Lake Harriet Interior Design and Home Renovation Project

Matt and Maile had been looking for the right house for a long time. Maile was pregnant with their first child and they were eager to prepare a home before their daughter’s arrival.

Featured Designer- Jennifer Hortsman

The Featured Designer of December is Jennifer Hortsman of Studio M Interiors.

Share your background
I have a varied business background and decided in my late 20s to return to school for Interior Design and start a 2nd career.
While attending school for Interior Design, I completed an internship at the F Schumacher & Co showroom at IMS. I was lucky enough to connect with a designer who bought frequently from the showroom and was in need of an assistant. I finished an internship with her and was awarded a full-time position once I graduated. I worked for her high-end firm for 5 years, specializing in unique, colorful and bold interiors all over the United States and Internationally. After she moved her practice to Hawaii, I ventured out on my own for 2 years, specializing in hard surface selections for investment properties and furnishings for a handful of residential clients.
In 2012, I joined the team at Studio M Interiors, the interior design firm within the Mingle Showroom in Plymouth as their Design Coordinator. I trained the assistants and new incoming designers, as well as preparing the firm to handle the influx of business associated with opening the 25,000 sqft. one-of-a-kind showroom called Mingle. In September of this year, I began to take on my own clientele again and am able to design projects at any scale, price range and style.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why
Crested Butte, Colorado. It is nestled in a valley amongst the beautiful mountains, babbling brooks and gorgeous scenery. My husband and I LOVE to ski/ snowboard and fell in love with this quaint town. We would really like our young daughter to learn to love the snow at an early age. She is a little daredevil, so I have a feeling she is going to be on skis early! The amount of mountain homes has really increased in the area, because they say “People come for the snow but stay because of the summers!”
Describe your dream home in five words
Natural, Organic, Unique, Organized and “Green”

What are your hobbies
I love yoga, gardening, reading, walking, music, watching a variety of TV shows ( Including design shows!) and word searches

Five things you can’t live without
My husband ( he is my best friend), my organic face moisturizer ( I have finicky skin), my Galaxy 4S phone ( I can do everything from one gadget), seeing the sun every day and last but, not least – my daughter Sylvia (she is the love of my life).

What are your favorite shops and restaurants
  • Shops:
    • White House/Black Market for work related clothing
    • Patina for anything funky gift related
    • Moss Envy for eco-home items
    • Peapods for eco-baby chic items
  • Restaurants:
    • Sparks in Bryn Mawr Neighborhood for date night
    • Hazellewood in Excelsior for their fantastic popovers
    • The Bad Waitress for brunch on a sleepy Sunday morning
    • Bacio for my favorite salad and wine combo
    • Barbette for their French fries
Describe one of your favorite projects
I was lucky enough to work on a project in Tel Aviv, Israel. It was an 8,000 sq ft home with exquisite detail. Very fresh American interiors, clean and crispy, incredible mill work, Poggenpohl kitchen, all custom home furnishings and draperies. We spent 7 days installing and staging the home for the family. It was a 3 year labor of love- full of new furnishing sources, learning about the customs process and at an exquisite level of detail that few people get to experience. 
Who are your favorite artists and interior designers
  • Artist- I would be a tie between Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.
  • Interior designers- Katie Ridder, Celerie Kemble, Kelly Wearstler and Jeffery Alan Marks. 

 What is your favorite room in your home, why?
It would definitely be my lower level bathroom. We completed a full lower level remodel within the last two years and added a large guest bathroom, complete with a double head shower, heated tile floors, comfort height toilet and white granite topped vanity. Our home is more traditional with a bit of coastal colors, so the softness of the blue wall color and the natural travertine tile mixed with a modern 3 colored glass tile really made it my favorite room in the house!

No room would be complete without…. Overlapping lighting.

Do you have “go to” paint colors, if so which ones
Benjamin Moore # HC-172 ( rever pewter), #947 ( Navajo white) and #1059 ( Moccasin) are soft neutrals that anyone can live with, no matter if they trend towards gray, soft white or sand. I really LOVE bold color and I have some favorites such as #1327 ( Gypsy rose) and # 552 ( Pleasant Grove). 
A big thank you to Jennifer Hortsman for giving us a peak into a few of her favorite things and a few great project photos! You can learn more about Jennifer and Studio M interiors, here.

Game Rooms

With winter right around the corner, wouldn’t it be great to have a place for the kids to hang out, a room out of sight of everyday living. Basements and converted attics make great spaces for these rooms. Even beyond everyday family time, game rooms make a great addition to entertaining spaces. If an attic or basement is out of question, a spacious area or unused formal dining room work great as well.

Many people consider using the living room as game/kid room but realistically this isn’t ideal. Lets face it, anyone who has or had children knows your home is not as tidy as one may dream with little ones running around. The living room is typically the first room visitors see when they enter the home. A closed storage unit with a few toys is ideal in this space, save the big toys for the game room.

A game room can be many things, while it doesn’t have to include a pool or ping pong table, if you have the room why not?  It can be as simple as a game table and four chairs, having a great place to  play games or cards. I recommend a pedestal table with four upholstered game chairs, this will allow more space and comfort for each player.

Game rooms can also double as homework spaces, so think about including a computer and desk.

As you can see game rooms can be small and cozy to large and extravagant. Whichever way you choose go, the game room is a great addition to any family home.


Originally a protection from intruding elements, wainscoting now serves strictly decorative purposes. Wainscotings main purpose was to cover the lower part of the walls, in houses constructed with poor or non-existent damp proofing. Believed to originate in medieval Poland, this term was used to describe the high quality oak boards that were produced there and transported to homes throughout Europe.

Traditionally constructed from tongue and groove boards, wainscoting today can be made of various materials. Ornate wainscoting is associated particularly with seventeenth and eighteenth century interior design, mainly in Victorian homes.

Today, it can be found in various home styles from arts and crafts, turn of the century Queen Anne’s, and simplified into more contemporary homes. Wainscoting gives a custom and luxurious look although it was originally something of necessity.

When specifying wainscoting in a room, it is important to remember the rule of thirds. Simply meaning, don’t place the top of the wainscoting equally centered between the floor and the ceiling. You should image the wall divided equally into three parts, typically it is placed on the lower third portion of the wall. Sometimes in larger settings the wainscoting takes up two-thirds of the wall space, as shown below.

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The Perfect Master Suite

A master suite is a luxury, an escape from the stresses of everyday life and a private place to call your own. While many may take their master suite for granted, other have been longing for a space to call their own. Regardless of the size, there are a few key things to consider when designing this space.

It’s in the details
Details are what give a master bedroom character. This can range from architectural details to artwork. Be sure to have a focal point as well, it can be a large four poster bed, a fireplace or even a gallery wall made up of your favorite art. All these pieces make your master suite unique and truly you!

More than just a place to sleep
Add a sitting area into a master bedroom if possible. This allows a place to read and relax that is quite and tucked away from the rest of the house. It could be a lounge chair with an ottoman, a window seat or even a sofa. All of these pieces add an extra bit of relaxation to the space.

A luxurious bathroom

An on suite bathroom is one of the most important aspects in a master suite, check out some trends in shower design on this post. Keep the master bathroom spacious, include a dual vanity as well as a tub and walk in shower.

Keep it casual

Master Bedrooms are a place to relax, don’t make it fussy. People are often discouraged when looking through home design magazines, sure the rooms are beautiful but they don’t fit in the everyday lifestyle of most people. It should reign true to your lifestyle. If you are a casual person, keep your home casual. It will feel forced otherwise, and truly be harder to live in. Your home should be a reflection of your family and your day to day living. Keeping this in mind, casual does not equal messy. These are some causal, well designed bedrooms!

Images here

Trends in Shower Design

Originally bathrooms served strictly functional purposes in our homes. Today, they are equally as beautiful as they are functional.  Every design detail involved in bathroom design plays an important role in the overall space. Today we are discussing trends in shower design.

Luxurious Marble-
The use of marble in showers has and will always be a luxury, giving the shower a spa like feel. From slabs to mosaics, the style keeps coming back year after year.  Marble is an excellent stone for many reasons, one being its ability to fit in stylistically anywhere from a traditional to a modern design.

Shower Heads- 
With thousands of options on the market, how do you choose just one?

Rain head showers have been popular in the market the past few years. This Kohler HydroRail featuring a Katalyst rain head and shift hand shower, transform the standard single outlet shower into a spa-worthy shower.

This vintage inspired shower system is a wonderful addition to any remodel or new construction.

This show stopping classic art deco inspired faucet from Kohler is great for any bathroom. When paired with Rite-Temp pressure balancing valve, your shower maintains your desired water temperature during pressure fluctuations. No more cold showers!

Select a neutral tile in an unexpected shape. These arabesque tiles are an updated ode to old world style while remaining fresh and current. They give the shower interest but maintain a light, clean and airy feel.

More here!

Featured Designer- Renae Keller

The Featured Designer of July is Renae Keller of Renae Keller Interior Design. Renae is a ASID Certified designer who has been designing beautiful interiors since 1996. Renae is not tied to one specific design style. She believes in collaborating with her clients to paint their story and make the space come alive. Creating beautiful, livable spaces!  Renae’s design philosophy… burn the candles, use the china.

Share your background
– Graduated from Mankato State University with a BS in Interior Design in 1996
– Worked at Gunkelmans Interior Design from 1997-2005
– Worked at Engler Skogmo Interior Design from 2005-2010
– Created Renae Keller Interior Design in 2010

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why
-I would live in the Midwest to be close to family and friends. Plus, I hear the people are nice. I would have my favorite spots however, to visit!

Describe your dream home in five words
– Well-appointed, textural, functional, warm and inviting

What are your hobbies
– Gardening, cooking [when I have the time], and spending time with family/friends

Five things you can’t live without
-The color orange
-Beautiful things…

What are your favorite local shops and restaurants
-Porter Creek and Chianti Grill- restaurants
-Zachary Ltd. so inspiring!!!
– Victory

Describe one of your favorite projects
– I was involved in a 1974 Master Bathroom remodel and updated for a lovely couple. It was a local project and the client was very involved with the project and trusted her team that worked on the project. It was a joy to work on this project because it was functional, yet beautiful. I felt many times throughout the project I was killing two birds with one stone [where there was function and we made it beautiful]. It had wonderful details that the client really cared about and went the extra mile to achieve.  The overall aesthetic was serene and peaceful, just what a Master Bathroom should be. What a great way to feel at the start and end of your day!

Who are your favorite artists and furniture designers
-Furniture: Susan Kasler or Alexa Hampton

Susan Kasler
Alexa Hampton

-Fabric: Celerie Kemble or Raoul

Celerie Kemble

What is your favorite room in your home, why?
– My entry way. It is functional and the most “new” with a fresh coat of Tiffany Blue paint and a Georgia Peach Mirror! I found it for $8 at an estate sale by a wonderful friend of mine.

No room would be complete without…
-A little tailored trim on the pillow or sofa, and of course, a bit of orange…

Do you have “go to” paint colors, which ones are they
-Benjamin Moore: Sailcloth, White Dove and Silver Marlin

Thank you Renae! Check out more of her work here and here!

Red, White and Blue

Independence Day is approaching quickly and we’re excited to share interiors, products and decor inspired by this holiday. When done correctly a red, white and blue color palette is both fresh and traditional.



Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Independence Day!
Images1, Images2

Cabin Design

With summer officially upon us, many will be heading to the cabin for Memorial Day. We thought we would share some classic, cozy cabins and headline some unique features they showcase.

Mismatched cabinet fronts

These give a collected look, and are reminiscent of the cabins of the yesteryear’s. Today, the cabinets only give the illusion of being collected and pieced together over time. Not looking to complete an entire kitchen remodel? A simple way to achieve this look is by introducing a vintage hutch or sideboard, which will give a similar feel.

Rock faced edge counter tops

This raw edge profile plays up the collected look of the mismatched cabinets giving the kitchen an earthy, rustic style.

Outdoor shower

What a luxury this is, who doesn’t love an outdoor shower. Outdoor showers have been gaining popularity in cabins and vacation homes. It is a unique and functional feature, whether coming in off of the boat or giving the kids a quick rinse after playing at the beach. Outdoor showers truly make life a bit easier.

Log sided exterior

Nothing says cabin more than a traditional log sided exterior. Log sided exteriors are very versatile, they can be original on a 1920’s charming cabin or be incorporated on a larger scale, new construction. While there are many siding options to choose from, these logs add charm and finish off the cabin design.

Have a safe and fun filled weekend!