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Cheerful and Sunny DIY Home in Minnesota

Renovating a duplex was not exactly what Lynette and Aaron Ankrum had in mind to their first home. But once they made a decision to give up leasing, the couldn’t help but snag this boxy and small stucco duplex before their wedding. After the honeymoon, the newlywed couple joined the two units, giving their home a facelift for your new chapter ahead.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Lynnette and Aaron Ankrum
Location: Northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota
Size: 1,200 square feet; two bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

Kaia Calhoun

With the help of several friends, the Ankrums added a fresh island and floor into the kitchen and also painted the walls and cabinetry.

Kaia Calhoun: Where is your favorite place in your home now?

Lynette Ankrum: The kitchen. I spend most of my time there and I like de-stressing in there by cooking something imaginative or after a recipe. There’s plenty of sunlight, so it feels really optimistic.

Lighting: Ikea; floors: VCT tile, Home Depot; stools: present from Lynette’s sister

Kaia Calhoun

Yellow is Lynnette’s preferred color, but Aaron prefers neutral tones, so the yellowish and grey combination was the perfect solution.

K.C.: Your favorite part of the job?

Goshthey were so enjoyable! It was so ugly before that what we did was such a big shift. Every single wall we painted was exciting. I truly enjoyed when they place the kitchen island in, since I knew I would have plenty of room — and when they set the deck for when we have friends over for a barbecue or to simply sit out when it’s bright.

Kaia Calhoun

The Ankrums picked a beige tone to round out the bright color scheme in the kitchen and give it a sense of maturity.

K.C.: What can you tell us about your decorating doctrine?

I think Aaron is fairly ordered — as long as everything is put together, he is OK with it. For me it’s about the feeling of a space, with the room be open, warm and welcoming.

When we got this home, we certainly wanted it to stay true to its age. So we didn’t wish to go too modern or too classic. And since we are in town, we wanted it to be sharp and functional. We sort of get inspired with different things we see.

Kitchen island: custom built by buddy Kevin King; laminate: Menards; wall paint: Carrington Beige (left) and Semolina (right), both Benjamin Moore

Kaia Calhoun

The original duplex had tons of sectioned-off area, along with the couple’s vision was to open the home to better accommodate family and friends.

K.C.: How can you make the home feel like yours?

We really opened it up. We wanted it to be open so we can communicate across the area. We did everything. Every surface touched, painting the ceilings and installing new floors.

Hall wall paint: Minted Lemon, Behr

Kaia Calhoun

Knocking out walls between the spaces opened up the main living room into a comfortable-size great room.

Kaia Calhoun

The pair transformed the room so ardently that the sole trace of it ever being a duplex would be your brick chimney — now Lynette’s preferred detail in the home.

K.C.: Where are your favorite places to shop?

Thrift shops and garage sales. We seem at CB2 and layout magazines but wind up doing it on our own budget and in ways which make it more ours.

Kaia Calhoun

Frames in the hall gallery wall hold wedding along with other images from family members.

Kaia Calhoun

The living area was designed as a key space for group gatherings and intimate conversation. The couple set up a projector over the bay window which plays onto the flat gray wall across it. When it’s movie night, they go the orange abstract artwork.

K.C.: How can you choose your color palette?

Selecting the living room colours was tricky, since I really wanted everything to be different but then also feel attached, so we went through many different color palettes. We picked the kitchen color first and then went from that. I truly wanted to perform yellowish everywhere, but Aaron made me limit it into the kitchen.

Sofas: Ashley Furniture; projector: Canon LV 7355; orange wall artwork: CB2 cloth; yellowish wall artwork: from Lynnette; blue wall artwork: Adam Turman, Artistic indulgence; drapes: SR Harris cloth; curtain rods: Ikea

Kaia Calhoun

The grey living room walls will be the perfect contemporary complement to your kitchen’s cheery yellow hue.

K.C.: Tell me in your dream home.

L.A.: This home is really comparable, just a little smaller. Location-wise I really like it, since we have a view of the city but we nevertheless have a lawn. The type of our home I really like since it’s stucco, however I would also enjoy a brick home. I think I would love one or two bedrooms, a spa and a greenhouse. But even if we had the funding, I don’t think we’d move, I believe we’d just add on. We love where our home is, and we are sort of attached to it because of all the work we did.

Wall paint: Anonymous, Behr; bath wall paint: Moonlit Yellow, Behr

Kaia Calhoun

The map in Lynnette’s bedroom closet is a reminder of this couple’s shared love for traveling. Red and pink hooks show where Aaron was on his own; black and yellow hooks reveal where Lynnette was on her own. White pins reveal where the couple was togethergreen ones indicate in which they want to go next.

K.C.: The main design problem?

We don’t have a lot of closet space. So we turned a space into a closet. It is still a work in progress, clearly. Another big issue was going down into the cellar, since Aaron is so tall. We took the bathtub from the bathroom so we can raise the ground there, and subsequently the ceiling in the stairway now contributes to the basement.

Kaia Calhoun

The hints of the love for traveling lie including in Aaron’s studio workspace in the cellar.

Cityscape: Ikea; wall color: London Road, Columbia Paint

Kaia Calhoun

Though there was a lot of work involved with the renovation, Aaron and Lynette just freshened up the outside with fresh paint.

K.C.: What is your ultimate dream home thing?

Well, I really love hot tubs, however I have always wanted a real greenhouse. And Aaron would say a large, detached studio.

K.C.: What brought you here?

We moved closer into the city for faculty, however when we had been dating and after we got engaged we always found ourselves coming into the city to do things, so it made sense to locate a home in the area. We live seven blocks away from where Aaron and I had our first date.

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