The clients were drawn to this 1959 rambler primarily for the back yard on Bassett Creek. The mid-century home had previous updates but was hampered by a huge central chimney, built at an odd 4 degree angle. There were small open end fireplaces in the dining and lower floor family. Removing the chimney from the basement through the roof gave space for bigger first floor kitchen, living, and dining, and lower floor family room.

Expansive windows and glass doors connect living and dining to decks, yard, and Bassett Creek. Dining and living rooms were flipped, placing the living room in the vaulted space with a new fireplace surrounded by Minnesota Dolomite stone with antique brushed finish.

While the program included gutting the kitchen, the architect’s design saved/relocated kitchen and living cabinets. A new 12 foot island anchors the space with room for prep, storage, and seating. The new pantry wraps behind the fireplace. Cabinets are walnut with Blue Quartzite stone counters and backsplash, and quartz counters on the perimeter.

The stair between floors had fake stone on one wall and was missing a guard rail on the open side. The stone was removed and became an art wall, with a maple baluster on the open side. The lower floor family is now a destination for TV, games, and walk-out to the back yard.

The exterior yard spaces were reconstructed by the homeowners, one a landscape ecologist. They saw the potential of converting a half acre of sloped turf in the back yard to a prairie for water filtration and wildlife habitat. The front yard is a woodland garden with a mature oak and new trees.