Attributed to the firm of Bentley & Hausle, the house is a significant example of Midwestern Prairie School architecture.

With better design, the kitchen is much more workable—no house-addition necessary.

With better design, the kitchen is much more workable—no house-addition necessary.

The previous owners, here for 40 years, had taken good care of it, but the interior was dated in both appearance and function. In main rooms, floors were refinished and woodwork refreshed.

The 1915 house in St. Paul is a fine example of Prairie School residential architecture.

The 1915 house in St. Paul is a fine example of Prairie School residential architecture.

The kitchen, however, blandly remodeled in the 1980s and with failing surfaces, needed a redo. Upstairs, five tiny bedrooms shared just one bath.

Rich woodwork and Prairie details are intact.

Rich woodwork and Prairie details are intact.

“We wanted upgrades, but we needed designers with a historic-preservation ethic,” say homeowners Susan Smith and Brian Lewis.

The couple had taken an architects’-homes house tour years ago, where they discovered David Heide Design Studio; “we’ve followed the firm’s published work ever since,” Susan says. “Our first thought was to call them.”

Although they considered an addition with a new back entry, budget had them keeping the original layout of the house. The Heide design gained space for the kitchen by reconfiguring the powder room behind it, allowing for a built-in refrigerator that no longer juts into the room. Wall ovens were eliminated, and a new peninsula provides storage and counter space.

Lights were custom-made to complement the original fixtures still in the house.

Lights were custom-made to complement the original fixtures still in the house.

The kitchen is contemporary, but Heide’s team explained that they would base its design on restoration principles. Details are taken from this house and from Prairie houses of the same era. The original architects had designed lighting with the square detail seen in the art-glass windows; the Heide Studio did the same now. Lightworks fabricated the fixtures, resulting in custom work that didn’t cost any more than comparable off-the-shelf lighting.

In the master bath, the sink-cabinet doors pick up a detail seen in the original windows. White tile, flat trim work, and the curvy tub add to the period look.

In the master bath, the sink-cabinet doors pick up a detail seen in the original windows. White tile, flat trim work, and the curvy tub add to the period look.

Upstairs, three tiny rooms became a new master suite: two bedrooms were absorbed into one large bedroom, and the third became a new bathroom. There’s also a guest room and a home office. The white bathrooms with Prairie details are right for the house and have timeless appeal.

The master bath suite is nicely partitioned for privacy. The toilet and shower get their own rooms on one wall.

The master bath suite is nicely partitioned for privacy. The toilet and shower get their own rooms on one wall.

“We really enjoyed the give-and-take with the Heide team,” the couple says. A previous Heide-designed kitchen inspired this kitchen’s slate-mosaic flooring, granite, and red birch for cabinets. They also credit general contractor Tim Lemke: “ He helped us identify where we could manage costs without compromising integrity,” says Brian Lewis.

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