30 Years in a 100-Year-Old Home — House Call

Name: Anne and her husband
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
The basics: 30 years, owned — 3,500 square feet

Anne’s home has the sort of settled into style that many of us dream about when we look at the bare walls of our new houses and apartments. Decorated with a mix of thrift store steals and colorful imports, Anne and her family have kept the historic character of the home alive all while creating a warm and welcoming space.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: Our home was built in 1917 for about $825 dollars! The dark oak woodwork including the floors and trim around all of the windows and baseboards in the front of the house is original. It’s been tempting to paint it in the current white trend and to brighten up the space, but I’ve resisted because of its amazing 100-year-old life. So, when we remodeled the back side of the house about 10 years ago, we copied the style of the original wood work but painted it, so the style is the same. Many people are unable to tell where the old ends and new begins.

We’ve lived in our house for 30 years, raised two sons, three dogs and entertained many family members and friends over the years. We’ve evolved in our jobs and about ten years ago I started a business built on my passion for Mexico’s top quality crafts. It’s a comfortable house and it gives off a warm vibe to all who enter. The warm, pale yellow walls are perfect for setting off the colors of Mexico and add a feeling of warmth to our freezing winters in the North Country.

What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is the sunroom because it has windows on three sides and is on the south side of the house. I love to sit on the sofa with The New York Times or my books, magazines and computer and enjoy the warmth of the sun in the winter or the bright light in the summer.

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? I don’t think there’s anything I’d change about our home now! We did our dream remodeling about ten years ago and straightened out some of the wonkiness—there were no closets in the tiny bedrooms, the layout was illogical and someone had added a cathedral ceiling to the back of the house (in the 80s) that looked SO out of place. It’s now very consistent with the era it was built, warm and inviting.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I am an avid thrifter and have decorated many rooms in our house with pieces from ARC’s Value Village, Saver’s, Goodwill. Two of our living room chairs were literally picked up from the street a few blocks from our house. My friends ask me, “Did that come from Mexico” or “Did that come from Value Village?”

I think the last thing I bought were a bunch of beautiful, unique African baskets that someone gave to Goodwill.

Anne’s words of wisdom: First, figure out what YOU love. Don’t follow the crowd. What makes you happy and comfortable? What feels like you? Second, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to find things that speak to you. Third, a little paint can create magic.

Thanks, Anne!

• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour & House Call Submission Form.

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