People’s Choice Award for “Favorite Gathering Space” | 2007 ASID Showcase House
The design goal on this project was to restore an incredibly outdated and unusable porch in a Victorian home on Summit Avenue in St. Paul, MN. Victorians had a love for travel, and their habit was to bring back accessories from faraway places to furnish their homes. This concept was the perfect design inspiration for the space. The space could then be updated to reflect the excitement of traveling and river life, and take full advantage of the splendid view of the Mississippi River Valley. It was also important to create a space that encourages lingering and reflection.
- There were a number of design challenges for this porch. A doorway in the center of the porch split the space into two distinct areas, and there was no deck space to allow full enjoyment of the spectacular views.
- The project began with the removal of the old flooring, which was replaced by new fir flooring that reflected the architectural age of the home. A compass with a nautical wave pattern was inlaid into the floor in a warm combination of American cherry, Brazilian cherry, maple and walnut. The wave pattern was an important design feature; as the concept was derived from carved woodwork found throughout the interior of the home.
- The original Moroccan light fixture was restored and relocated within the space, and palm leaf ceiling fans were added to instill a subtly exotic feel to the room.
A unique menagerie of antiques, globally sourced accessories, and pieces complimenting river life are blended together seamlessly. Thai carvings and a beaded hat from Burma live easily alongside a hand-carved chair from Tanzania and pair of 19th-century bronze leopards from the Benin Kingdom. All of these luxuries are finished off with the addition of some lush greenery to help bring the outdoors in. This space has been transformed from being left open to the elements and underutilized to a space that no one wants to leave behind—truly a Midnight at the Oasis.
“After” photos by Josh Stokes Photography