Interiorssneak peeks

A 1920s Home Built with Charming Architectural Details

by Tawnee Madlen Walker

When you buy a house built in the 1920s, your home doesn’t always come with all the amenities that you’d find in many homes today. A walk-in closet, master suite, spacious kitchen, and a modern layout are sacrificed for charming details of the past. Fortunately for Patti and Brian Wagner, their ambition and passion for old homes led them to have the best of both worlds in their 1927 home in Minneapolis, MN.

Patti is a senior designer at Target, and Brian is a commercial banker. They both have a love for old homes and have renovated several houses that they currently rent out. For their “forever home,” the couple is working to keep as much of the original character as possible while updating the space to include modern-day conveniences. They purchased their home toward the end of 2011 and have been renovating it ever since. Practically living in what is now their daughter’s room when they began renovations, they’d come home from their day jobs and go straight to working on the house for months on end.

After about a year, they began tackling the biggest part of the renovation process – turning the attached garage into a kitchen and building a new detached garage. “While my husband did demolition work on the old attached garage, he uncovered 11 steel beams!,” Patti shares. “Our house is pretty solidly built, I’d say.” From picking out the hardware to sketching out the cabinets, Patti and Bryan were a part of every little detail of the renovation process.

“For now, the majority of the renovation has been completed, but we still have a few more projects to tackle,” Patti shares. From beautiful archways and wall niches to vintage green tile in the home, the small details make a large impact. –Tawnee

Photography by Melissa Oholendt 

Paint – Benjamin Moore White Dove
Mirror – Homegoods
Console – IKEA
Mini Pots – Local shops: Munster Rose and Spruce Flowers & Home
Stool – Pottery Barn
Sisal Rug – Crate and Barrel

Living Room
Paint – Benjamin Moore White Dove
Couch – Room and Board
Pillows – Homegoods, Target and Pottery Barn
Bench – Restoration Hardware
Rug – Target
Floor Planter – Modernica purchased at Room and Board
Cactus Pot – Brown and Greene (local floral shop)
Rattan Chair and Stool – Target

Dining Room
Paint – Benjamin Moore White Dove
Dining Set – Macy’s furniture
Rug – Home Depot
Planter Basket – Homegoods
Fiddle Leaf Fig – Brown and Greene (local shop)

Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore Acadia White
Trim and Cabinet – Benjamin Moore White Dove
Faucet – Home Depot
Chandelier – Filament Lighting (local shop)
Wall Frames – Pottery Barn
Planter – Target

Master Bedroom
Paint – Benjamin Moore White Dove
Bed – Room and Board
Throw – Target
Curtains – IKEA
Frames – West Elm

Upstairs Bathroom
Wall, Trim and Ceiling – Sherwin Williams Stock White
Sink – Kohler
Hand Towel – West Elm
Step Stool – Homegoods
Sconces – West Elm

Ava’s Room
Paint – Benjamin Moore White Dove
Bed – Target.com
Wall Shelf – Target
Lit Letter “A” – Mini Marquee

You're instantly greeted by the home's quaint entrance designed with original dark brick tiles and a built-in mailbox.
From the foyer, you can look out into the dining room and see a lovely row of arches.
Brian and Patti love cooking and entertaining, so they spend a lot of time in the kitchen. With dark faux beams and brick tiles, the white kitchen helps brighten up the heavy architectural features.
An abundance of natural light streams into the home through the kitchen's french doors. Found at a local boutique, the couple picked out this chandelier because it closely resembled the home's original lighting.
"We used honed marble for the countertop even though people tried to deter us from it for fear of it staining and etching," Patti shares. "For us, living in an old house means accepting imperfections which means we won't lose sleep if these things were to happen."
An extra space for food prepping.
Patti rendered the cabinet layouts for their local cabinet maker and created a little bar area.
Looking into the dining room from the kitchen is a beautiful sight. Their kitchen was previously an attached garage, so they made it flow with the house by adding an archway opening to match the rest of the home. Brian even drew out the archway to mathematically match the other arches. Their guests are always surprised to find out it's not original!
This adorable wall niche is found in their dining room. "It's small details like this that makes our house feel so charming and unique," Patti says.
A room filled with light from their home's walls of windows. "The windows are all original and my husband painstakingly reglazed and repainted each one," Patti explains.
"This is part of the living room, but it took us a while to figure out what to do with this corner," Patti admits. "We love that it came together as a reading nook and I made the sign to put above it. This corner is simple, but functional."
The living room is full of cozy, calm vibes with plenty of comfortable seating.
At first, Patti wanted to redesign the fireplace. Luckily, Brian convinced her to keep it and she's since grown to love it. "It belongs with our house and I don't want to change its character," Patti says.
The shelves display things both sentimental and important to the family. On the top shelf is Brian's flight log from pilot school. The vintage books are from Brian's childhood and the sketch of their house on the bottom shelf is by Patti from when they first moved in.
Patti and Brian Wagner and their two daughters, Ava and Olivia. Photo by Kari Lee.
They haven't been able to remodel their master bedroom, but the starting point is still gorgeous. The arch and french doors lead to a sleeping porch that they look forward to one day turning into a master bathroom.
They currently share their upstairs bathroom with their toddler. Previously in very poor condition, Brian carefully replaced the old floor, repaired chipped grout from between the original 1920s wall tile, and removed 89 years of paint from the walls, trim, ceiling, doors, and more. "We are so proud to be able to keep the original green tiles in this bathroom," Patti shares. "We love having a bathroom that feels different than what you see on Pinterest!"
Here is a glimpse into the room of the oldest daughter's room. "I wanted her room to feel fun for her but still livable for me!," Patti says.
A little reading area is furnished by a bookshelf their neighbor gave them.
A vignette for Livy's nursery displays meaningful items like a vintage infant dress handed down by Brian's family.
Patti reminds us that homes are built for memories.
This 1927 Tudor Revival is full of charming details.

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