Reader Home: An Extension of Style

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All furniture in the new basement family room was restored by the owners.

All furniture in the new basement family room was restored by the owners.

A stylish basement redo, by Jim Madson and Anne Sharp.

We moved in almost a decade ago, in love with this Dutch Colonial house and its Craftsman interior. We’ve worked on its unmolested features so that it will last another hundred years. We also made over the basement into a large family room, office, and kids’ bathroom.

Sunroom from the living room: Millwork in the house was in good condition, requiring just a good cleaning and beeswax.

Sunroom from the living room: Millwork in the house was in good condition, requiring just a good cleaning and beeswax.

With just a dingy bath and nonconforming bedroom damaged by mold and mildew, the lower level was almost a blank slate. We created all of the trim and millwork from old-growth fir and redwood bought from demolished homes. The office flooring is fir salvaged from a deck—we turned boards upside-down, cleaned the edges, then sanded and finished them. We remilled salvaged wood ourselves into the sizes we needed. The finish is a custom stain with five coats of tung oil, hand-applied. For the family room entry, we purchased double doors from a demolished church. Glazed walls harmonize with the warm wood trim.

Art tiles surround a salvaged stove in the fireplace.

Art tiles surround a salvaged stove in the basement fireplace.

Tile for the new basement fireplace was made by Clay Squared and North Prairie Tileworks. Even the inset stove came from a torn-down house. For the bathroom’s shower ceiling, we bought colorful remnants from a local tile shop and our daughters had fun creating the design. (We tried to do all triangles, but had to slip in a couple of trapezoids.)

The living-room fireplace is original.

The living-room fireplace is original.

The fir and redwood in the office area came from a hundred-year-old bar disassembled in northern Minnesota. We restored all the furniture. The space holds a collection of handmade pottery, both local and collected on our travels. Our only rule: pieces must be signed by the artist.

St. Anthony, Minn., built 1920: The exterior style is Dutch Colonial, but inside it’s true Arts & Crafts.

St. Anthony, Minn., built 1920: The exterior style is Dutch Colonial, but inside it’s true Arts & Crafts.