Kitchen Renovation of Minneapolis Tudor Home

January 20, 2015No comments


Evylin Seeley Johnson’s Florida-inspired pink kitchen

She was a holdover from an older, grander age, defying time in her Minneapolis Tudor home, two blocks from Lake Calhoun. Somewhere back when World War Two was news and not history, she had taken an exotic and flamboyant design taste and covered her walls and ceilings with wallpaper: flamingo-pink palm fronds, green and gold bamboo, a Chinoiserie-style mural in black and turquoise, and painted woodwork to match. And in all the years that followed, in the incredible gulf of time that separated World War Two from the advent of Facebook, she sat in her home and changed not an inch of the décor.

So when Evylin Seeley Johnson died at 103, her vintage collection of hats went like crazy at the estate sale. But her opulently wallpapered home, ravaged by time and decay, remained a curious eyesore in an east Calhoun neighborhood that was now part upscale and part hipster.

But after a career renovating and redesigning homes, Cliqstudios kitchen designer Bill Hoeppner saw through the ancient wallpapers, the prehistoric shag carpets, the peeling paint and crumbling plaster, and what he saw was the bones of an architectural treasure: a 1922 Tudor with original fireplace and English-style architectural details including decorative columns, crown moldings, cathedral-arch windows and a built-in buffet. So Bill and his wife, accustomed not simply to renovating homes but to resurrecting them, scooped up the property on its first day of sale and went to work. “The crucial thing,” he said, “is to honor the great architecture here.”

The gargantuan job of steaming off and stripping the myriad layers of Evylin’s pink and turquoise wallpaper they thankfully hired out. Most of the rest of the work they did themselves: the electrical work, the finish plumbing, the drywall and the trim.

The Kitchen Commanded A Major Share Of Attention

Here Bill indulged his prowess as a professional kitchen designer, his passion as an avid cook, and a desire to keep architectural integrity with the bones of the house. Because the built-in buffet in the dining room had inset doors, he installed CliqStudios Austin door style in the kitchen to match. Because a center section of the room bumped out, a section of the kitchen also bumps out.

buffet built of white shaker cabinets with glass doors and crown molding
Bill chose classic Shaker cabinets with simple crown molding to complement the home’s woodwork

 When it’s all complete, and it will all soon be complete, Bill promises, the bones of the house will be restored, the integrity of the architectural treasure will be intact and the tropical motifs of sunny Florida along with the 1940s glamour décor will fade into the past.  But Bill is not in a hurry. The kitchen man is already at work in his new, modern kitchen, cooking away joyfully on his professional Electrolux Icon range, distracted just a bit from the final, details of his renovated treasure.

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