With over 200 residential architecture commissions to his name, award-winning architect Randy Buffy has done his fair share of projects.
When it came time to remodel the home he bought in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis, the architect knew exactly what he wanted: contemporary single-level living on the main floor plus an ADU-like condominium above the garage.
“We haven’t held back,” he said of the house he built in the spring of 2019. “It’s the same craftsman side and outstanding builders that I’ve been working with forever.”
Buffie started with a bungalow, three bedrooms, and one bathroom, then took it to Studs to reshape the design. As add mode.
“We wanted to have a little more space than living space on the main level,” said founder Buffie Architect, who specializes in bespoke home design.
The two bedrooms and bathroom on the main floor have been converted into a large suite for one owner, with wardrobe and attached bathroom.
Another bathroom was placed as part of the addition that was built from the back of the house. The addition also made way for a new dining room, home office, and sunroom that leads to a new outdoor deck. A washing unit has been added to the main level. The house is equipped with highly efficient furnace systems and spray foam insulation.
The one-car garage was reconfigured into a two-car heated garage. The 700-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bath ADU is built above the garage, which Buffy rents.
While the house underwent a complete makeover, Buffy kept a few things in tip-top shape.
“I deliberately left the front end facing the street view modest, so it didn’t look like a landing spaceship,” he said. “Other than the street side siding of the house, this is basically a brand new home. Whenever you pass through the front door and make your way towards the back, it opens. People are surprised because the back looks so different from the street view.”
Of course, Buffy put his own spin on the house. And his girlfriend, Laila Tully, the former owner of Rubble Tile in St. Louis Park, helped him with the decor details.
“There’s never been a bay before,” Buffy said. “I put one up to the front of the house and moved back into the landscape. It gave the facade of the house more substance rather than being flimsy and one-dimensional.” .
Throughout his nearly 30-year career, Buffy has made a point to bring sunlight into homes, and his residence was no exception. He maximized views while honoring the space that was before.
“When we first looked at the house, there was a skylight in the villa that gave a lot of sunlight from upstairs to downstairs. I wanted to extend these vertical beams in other parts. This became an inspiration in [primary] Bedroom and bathroom on the main floor.
Other design touches include maple floors and Wakanda quartzite countertops. In the kitchen, high-end appliances blend seamlessly with custom Avodire veneer cabinets.
“It’s a great contemporary closet,” he said of the cupboards. “Then she turns the other way, and there are four more cabinets that are laid out like her furniture, but they are cabinets.”
In the bedroom, an L-shaped limestone wall extends toward the en suite bathroom.
“It reminds me of 2014 when we climbed the Camino [de Santiago in Portugal and Spain]. “It was really cool with the stone walls that have to be 8 inches thick,” Buffy said. It was an interesting collage of old and new. This has become a warm textual element in [primary] wing.”
Now, Buffy and Tolly are moving forward.
To get ready to move to Las Vegas, a place we’ve grown to love after friends moved there in recent years, they put their 3,400-square-foot four-bedroom, three-bathroom home on the market.
“We had no idea two years ago that we were going to include this place, but we decided we were going to a warmer climate,” he said.
Listing agent Donvan Saba said the location—a three- to eight-minute walk to Bde Maka Ska, the Lake Harriet bandshell restaurant and Linden Hills—and the home’s unique design details are some of its many advantages.
“What I enjoy about this house and find it very unique is the abundance of natural light that plays on different textures and colors,” he said. “This results in an overall sense of peace.”
Buffy said the new homeowner might also appreciate the corner piece—especially in the winter.
“One of my criteria when buying a home is selfishness,” he said. “I wanted a property in the northeast corner because I’d never wanted to remove so much snow.” “Sunlight comes in around the house and helps melt the snow off the driveway. Late in the day, sunsets come into the living room.”
“It’s a really comfortable home to live in, even though it’s on the contemporary end of the spectrum,” he said.
Donovan Saba (Donovan.email@example.com; 612-965-8143 from Coldwell Banker Realty, $1.495 million List.