Moved In!

by Tracee

Matt and I drove away from the bank this past Monday feeling like there should be some sort of celebration after converting our construction loan to a mortgage.  The mortgage conversion is not a very nostalgic celebration event, but we now feel like we can say we officially live here!

I wanted to take a moment to share how the inspiration carried over into execution. In February, I wrote a blog post called Minnesota Vernacular in which I shared some inspiration examples: Swedish farmhouse on the exterior and modern Denmark on the interior. Here’s how our house looks next to our inspiration photos.


Inspiration exterior: 18th century farmstead in rural Sweden
Our Swedish farmhouse inspired home

The original design of the house had a long garage flanked on the west side to create the courtyard of the inspiration photo, however after the first estimate it became obvious we couldn’t afford that approach. We moved the garage behind the house, which turned out to be a great move from an energy efficiency standpoint because it provided a buffer from north winds and weather. Also, the house was designed to be a walkout, which means the floor on the inside is level with the ground on the outside. However, because bedrock prevented the basement from going to the required depth, we had a neighboring business bring over 70 loads of dirt to raise the level of the ground around the south side of the house. Overall, the iconic color, shape and disposition of the home achieves the Swedish farmhouse look we were going for. And the Minnesota landscape obligingly follows suit:

Fall view from our south windows


Inspiration interior: Home in Aarhus, Denmark
Our modern Denmark-inspired interior

It was important to us to choose authentic materials such as wood, concrete, and glass to get that clean modern look, but also to minimize surfaces that attract allergens. The concrete floor turned out beautifully, and using a heat gun we can tell it is effectively absorbing passive heat from the sun.


There was considerable echo at first, so we acquiesced and put down an area rug in the living area. As we unpack, the echo is subsiding. When our sofa arrives, that should help as well.

Max and Sampson enjoying the view from the living area.

We’ve been living in our home for a month and a half now, and I have to say my favorite thing so far is the bounty of natural light. And the view. And the comfort of a leak-proof home. And being in nature. And … well, the overall hygge feeling.

To complete the picture, here’s us, taking the long way around to the mailbox:

Tracee, Matt and Max

2 thoughts on “Moved In!”

  1. Yes! Here is a synthesis of what Ansel Adams meant by “the ever-present benediction of light,” and Andrzej Piotrowski’s concept of “the architecture of thought.”

    1. Arn! A synthesis of these things, indeed! I think Prof Piotrowski would be proud you said that, in acknowledgement of his tremendous influence on me. One of the things I’m enjoying about the house is the light that fills the space – it’s decadent 🙂 Thank you for the suggestion to write this post! Much love, Tracee

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