MN Showcase House – A Study of Color & Pattern

I woke up at 4am with the drive to write my first blog post. This blog I dedicate to my dad who has been bugging me to write one since I started my business back in 2008!  So why start a blog now? Well, I want to document my projects and share my passion for design in a more personal way like a diary, to add more depth than I can share on Facebook or through a newsletter.
A few weeks ago my intern Ilse and I toured the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) MN Showcase house – a grand 13,000 sq ft home off of Lake Minnetonka. The unifying theme was the color blue to reflect being on the water. As soon as we walked in we were attracted to the views of the water, the massive fireplace, and soaring barrel vault ceiling painted a soft sky blue. The great room was mostly neutral with blue accents.


Turning the corner into the casual sitting room, navy was the dominating color – for the walls, bookcase, sofa, and pillows.


The key to making it work was varying the shades and patterns for contrast. Navy was featured on the jaw-dropping 14’ long kitchen island. And the same color dominated the butlers’ pantry.


I especially like how they chose to carry the same blue crown molding around the pantry.

I was also impressed with the use of wallpaper. One of the powder baths had a traditional damask pattern but in modern shades of gray. Another powder bath had a sweet bird and butterfly motif. The background color of the paper was white with a tan / mushroom colored pattern.


This is a great example of how you can add pattern to a small room and still keep it light and airy. Powder rooms are excellent areas to experiment with paper because of its size and minimal risk of moisture damage. If that area is still too big for you, try a toilet room, back of a bookcase, or as part of a cabinet panel.
In the dining room they went BOLD. The ceiling was finished in gold paper that shined magnificently with the light of the chandelier. A quirky monkey motif finished the walls.


Decorating with a busy wallpaper is a challenge because anything you add on top wants to get lost in the pattern. Here they went with a large scale painting with the shades of colors in the wallpaper. The colors are more concentrated in the middle and surrounded by whites that give it some breathing space from the the wallpaper. The key words are “breathing space” so if you wanted to display photos on a patterned wall make sure you get an oversize matte to set your image away enough from the wallpaper.

How could you not smile with this adorable dog paper in the Pet Room?




Our favorite room was “Her Office”  The peony wallpaper with the green wall and hot pink accents make us want to redo our office stat!

For more images of the Showcase Home you can use the hashtag #mnshowcasehome on Instagram and Facebook
Before leaving I had to take this picture in honor of Prince – Purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.

On the way back Ilse suggested we stop at Nadia Cakes in Woodbury, of Food Network fame. The décor is so girly and cute.




After what seemed like forever I settled on a salted caramel, oreo, apple spice, chocolate raspberry, caramel macchiato, and marshmallow – to share of course! I can second Ilse’s testimonial that these are the best cupcakes ever! Someone was especially happy for a treat when I got home!