previous article

next article

Kate and Jon's St. Paul Craftsman

M.A.S.H. , featuring real homes & the personal stories behind them

Introduce us to your home.

Our 1925 2-story craftsman is nestled in the Tangletown neighborhood of St. Paul, near Macalester College and Grand Avenue. We are the fourth owners of this cozy estate. The gentleman who owned it prior to us had been living here since he was 15, and the home was fairly unchanged for quite some time. When viewing it, we immediately fell in love with the dark woodwork, the lack of outdated updates and the chance to make the house our own. Though it has felt like a construction zone since we bought it in February of 2019, as we began to tackle sanding the floors, stripping paint, and repairing plaster problems, each completed project has revealed the beauty of this old home!

What’s your favorite space and why? 

Our favorite space may be a toss up between our living room and our front porch. The window filled living space always seems to get the best light. We can be found there cuddled up with our first cup of coffee in the morning or lounging in the golden hour glow mid-evening. Ultimately, we have been in the work of making the space feel hygge AF, with extra cozy blankets and nice smelling candles.

Our porch was one major selling point for me, as our home faces west, so I knew we would have sunset-soaked evenings to take in every night. This will be one project this summer on my to-do list, but in the past year we have enjoyed eating our dinner and playing a game of cribbage on our porch, while making sure to say hello to every passing neighbor. We even gained a free church pew from a local tattoo parlor, in which they obtained from a catholic church that had closed years ago. It’s one piece that I hope to incorporate in the future redesign of the space. 

Show us something handmade. What’s its story? 

Our kitchen table is handmade. While living in Colorado, Jon and I decided to take on a DIY project that would replicate a piece we saw at an antique shop in Stillwater, MN. Jon found the piece of lumber, sanded and stained it an espresso tone. I then found metal pin legs and matching chairs online, and spray painted them a light yellow. We hope to continue using this table in the future, but have dreams of reupholstering the chair cushions and changing the legs to a brass hue

If we’re in your neighborhood,where should we go? 

One aspect of choosing our home was the walkability to various markets, restaurants and bars, and we truly have some hotspots. When in the mood for a happy hour that includes $3 beers and an on-point plate of nachos to share, Groveland Tap off of St. Clair Avenue is the place for you. Another staple for a weekday curry would be the Indian restaurant, Pad Thai off of Grand Avenue. And we also have Estelle’s, found on St. Clair on our list of date night restaurants to try, as well, as it has gotten rave reviews. 

Are there projects or spaces you’re currently tackling? 

In asking Jon right now, he would say, “Everything.” But, I think we have been able to accomplish a lot off our list of items we wanted to get done this winter so we could focus on cleaning up the outside this spring and summer. However, with that being said, there is one major project that is next in line and that is creating a second closet in our bedroom. We currently have an alcove space that originally had a built-in chest that was not being utilized. So our plan is to wall off that open space and reuse one of our old doors to create a closing. Trying to repurpose woodwork and items in our home has been key to a lot of our projects, as well.

What would your 5yo self love most about your home? 

I personally love the closet off of our living room. I could see my 5 year old self using that as my hiding spot or personal cave to keep all my favorite things. Jon thinks that the remaining end of the current windmill that the last owner had wanted to use as a source of energy would be the item his inner 5 year old self would love. He could imagine himself using it as his own personal jungle gym, which he did while clearing snow off the roof last winter!

Show us an inspiring before and after, big or small. 

Here are two photos from a before and after of our living room floors. We cannot recommend Pete’s Hardwood Floors on Fairview Avenue in St. Paul for assistance in all sanding needs enough! They teach you how to use the machinery and provide recommendations for types of sealing based off of the wood that is found in your home! 

Do you have a fur child? Let’s see it then.

Our 2 year old sassy-buns joined our family while we were still living in Colorado, about a year and a half ago. Her name is Meow Meow and yes, she is of the chatty kind. Her love knows no bounds, especially when we arrive home after work or wake up in the morning – and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Kate and her husband Jon are a Midwest force when it comes to house projects. And now we love the color emerald green. They are appreciators of the great outdoors, old homes, a good book and happy hour. To stay up to date with their house journey, follow Kate’s Instagram, here.