A Modern Look for A Century-Old Craftsman

“I work to create spaces that are as functional and organized as they are cozy, whether at home or out in the world,” says event producer and stylist Julie Carroll. “Environment design is one of my specialties, and I love being able to extend those skills into the design of our home.” The home in question, shared by Julie, her husband, and her ragdoll cat, is a stunning 1915 Craftsman near Downtown Minneapolis. The Bungalow-style home is situated in a historic neighborhood, and is rich in its own historical style. Charming early twentieth-century details like coffered ceilings, mullioned windows, and built-incabentry abound. This is not to say that the home was move-in ready when the couple arrived. “We bought [the house] just over a year ago and have been working to restore it ourselves, which has been both rewarding and straight up misery-inducing at times,” Julie notes. The walls (painted regrettable shades of green and yellow by the previous owner) needed to be repainted and original hardware needed to be restored or replaced. Julie also wanted to bring her signature decorating style to the space to impart some modern (and light-toned) sensibilities to complement the home’s sometimes overbearing pre-war styling. The efforts paid off: today, the home is an inviting and insanely charming combination of new and old. Take a closer look below!

“We wanted to preserve the historic integrity of the home, while infusing our more modern tastes into the overall design,” Julie says. “While I possess a deep appreciation the architectural details, Craftsman homes have always skewed a bit masculine for my taste, with all the sharp lines and dark woodwork. We worked to soften this by bringing in lots of Mid-Century-Modern-style furniture comprised of smooth, curved lines. I think that MCM and Craftsman design styles play nicely together, because they’re both rooted in simplicity, so it was fun mixing up the angles and shapes in each room to create something fresh.”

“We painted the walls creamy, cottage white. We introduced vibrant white chairs into the living and dining room schemes and rolled out colorful antique rugs and a bold, patterned kilim to define each space. To bring more sunlight in we nixed the dark wood blinds and brought in soft, linen sheers. These have done wonders in terms of diffusing the natural light, but still give us privacy. We then updated the light fixtures in a mix of globe and cubist shapes for an avant garde twist.”

“Upstairs, all of the woodwork had been painted dozens of times over the decades, and the doors and trim were in particularly rough shape from all the chipping and peeling paint. We tried to salvage the original door hardware, but there were just too many layers of paint and rust. So, we hunted down some antique replica hardware in unlacquered brass (unlacquered brass develops the most gorgeous patina over the years, it’s timeless!) We then pulled off the doors, sanded the hell out of them, repainted each a matte black, then painted the door trim snow white to create a bold contrast. The end result respects the historic details of the house, but gives the upstairs a fresh new vibe.”




“This place just oozes character; from the leaded windows, to the original woodwork, to our kind and diverse neighbors who make living here enjoyable and never boring,” Julie says. “Of course any old home comes with it’s share of challenges (we dealt with 2 flooded basements, a mountain of lead paint chips, storm water gushing through ceiling light fixtures, and about 7 billion gallons of paint within a week of moving in), but it’s been worth the growing pains!”