Tom and Mary

passionate home cooks, stewards of the lake, exceptional entertainers

What’s Your Designed Life?

Mary and Tom are long-time residents of South Minneapolis. They live there, have raised their four kids there, and have been active with their work and local community.

When they decided to purchase a second home for a weekend getaway there were many criteria.

  • The couple wanted to be less than an hour from the city to make impromptu trips to their residence, go up for an evening, and make it accessible to family and friends.
  • They needed a lake, and a specific kind as well. Tom grew up near Detroit Lakes as a “lake kid”. Waterskiing, fishing, swimming, and all manner of lake activities filled his days. As they raised a family, Tom and Mary would launch their boat into the Mississippi , which over time Mary found rather harrowing given currents, traffic and general safety concerns. So they settled on a lake in Scandia MN. Not too big, not too small. Perfect for recreation, with manageable parameters.
  • They wanted an existing structure that they could update. Mary and Tom have a large sense of responsibility when it comes to Mother Earth, and the idea of tearing something down or starting from new when there were viable remodels was not in their thought process. They donated or gave away any and all materials salvaged from the demolition of the parts of the cabin which were changed.
  • They wanted peaceful surroundings and full, unimpeded views of the lake. They found just a spot in an old family compound which had been separated and parceled off over time. Mary appreciates history and was able to trace the origins of the structure as well as the previous owners back quite a ways, and has a framed image of the original cabin in the entrance hall of the current home.
  • Tom, an ardent steward of the lake, is involved with other lake neighbors to keep a collective close eye on the environmental conditions of the area. The home sits atop a steep hill with plenty of trees in the foreground. Tom and Mary have since planted many native plants along the hillside to minimize erosion to the lake, and now benefit from their stunning summer presence. This hillside perspective encourages Tom to keep the lake top of mind at all times.
  • Both Mary and Tom are outdoor fanatics. Whether cross-country skiing, hiking or canoeing the lake, immediate access to the outdoors was at the top of their wish list.

From a design standpoint there were just as many items they had given careful thought to in choosing and remodeling the home. Having worked with InUnison in their Minneapolis home, they were quick to define their wish list.

  • Tom is proud of his Scandinavian heritage and choosing Scandia seemed appropriate. While Mary may not share the heritage, the sensibilities were imbued into the whole family so a Scandinavian design aesthetic; clean lines, minimalism and beauty in function were the order of the day.
  • The main lever is the gathering space of the home, not only because the entire family are ardent and talented home cooks, but because the space offers distinct spaces for everyone in the family to gather together in one area without being overcrowded. This was the most important function of the entire cabin. Family is everything to Tom and Mary as is entertaining and having guests which this space plan allows for in spades. This area is also filled with ample windows both letting in light and offering stunning lake views for everyone to enjoy.
  • The kitchen is outwardly spare, but with ample storage, top of the line appliances and room for a crew to cook together, it is fit for a chef. No stumbling over each other, this galley style kitchen offers room for family food collaboration. Food is a center component of gatherings and this simple but mighty kitchen design makes that possible.
  • The kitchen island counter stools and adjacent dining room mean everyone is in proximity to one another ensuring that mealtime is a gregarious event rather than a segregated one.
  • The living room area features the color in the room, with pops of reds, blues and some yellow to capture the Scandinavian spirit of the home. The star tile around the fireplace is handmade and is a beautiful yet subtle reminder of the quiet Nordic influences as well. This room serves as a quiet retreat for two, or a more raucous crowd of more. The deck immediately off of this space lends itself to indoor/outdoor living, sunrise coffees and lake gazing at its best.
  • The upstairs carries through with scandi-influenced design. The upstairs which has three bedrooms is kept simple and colorful with the same primary color palette in play as well as high-functioning but simple beauty. Windows to the lake, a sleeping porch off the primary bedroom and space for family and guests make their entertaining dreams a reality.

In conclusion, Tom and Mary found a home that accommodates their current wish lists as well a promising future for them at the Scandia getaway. Their sense of history, play, recreation, gathering, entertaining and eco-sensibilities are fulfilled today as they will be well into the future.

This is Tom and Mary’s Designed Life.

True Interior design is an alchemy of science and aesthetics. A process which takes structure, desired usage, budget, safety considerations and creative inspirations and then drives it to a whole other level.

Innovative. Inventive. Inspired.

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