From complementary paint colors and timeless finishes to bold accents and curated furniture collections, it’s easy to spot a room where the design elements come together seamlessly. But that perceived effortlessness can be difficult to achieve without the touch of an experienced design professional. Here, Twin Cities interior designers break down how different elements in four local new build spaces blend to create a look that is cohesive and aesthetically pleasing.
Why this works:
1. Natural light from wall-to-wall windows and bright finishes like white paint and millwork set the stage for a dark kitchen with cabinets in Sherwin-Williams’ green-gray Rock Bottom. “Having finishes that reflect the light help when you choose darker paint around the kitchen perimeter,” says interior designer Marta Lewinski of the white quartz island countertop with a waterfall edge. “Those dark colors can actually make a space look larger.”
2. Oak flooring with 10- inch planks complements the wide-open floor plan and modern aesthetic. “By having a wider plank, it showcases the graining in the floor,” says Lewinski. “There’s less movement compared to a thinner plank, so it makes for a more serene look.”
3. Wanting to keep the walk-through dinette area light and airy, low-profile chairs and a hewn walnut table maximize the natural light pouring in and illuminating the space all the way to the kitchen.
4. In the living room, a modern electric fireplace floats off the ground, positioned at an ideal viewing height within a floor-to-ceiling white stone surround that forgoes a traditional hearth.
5. The mixed-metal trend is on full display in the kitchen, where the black hardware and faucet on the island contrast with brushed brass lighting: Ralph Lauren pendant lanterns outfitted with caramel-colored leather detailing.
Luxe on the Lake
Why this works:
6. Located on top of a bluff, the primary suite was intentionally situated to take advantage of stunning Lake Minnetonka views. French doors leading to a balcony are shrouded by treetops, creating a private, intimate feel in the space.
7. While tall ceilings lend an air of grandeur, the bedroom remains cozy and grounded by natural finishes, from the wooden ceiling beams and white-washed flooring to the limestone fireplace.
8. A warm, neutral color palette is brought to life through texture-rich finishes, like the Moroccan-style rug, linen bedding, and floor-to-ceiling window treatments.
9. The pitched roofline continues into the ensuite, where a calming, spa-like atmosphere is achieved with gray-wash cabinetry, white-veined countertops, and a freestanding tub that also overlooks the lake.
10. “Polished finishes—like the hardware, mirrors, and glass chandelier—and custom art by Christina Twomey with a lacquered finish carry an elevated aesthetic throughout the whole suite,” says CEO and creative director Kate O’Hara. “While the ensuite can easily become forgotten, most often used by only the homeowners, these homeowners can feel elegant and chic no matter what room they are spending time in.”
Why this works:
11. A high-textured animal hide rug served as the starting point for the furnishings selected in this lower-level family room. The low-back casual sofa is light and airy, fostering ideal sight lines to the fireplace when guests are seated. An oversized coffee table balances the wood and gray tones repeated throughout the space.
12. Anchoring the room, the floor-to-ceiling media wall is finished in a gray tile that mimics the look of cut wood. A stained mantel complements the linear plane of the modern fireplace and ties into the surrounding reclaimed wood paneling that adds dimension.
13. “On either side of the fireplace, we custom-designed lower base cabinetry for storage,” says senior interior designer Kristen Schammel. “We painted them a warmer gray and selected a wood top with a custom stain to pull all the elements together, leaving that wall feeling blended, yet allowing each elevation to be its own creative focal point.”
14. Rather than choosing a wood or tile material underfoot, the concrete epoxy finish gave the designers control over the look and movement of the flooring. A white and gray marbling effect plays to the white trim and millwork.
Traditional With a Twist
Why this works:
15. Simple and sophisticated white cabinetry offsets the herringbone backsplash that adds a playful punch to the kitchen, while still following suit with the home’s classic, traditional style.
16. “The adjacent den includes the same base tan-and-white color scheme and wooden elements with thoughtful pops of color layered in to make it feel cohesive alongside the kitchen,” says founder and design director Kate Regan.
17. Though the home boasts an open concept floor plan, a colorful, patterned rug in the den helps establish a visual separation between the two spaces.
18. In keeping with the home’s new traditional style, molding can be found throughout, offering a thread of consistency between rooms.
19. Ample seating areas in the kitchen and the den encourage time spent together throughout the daily routine, as well as provide space for easy entertaining.