From Margaret Everton on March 26, 2010 in Minneapolis
The leisurely drive to Medina, a half hour west of Minneapolis, is relaxing enough to rid you of the big-city traffic paranoia, and slow things down to a comfortable pace. The Engels homenestled in a patch of forest near Medinawas intended to reflect the restful life away from the Twin Cities. Unfortunately, the home hadnt changed for over 20 yearsinside or out. The result was a home that was beginning to show its age and artistic oversights. It wasnt working so much on the relaxing side of things. An unwelcoming bathroom devoid of anything spa-like. A kitchen that navigated like a maze. A living room that felt as odd as its Southwestern + Colonial eclecticism. A makeover was in order, and the Engels consulted with architect Rick Lundin to develop a home that was surprisingly beautiful, strategically functional, and specifically Engel. As soon-to-be empty nesters, the Engels had room to work with in the 3,000-square-foot expanse of the house. However, return visits from their three daughters were something to keep in mind. It wasnt just daughters who frequented the Engel home. It was up to 50 guests and relatives during the holiday season. In order to accommodate the seasonal rush of humanity upon the Engel homestead, the architect took drastic measures with the worn-out kitchen. In order to give warmth to the space, he designed a tongue-and-groove ceiling that is as trendy as it is welcoming. The hanging lights and funky bar stools add the modernistic edge that the Engels wanted. At the same time, yards of counter space and a natural workspace flow are perfect for accommodating waves of guests. The other major living spacethe living room itself, was woefully behind the times. It lacked in just about every areawindows, openness, color, space, etc. But it had potential. Lundin capitalized on the vast two-story ceiling by adding a simple chandelier. Cedar battens added more definition, plus the thick mantelpiece increased the powerful wood appeal of the living room. Those were just touches of finesse compared with the architectural equivalent of a cannonball jump into a swimming pool. A cannonball either hurts or makes a big, satisfying splash. Satisfying it was, when the Engels surveyed Lundins genius. He applied an orange Venetian plaster to an entire wall of the living room. It was a daring move, but it was one that completed the rooms characterbold, warm and inviting. Tackling the upstairs proved to be an exercise in genuine comfort and style. Lundin adapted the homes vaulted ceilings to bring a sense of subdued relaxation. The TV area, master suite, and bathrooms received total reconfiguration, which imbued the entire level with a new sense of luxury. Now, thanks to the massive makeover, coming home has a whole new relaxing meaning for the Engel family.