Two years ago, Marta and Brian Drew toured house after house hoping to find a workable space for their family. Marta’s friend Angie Porter may have nudged the Drews away from buying an existing home and toward building a new one. Actually, it was Angie’s kitchen that persuaded Marta. Sitting in her good friend’s kitchen and watching her prepare food, Marta realized, “This is a kitchen that works.” Marta devotes a significant amount of time to baking. “My kitchen is like my office,” she says. “I need my space to be as smart and efficient as possible.”
It is no coincidence that the Porters’ kitchen is smart in design. Angie is married to Andy Porter, a partner and builder at Refined, LLC, a custom home building and remodeling company, specializing in turnkey service.
Last summer, the Drews moved into their forever home, built by Refined, directly across from Pamela Park. They couldn’t be more comfortable. Marta and Brian grew up in Edina, beneficiaries of the “white picket fence network,” as Marta’s father, a former assistant principal of Edina High School, used to say. People in Edina talk to one another. They are invested in the community, education, and their neighborhoods. “There is a sense of connection here,” Marta says.
A sense of connectedness also defines the Drews’ new home. The light easiness of the home’s off-white shiplap walls sails through the front room. And rich, reclaimed barnwood floors ground the home from front to back—think nautical meets the cleanest barn ever seen. It’s not a common design combination, but it works. The home’s design is part of Marta’s vision brought to life by the team at Refined and Annie Graunke, designer with Studio M Interiors.
The home has three levels of smart, spacious and colorful rooms. An elegant theme includes vibrant design elements like cherry-colored stovetop knobs and a garnet kitchen island. These teasing pops of color hint at the commitment behind the Drews’ decision to paint the home’s exterior barn-red. “It was a bold choice,” Marta says. “I was nervous but the decision paid off.” The payoff is the home’s unique beauty, a classic Scandinavian farmhouse, proud without being garish.
After a tour, Marta curls up comfortably on a family room day bed. A complete set of Harry Potter books catches the eye. It’s not surprising; Marta was an English major and still writes. Having three children, and the prominent placement of a children’s book series, says something else about the Drews’ new home: Adult welcomes kid. The Drews’ house is comfortably designed to create space for everyone.
The Drew children—Henry, 11, Caroline, 8, and Lizzie, 7, have many child-inspired options in this family friendly house. There is a built-in hideaway with a play kitchen and cushioned ottomans. Colorful bedrooms and a wide second-floor hallway just off the kids’ bathroom are among the many spaces designed with the children in mind.
Plus, the entire family has benefited from returning to Edina after living in Cleveland, Ohio, and in Eden Prairie. Finding a home in Edina was an important factor in their home-buying decision. “It’s easy here,” Marta says. “People I know, who once saw me in my electric-blue sweater dress and stirrup pants, still like me.” She adds, “Now I get to watch the kids of the kids I grew up with grow up.”
Brian Drew, a physician, is also happy to be back in Edina. “Edina is just minutes from our clinics and the hospital,” he says, pointing out that Refined also offered a great price on the house. “It was close to the prices of other homes we were originally looking at,” he says. “But all of those homes needed remodeling.” The Drews are a busy family and fixing things was not how they wanted to spend their time.
The Drews are not the only couple to return to Edina. In fact, Andy and Angie Porter are in the club, too. About six years ago, the Porters moved back to Edina with their daughters and haven’t looked back. “Why wouldn’t anyone want to live in the best place you could live?” Andy Porter says.