Renovations | TEA2 Architects
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Updating this 1970s-built condo was a challenge due to sagging infrastructure, low ceilings, unmovable plumbing, limited layout options and a demanding timeline. To address the claustrophobic feeling, it needed more than refinishing.

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Removing kitchen walls and opening the space set the tone for the rest of the unit. We kept the material palette quiet so as not to compete with the homeowners’ own color palette and spectacular views of ocean, harbor, skyline and mountains.

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A thin, elegant soffit was the magic trick for concealing the ductwork, sprinkler system, recessed lights, and motorized shades. Chrome accents and a custom-designed, highly polished vent over the kitchen island mirror dancing water below.

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The homeowners didn’t want a starkly modern aesthetic; we used raised-molding panels to add warmth and provide a textured surface for daylight to cast subtle shadows. The materials and palette also take into consideration the iconic profile of the Hotel del Coronado.

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The paneling was used to create a niche for the TV, a concealed coat closet and a hidden bar. Inside, a surprise reflection of the back bay.

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Removing the kitchen wall opened the view to mountains along the Mexican border, and allowed an inviting glass-walled path to the study/guest room around the corner.

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Custom-designed counters and cabinetry (down to the pulls!) keep the look sleek—partially concealing the sink and hiding the refrigerator.

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More claustrophobia-solves: Jambs and headers were removed to create flowing space, with doors designed flush to walls and ceiling; hinges are hidden even when doors are open.

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Bedroom prior to renovation.

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The sense of quiet expansiveness continues into the master bedroom. Kitchen, bathroom vanities, closets, and bedrooms are all defined by similar wood “frames,” contributing to a calm, controlled look and feel.

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We custom-designed the bedframe and bedstand to match the clean aesthetics of the home, elongate views and maximize every available inch. Recessed into the wall, the bed provides pull-out storage on either side.

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The original guest bath and master bath similarly reflected 1970’s condo design.

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The master bath and walk-in closet were switched to give the bath a view through the master. Since drains are fixed in this condo building, this required inventive routing of plumbing lines: They wrap around the walls to the drain beyond the shower.

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Truly a traditional kind of modern, the small space is now both more open and more intimate—complementing and interacting beautifully with the landscape/waterscape outside.

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Contemporary Coronado Condo

San Diego, CA

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Nouvelle French Kitchen

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The homeowners wanted to preserve the renovated master suite and lower level we designed previously, while transforming the house into a classic but unique Shingle-style home.

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A flowing, animated form that suits the large lot was created by using balance without symmetry— varying rooflines, gables, chimneys and balconies. (Layered garden and landscape to come!)

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Freshness and light are juxtaposed with details and finds, like antique glass from a church. Together they create charm and meaningfulness to the homeowner.

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The lead-came glasswork gracefully defines and layers dining and entry spaces while allowing sunlight to bounce between both. The pattern is echoed throughout the house; on front door sidelights, the “wirework” is painted and sits beyond the glass.

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The dining room fireplace was designed to create a quiet and reflective mood. Inside, a stone herringbone pattern echoes the herringbone of the floor.

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Historical research led to this entryway and stairwell. Newel posts and spindles were designed to capture the desired effect: delicate, detailed, and historical—but not slave to Colonial or other styles.

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We opened up the narrow living room by removing a wall on the left and creating a window bay, which gives a third side to seating. This centers the newly refaced fireplace in the room. Beams were added to visually define and separate the space from the walkway.

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In this expansive window group, high dormer windows enliven the kitchen and family spaces with beams of south light, warmth, and shadows that change throughout the day.

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…and French windows open to a future courtyard and garden. The cremone bolt hardware is functional as well as decorative.

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Complementary surfaces and colors, with a constant note of white, animate without creating chaos.

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The La Cornue French range was a dream come true for a homeowner with a passion for cooking. To create an integrated cooking assembly, we designed a complementary hood and side cabinets.

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The homeowner wanted the house to have personality—to be full of small delights: The chalkboard over a wood-burning stove is just one example.

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The window wall provides an expansive view of yard, trees, and sky. A band of millwork ties the family room and kitchen together, and creates a more intimate scale by defining the living space below and vaulted ceiling above.

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Many details are practical as well as attractive: Here, audio equipment is hidden behind grid-work that allows airflow and cooling.

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Nantucket Re-Creation

Minnesota

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Before

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Before

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Transformed Tudor

Edina, MN

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Nautical Shingle Style

Lake Minnetonka, MN

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Arts & Crafts Revival

Minneapolis, MN

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The original 1911 cottage had charming Arts & Crafts character —but a 1980s addition at the back was a mismatch, and crucial rooms were small. The goal was to add space and livability while making it impossible to tell where original ends and new begins.

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Arts & Crafts character was meticulously carried through, from exterior to interior. Leading to the house, brick from the original steps was used for risers, and vintage terra cotta tiles from a William Purcell design were installed to embellish the chimney.

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At the front entrance, the door from the porch to the living room swung right into the seating group.

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Incorporating part of the porch allowed a more gracious entry and open stair. Reusing the original windows and front door—and building a newel and railing to match the one at the landing—make the architecture look untouched since 1911.

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A sunroom had became a highly used, default family room. But while it brought south light, it was small, un-insulated, and directly exposed to the neighbor’s kitchen.

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The sunroom was expanded into a true family room. Understanding the logic of the home and underlying Arts & Crafts principles helped us design a new space that looks like part of the original house.

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High windows continue to bring in coveted south light, while cabinetry screens the close neighbor. Mirrors integrated into the cabinet bounce more light deeply into the room.

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Openings from the new family room to existing living and dining rooms were widened to make the original rooms feel larger—further blending old and new. However, they still feel like distinct, classic, embracing rooms.

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For the new hallway, original diamond-patterned sunroom doors were reinvented as closet doors (left). White oak cabinetry (right) was relocated from the living room. A fresh stain ensured seamless integration.

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The 1980s addition at the back of the house.

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The new kitchen was modernized, but detailed in an Arts & Crafts manner. Slate countertops and local hand-made tiles would have been used in 1911. And TEA2 worked with Pella to replicate the original diamond-paned windows.

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Custom cabinetry incorporates leaded-glass fronts and a built-in, renovated Arts & Crafts clock on the south wall.

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The back of the house, before.

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Sweeping the existing upper roofline into the new gable was essential to making the family room addition seamless.

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Eaves and rafters were designed to match exactly, including custom boards longer than the current standard.

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Craftsman Addition & Restoration

Minneapolis, MN

The home was built in the 1940s. Like most homes of that era, rooms were isolated from one another. The homeowners wanted to maintain the original footprint and rough-cut limestone exterior that initially attracted them to the home, while opening it up for modern living. With only one entrance from the main hall, the living room was a dead end. To create a second opening at the rear of the living room that connects to the kitchen, TEA2 moved the central staircase forward several feet.

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The home was built in the 1940s. Like most homes of that era, rooms were isolated from one another. The homeowners wanted to maintain the original footprint and rough-cut limestone exterior that initially attracted them to the home, while opening it up for modern living. With only one entrance from the main hall, the living room was a dead end. To create a second opening at the rear of the living room that connects to the kitchen, TEA2 moved the central staircase forward several feet.

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Transformed Traditional

Edina, MN

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Tangletown Addition

Minneapolis, MN

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Originally a dark Episcopal rectory, a seamless addition created a bright family room and kitchen. A new garage and pool house are beyond the pool. Outdoors, we seek to create the comforting sense of “rooms." Here, that is created by the addition, pool house and trellis.

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The conservatory-like addition banishes the gloom, infusing fresh air and sunshine into this room and the rooms behind.

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Loft spaces can feel too wide open, traditional rooms too confining. Internal vistas create depth, layers and flow.

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Sightlines were reorganized to give visual order and circulation to what had once been a weave-your-way- through house.

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A contemporary take on traditional design and materials infuses freshness into the original architecture.

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The hallway, no longer dark and brooding, draws people with light filtered through glass cabinets from the family room.

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The bathroom is lifted with the breadth of windows, painted cabinetry and the symmetry of twin sinks.

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Sunnyside Addition

Edina, MN

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Oak Knoll Transformation

Minnetonka, MN

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The homeowners consider themselves stewards of this 1920s home that needed restoration. The first thing to re-think: a 1980s room and fireplace addition that mismatched the classic architecture and blocked views. This unlocked great potential.

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The original facade was bland and tired.

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A new, dramatic street presence, with french doors to the front terrace, better reflects the home's architectural origin.

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The old steel windows leaked badly, disintegrating the studs. The 1980s window bay was out of place.

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The rhythm of the windows is replicated in the addition/renovation, adding light and warmth while seamlessly creating separate spaces for a couple with different styles.

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New steel windows were cost prohibitive. We worked with Marvin to create an alternative, with lead caming on both sides of the glass.

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The wall-length bookshelf with transom windows above provides privacy from a nearby house and plenty of book space.

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A reader and classical music lover, the homeowner now has a stunning space to engage his passions.

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New windows maintain the lean, crisp openings and minimalist styling characteristic of the English Country era.

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English Country Addition

Minneapolis, MN

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This traditional saltbox was charming, but had lots of small rooms—not built for the way families live today.

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We took over an unused first floor bedroom, doubled the size of the living area, opening it up while keeping the feeling of traditional spaces.

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The request for a large TV over the fireplace led us to create a broad, classic hearth. Heat and electronics in close proximity require careful planning.

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The old kitchen felt cordoned off and confining.

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A horizontal steel beam was required for support across the ceiling. Wrapped with millwork, it becomes integral to the design.

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Surrounded in millwork and light, the kitchen feels less ‘kitcheny” and more like real living space.

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Pantry and full-height cabinetry provide storage and perpetuate the clean, uncluttered feeling of the rest of the house.

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Minnehaha Woods Renovation

Edina, MN

Originally a post-war Colonial, the owners wanted a complete change of style and color palette, without breaking the bank.

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We reinvented the house's character by taking the basic form and evolving it into a new look.

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A wood shingle exterior replaced the lap siding. Eaves create shadow and depth, breaking up the home’s original boxiness.

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The original internal kitchen was dark, and small for a family of six. We took over an unused bedroom to enlarge it.

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A big expanse of windows was created to provide uninterrupted views to the large and lovely backyard.

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The architecture was developed traditionally but given a fresh look by carefully marrying a dark-wood contemporary kitchen and eating area.

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An island and a butler’s pantry provide storage, freeing up kitchen walls to develop their own personality.

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The kitchen leads to a newly opened-up den where the dark paneling was removed.

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Touches like an old-school chalkboard (found by the owner) link the house to the past—and coordinate schedules for a busy family.

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St. Paul Transformation

St. Paul, MN

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Deephaven Revival

Deephaven, MN