Anne mcdonald design

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How to find your design style

How to find your design style when decorating or remodeling can be a challenge. Just look at the myriad quizzes available online these days that strive to help you find your style, like this quiz from Real Simple. Or this quiz from Houzz. Determining your style can get even more challenging when you’re working to merge styles with a spouse or partner. Our interior designer Anne McDonald broaches this challenge with every client she works with and has a number of tricks of the trade to help clients hone their style.

Find your style with a design-build company

McDonald Remodeling is a design-build company, which means we do all aspects of a remodeling project, from start to finish. This works well for homeowners who want to focus and refine their aesthetic vision. Someone who chooses to work with an architect may already have a very defined style and want to work with a particular architect to emulate their aesthetic. But many other homeowners don’t already have a focused design approach when beginning a home remodel. That’s where our designers come in—to help homeowners come up with a style that uniquely fits their home, tastes, and personalities.

Our design sleuthing process

Anne sits down with clients at the beginning of the remodeling process to start the style discussion. She often begins by reviewing a collection of photos that homeowners have gathered as inspiration, or an ideabook from Pinterest or Houzz that homeowners have created. This is a very helpful starting place, says Anne. The images often have a diversity that might at first feel random, covering multiple points on a style map. For example, many people find home styles they admire that are both traditional and modern, or several points in between. By asking questions, Anne helps clients identify what it is about each picture and style that they like. It could be the warmth or the excitement of one look, and the clean lines of another. Together, they work to identify key overarching elements to emulate.

Then, Anne works to marry the styles in the homeowners’ unique space. Anne and the homeowners pick out sample materials, including fabrics, paint colors, flooring and countertops. Then, Anne lays out some sample style combinations in our Computer-aided design (CAD) program. Through this process, the homeowners begin to have a visual for an interior design that merges their varied style interests.

Staying out of a style box

Anne says that one of the greater challenges of this process is that these days, it seems more and more people are hesitant to be put in a style box. Some 15-20 years ago, people tended to like their home to feel more uniform and consistent, clean and ordered. Now, probably more than any other genre, an Eclectic Style is popular today—a lived in, authentic, curated look. Come back next week to learn more about the Eclectic Style and tips for making it work.

Ready to discuss a design style for your home? Contact us today.


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Photos by Amanda Marie Studio

There’s something romantic about Mediterranean Revival architecture. Easily recognized by terracotta roofs, crisp white stucco, and wrought-iron details, these homes bring to mind a sunny Italian villa or old Hollywood hideaway. And while Erin and Bryan Newman weren’t specifically seeking out this style for their new home, they weren’t immune to its charms. “We were looking for an older house with beautiful architectural details,” Erin explains, “but we also wanted lots of natural light and more modern features like a mudroom and open kitchen.”

The 1926 house they found in southwest Minneapolis delivered on both accounts. Situated on a quaint corner lot, it was well-maintained by previous owners who had built an addition that—save a few unfortunate “one of these things is not like the other” moments like casement windows and a clunky built-in entertainment center—left most of the home’s period details intact.

Busy with careers and raising their sons, the Newmans waited five years before remodeling. During that time, they lived in every inch of the house, often hosting parties and informal gatherings for friends, including designer Anne McDonald, who they hired to spearhead the project in collaboration with McDonald Remodeling. For McDonald, knowing the Newmans personally and having spent time in the house as a guest was a huge advantage. “I knew this house and this family—how they roll on a day-to-day basis, how they entertain,” she says. “I knew this space would have to feel spicy and have an energy to it.”

One of Erin’s pinch points was the galley kitchen locked between the front and back of the house. “During our annual Christmas party, there would be 50 people crammed in there against the oven door,” she says. “There was no flow.” Open to the family room but hemmed in by a staircase on one side, it presented a tough design challenge for McDonald, who was determined to maximize the budget by staying within the existing footprint. The space was big enough, but it needed a smarter layout.

After many iterations, the solution McDonald landed on was to push the kitchen back a bit, shrinking the size of the family room but opening up space for a dramatic butler’s pantry between the dining room and kitchen. A small archway punched between the kitchen and living room added circular flow on the main floor, which relieves some of the pressure while entertaining and allows an abundance of light to flow through.

The lion’s share of the budget went to high-quality finishes, which extend mostly to the home’s vintage with a few splashes of “va-va-voom” here and there. White walls are in keeping with a traditional Mediterranean palette while inky black in the butler’s pantry (including on the ceiling), on the kitchen island, and on a glamorous La Cornue range speaks to a more daring aesthetic. Classic details like curved archways, custom inset cabinetry, Italian marble countertops, and a new plaster fireplace in the family room look like they could be original to the home. “The trick was honoring this traditional home and what it wanted to be while adding a little sparkle and shine that reflects Erin and Bryan’s style,” says McDonald.

Star and cross terracotta tile was a splurge for the mudroom—a classic material in a pretty shape that’s also hard-wearing. In the adjoining powder room, the Newmans had originally selected a bold botanical wallpaper, but after mulling over the selection, opted instead for a sophisticated turquoise design by Kelly Wearstler with curves that mimic
the abundant archways throughout the house. Paired with brass art deco sconces, the space is a modern interpretation of 1920s style and feels as special as it looks. McDonald reflects, “Throughout this project, there was a rattling in my head over if we could have designed it better, but that went away as it started taking shape. This is what the house wanted to be. This is who the Newmans are.

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Home & Design Resource Guide

November Home and Design cover

Resources from the November 2018 issue of Home & Design Magazine.

Redefined Rambler (pg. 46­–51)

Interior design by Anne McDonald, Anne McDonald Design, 651-248-6368,; design and build by Jim McDonald, McDonald Remodeling, 6015 Cahill Ave. E., Ste. 100, Inver Grove Heights, 651-554-1234,

Living Room: Linen sofas, from Restoration Hardware,; Reese cocktail table in Cerused Oak, from Serena & Lily,; vintage pine armoire, from Loft Antiques, 3022 W. 50th St., Mpls., 612-922-4200,; slate surround fireplace, from Fireside Hearth & Home,

Bar: Brass cabinet, from CB2,; alabaster lamp base, from Chairish,; black lamp shade, from Michael’s,

Hallway: Mirror, homeowners’ own; velvet bench, Ballard Designs,

Dining Room: Table, from Pottery Barn,;chairs, from Magnolia Home,

Kitchen: Bamboo bar stools, from Restoration Hardware,;island paint, in Midnight, from Benjamin Moore,;lights above island, from Circa Lighting,;light above sink, Cone Pivot Shade Wall Lamp in brass, from Shades of Light,;countertops, in London Sky, from Corian Quartz,;white oakwood shelves and hood, custom made, by Jim McDonald, McDonald Remodeling, 6015 Cahill Ave. E., Ste. 100, Inver Grove Heights, 651-554-1234,; sink, by Whitehaven, from Kohler,;wall and backsplash tile, by Gemma, in Bianco Matte, from Tile by Design, 1720 Annapolis Ln. N., Plymouth, 763-551-5900,

Mudroom: Wallpaper, in Palmetto, from Serena & Lily,;light, classic Americana ceiling semi-flush ceiling light in polished chrome, from Shades of Light,;floor tile, in Old Chicago brick, from Ceramic Tileworks, IMS and Maple Grove, 612-333-7100,

Bathroom: Rotunda wall mount faucet, in chrome, from Signature Hardware,;wallpaper, in Cloud Formation, from Anthropologie,;vanity, custom design by Anne McDonald, Anne McDonald Design, 651-248-6368,;sconces, from Rejuvenation,;rug, from eSaleRugs,;Builder Basic hexagon floor tile, in matte black, from Ceramic Tileworks, IMS and Maple Grove, 612-333-7100,

Master bedroom: Vintage oak bench, from Loft Antiques, 3022 W. 50th St., Mpls., 612-922-4200,;Blake Raffia Nightstands, from Serena & Lily,

A Spicy New Blend (pg. 52–59)

Architecture, by Jeff Murphy and T.J. Majdecki, Murphy & Co. Design, 811 Glenwood Ave., Ste. 250, Mpls., 612-470-5511,; interior design, by Sandy LaMendola, Twist Interior Design, 811 Glenwood Ave., Ste. 350, Mpls., 612-338-1588,; build, by John Kraemer, John Kraemer & Sons, 4906 Lincoln Dr., Edina, 952-935-9100,; landscape design, by Scott Ritter, TOPO, 530 N. 3rd St., Ste. 401, Mpls., 612-929-2049,

Lake Effect (pg. 60–65)

Architecture, by Gabriel Keller and Carl Olson, Peterssen/Keller Architecture, 2919 James Ave. S., Mpls., 612-353-4920,;interior design, by Linda Engler, Engler Studio Interior Design, 3948 W. 50th St., Ste. 204, Edina, 952-564-6488,;Build, by Bob Near, Streeter and Associates, Wayzata, 952-449-9448,

Kitchen: Table, custom design, from Engler Studio Interior Design, Edina, 952-564-6488,;Anziano chairs, in custom finish, from Donghia, Inc.,; Mac pendant lights, from The Urban Electric Co.,; Hurley sconces franking sink, also from The Urban Electric Co.; countertop, in Belgian Blue Limestone honed 3 cm slab, from Amsum & Ash, 30 52nd Way NE, Mpls., 763-571-8400,; cabinet hardware, from Ashley Norton,; range, from La Cornue,

Porch: Swing, custom design and fabrication, from Engler Studio Interior Design, Edina, 952-564-6488,; fabric for swing cushions, from Perennials Outdoor Fabrics, Inc.,; fabric for swing pillows (discontinued), from Donghia, Inc.,; Capri outdoor wing chair, from Palecek,; chair cushion fabric, in Poolside in Sand Pearl from the Great Outdoors collection, from Holly Hunt, IMS, Ste. 234, 612-332-1900,; fan, in Galvanized with natural wood blade, from Rejuvenation,

Living Room: Nouvelle queen sleeper loveseat, from Taylor King,; fabric for loveseat, “Toccata” in Banya, from Hancock & Moore, Inc.,; ottoman, “Calvary Bench” in Stampede Harness Leather, also from Hancock & Moore, Inc; Cooper sofa, from Ferrell Mittman,; fabric for sofa, “Linen Duck” in Oatcake, from Rogers & Goffigon, Ltd.,; cocktail table, 1900s French steamer trunk, rug Afghani hand-knotted wool rug, kantha pillows on sofa and loveseat: homeowners’ collection.

Dining Room: Gothic Neo Geo Chandelier in Natural Brass, from O’Lampia Studio, Inc.,; Table, custom design, from Engler Studio Interior Design, Edina, 952-564-6488,;Merci chairs, from Jessica Charles,; fabric for Skye chairs, in Blueberry, from Rogers & Goffigon, Ltd.,; chair trim, Round Nailhead in Antique Silver, from Samuel & Sons,;oars, from Sanborn Canoe Co.,; fireplace surround, Dove White Vein-Cut Honed Marble, from Eden Valders Stone,; fireplace screen, from Restoration Hardware,

Entry: Philadelphia Windsor Arm Bench, from Countryside Amish Furniture,;Japanese Paper Weave 1616 Wallpaper, from Phillip Jeffries, Ltd.,; artwork above bench, by James Beaman, from Circa Gallery, 210 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-332-2386,; chandelier, vintage Murano, from First Dibs,

Dining Room vignette: Console, from Scout Chicago,; table lamp, Mimizan ceramic, from Vaughan Designs, Inc.,; birds on console, from Gallery 360, 3011 W. 50th St., Mpls., 612-925-2400,; framed artwork, by Kathleen Waterloo, from Circa Gallery, 210 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-332-2386,; portholes, homeowners’ collection.

Pantry: Fabric for Roman shades, Festival Stripe Embroidery in Indigo, from Mulberry Home by Lee Jofa, IMS, Ste. 222, 612-375-9092,; fringe for shades, in Harbour Barrel Knot Fringe, from Samuel & Sons,; cabinet paint, in Blue Note, from Benjamin Moore,; cabinet pulls, from the Lumiere collection, knobs similar available as City Lights Flat Disk Knob in Glass and Satin Brass, from Schaub,;
Sink, from the Shaws Original collection, from Rohl,; faucet, Henry Three-Hole Gooseneck Faucet in Unlacquered Brass, from Waterworks,

Bath: Tile, Eastern Promise encaustic tile in Marine and Milk, from the Majorelle collection, from Ann Sacks,;Iron and Rope mirror, from Restoration Hardware,;towels, from Serena & Lily,; Brockway sink, from Kohler,;  Cannock faucets with soap dish, also from Kohler.

Library: Lounge chairs, licensed replica of Hans Wegner’s Papa Bear Chair, from Modernica,; Blazer fabric for chairs, in Silverdale, from Camira,; Utopia table lamp, from Circa Lighting,;
cowhide rug, from Saddlemans,; Bohemian drapery fabric, from the Origines collection, from Elitis,; drapery hardware, from Lundy’s Drapery Hardware,;Glacier National Park blanket, from Pendleton,;
Accent table, 1920s French gueridon bistro table with marble top, homeowners’ collection.

Cape Dutch Modern (pg. 66–71)

Architecture, by Ron Brenner, Ron Brenner Architects, 226 E. Myrtle St., Stillwater, 651-342-1278,; Build, by Kate and Kerry Hage, Hage Homes, 10218 Hage Dr., Rogers, 763-286-3369,; Interior Design, by Sharon Seitz, HISTORIC Studio, 607 E. Lake St., Wayzata, 952-381-9899,

Resources from the September 2018 issue of Home & Design Magazine.

She said, She said (pg.42)

Design by Heather Peterson, Heather Peterson Design, 730 E. 38th St., Ste. 100, Mpls., 612-834-2752,

Entry: wallpaper, in dark floral, from Ellie Cashman Design,

Sitting Area: Wing chair, from Craigslist,, in Chivasso DON fabric, from KDR Showrooms, IMS, Ste. 408, Mpls., 612-332-0402,, reupholstered by Union Place Home Entertainment and Design, 361 George St., Excelsior, 952-474-5330,; rug, from eSaleRugs,; wall color, in Chantilly Lace, from Benjamin Moore,

Living Room: Rug, from Pottery Barn,; coffee table, from Retro Wanderlust, 8 12th  Ave. S., Ste. 8, Hopkins, 612-760-2600,; fireplace screen, from H&B Gallery, 2730 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-874-6436,; chairs, also from Pottery Barn; throw pillows, from Z Gallerie, Galleria, Edina,; martini side table, from West Elm,; candlesticks, also from Retro Wanderlust; odalisques, from Home Goods,; mirror, from Wisteria,; topiaries, from Ballard Designs,

Kitchen: Shades, from Smith and Noble,; floor, by Merola Tile Twenties Classic, from Home Depot,; cabinet color, in San Antonio Grey, from Benjamin Moore,; wall and trim color, in Chantilly Lace, also from Benjamin Moore.

Bathroom: Wallpaper, in Chenonceau Charcoal, from Schumacher,; rug, from eSaleRugs,; shade, from Smith and Noble,

Guest Room: Wallpaper, in petit feu greige, from Schumacher,; rug, from Ballard Designs,; sconces, from West Elm,; headboard, from Wayfair Rico,; nightstands, from Anthropologie,; tumbling block tray, from Jayson Home,; brass elephant, from Retro Wanderlust, 12 Ave. S., Ste. 8, Hopkins, 612-760-2600,; bedding, also from Anthropologie; throw pillows, from Pottery Barn,; curtains, also from West Elm; curtain hardware, tailoring and natural woven shades, from Union Place Home Entertainment and Design, 361 George St., Excelsior, 952-474-5330,

Dressing Room: Rug, from Anthropologie,; velvet ottoman, also from Anthropologie; shades, from PBTeen,; clothing racks, from Ikea,

Master bedroom: Wallpaper, in dark turquois, by Thibaut Venus, from AJ Maison,;wall color, in Hague blue, from Farrow and Ball,; headboard, from Anthropologie,;  curtains, from Pottery Barn,;  curtain hardware, tailoring and shades, from Union Place Home Entertainment and Design, 361 George St., Excelsior, 952-474-5330,; rug, by Capel Kasbah, also from AJ Maison; lamps, from Arteriors,; bedding, from Pottery Barn,; throw pillow, from Ballard Designs,

The Ann Cave: Paint color, in Lafayette Green, from Benjamin Moore,;floor, by Florida Tile, from MN Tile and Stone, IMS, Ste. 123, Mpls., 612-330-9899,; rug, from West Elm,; wallpaper, in Ethan Tartan Hunter, by Ralph Lauren, from Kravet,; custom media stand, from Ikea,; leather sectional, also from West Elm; floor lamp, France & Sons,; lamp, from Target,; blanket, Faribault Woolen Mills Co.,; chairs, by MadwomanNOLA, from on Etsy,; leopard throw pillows, from Arianna Bell,; bird throw pillows, by TeaLadyPillows, from Etsy,; hanging wall shelf, also from West Elm.

The Poetry of Her Place (pg. 50-57)

Contracting by Flannery Construction, 1375 St. Anthony Ave., St. Paul, 651-225-1105,; interior design by Jacqueline Fortier, 1161 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-428-6508,

Sitting Room: light fixture by Akari Ceiling Lamps, from The Noguchi Museum,; woven window shades by Conrad, from Contemporary Blind Design, IMS, 612-338-6250,; front door by Simpson Door Company,; door hardware by Ashley Norton, from Knobbery MSP LLC, IMS, 612-338-6250,; custom staircase handrail by Asa Hoyt, 651-261-3727,; cocktail table by Kara Mann, from Baker Furniture, IMS, 612-338-6250,; black bowl on table, vintage, Fortier’s own; sofa mohair fabric from Holly Hunt, IMS, 612-338-6250,; Cavallini hide on vintage chair by Edelman Leather, from KDR Designer Showrooms, IMS, 612-338-6250,; embroidered pillow on sofa from Zachary Ltd., IMS, 612-338-6250,; bison painting by Charles Lyon, 612-788-8032,; purple watercolor painting by Siri Knutson,

Living room: brown chair by Nancy Corzine Furniture,; brown chair fabric in Ice Chocolate Linen by Pierre Frey, also from Holly Hunt; white chair fabric in Terrain Bluff, also from Holly Hunt; settee custom designed by Fortier using Fortuny fabric,; iron and limestone table from Baker Furniture, IMS, 612-338-6250,; window shades by Conrad, from Contemporary Blind Design, IMS, 612-338-6250,; custom windows by Marvin Windows and Doors,; rug by Capel from AJ Maison, IMS, 612-338-6250,; nude painting from Ruby Beets,

Kitchen: Flooring by WD Hardwood; rug from Holly Moore Interiors, 612-354-7334,; wall tile by Sabine Hill from Fantasia Showrooms, IMS, 612-338-6250,; lighting by Long Made Co.,; countertops made from marble reclaimed from the St. Paul Library, cabinets custom designed by Fortier and made by Downsview Kitchens and Fine Cabinetry,; cabinet hardware by Ashley Norton, from Knobbery MSP LLC, IMS, 612-338-6250,; range by La Cornue Ranges, from North Star Kitchens, IMS, 612-338-6250,; refrigerator doors by Perlick, from Ferguson Showrooms, 925 Decatur Ave. N, Golden Valley, 763-591-5700,; table from Baker Furniture, IMS, 612-338-6250,; faucet and sink by Rohl, from Fantasia Showrooms, IMS, 612-338-6250,; custom pot rack designed by Fortier and made by Asa Hoyt, 651-261-3727,; copper stock pot from Brooklyn Copper Cookware,; antique wooden bowls from Zachary Ltd., IMS, 612-338-6250,

Mudroom: door by Simpson Door Company,; paint on door in Brattle & Spruce from California Paints,; antique Swedish bench from R E Steele Antiques,; Girls’ bedroom: bed and dresser by Chelsea House, from Zachary Ltd., IMS, 612-338-6250,; wall sconce from YLighting,; vase on table from Heath Ceramics,

Full bath: Tub filler by Lefroy Brooks,; windows by Marvin Windows and Doors,; wall tile in Encaustic by Sabine Hill from Fantasia Showrooms, IMS, 612-338-6250,; floor tile by Artistic, also from Fantasia Showrooms.

Half bath: outdoor wallpaper from Wall & Decò,; shower tile also from Fantasia Showrooms; shower threshold and surrounding tile from Rivard Stone, 318 Hwy. 35 64, Houlton, WI, 715-246-3856,; showerhead and vanity sink from KOHLER,; sink faucet from Brizo,

Master bedroom: Fabric on bed and curtains from Bennison Fabrics,

Second City (pg. 68-72)

Interior design: Lucy Penfield and Stephanie Lalley, Lucy Interior Design, International Market Square, Mpls., 613-339-2225,; building contractor: Pete Hagstrom, Hagstrom Builder, 3511 Lake Elmo Ave., Lake Elmo, 651-777-8563,

Throughout: Wall color, in Pure White, from Benjamin Moore,

Entryway: Table, custom, by North Lakes Wood Garden, 32056 North Lakes Tr., Lindstrom; painting, from Minted,; lamp from CB2,

Living room: Grey chairs, custom, from Tapis Decor, IMS, Mpls., 612-359-6007,; black Wassily chairs, from Knoll,; floor lamp, by Tolomero, from Design Within Reach,; pillows, from Tuesday Morning,; cocktail table, custom, through Lucy Interior Design,; accessories on cocktail table, from West Elm,; rug, also from Design Within Reach.

Dining room: Hammered brass table base, from Bungalow 5,; Carrara marble tabletop, from Knoll,; dining chairs, by Montis, from Roam Furniture & Lighting,; sconces, from France & Son,; painting, by Brad Durham, represented by Circa Gallery, 210 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-332-2386,

Master bedroom: Lamp, from France & Sons,; nightstand, by Nuevo, from Tapis Decor, IMS, Mpls., 612-359-6007,

Secondary sitting area: Art, Vitesse No. 4 by Henri Boissiere, from Room & Board,; end table, by Bright Furniture, from Blended Blue, IMS, Mpls., 612-455-6132,

Guest bedroom: Headboard wall fabric, by Elitis, from Blended Blue, IMS, Mpls., 612-455-6132,

Ann McDonald: Design Systems Simplified, Equipping To Design and Live A Custom Life

Masha posed, stroking a strapon, and Romka, with such a boner and such a bloodshot head that she was ready to burst, filmed it on camera. - Vital, take us off, please. - asked Roma, handing me the camera. I took her in my hands more comfortably and, for a start, led her through Roma, taking pictures of his naked, toned body with droplets of moisture on the red hair.

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I warned him sternly. Yes, I will try. he agreed, looking at the gold ring on my hand. Married.

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I went into the office, and the boss signaled with his hand to sit down. He was a pedantic German. Smart, handsome for his 55 years old, a little overweight and below my 175. Straightforward and stubborn, but I must admit, as a boss, he is great. He had qualities that many directors and others do not have.

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