A renovated kitchen in a home at 4631 Humboldt Ave. S. The house is number 13 on the AIA MN Homes by Architects Tour. Credit: Photo by Troy Thies

Updating without upsizing

Updated: September 11, 2014 - 10:13 am

Architect-designed homes featured on the AIA Homes By Architects Tour showcase innovative home remodels and new designs

Many people have the impulse to add square feet when they consider home renovations.

Architect Paul Hannan of SALA Architects urges people to think differently and explore ways of opening up sight lines in their homes as a way to add space without increasing the home’s existing footprint.

A home renovation he designed for Chip and Teresa House and their two children near Lake Harriet accomplishes that goal. The 4,500-square-foot house at 4631 Humboldt Ave. S. is one of 16 new and remodeled homes featured on this year’s AIA MN Homes By Architects Tour.

The seventh annual tour, set for Sept. 20 and 21, features five homes in southwest Minneapolis. Those who take part in the tour get a chance to meet the architects and learn more about the design process.

For the Humboldt house, Hannan worked with Chip and Teresa to make spaces more family friendly, as the previous owner didn’t have children. The design team transformed the kitchen area, added a new stairway leading to an updated lower level and redesigned bedrooms and bathrooms on the house’s upper level.

Hannan had worked with the couple on renovations projects for other properties before so he had a sense of their style.

“The house has more floor and interior vistas, making the spaces feel much bigger,” Hannan said. “It’s a great demonstration of how you can transform space for an older home for the way people live today.”

The couple purchased the 1926-era Tudor in May 2013 and moved in after renovations were nearly complete in December of that year.

“We could not be happier,” Teresa said. “We wanted an older home and we wanted to live in it in a more modern way. We love traditional architecture.”

She said she loves how rooms flow from one to the other, the updated kitchen and the spacious yard.

“We call it the lazy house because there are so many comfortable spaces,” she said.

Architect Ashley Mitlyng of Kuhl’s Contracting employed a similar strategy when renovating a house for a family at Cedar Lake featured on the AIA home tour.

The house at 3407 W. 28th St. had a dated look before the renovations.

“It was stuck in the ’80s and had a Miami Vice feel,” Mitlyng said.

Mitlyng and her design team created a new master suite and fireplace room with great views of Cedar Lake.

The upper level was expanded to create spaces for all of the family’s four children. The designers also overhauled the kitchen and created a new front area that allows more light into the home.


At a glance: Southwest Minneapolis homes on the tour 

Home 9 // 3407 W. 28th St.
Design team: (Sicora Design Build) Ashley Mitlyng, Mark Mednikov and Allison Landers

The house near Cedar Lake was revamped to take advantage of the home’s prime location. Designers added a new master suite, fireplace room and added space to an upper floor to create room for the family’s four children. New windows and an updated entry area provide better views of the area.

Home 10 / /3821 Zenith Ave. S.

Design team: (McMonigal Architects) Rosemary McMonigal

The homeowners decided to pursue a renovation despite a $89,000 discount offer from a contractor to teardown the home. The 1928-era Linden Hills home was updated with family friendly additions and achieved a LEED Silver certification. Environmentally friendly features include solar panels on the roof and a rain garden.

Home 11 // 2565 Burnham Road

Design team: (RoehrSchmitt Architecture) Michael Roehr and Chris Schmitt

The architects designed a modern three-tiered house on a hillside site near Cedar Lake for a family looking to retain some of their features they loved in their downtown loft. The second level has panoramic views of Cedar Lake and the downtown skyline. The house also features a spacious roof deck.

Home 12 // 2721 East Lake of the Isles Parkway

Design team: (David Heide Design Studio) Mark Nelson and David Heide

The architects transformed the bungalow’s first floor to accommodate large gatherings hosted by the homeowners, who are arts patrons. The home has new outdoor areas — a terrace and pavilion situated above a new garage.

The renovations have provided better views of Lake of the Isles and improved the flow between rooms, said architect Mark Nelson.

Home 13 // 4631 Humboldt Ave. S.

Design team: (SALA Architects) Paul Hannan of SALA Architects 

The home near Lake Harriet was updated to make it more family friendly and spacious. The design team transformed the kitchen, replaced a den with a light-filled stairway and redesigned the lower level. Upper level spaces were also renovated.



If you go …

What: The AIA MN Home by Architects Tour is a self-guided tour.

When: Saturday, Sept. 20 and Sunday, Sept. 21, noon–5 p.m.

Where: Five locations in Southwest Minneapolis and 11 other locations throughout the Twin Cities

Cost: Advance tickets thru 3 p.m. on Sept. 19, $15; during home tour weekend, $20 for a full ticket and $10 for an individual home

More info: www.HomesByArchitects.org and www.pinterest.com/homesbyarchtour