One of the best things about my new job (the one with the lowly title of Administrative Assistant, but which I think of as Problem Solver, and some days as Problem Solver Deluxe,) is that I get to DO things, quite fun things, that I would never likely do otherwise. Hobnobbing with the chefs and local news celebrities on the Kitchen Stage was one, and more recently I attended Rocket Club’s CD release concert/party for their second album North Country at the Varsity Theater which was awesome, all of it, and on a Thursday night to boot. Last night I got to go to Mpls St. Paul Magazine’s 40th Birthday Bash at the Showcase Home for the ASID (American Society of Interior Design) Home Tour.
Here is a picture of the house, as painted by one of the owners, John Larsen, for the cover of the special issue.
Being an easy jog away from Hennepin Ave. the location isn’t quite as bucolic as pictured, but the home is across the street from Kenwood Park and a stone’s throw away from the Lake of the Isles, at least according to the map. I didn’t see the lake, but there were a lot of distractions. Like the check-in tent where we had to present our tickets for admission, and this woman dressed in a paper gown made of pages and covers from Mpls St. Paul Magazine.
Now, I don’t want to suggest that Mr. Wordtabulous deliberately took a less than flattering picture of me, because I know for a fact that he deleted at least one that had me, as he said, “with my big mouth wide open.” So I am going with the idea that ANYONE standing next to someone who was hired because of her beauty (and because she also fit into the dress) will look a little less awesome by comparison. That’s me on the right, in case you are confused. When did my arms get so big? (Okay, I was a little nervous about my dress. My sister-in-law Ann told me I HAD to buy it almost two years ago and I hadn’t had a single appropriate occasion to wear it since, but last night, after a sartorial conference with my neighbor Mary Ellen, we agreed its time had come. Thank you ladies! I fit right in. Enough about me.)
The festivities were held outside. It was a gorgeous night so the canopies over the yard were largely unnecessary. The party was well supplied, with Barefoot wine and Summit beer and Two Gingers whiskey livening up the drinks area, delicious sushi rolled on-site, and trayfuls of appetizers (the habanero poppers gave me hiccups) circulating. Heaps of tantalizing cupcakes decorated a table. The DJ supplied dance music from 70’s and 80’s and while there wasn’t any dancing going on while I was there, there were plenty of colorful people, including some local celebs familiar from television and the Kitchen Stage (Rena Sarigianopoulos, Elizabeth Vries, Todd Walker, Amelia Santaniello, Stephanie March, and Bill McCoy were a few I saw) and some of my friends from work all laughing and talking. But the star of the party was the house.
The 100+ year old house was redecorated by over thirty designers who divvied up the 20+ rooms and, in cooperation with the owners John and Mike, managed to create an eclectic look with a harmonious flow, balancing function, sophistication and playfulness. The charm of the older home remained in the original woodwork, but was complemented by new wallpaper and drapes that were both luxurious and modern. And as always, I was fascinated by the light fixtures.I am also coveting the library.
And the rugs. And the entire kitchen (so many cupboards, and discreet outlets every 12 inches?) And the cutest little laundry closet I’ve ever seen. Yes, that is a stained and leaded glass window and a Cambria countertop on a sink that is anything but utility.
Mr. Wordtabulous and I had a long haul back to the ‘burbs, and children to catch lingering over Xbox instead of cleaning up the dinner dishes and getting ready for bed, so we made an early exit. As we do. I’d like to thank the homeowners, the designers, the magazine and my employers for another eye-opening experience and a few ideas (we have a plan for a window seat now, and Mr. W is not opposed to big print drapes, who knew?) Lastly, thank YOU, dear reader, for riding along!