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Artful Living |

Photography by Taylor Hall O’Brien

For a family home in Wayzata, Henri Interiors went a little wild. The starting point was a stately 11,000-square-foot structure where every inch was regal and refined. The only issue was that the family was entirely not.

Joe and Kari Kazer wanted a lively place for their four kids that would fit their relaxed family vibe and showcase his psychedelic art — yet not feel like a museum. After an extensive search, the couple instantly clicked with Amanda Lorenz, owner and principal designer of Henri Interiors, who was able to expertly walk the tricky tightrope of softening the estate’s stately edges while keeping the interiors just edgy enough.

Artful Living | Henri Interiors Gives a Wayzata Home a Psychedelic Refresh

“When we bought the house, we saw so much potential in the architecture, but a lot of it just didn’t feel like us,” Kari explains. “Amanda was able to warm it up and make it feel more like us.”

Getting that comfy, cozy feel was a challenge given the starting point. For one, the style was over-the-top with what Lorenz calls lots of “pomp and circumstance,” from second story gated lookouts to ornate ironwork at every turn. Butter yellow walls were accented with dark woodwork and paneling. “It was very opulent, and these people are so low-key,” she says. “We needed to make everything way more approachable.” An additional challenge was the scale; it was so overwhelming with vast, voluminous rooms that needed to be reconfigured into livable everyday spaces.

Artful Living | Henri Interiors Gives a Wayzata Home a Psychedelic Refresh

“It’s almost like the great room was a grand ballroom,” Joe recalls. To size down this open space, Lorenz created what he dubs “little scenes with bohemian corners.” First up, the designer modernized the ironwork on those lookouts and swapped out the chandeliers for whimsical lighting in black and white. The walls were promptly painted white, along with the rest of the house, for a clean backdrop that showcases Joe’s artwork and those original arches that made the home architecturally interesting in the first place.

“So much of the renovation was about unmasking elements of the home,” Joe says. “It was really oppressive how all the finishes were universally applied. It just distracted from the architecture.” Lorenz agrees, adding that a lot of the original abode circa 2006 worked well — it was just hard to get back to that.

Artful Living | Henri Interiors Gives a Wayzata Home a Psychedelic Refresh

Next up, she layered in gallery-style seating, including a corner chaise and lots of little stools. “For young families, I like using utilitarian objects to offset all the big pieces,” notes Lorenz. Here, earthy, textural stools do double duty as side tables and add to the overall ease since they’re mobile and therefore super kid-friendly, which was important for her design philosophy for this project. “These kids are just as fun as their parents with interests and lives of their own,” she adds. “We wanted to create an environment where they’re encouraged to be fun and vivacious.”

In stripping things down to nail that relaxed, casual feel, most of the wall coverings had to go. Previously, nearly every wall and angled alcove (and there were many upstairs) was covered in some type of treatment, from grass cloth to patterns. But much like the rich wood paneling (which was all painted white or a color), it felt what the couple and designer collectively call “oppressive.”

Artful Living | Henri Interiors Gives a Wayzata Home a Psychedelic Refresh

Similarly, one of the kids’ bedrooms upstairs was cloaked in heavy carpet, thick textiles and wall coverings, which were high-end yet suffocating. “It was like there was a turtleneck on everything,” Joe jokes. “They just took it all too seriously.” This was yet another opportunity to infuse some playfulness, which took shape via a turquoise window nook where the blue color saturates the surrounding millwork — a technique Lorenz used again on the bar downstairs. Here, black-on-black millwork pops against the white walls, creating a focal point that’s artsy and mod.

Artful Living | Henri Interiors Gives a Wayzata Home a Psychedelic Refresh

In the big traditional dining room, Lorenz did something really wild: not very much. She opted to leave the extravagant dark paneled wall covering on the ceiling along with the oversize metallic pendants, which worked well with the new white walls, further perked up by Joe’s colorful skate decks on display.

Plus, this contrasting motif feels cohesive with the rest of the interiors. The black-and-white palette repeats in the foyer on a tiled floor stretching down the hallway, which was similarly stripped down to show off its original arches. Upstairs in the primary bedroom, the designer repeated her strategy, saving the square-style wall paneling for its elegant, contrasting texture. “One of my favorite things is keeping something and making it work to your benefit, so you can really see it in a new light,” Lorenz says.

Artful Living | Henri Interiors Gives a Wayzata Home a Psychedelic Refresh

And when things couldn’t be repurposed, she added a new glow of her own. Case in point: The overscale powder room, which needed some edginess to make it shine. “I wanted to do something that was risky for the average Minnesotan and put lights above the sink instead of a mirror,” Lorenz explains. To up the wow factor, she installed a curvaceous modern Australian sink then staggered disc-like lights by Hennepin Made above, keeping a standing mirror just to the right of this de facto art installation. It’s stunning, sculptural and the perfect amount of weird.

Artful Living | Henri Interiors Gives a Wayzata Home a Psychedelic Refresh

Not every home can fuse handblown glass and repurposed wall paneling with neon paintings and bright skateboards. But that was key for this family with very urban style in a very suburban setting. And fortunately, Henri Interiors pulled it off beautifully. “My artwork is funky and different,” Joe shares. “Amanda was able to integrate it and infuse our personality into the home. Not all designers would be able — or willing — to do so.”

Read this article as it appears in the magazine.

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