City Spaces: A Kingfield bungalow's stunning makeover

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A sophisticated use of color brings this south Minneapolis bungalow to life.

When we first interviewed Jennifer Jorgensen and Kate Worum in April about their painted wall designs, we were struck by the overall style and polish of Jorgensen's home. By the end of the interview, we were asking to come back and snoop a little more. 

Be sure to check out our slideshow for the full tour.

Who: Jennifer Jorgensen
Where: Kingfield, south Minneapolis
How long you've lived here: 4.5 years

What was this house like when you bought it?
It wasn't condemned but probably should have been. The whole dining room was infested with boxelder bugs. There were maggots in the window wells. It belonged to an older couple who just didn't keep it up. When they passed away the house went up for sale. All the woodwork was still original and all hardwood floors were original, so it was kind of a blessing in a way.

Did you have to gut it?
We did not gut it at all. We refinished everything, but all the rooms are exactly how they were. The only thing that was gutted was the kitchen but the kitchen was remodeled in the '70s so I didn't feel bad. It was really, really cheap cabinetry mixed with laminate countertops. The appliances were all in different places and the flow was tragic.

I guess the biggest thing is after I put an offer on it I found out there was no water to the house. The water line was broken from the street to the house. There was no heat, no running water. It was like a shed. But I was expecting a project.

So how long did you work on the house after you bought it?
Oh, well it's still a work in progress! I mean, some windows still aren't painted. In the bathroom behind the tub one of the windows isn't painted on the inside. It was on my to-do list last night and I just didn't do it.

When did you feel like you could finally move in?
I moved in probably three and a half months after I bought it. I painted everything, finished the woodwork, refinished the floors, and gutted the kitchen. But then I moved in before the kitchen was done. Once the floors were finished, once we had a working bathroom and the grossest stuff was done, I moved in.

What do you love most about this house?
It's such a great house for entertaining. Everything flows together. The kitchen is still part of the main space but I can shut the door so when I'm acting out and having a fit while cooking, nobody has to see it. These spaces aren't huge but they flow together so well. The backyard is also really great for entertaining. Living alone it's probably too much space for me, but it also doesn't scare me at night. It's not so big that it terrifies me.

Can I tell you what I love most?
Sure.

The sound system. It's built into the house, into the walls, so it plays music everywhere. It's very immersive.
Yeah that didn't come with the house. I have friends who have AV companies. It was a huge pain [to install] but the only thing we had to rip out was one part of the wall in the dining room. Everything else got fished through the walls... somehow.

And you don’t have to have the sound blasting in one room so you can hear it in another!
Yes, I love it too. I do.

What do you like least about your space?
I think the thing that drives me the craziest is that I painted the floors upstairs instead of finishing them traditionally, and they scuff so easily and I hate them.

I love the way it looks, though.
Yeah but I could have had a pickled floor upstairs instead of painting it. Pickling is almost like bleaching it but it's just a finish. This [points to pickled floors in dining room] is red oak which is why it has a pinkish color.

What's a trend that you love?
I love that things are going away from mid-century modern and moving toward art deco. Things are becoming less angular and becoming softer. There's also usually more embellishment on art deco items. There's also more pattern built into the furnishing as opposed to decorative accessories you find with mid-century modern. I like that extra bit of embellishment that art deco has.

Where do you like to shop?
I'm addicted to Craigslist and First Dibs. First Dibs is an antique site, like Craigslist but super high end. It's curated, but it's by far more expensive. I mostly do custom pieces mixed with vintage finds. It's mostly stuff I find when I travel or from little shops up north.

What's a trend that you hate?
I used to like it, but I really dislike rustic modern right now. It's overdone and it feels kind of fake to me. It's inauthentic because there's no heart behind the fake barn wood door. The things that are truly rustic modern, that works well, but when someone wants a barn wood TV wall or a whole wall of barn wood in their kitchen in a brand new house, I think that's... insane.

What is something you're most proud of in your home? Or something that means the most to you?
Well obviously, the She She walls in the dining room have a story. Also, Kate [Worum] sketched an image of me floating in an inner tube at the cabin which we used in our first wallpaper. She gifted me the original for my birthday and it's framed in my upstairs bathroom.

Have a home you'd like featured in City Spaces? Email us.

All photos by Lucy Hawthorne.


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