Photos by Eliesa Johnson
The inspiration for the Lacek’s coastal-chic home came from the family’s time spent living in the Caribbean.
Homeowners Mark and Susan Lacek’s love of the coast comes alive in their beachy-chic home near Lake Harriet. See the rooms that won attention and be inspired by how local designers infused the Lacek’s dream home with a breezy seaside vibe that’s as beautiful as it is welcoming and relaxing.
Front Porch/Screen Porch
The front porch features a blue-painted ceiling, an old southern tradition meant to keep evil spirits away.
For designers Rob Edman, of Edmanhill Interior Design, and Laura Engen, of Laura Engen Interior Design, a main goal for the front and back porches was to create a seamless transition from inside to outside. To achieve this, the Allied ASID duo used elements like a see-through fireplace, retractable screens, and accents reminiscent of the great outdoors, like the tree stump–style cocktail tables, wicker chairs, and a leaf-blade fan. The mix of patterns and furniture creates outdoor room looks that are more commonly found near the coast than in Minnesota, says Edman. It’s one reason Showcase attendees were drawn to the spaces. “People couldn’t believe that everything we selected was meant to stay outside,” says Engen of the weather-resistant furniture. “It’s amazing how good outdoor fabrics and furniture look!”
The back porch (above) has retractable screen doors and a fireplace, so the Laceks can enjoy their backyard long after summer has ended.
Designer Renae Keller personalized a hallway and landing with a photograph mural of the family and a painting of their dogs.
A graphic fish wallpaper in the laundry room adds an unexpected pattern and pop of color.
ASID designer Renae Keller, of Renae Keller Interior Design, says she was challenged with knowing where to hold back and where to let her creativity fly with the foundational areas in the home. “Some of the spaces definitely required some statement pieces of art or display, like the display ledge, laundry room, and hallway mural,” she says. “Other spaces I had to be reserved and not scream ‘look at me,’ but still draw you to other rooms.” Keller made smart use of color and texture, which many visitors commented were the most impressive elements of the foyer, stairwell, upstairs hallway, and laundry room. Corals, blues, and wall coverings brought the spaces to life. “It shows that wall covering can add to your space by adding texture without a ton of color to create dimension, or it could be the star of the show,” Keller says.
When the house was unveiled, tour attendees were the first to experience Cambria’s new countertop color, Brittanicca.
Appliances from Warners’ Stellian were made to blend seamlessly with the custom-made cabinets.
“Command central” was a term used often in describing the kitchen, designed to be both an after-school snack space for the kids and a place to entertain friends. “I believe the kitchen was a People’s Choice Winner because it was a very functional space for a busy family,” says Allied ASID designer Erin Botz of Great Neighborhood Homes, the company responsible for building the home. “Although the kitchen was a focal point, the fact that it had a great storage pantry, planning desk area, and butler’s pantry made it that much more functional.” In addition to elements that elevate a kitchen’s true purpose—such as the new countertops by Cambria and the double dishwasher that blended with the cabinetry—visitors ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the East Coast–inspired custom light fixtures, herringbone ceiling treatment, and striped fabric on the chairs at the island.
The homeowners’ existing zebra rug (above) was the inspiration for designers who created Mark’s rustic-coastal study.
Across the hall, the cozy reading nook features built-in bookcases and curtains for privacy.
The study and the reading nook might have been two of the smaller spaces in the home, but they made a big impact on visitors. Allied ASID designers Diane Lumpkin, of Diane Lumpkin Design, and Jennifer Austin-McGrath, of Fine House Interiors + Design, were challenged to give the home’s beach theme a rustic twist in the study to reflect homeowner Mark’s love of hunting. This result is a masculine space with warm, neutral fabrics and natural accents, such as the antler-inspired chandelier and grasscloth wall covering—a favorite of those who attended the tour. Across the hall in the reading nook, tour-goers applauded the space for its coziness. “They could see themselves escaping to this room to curl up in the corner and read while having a coffee or having an intimate conversation with a friend,” says Lumpkin. She added that the upholstered bench seating and curtains contributed to the room’s successful look.
Designer Kristen Sheikh used a mix of textures to create a room that is airy and light yet cozy and grounding.
Photographs on the wall (such as those by the piano) reflect the Lacek family’s travels.
Tour visitors were drawn to the sunroom, thanks to the Peter Lik wave photograph above the sofa. “It became a magnet pulling them into the space,” says the room’s designer Kristen Sheikh, ASID, of Bruit de la Mode. Wool and sisal carpet, and a maple wood beam ceiling echoed the beach theme from the rest of the house. Visitors were impressed by “how a small space could function in so many ways,” says Sheikh of the room, which is designed to be a sitting area, music room, and connection to the outside. “It had three means of egress, two walls of windows, a fireplace, and piano. It is a room of many functions and still feels comfortable as a family room.”
Positioned at the center of the main level, the great room gets lots of natural light and air flow, thanks to the Dutch front door and floor-to-ceiling glass doors that lead to the backyard and can be left open during warm months. To play up the beach vibe, neutral furniture that looks weathered was paired with splashes of blue and aqua in pillows and other accents.
Tasked with imagining the home’s central gathering space, Allied ASID designers Letitia Little, of Letitia Little Interior Design, and Sheree Vincent, of Fusion Designed, picked every detail of the great room, channeling the colors of the sea. Blue, aqua, and white combine on everything from fabrics to accessories to the wall color. Driftwood-hued floors, a wool rug, and worn, vintage furniture, such as the tables and sideboard, warm the cool colors. The space seemed to transport visitors out of Minnesota. “The room speaks to the warm, sun-filled beach atmosphere of islands,” Little says. “Everyone loved the lighthearted feeling of the space and the relaxed living atmosphere. The large sliding door onto the patio and pool area was especially inviting. People could just imagine themselves in a warmer climate.”