My husband Josh and I made our first home purchase when we found a tired Garrison-Colonial home on a wonderful block in Lynnhurst, Minneapolis. The house had “good bones” as they say and plenty of space. What it needed was some creativity and a fresh perspective.
Two obvious spaces (of many) to start our remodel journey were the sunroom and den. These two rooms were both dingy and uncomfortable. The den was previously converted from the original attached one-car garage, was poorly insulated and not well connected to the rest of the home. The sunroom was essentially circulation space that was drafty and cold. We explored renovating the den into a true family room but realized we would be putting a lot of money into a repeat space we didn’t need or want.
The true potential of these spaces was to connect us to the outside – both visually and physically. By incorporating the sunroom into the thermal envelope of the home, we opened up long views across the main level which also brought daylight in the East facing dining room well into the afternoon.
The den required a more dramatic transformation and was demolished down to the foundation. Keeping to the same footprint, we had a new screen porch built with exposed beams and large double doors that open onto the backyard (you’ll have to imagine a nice stone patio still to come). In the end, we reduced the overall “finished” square footage of our home but ended up with two spaces we love and enjoy.
A couple of lessons this project reinforced are 1. The right solution for a home remodel evolves over time and is often not your first idea – the trick is being patient. 2. The seasonality of a screen porch is a delight!
Construction: The Transformed Tree
Photography: Parker Creative Communications and Josh Jagdfeld