Life seemed to have come full circle when Kristina Sakaria and her husband, Aaron Sakaria, bought their home in St. Louis Park.
It was just two doors down from where Kristina’s grandparents had lived and where she often went on weekends as a child. She remembered her father talking about how the mid-century modern house on Cavell Lane was the talk of the town for being ahead of its time when it was built in 1966.
The house went on the market 10 years ago, just when the couple decided to move to Minnesota, where Kristina had family. The Sakarias live in Shanghai, where they met and both held jobs.
The St. Louis Park home was not only in a neighborhood Kristina knew well, but also on a cul-de-sac. The mid-century style of the house was also a draw for the Sakarias.
“I walked in and fell in love with the huge windows and the design,” Kristina said. “And it was on a quiet street.”
However, there was a compromise.
“It was a short sale,” Kristina said. “So you definitely had to have a vision of what you could do with it, because it took some work.”
Over the decade they’ve owned the home, the couple have undertaken many improvements to the home, starting with an upstairs remodel “to make it more contemporary,” Aaron said.
They installed wood floors, removed the popcorn ceilings and installed new light fixtures. They also reconfigured a few of the rooms, including moving the master bedroom from top to bottom.
The kitchen had already been remodeled, so all they needed to do was freshen it up with new appliances, lighting, cabinet doors and an extractor hood. The exterior of the house has received a new coat of paint.
“We did everything we could to retain the mid-century vibe,” Kristina said, including adding George Nelson light fixtures, known for their modernist style. Wherever possible, they retained the original cedar panels as well as the vaulted wooden beams with skylights in the kitchen, stairwell and master bath.
To connect the interior to the exterior, they installed floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a ravine and added a terrace.
“The large windows, in particular, really connect us to our backyard,” Kristina said. “You feel like nature is entering your home with the bright light and the beautiful trees, especially when the leaves change color.”
It’s time to say goodbye
Now with two growing boys, the Sakarias need more space. So they put their 3,168-square-foot, five-bedroom, three-bathroom home on the market.
“Our plans were to keep updating and renovating,” Kristina said. “But we found another bigger space. We have two very active boys and our boys will only grow.”
“Selling this house is very bittersweet because we love the neighborhood and we love the space,” Kristina admitted. “It did us good.”
Besides enjoying the house itself, Kristina said she enjoyed living in the area surrounded by nature. Minnehaha Creek is just across the street and the house is within walking distance to Aquila Park and the Cedar Lake Regional Trail.
Listing agent Todd Breyfogle said a new owner would likely appreciate the house still having mid-century modern features.
“[The design] shows simplicity by using flat planes and large, prominent glass windows that merge into an open floor concept that allows the owner to blend in with nature,” he said.
Kristina said she was happy to have been able to live in a home and neighborhood filled with fond family memories.
“My grandma is turning 101 in June and loves telling stories,” Kristina said. “She said to me, ‘I never thought in my life that you would end up on Cavell Lane.’ “
At the time of publication, an offer was underway on the home. Todd Breyfogle ([email protected]; 612-382-3084) of Coldwell Banker Realty has the $574,900 SEO.