Before and After: A Big Minnesota Home with the Hygge of a Small Swedish Space

After a rather nomadic period of their lives, a high-powered couple was ready to put down roots in North Oaks, Minnesota. They wanted a large, cozy space to raise their young son and entertain their nearby family, so they purchased a 10,000-square-foot, well-built 1990s home and hired Julia Miller of Yond Interiors to freshen it up.

“Everything was done nicely,” explains Julia. “It just wasn’t up to date anymore and didn’t really reflect the clients’ style. So they brought us in to quiet down some of the existing elements and brighten a lot of the dark colors. They wanted to make it super inviting for people.”

Since the couple loved the bones of the house, from the functional layout to the view of the backyard, Julia focused on simplifying and lightening the finishes. She peeled back textured wallpaper and ripped out a huge UFO-like fixture in the dining room. Then she painted nearly all the walls white with a warm gray trim and added a thin layer of plaster to the stone columns for a calmer look.

When it came to furnishings, Julia channeled a Nordic hygge aesthetic as a nod to the clients’ time spent in Scandinavia, pairing blonde woods with clean lines, earth tones, and woven textiles. Most importantly, every item is durable enough to withstand kids and parties. “What they liked about living in Sweden was how approachable homes felt,” says Julia. “So while they bought a very big home, their goal was to make it comfortable and simple and not have it be this ostentatious statement.”

Let’s take a tour.


for such a grand house, the entryway is rather compact. julia maximized the tig 9
Above: For such a grand house, the entryway is rather compact. Julia maximized the tight area by designing a custom white oak console that nestles snuggly between two stone columns. “This is where they receive packages and mail, so they wanted some closed storage but also some open storage for shoes,” she shares. “It felt like the perfect fit.”
julia was intentional with her seating selections for the living room, where tw 10
Above: Julia was intentional with her seating selections for the living room, where two fog-hued Amber Interiors sofas face each other. “The clients were pretty clear that they wanted casual, so linen is perfect because it shows a little bit of life, has a great texture, and is really soft,” Julia says. “Since this serves as a TV area, we wanted the arm to be high enough that you could rest your back on it comfortably but also not so tall that it would block the view when you walked in.”