Rich wood and nos­tal­gic de­tails cre­ate a time­less look in this Lake Min­netonka kitchen.

Cottages & Bungalows - - Contents - BY HAN­NAH AL­STON

Rus­tic and mod­ern el­e­ments com­bine for a time­less cot­tage look in this Min­nesota kitchen.

“The original ar­chi­tec­ture of the home in­flu­enced the over­all de­sign; we wanted it to feel nat­u­ral to the home while pro­vid­ing a more up­dated look.”

What makes a kitchen great? Is it a large amount of cup­board stor­age, an ex­panse of counter space or maybe an open lay­out? The truth is, it’s a com­bi­na­tion of all these things. Each home and home­owner has dif­fer­ent wants and needs, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to kitchens. De­signer, Shelly Lind­strom, owner and prin­ci­pal of Fluid De­sign Stu­dio gave this Min­netonka, Min­nesota, kitchen a prac­ti­cal makeover and what it des­per­ately needed, a func­tional and cen­tral space for the fam­ily of five to en­joy. Shelly ex­plains,

“The ex­ist­ing kitchen space was just too small with no room to ex­pand (stair­case on one side, en­try­way on the other side and the ex­te­rior wall on the third side). So we moved the kitchen to the sit­ting room, which was much larger. How­ever, there was an ex­ist­ing wood-burn­ing fire­place where the stove is now lo­cated, so it took the home­own­ers awhile to wrap their minds around the pro­posed de­sign change.”

With func­tion­al­ity, stor­age and charm in mind, Shelly dras­ti­cally trans­formed the flow of this space. Work­ing with the home, she kept its farm­house feel yet boosted that with mod­ern­ized fea­tures. “The original ar­chi­tec­ture of the home in­flu­enced the over­all de­sign; we wanted it to feel nat­u­ral, while pro­vid­ing a more up­dated look,” says Shelly. Main­tain­ing the homey Lake Min­netonka feel was an im­por­tant el­e­ment of in­tegrity for the home.


The kitchen has a very strik­ing en­trance with a so­phis­ti­cated hard­wood floor that catches the eye im­me­di­ately. Com­bined with a hand­some wal­nut is­land with fur­ni­ture-like de­tail­ing, the look is clas­si­cally cot­tage. With func­tion­al­ity in mind, the sturdy is­land has draw­ers for ex­tra stor­age. For homes that strug­gle with cre­at­ing more stor­age, a kitchen is­land is a great place to im­ple­ment cup­boards, with­out mak­ing the space seem too clut­tered. White cab­i­nets bal­ance the look and al­low the fo­cal point of the room to be the in­tri­cate is­land. Black hard­ware and black ac­cents for the light­ing pro­vide a clean, fresh look.


Gray glass sub­way tiles on the walls add a fresh take on a pe­riod clas­sic, im­bu­ing the space with just enough color and nicely fram­ing the three-part win­dow above the sink.

The stor­age on the is­land and around the kitchen wasn’t enough, so fur­ther stor­age was added via built-in cub­bies above the oven. Shelly en­hanced these cab­i­nets with di­viders, which make it easy to keep the kitchen tidy and un­clut­tered. Us­able counter space is found all around the kitchen.

Shelly also gave the fam­ily a bonus space, a mud­room, just off the kitchen. “There re­ally wasn’t a mud­room space, so we needed to ex­pand the foot­print of that room by bor­row­ing space from the back porch,” Shelly says. Be­cause they stuck with neu­tral col­ors, the tran­si­tion from hard­wood floors to tile feels seam­less. The white mold­ing of the door­frame con­tin­ues in the mud­room, link­ing it to the kitchen. Dark fix­tures and light cab­i­nets carry through both spa­ces.

The fam­ily now has two dis­tinct func­tional ar­eas, with plenty of space and easy-to-main­tain or­ga­ni­za­tional fea­tures, all in a time­less style. The kitchen is now not only the heart but also the hub of the home.

Mix­ing rus­tic and

mod­ern el­e­ments cre­ates the com­plete cot­tage style.

|ABOVE LEFT| OPEN & HON­EST. Across from the built-in buf­fet, pretty, nat­u­ral dé­cor in the work­sta­tion nook com­bines with the mod­ern stain­less-steel fridge to con­tinue the kitchen’s co­he­sive, uni­fied open-con­cept de­sign.

|ABOVE RIGHT| CHARM­ING CHOICES. In the mud­room, a built-in wooden bench and metal hooks tie the area to­gether. The white pan­el­ing serves up cot­tage charm.

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