Two sisters, Starla and Robin Krause, bought a house together in 1981. On the corner of a parkway in north Minneapolis, the 1931 Tudor had room to grow and a charming patina. At the time, Starla and Robin were Kansas transplants with just-budding careers, and now they are happy to be rooted and thriving Minnesotans. Through the years, they have invested their time and talents into the community. Starla is a caterer and Robin is a food stylist, and both have an enthusiasm for simple, whole and delicious cooking. They co-founded Kids Cook, where they teach and work alongside students and community volunteers to grow, harvest and prepare food in the schoolyard garden. I wasn’t surprised that this sense of cultivation and community-building is evident throughout their home.
Guests can choose from an eclectic collection of vintage glassware for a cocktail featuring cardamom-infused Scrappy’s Bitters on the dining buffet. Robin brought back the painting from her travels in South America. Pink plaster complements the pine floors, both of which are original throughout the main floor.
A Danish table from a local furniture store and casual midcentury chairs contrast the 1930s chandelier and intricately framed mirror. A simple wool rug keeps the floor warm for diners. The dining room is centrally located between the kitchen and living room, with an opening to the office, bedroom and bathroom on the main floor. Renovations on the main floor have mostly restored original details, and no walls have been altered.
Eras, cultures and styles meld seamlessly in the living room. The Tudor fireplace recess holds South American pottery. An antique ladderback chair corners a marble coffee table over a wool rug from Room & Board.
A perfectly weathered leather chair rests by a clean-lined marble side table in the living room seating area. One of Starla and Robin’s many candelabras adorns the table. Sunlight varies the appearance of the painted plaster between pale yellow and grapefruit.
The midcentury-style Room & Board sofa holds needlepoint pillows and is a favorite spot of Robin and Starla’s rescue dog, Oliver. The peonies and roses are their own garden arrangement.
Starla and Robin don’t love the 70s wood paneling in the small den off the living room, but it does continue the cozy vibe. The parson’s desk for sorting mail feels right at home here. An aloe vera plant has grown large in the sunny nook.
A second, more private office is vibrant with a rug from Morocco and an antique wardrobe holding sentimental objects and photographs.
The kitchen is, of course, heavily used by caterer Starla and food stylist Robin. Trusted utensils are accessed from a rustic wall shelf near the 6-burner iron gas range and oven.
All the original cabinets and even their glass knob hardware have been lovingly maintained, while newer stone countertops and a small stainless steel-topped island provide a practical work space. The breakfast nook gets a mod twist with 1960s stools.
A rooftop patio provides a view of Starla and Robin’s fruit trees, vegetable and flower gardens, as well as the neighbor’s urban chickens and pool. A fire pit and bistro table and chairs allow al fresco dining any summer night. The roof is traditional copper-tin with a patina which took 85 years to achieve.