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Photography by Spacecrafting

Interior designer Bruce Kading is known for his unmatched ability to infuse his projects with a spirit of place. Recently, a Minnesota family wanting to remake their Medina home enlisted Bruce Kading Interior Design to transform their abode into a European estate. Here, he gives a behind-the-scenes look at how he redesigned the house with thoughtful touches throughout.

How did you approach transforming this home?

I have a lifelong love of European country houses, and I’ve spent many memorable days visiting chateaus, stately homes and manses all across Europe. As soon as my clients explained their idea of a European estate inspired by their travels, I could easily envision what the existing house could become.

The builder and I have collaborated on many complex projects over the years, so we’re very much in sync. From there, my team and I spent time with our clients and the builder walking through the home, discussing the possibilities, and deciding what to keep and what to change. We then embarked on a wonderful process of discovery and selected colors, fabrics and finishes, and hunted for European furnishings, rugs, lighting and art to give the home an authentic layered look.

What were some key elements you kept consistent throughout the redesign?

I replaced all the flooring throughout the home with European-style plank and herringbone wood flooring to tie the rooms together. I used painted glazed woodwork, soft rugs with muted hues, simple embroidered damasks, and humble linen and cotton fabrics to create a serene backdrop for the furnishings and art. I also added a crusty, aged paint finish to the doors to make them look and feel old.

How did you tie in the modern kitchen to the rest of the home?

The former kitchen was perfectly situated off the living room and dining room, so we didn’t need to move it. I wanted the space to feel more like a cooking center. I designed a large island and moved one wall to make room for a La Cornue range with a large fireback and a stone hood. I designed new custom cabinetry and a hand-carved wooden door for the refrigerator that makes it look like an old European armoire. The original fireplace felt very Western, so I designed a new fireplace surround and placed an oil painting over the fireplace to make the room feel very inviting.

What was your favorite room to design?

I love every room in the house, but I’m especially fond of the library. Most of the other rooms in the house are very light and serene, so I used dark wood paneling, two walls of bookshelves, upholstered furniture and a steel fireplace to create a cozy, clubby space for reading on chilly days.

How do you hope this home make the residents feel?

Our clients have told us they love their new country retreat! They and their three grown children feel very at home in the house because it’s timeless and inviting, not formal and standoffish.

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