Be inspired by this designer’s impressive living room makeover and ‘80s hearth update.  

Designer: Katie Kurtz, Adorned Homes

Project type: Remodel

Location: North Oaks, Minnesota

Specs: 4,800 square feet; five bedrooms; four baths

The challenge: Reimagining an entire home, with a focus on modernizing an outdated living room.


Project overview: The Spring Farm property in North Oaks, Minn. had breathtaking interior details, with expansive windows overlooking picturesque woods. “The bones [of the living room] were amazing, with a two-story ceiling and fireplace with high windows on each side as a focal point,” says Katie Kurtz, realtor, owner and principal designer at Adorned Homes, a boutique firm based in North Oaks that specializes in luxury investment property renovations. “It just needed a facelift!”


Inspired by Restoration Hardware showrooms in Chicago, Kurtz’s vision was “Old World mixed with modern, luxurious furnishings and décor.” She first added beams to create an intimate atmosphere while maintaining the generous proportions of the ceilings, and then set out to update the fireplace wall, eliminating the stained-glass panels and blanketing the brick, trim and walls in a clean coat of soft white.


Upgrading the brassy, drafty fireplace was paramount, so she polished off the space by replacing the existing hearth with a Heat & Glo Escape I-35 FireBrick gas fireplace insert. “The scale of the old fireplace was completely wrong. In this large room, we really needed a larger fireplace and the ease of an insert was perfect for this project.”


"I was blown away by the ease of the install. They were in and out within a day, and there was zero mess or cleanup,” says Kurtz, who partnered with Fireside Hearth & Home on the installation.  “We love the lighting feature. It allows us to have the ambiance without the heat when the weather is warm.



”As a busy new mom, Kurtz also appreciates the built-in safety features Heat & Glo gas fireplace inserts offer, in addition to the warmth and ambiance. “As our family grows, time to unwind at home is even more precious and the whole family wants to be around the fireplace. The protective screen gives us peace of mind that our pup and baby girl will be safe when the fireplace is on, so we can enjoy our time rather than worry.”



To learn more about Kurtz’s business, visit her Adorned Homes website, and to follow along her design, real estate and renovation projects, check her out on Instagram.


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