North Loop Condo Renovation Features Reclaimed Wood
Above: Old and new classics: white subway tile and open shelving.
Jared Goodwin works in downtown Minneapolis and lives in the North Loop, a neighborhood chock-full of chic bars, busy dog parks, kettle-bell gyms, and all the other attractions of urban life. But he grew up on a farm near Crookston, in the far northwestern corner of Minnesota—a rural past he’s proud of. Two years ago, when Goodwin’s parents told him they were planning to demolish an old shed on the family property, he had an idea. He had recently bought a 1,750-square-foot condo in the renovated Lavoris Chemical Co. building. The place needed updating but he didn’t have a lot of money to spend on remodeling. Could using salvaged materials from the former granary save him money and also give his residence the rustic-yet-modern feel he wanted? He decided it was a notion worth exploring. To assist him, Goodwin, 29, hired the Minneapolis firm Albertsson Hansen Architecture. The layout of the condo was fairly flexible, with a fireplace and windows on three sides that gave the place both warmth and great lighting. But the previous owners had painted the walls dark colors and a long peninsula counter divided the kitchen area from the living room in a way Goodwin didn’t like. Plus, he wanted a guest bedroom and a new floor in the master’s suite. And—the kicker— he only had $60,000 to spend. “The budget was probably the biggest challenge,” says Christine Albertsson, the principal architect. “We do a lot of small projects, and they all have a unique set of challenges.”
It helped significantly that Goodwin was willing to do some of the salvage work himself. He pulled nails from the pine planks and cedar siding he wanted to reuse. He hauled the materials from the farm to a Wisconsin mill for planing and then to Minneapolis. Albertsson and project architect Mark Tambornino suggested reusing the black granite countertops and repainting the existing kitchen cabinetry to keep costs down. To install everything, Goodwin hired Choice Wood Company, a Minneapolis contractor experienced with installing salvaged materials.
Visitors entering the loft are greeted by a 300-bottle wine rack that Goodwin made out of salvaged cedar siding. They then brush past a curved wall made of vertical pine boards washed with diluted white paint before emerging into the main kitchen-living area. “I do a lot of entertaining, so I needed more counter space,” Goodwin says. The designers responded by rearranging the cooking area, removing the peninsula counter, and adding a butcher-block-topped island where guests can sit as Goodwin preps food. White subway tiles and low-cost metal IKEA shelving span the exterior walls and windows in the kitchen. Extra kitchen cabinetry and a cedar-plank backsplash make a cozy bar along an interior wall.
Above: A partition of glowing cedar creates the new guest room. The gap between the partition and ceiling lets in daylight.
White walls and cabinetry keep the interior bright, while the cement floor is stained dark in contrast—except in the master bedroom, where pine flooring was installed. “It’s soft—so you have to be careful, but it also lessens the industrial feel,” Goodwin says. In the center of the space, a guest bedroom was created by installing partitions made of horizontal cedar siding with clear shellac. The warm wood glows like an old cabin interior at night, and a frosted glass door and the gap between the partitions and the ceiling allows light to spill into the interior room during the day. Goodwin says the salvaged materials remind him of his childhood on the farm—yet don’t feel make the place feel like a country cottage. “Every day when I come home and walk in, I see a little bit of the farm,” Goodwin says. “That shed was where I’d play with my brothers, where we’d hide out from my parents. I have good memories of that place.”
Right: Goodwin's loft before his revisions.
Below: The redesigned kitchen area and butcher-block-topped island simplifies cooking and entertaining.
By Joel Hoekstra
Photos by Pete Sieger
Architect: Albertsson Hansen Architecture
Builder: Choice Wood Company