Outdoor Spaces

Most Minnesotans will agree, we have the most beautiful springs and summers. While we may only get a few months of this beautiful weather. We know how to take advantage of them in our outdoor spaces, whether lounging, dining or gardening these outdoor spaces are truly priceless. Think of these spaces as an extension of your interior living spaces and use them to their fullest for the next few months!




A few key things to incorporate into your outdoor spaces are:
  • Lighting- Don’t forget about lighting! These can be torches, string lights or even outdoor lamps. 
  • Fireplace/ fire pit- Although the summer days can be warm, it’s nice to wind down around a fireplace on a cool summer evening.
  • Layout- A well designed layout is key for backyard entertaining. Don’t forget to bring the key elements of a social area outside. A well  planned outdoor living room or dining space can be a key to outdoor entertaining success.
What is your favorite outdoor space?

More on our Houzz page!

Featured Architect – Laurel Ulland, AIA

We are delighted to share our first featured Architect, Laurel Ulland principle and owner of Laurel Ulland Architecture. LU|A is a small residential architecture firm specializing in the renovation and remodeling of existing homes. They take great pride in their ability to help homeowners transform an existing residence or construct a new home in a way that reflects their particular needs, yet enhances the character and design of the original home or property. 
Laurel has nearly 30 years of experience in residential design and construction. After five years as an associate with the architectural firm Mulfinger, Susanka, Mahady and Partners, Laurel had decided to form her own architectural firm. Her focus is on the renovation and remodeling of existing residences, the design of new custom homes, and on the use of historic properties for specialized residential and commercial applications.  She also has great interest in interior architecture and the design of millwork, cabinetry, and furniture.  Laurel’s work has been featured with HGTV, Midwest Home Magazine, Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, Renovation Style Magazine as well as social media sites, such as Houzz and Remodelista. 

Before completing her Master of Architecture degree at the University of Minnesota, Laurel was a General Contractor in Duluth, MN.  Laurel’s company specialized in the renovation and adaptive reuse of older buildings and residences. In that capacity, Laurel served as a consultant to the city of Duluth in the development of Portland Square Neighborhood Rehabilitation Program and the Duluth Downtown Renaissance Program. Her work in Duluth received many design awards and recognition from The National Trust for Historic Preservation and other local boards.

Laurel has served on the Board of Advisers to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Board of  Directors of the Duluth Downtown Development Corporation as well as many other Preservation Alliances both locally and nationally. Laurel is currently active in AIA MN, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Walker Art Museum, the Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association, assisting the Career Center in mentoring undergraduates interested in architecture. 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why
I love to travel and can imagine myself living in any number of cities I have visited over the years. One of my favorite cities is Rome! A small apartment in Trastevere or in the historic center near the Pantheon would be fabulous. Like many European cities, Rome celebrates the flexible and sometimes invisible boundaries between inside and out. One moves easily from interior spaces to exterior “rooms” or piazzas. The inter-relationship is carefully orchestrated and celebrated. I also like the idea of living in a compact, urban center where you can live “locally” in terms of living, working and shopping. 

Describe your dream home in five pairs of words
Small and compact, light and dark, old and new, inside and outside, minimal and textural 

What are your hobbies
Traveling, reading, gardening and walking

Five things you can’t live without
My boyfriend, my family and friends, my health, my work and my electronic devices

What are your favorite local restaurants
Lucia’s, Heidi’s, Barbette’s, Blackbird, Rye, The Kenwood and The Gray House

Describe one of your favorite projects
A residential renovation and addition which was completed on Lake of the Isles last year, here are a few before pictures of the project.
The interior of the 1893 Dutch Colonial was demolished.  Leaving the existing structure and it was re-built with new mechanical, plumbing, electrical and AV systems as well as all new windows, doors, millwork and cabinetry (based on the original). Laurel expanded the 4,550 square foot house to 6,300 square feet and opened up the layout to gain views to the exterior yard and lake to facilitate entertaining. She also designed an addition on the south side of the house that expanded the house on all three levels. The expanded kitchen on the main level, master suite on the second and wine cellar in the basement are all located in the addition. The exterior materials closely match those of the original house, but again, all were replaced as part of the renovation and addition. A new circular front porch was added to the existing porch and Laurel designed a new garden shed / summer kitchen with a trellis system to accompany the renovated garage. 
Who is your favorite artist
I collect the artwork of several artists: Leon Hushcha, Jon Neuse, Theresa Handy, Tracy Hillman. I also collect the work of Chicago artists, Eric Sandedge and David Lee Csicsko and Cincinnati artist, Scott Donaldson.
What is your favorite room in your home
I recently remodeled two rooms adjacent to my bedroom, a sitting room and a small sewing room that I converted into a dressing room. The siting room is west – facing and full of light from the original French casement windows. I love the views out to the garden and neighborhood trees. A number of my favorite local tradespeople helped me: Peter Haakenson refinished the wood floors, Anders Christensen from Tiger Ox repainted the rooms, Jon Frost fabricated the dressing room cabinets and Wendy Coggins helped with fabric, drapes, rugs and furniture. I installed antique light fixtures that I had purchased during my travels. 

Fill in the blank, No room would be complete without...
A beautiful floor! I am really into wood and natural stone floors these days. They are often ignored but can easily become something quite special and exotic without much effort. Simply refinishing an old wood floor does wonders for a room, or installing a lovely reclaimed plank floor, or adding a simple border in an accent wood can easily transform a room. I recently traveled to Cordoba, Spain where many rooms, courtyards and streets were covered in small pebbles, often in intricate patterns, Amazing!
Do you have “go to” paint colors
I love Farrow& Ball paint. There are a limited number of colors and all of them are saturated and full of depth and “value.” Some of my favorite Ben Moore “whites” and “grays” are White Dove, Edgecomb Gray, Revere Pewter and Amherst Gray. 
Thank you Laurel!

Timeless Furniture

We all know that furniture is an investment, so why not stick to the classics when investing. Here are a few great examples of timeless furniture pieces used in fresh and new interiors. These classics are easy to update with some colorful, textured pillows and fun accessories. The best part, they are ALWAYS IN!

The Chesterfield Sofa
Chesterfields have graced the presence of many homes over their time, they originated in the late 17th century. It was named in honor of the forth Earl of Chesterfield, who wanted a sofa that was comfortable and at the same time made one sit upright. Chesterfields have deep button tufting, quilted upholstery, low seat and the arms and the back are equal in height. 
The Chesterfield is a timeless option, although traditional in style, fits in at any home.

The Wing Back Chair
The wing back chair was originally designed to enclose the head and torso of the body in order to provide protection from drafts and trap the heat of the fireplace. Hence, these types of chairs were originally placed near the fireplace in the home.  Wing back chairs come in many styles, fabrics and leathers and fit into any style and many spaces within a home.

These are just two examples of furniture that make your homes design stand the test of time, invest in timeless pieces!

Sources: 1

A Guide for the Gallery

We spoke Anita Sue Kolman and Patrick Kemal Pryor, owners of the Anita Sue Kolman Gallery, an art gallery located in NE Minneapolis. You may remember Patrick from our Designers Guide to Art, he is an artist as well as a co-owner of the Anita Sue Kolman Gallery. 

Art galleries can be a little intimating but Anita and Patrick, are here to share a bit about their ever changing gallery and how the process works.  Focusing on exhibiting work created by Minnesota artist, they encourage artists on display to meet and greet with gallery visitors. The meetings create unique connections between the artist and the collector. 

How many artists do you currently have on exhibition?

We currently have 7 artists, one guest artists and six gallery artists. We have about 6 exhibitions each years. One of our favorite exhibitions is coming up in the spring, it is called, Juicy Steak Moustache II. Last years show was so fun, we are doing it again, the opening reception is March 23, 2013 from  7-10 PM.  People always tell us our receptions are lots of fun and no two are alike.

How do you find the artists, are they local?

All of our artists are local, we find our artists through the recommendations of people we trust and through our visits to art exhibits through the Twin Cities.

Is all the art available for purchase? 

Yes, all the work in our gallery is available!

Does your gallery offer any assistance for a consumer who may be interested in selecting more then one piece of art for their home?

Yes, we offer in- home consultations to anyone who may be interested in purchasing art. We will bring selected artworks to a client’s home and provide recommendations about size, format and color.

What tip would you give the first time art buyer?

When considering your first major art purchase follow your instinct and your initial reaction to the artwork. If the artwork immediately inspires you and moves you , it is likely going to continue to do so for a long time.

Any Tips for creating a “gallery” in ones home?

  • Tip 1- As a rule, don’t hang artwork too high!
  • Tip 2- There are no rules, really.
Any misconceptions people have about purchasing art, what would you tell them?
We find that many people are shy about asking questions, and maybe feel reluctant to engage in a conversations about art. We love art and love talking about art! There really are no silly questions, and no right answers! 

Do you participate in any of the local art shows?
Yes, we participate in all of them, first Thursdays, art-a-whirl, ect…

A huge thank you to Anita and Patrick for letting us better understand galleries and showcasing some amazing artists!

Featured Chef and Restauranteur – John Schiltz of the Lake Elmo Inn

I recently had the honor of meeting with John Schiltz, owner of Lake Elmo Inn- Restaurant and Catering.

At a young age John had two passions in life, cooking and woodworking. While in high school John dabbled in both. At 16 years old John worked as a dishwasher at the Lake Elmo Inn. He also worked  at the high school cafeteria and took O.J.T. at a local cabinet shop.  While testing the waters in these fields, John didn’t find that he could express all he had to offer.  The one thing John knew was that he enjoyed being in the restaurant!  After graduating from high school John decided to attend the culinary program at St. Paul Technical College.  While attending culinary classes, John had the honor, from his peers of being “Most Likely To Succeed.”

After graduating college John spent the next few years traveling to different parts of the country, working at some of the finest restaurants.  After gaining more experience he landed a highly coveted spot at the Registry Hotel in St Paul. John had the privilege of working under a top German chef.  Eventually, John moved on to bigger and better things. 

It was in 1983 that John got word that the owner of the Lake Elmo Inn had put it up for sale. Although John was young, had decided to purchase the restaurant. John has now owned the restaurant for 29 years. In 2006 the restaurant underwent an extensive renovation to modernize and create more space for diners.

Over the years, The Lake Elmo Inn has grown to include many additional services and venues –

  • Lake Elmo Inn Restaurant
  • Lake Elmo Inn Catering & Event Center
  • Lake Elmo Inn Corporate Catering

The newly remodeled patio & restaurant:

If you could only eat one thing the rest of your life, what would it be
Beef, because there are so many varieties

Describe your dream kitchen in five words
Spacious, lake view, efficient, powerful appliances, and refrigeration

What is your comfort food
Hot dish or fried chicken, I really enjoy cooking at home for my wife.

Appliances you couldn’t live without

Tilting kettle, broiler, gas burner, and convection oven

If you could only have 5 tools in your kitchen, what would they be
Good knifes, cookware, food processor, tongs and spatula

What is a typical work day like
There are never two of the exact same days in this business.  I work 6 days a week and try not to work on Sundays, but usually I end up working for about 7-8 hours, which I consider a half day. A few weeks ago I had my first full day off in decades.

I wake up at 5:30 and get into the restaurant about 7 am and stay until the night crew arrives which is about 5pm. If we have a catering event,  those days are always longer.

If you could give a new cook, one tip what would it be
Concentrate and focus- it’s as simple as that…

If you haven’t eaten at the Lake Elmo Inn, you need to; and make it soon! 
It’s a truly magical place during the Holidays, just check out the amazing ornament display on the ceiling in the bar.

FAQs Regarding Working With A Designer- Part 2

This is part two on the topic, FAQs regarding working with a designer. We hope after reading this, you will have a better understanding of why hiring a designer not only gives you a beautiful home, but can also increase your homes value and functionally among many other benefits!

When should a designer get involved in a new construction project, why?

  This is actually an invaluable service that should always be considered.  From our experience it is critical to have all team players (contractor/builder, designer) in place during the early planning stages.  This ultimately results in a quicker process, a more thoughtful design and will help keep you on budget. 
Can a homeowner typically save money by purchasing furniture/ lighting/ accessories though their designer, how so?
  Because we have access to more product and receive better discounts through the showrooms, we are able to offer our clients a custom look designed uniquely for them for pricing similar to what they might pay in a retail store.  Our clients come to us in order to achieve a design that is different from the typical “Pottery Barn” look that their neighbors have.  The quality that the designer can offer will also be higher and the pieces will last longer.  It’s important to stress that a designer will help keep you from making mistakes which ultimately saves you time and money in the long run.  Our clients confirm this on a regular basis!
How does hiring a designer in “real life” vary from the ones you see on TV? 
  Oh wow….do you have all day?!?!  In reality, the design process is nothing like what most TV show portray.  Most of the time the shows are not addressing time frame, a realistic budget or the “dirty” work that it takes to get a job done.  This is a huge frustration for “real life” designers because many clients will come to us with unrealistic expectations and be disappointed with the dose of reality we have to give them! 
What are some questions I should ask a designer before hiring her/him?
  What is your process, how do you charge, do you work in a particular style, how will I purchase through you, do I have to purchase through you or can I purchase on my own, what types of vendors/artisans do you work with, do you have a website where I can see your work and learn more about you, do you have references, are you certified in a particular field of design, what is the best way to communicate with you?  The list could go on and on, but this is a good start and the designer should fill in from there. 
Can you give us an overview of the design process when hiring a designer?
  We typically start with an initial phone conversation which then leads to a first meeting at the clients home.  From there we discuss the scope and budget for the project and are able to get a good glimpse of the clients taste, expectations and communication style.  We then create (with the client) a comprehensive plan that will allow us to get their project finished on time and on budget.  Depending on the project (remodel vs. furnishings) we will estimate the number of hours that it will take for us to complete the design phase.  You can read more on this at our website at www.fiddleheaddesigngroup.com if you would like more detail. 
Thanks Fiddlehead Design Group! 

Featured Designer December- Angela Parker

The featured designer of December is Angela Parker of Interior Places and Spaces.

Share your background
My background started out in college with an interest in studio arts, painting, drawing, then switched to interior design and architecture. Graduated from the U of M and served as a adjunct faculty for 7 years in the interior design program at the Art Institute Minneapolis. Currently, president elect of the ASID Minnesota Chapter, service community, and showcase house participant 7 years, 2 peoples choice awards. Specialize in residential remodeling, whole homes, media rooms, condominium conversions, travel companies and private dental clinics. NCIDQ certificate holder. 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why
I would live in a remote climate with a view of the ocean preferably, Mombasa, Kenya or Belize City. I prefer locations with cultural influences and were a secondary language is spoken. The ocean is music to my ears and encourages me to learn another language, challenging my creativity and diversity. I have traveled to both East African and Mexico, and like them both. 

Describe your dream home in five words
Private, Healthy, Inviting, Comforting, Haven
What are your Hobbies
Writing, painting, drawing, reading, walking, entertaining and volunteering

Five things you can’t live without

God, family, friends, nature and water

What are your favorite local shops and restaurants

Shops: The Walker, 1/2 Priced Books, Filament Lighting, Your Arts Desire, Edina Art Center, and my local hardware shop
Restaurants: Biella, Crave, Crossroads Deli and Thanh Do

Describe one of your favorite projects
Joey and Jerry in Golden Valley. Addition included a kitchen make-over, powder room, great room, laundry and a master suite. 1970’s refresh with birch hardwood floors, custom windows, cabinetry and a barrel vaulted ceiling.
Kitchen Before
Great Room After
Kitchen After
Another favorite project
Library Before
Library After
Who are your favorite artist and furniture designers

Artist: Claude Monet- Impressionist style

Furniture designer: Barbara Berry
What is your favorite room in your home
My sun room, it is surrounded with windows on three sides, with a view of my backyards, which faces the west. It has douglas fir paneling and it is very relaxing

Fill in the blank, No room would be complete without…
Art and great lighting to complement the design of the space

What are your “go to” paint colors

Benjamin Moore Historical Colors

Thanks Angela!

Early American Architectural Styles

In honor of Thanksgiving, we  complied a list of Early American Colonial House Styles. Pilgrims did not come from one place but rather multiple backgrounds settled in North America between 1600 and 1800. Men, women and children traveled from various parts of the world, including France, Spain, Latin American and Germany. This mesh of different backgrounds created various cultures  and architectural styles throughout North America. 
We are focusing on the earlier part of  the 1600-1700, as the mid 1700’s rolled in, many additional architectural styles were created. This was due in large part from the blending of different styles, progression in construction methods and new building materials. 
New England Colonial
  • Chimney placed at the center
  • Second story protrudes over first story
  • Saltbox roof shape that slopes down in the rear
  • Diamond-paned windows
Georgian Colonial
  • Symmetrical shape
  • Paneled front door at center
  • Decorative crown over front door
  • Flattened columns on each side of door
  • Five windows across front
  • Medium pitched roof
Spanish Colonial
  • Located in the American South, Southwest, and California
  • Flat roof, or roof with a low pitch
  • Earth, thatch, or clay tile roof covering
  • Thick walls made with rocks, coquina, or adobe brick coated with stucco
  • Small windows
  • Wooden or wrought iron bars across the windows
  • Interior shutters
German Colonial
  • Most often found in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland
  • Two-feet thick walls made with sandstone
  • Reinforced stone arches above the first floor windows and doors
  • Exposed half-timbering
  • Flared eaves
Cape Cod 
  • Steep pitched roof 
  • 1 or 1½ stories
  • Constructed of wood and sided in wide clapboard or shingles
  • Exterior siding originally left unpainted
  • Large central chimney linked to a fireplace in each room
  • Rectangular shape
  • Center-hall floor plan
French Colonial 
  • Found along Mississippi river valley, mainly in the south
  • wide hipped roof extends over porches
  • living quarters raised above ground level
  • wide porches, called “galleries”
  • no interior hallways
  • french doors 
Dutch Colonial
  • Located in New York State and nearby areas in Delaware, New Jersey, and western Connecticut
  • Stone or brick construction
  • Dutch doors 
  • Matching chimneys on each side, or a massive wishbone-shaped chimney at the front
  • Gambrel roof with flared eaves

We wish you and your family a happy, safe Thanksgiving from all of us at Purcell!

Sources: 1

Eating your way through the Twin Cities

We sat down with interior designer, Krista Schwartz, principle of Indicia Interior Design. To get her opinion on the best eats in the Twin Cities. Looking forward to trying out some new great local restaurants, and so glad we have a recommendation or two of what to eat!

Mango Thai

The restaurant is very small, but it’s a hidden gem, so you can usually expect to wait for a table. Krista recommends eating off the appetizer menu.

Sonora Grill

Krista recommends the shrimp caramelos… they are her favorite!

Fuji Ya
Best sushi

Joans in the Park
Great dinner, they offer full service in the bar which is casual. Great roasted turnips, get them as a side!

Rusty Taco

Rusty’s has a great quick lunch- fabulous tacos on corn tortillas and great chips! Best part, it’s right down the street from our office!

Resturante Luci

Meritage is my favorite dinner spot downtown St. Paul. It’s simple and homey. Krista’s favorite is the crispy all natural half chicken.

Maria’s Cafe

Punch Pizza

Hands down the best pizza in the Twin Cities, try the Rugula pizza!

Taste of Thailand
Great takeout, Recommended is number 38 with chicken. It appears Krista is not the only to favorite the Pra Ram Long Song, it’s a best seller!

Shish Cafe
Great gyros, perfect for lunch or take out!

Of Course we can’t forget about dessert… Sweets Bakeshop has great salted carmel macaroons!

For more information on these great restaurants, click on the restaurants name. Do you have any additional recommendations for us?

Lavish Kitchens Part 2- Refrigeration

The second feature to our lavish kitchen series is refrigeration.

Sub Zero Pro-48- $13,800

Made with 100% sculpted steel, and features dual refrigeration—meaning the refrigerator and freezer use separate sets of compressors and evaporators, unlike standard refrigerators. The compressors are each controlled by microprocessors to ensure the proper temperatures. The refrigerator even features auto-closing doors with an improved hing system that keeps the warmth from creeping in.

Dimensions: 48″ W x 84″H x 24″D, more information here.

Northland 72″ Side by Side- $11,000

 Northland is a 100-year-old provider of custom refrigerators. You can even choose a  glass door and stainless steel wrap, features “daylight” interior lighting and easily cleaned glass shelves. They have many other unique refrigeration options available as well.

Dimensions: 72″W x 84.5″H x 24″D, more information here.

Stay tuned for our next lavish posting!