Comfort and Comfort in a Minnesota Manse

The husband wanted a masculine home. The wife wanted a place filled with vibrant color. Short of calling a marriage counselor, what was the designer to do?

For interior designer Darsi Floersch, the solution was a neutral inside with splashes of color throughout. “It was a balancing act of finding the color in the marketplace, but not needing it over the top,” states Floersch, of Martha O’Hara Interiors in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

Her clients — a professional athlete and a fitness trainer — built the 8,700-square-foot house for themselves and their two brothers near the shores of Lake Minnetonka, a popular resort area west of the Twin Cities. Regardless of the home’s huge size, the couple wanted it to look unpretentious and family friendly, and also to reflect the husband’s upbringing to a South Dakota farm.

“They’re down-to-earth,” Floersch states. “They wanted a place to entertain friends and family, and to reside in comfort. It was important to them to become more casual than dressy.”

at a Glance
Who lives here: A fitness trainer, a professional athlete and their two brothers
Location: Close Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota
Interior designer: Darsi Floersch, Martha O’Hara Interiors
Architect: Tritch Design
Builder: L. Cramer Designers + Builders
Size: 5 bedrooms, 41/2 bathrooms

Martha O’Hara Interiors

The owners opted to get a great room instead of a formal living room, and requested for an ottoman rather than a coffee table so they could put up their feet while watching TV.

Floersch used neutral colors on the sofa and chairs, then indulged the spouse’s love of color with the hot pink ottoman. “As long as the entire house wasn’t pink, the husband was willing to let her have that,” she states.

Your husband is a large man, and his wife is petite, therefore Floersch opted for heavier seats and added throw pillows, because you can always earn a chair smaller with pillows, but you can’t make it bigger.

Wool broadloom was trimmed and jumped to produce the area rug — a less costly option than purchasing an present rug.

Ottoman: Stewart Furniture, with cloth by Villa Romo; chandelier: Visible Comfort

Martha O’Hara Interiors

When is a formal dining room not a formal dining room? When it is supplied with a bleached, textured table surrounded by slipcovered necklace seats.

The owners are avid boaters and wanted some of the maritime feeling from the decoration. Floersch loved the curtain cloth and echoed the shade in the wing seats at either end of this table. “Going all around the dining table with it might have been a lot of,” she states.

Chandelier: Century Furniture; table: cFc

Martha O’Hara Interiors

The kitchen island is painted charcoal and topped with Argento granite; the counters at the back are Carrara marble. Upholstered stools supply an abrupt jolt of color and pattern.

Lanterns: Visible Comfort

Martha O’Hara Interiors

Folding barn-style doors, a homage to the husband of youth on a farm, offer access into the butler’s pantry in the hall.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

To produce the study flow with the rest of the house, Floersch eschewed stained millwork for striking charcoal paint. The hammered metal desk, paired with stainless steel counters, indulges the husband’s industrial aesthetic.

The yellow leather wing chair provides the requisite pop of color, but is trimmed with oversize nailheads to get a little machismo.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

Light floods the landing on the back stair, which features built-in window chairs where relatives can contemplate the view.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

Punches of aqua fortify the warm gray walls from the master bedroom. Tongue and groove paneling adorns the tray ceiling.

Paint: Winter Gates, Benjamin Moore

Martha O’Hara Interiors

Floersch obliged a petition for fun color in the laundry room with a cheery cherry paint and background, each of which extend to the home office.

Custom legs give the laundry room sink farmhouse appeal, while a bowed counter manages both laundry and children’s art projects with equal aplomb.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

The lower level contains a media room and pub. The floor is covered with 3- by 6-inch travertine tiles, designed to maintain up to celebrations and moist feet in the nearby pool.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

Rusticated stone behind the bar adds to the pub-like feel; the bell was a gift from Floersch.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

This foot rail was salvaged from a train track near the husband’s youth farm.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

The lower level also contains a game table illuminated by means of a custom light fixture. The pendants have been affixed to paths salvaged from a barn on the farm in which the husband has been raised.

“It meant a great deal to them to have their family legacy in the home,” states Floersch.

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