DESIGN TEAM: Meghan Kell Cornell, AIA; Kelly Kraemer, Assoc AIA
Kell Architects

Project Location: Hopkins, MN

After being devastated by a house fire contained in the kitchen, the owners’ initial goal was to find a way to rebuild their house. But, as they began thinking of a revived home, the dream of not only replacing what was lost but improving their home became a new goal. What began as a tragic loss blossomed into the timeless redux of a beloved family home.

The fire caused extensive smoke damage requiring renovation of the entire interior and exterior. The fire was disastrous for many physical aspects of the home and required material removal down to the studs. Also, though originally a modest Cape Cod built in 1942, the home underwent several additions throughout the years. The restoration following the fire finally harmonized those additions.

Many areas of the home were improved, including the necessary kitchen remodel, laundry room, a main-level master suite, garden entry, dining room, and more. The kitchen layout was adjusted to accommodate optimal use for a couple with a passion for cooking. A bedroom suite was created by pairing a guest bedroom with an existing bathroom, creating a suite for the owners to age in place. The removal of the wall between the informal and formal dining rooms allows for one dramatic space for large family holiday gatherings and food-centric dinner parties. The living room and family room, anchoring opposite ends of the house, now have fireplace designs that bookend, speaking to each other with familiarity yet boasting different levels of formality.

The exterior architecture is invigorated by a refreshed paint scheme and a new black clad window expression. Exterior and interior express the same color and material palettes. The result, from the ashes, is a refreshing and harmonious revival, that does not stray too far from its hearty Cape Cod roots.

Connect with this architect during a virtual Live Chat on October 5 (exclusive to ticket holders) and an Instagram takeover on October 7!

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