Making A Client’s House THEIR Home

The Clients
My clients came to me not out of distress, but with an inkling that spatially there was more to be unearthed in their newly purchased home. They felt the promise, but it wouldn’t speak. They had come from a very lovely traditional home with a great plan and elegant detailing, it just wasn’t them, it wasn’t THEIR home. They felt like this one could be if they could simply find the way. They basically hired me as their guide to share the journey and show them the way. Their instincts were good and their joy infectious, so together we jumped right in.

SALA Architect Eric Odor

The Task
A whole house transformation of my clients’ tired 80’s tract home nestled amongst its siblings on a developer’s cul-de-sac in suburban Minneapolis.

SALA Architect Eric Odor

The Approach
Although a freestanding home, this 2500sf 5-level split is similar in plan to an attached townhouse with most of its windows on the front and back and virtually none on the longer sidewalls. This, coupled with the use of solid half walls and stair rails, made the house light on the ends and dark in the middle. The net result was a staggered assembly of drywall boxes and beams with long punched openings for standing peeks into adjacent spaces.

SALA Architect Eric Odor

SALA Architect Eric Odor

So we simply opened the boxes, leaving only a series of vertical drywall planes and horizontal wood slabs to allow the light and views to pass and the space to flow. What once was cordoned off and crowded now is open and expansive, with the warmth and variety of their furniture and artwork reflected in the palette of the transformation.

SALA Architect Eric Odor

SALA Architect Eric Odor

We also let the natural wood slip out the front door and splash itself on the deck and the doors as a modest exterior counterpoint and a foreshadowing of what’s inside THEIR home.

SALA Architect Eric Odor

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