls so you could see through from room to room.” The result is an open and airy main floor that gives Carissa, Casey, and their two children—Jackson, 11, and Ava, 9—the liveability they had been craving. “We wanted a home that spoke to the type of people, and family, we are,” Casey says. “We wanted a home that felt like home to all of us. We got that in a big way.”
The front of the house offers a sneak peek of the surprise that awaits inside. Odor added elements that would cleverly foreshadow the home’s defining details. Carissa was determined to have a yellow door, but when a lone tulip grew near the entrance in a bright red, she opted for a mandarin hue that nods to a similarly colored painting in the living room by Texas artist Teresa Elliott. Image by Troy Thies Photography
DINING ROOM: BEFORE
DINING ROOM: AFTER
The striking 20-foot wall in the dining room echoes the charred fir from the front exterior. The attention-getting wall is balanced with surrounding white walls and the white brick fireplace that divides the dining room from the adjoining living room. Three lights above the table and the schoolhouse-style chairs give the room a modern farmhouse vibe.
The kitchen’s open shelving, made from reclaimed wood, contrasts with the smooth white lacquer cabinets, giving the space a modern twist—just the “right balance of rustic and refined,” Odor says.
Odor designed open shelving in the adjacent family room. With a cohesive framework, Casey and Carissa’s décor added another layer of interest. “Contrast creates the most emotion in a space,” Casey says. “Contrast of color. Contrast of material. Contrast of furniture. It’s so much more compelling to be in a place of contrast.” The result is a family room that’s striking in its combination of black walls, white woodwork, and a punchy pink table from cb2.