Scott Hussey did not want to move from his Chanhassen house, a bucolic spot where for decades he and his family called home. He told his wife, Greer, that he would only move if they could stay in the area. Her response: How about a house in a nearby neighborhood?
It sounds like a simple move, but it wasn’t. “Nobody would buy it,” Greer says of the large contemporary home. “Every fixture was [from the] 1990s,”—attractive then, not so desirable now. That wasn’t the end of the home’s issues. “None of the doors would close right away. There was water pouring into the kitchen. It was a money pit,” Greer says, but she had a vision. “I was looking at the holes in the windows and the holes in the wall,” Scott says. “She saw the potential, the fine details.” Remodeling quagmires be darned, they ended up purchasing the home for themselves and their children in 2015.
Using Pinterest for design inspiration, Greer assembled a team of professionals to bring her ideas to life. “Working with a team that you can talk to and say, ‘Let’s do this together,’ is what I did,” she says. The home primarily had a contemporary modern style, but an inspired rustic vibe has given it a much-needed update.
Iron staircase with reclaimed wood (pictured above)
One of the home’s main attractions features a black metal staircase, which runs from the foyer down to the basement family room. “They were just carpeted stairs all the way down,” Greer Hussey says, so she brought in Cody Lackore, a metal worker and owner of BILT Fabrication. “It started with she wanted to [replace the] railing, and we kept on building things and changing the design,” Lackore says. He ended up replacing the original white metal banister with modernized sleek wrought iron. Additionally, each stair was remade with reclaimed wood, encased in a metal frame.
Live edge bookshelves
Live edges are making a statement with today’s furniture making and décor items. The Husseys incorporated the look with bookshelves, which are scattered about the home, with this example in the foyer. The shelves sit on iron supports and were welded and assembled by the Husseys’ handyman, Andrew Jacobson. Other décor items from Urban Patina underscore the home’s updated vibe. (Urban Patina is an occasional store in Chaska run by husband-and-wife team Paul and Crystal Dvorak. “There’s a story in a lot of our stuff,” Paul says. “We are able to tell people about where the building [materials] came from. People have an appreciation for the past.”)
Bye, bye, cupboard
The staircase not only leads into the basement family room, it now offers a comfortable sitting area, where Greer often reads, relaxes with a cup of tea or plays games with her great nieces and nephews. The space for the new stairs was created by removing the door to the kids’ play area and hiding the new entrance behind doors in an adjacent guest room cabinet.
“It was wasted space,” Greer says. The removal allowed Lackore to extend the bottom flight of stairs across and underneath the first flight. The space now boasts a custom and sophisticated mix of metal seating area, stairs and storage.
The home originally had eight garage stalls, arranged four on top and four below. Since the Husseys own two cars, they converted the lower level stall closest to the house into a “man cave.” A sliding barn door, complete with vintage rails from Urban Patina, separates the renovated space from the remaining garage stalls. The bar was found on Craigslist, and it was wrapped in metal by Lackore. Wood farmhouse trim from Urban Patina gives the bathroom entrance and the entire room a rustic touch.
Pulley light in master bedroom
In addition to reclaimed wood, Urban Patina also salvages and restores items, including a unique find by co-owner Paul Dvorak—1920s-era pulleys from a barn. For the Hussey home, he cleaned up a pulley, made brackets to hang it from a wall and wired it with replicated vintage cord. “More and more people want something custom for their space. They don’t want something cookie cutter from a box store,” he says.
Light fixture in the guest bedroom
“We took off this horrible office light with fluorescent bulbs, one of those old fixtures that hummed and buzzed,” Greer says. The downside—the old fixture left behind a five-foot hole in the ceiling. “I just said to Andrew, ‘Can you build a box, and I’ll drop [in] a real cool funky contemporary fixture?’ He did it in a day, using remaining barn wood from Urban Patina.” Now, that’s teamwork.
24185 Denmark Ave., Farmington
416 N. Chestnut St., Chaska
(open every third Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the month)
Andrew Jacobson, handyman