Home & Design | Art + Soul

It was love at first sight for artist Stephanie Dillon when she and her husband, Reilly, visited a model home in Eden Prairie. They fell in love with the exterior mix of whitewashed planks and timeless, airy shakes. Inside, a display of light-filled common spaces – each with their own unique character – has left more standard floor plans in the dust.

From the calming coals of the interior palette and paler neutrals to its moody greens and rich terracotta, the vibe is more European than suburban. “My inspiration for the kitchen was a French pastry shop,” notes the model’s designer, Kelli Fontana Vogelgesang, who owns West Bay Homes with her husband, Rick.

Layer after layer of finely detailed materials also hint at European design. In fact, the designer drew inspiration from her travels in Paris throughout the 5,000 square foot house. She says the style is a contemporary French farmhouse.

In the kitchen, three different glazed tiles dress the backsplashes. “The smaller hexagon attracts light and is almost reflective,” says Vogelgesang. “The mixture creates a high sense of sight.”

Mixed media is also a signature of much of Stéphanie’s art – no wonder she and Vogelgesang shared an artistic vision. Stephanie, who turned to painting to express her emotions while battling cancer, is known to paint what she feels. The designer also follows her heart. “Every day I do what I love,” says Vogelgesang. “Leaving a home is like abandoning a child. “

Stéphanie kept Vogelgesang on board to finish the interior decoration. “We are both passionate about design,” adds Vogelgesang. “I was delighted to use Stephanie’s killer rug collection throughout.”

Exterior materials such as rebate and painted charcoal dress the basement fireplace wall as well as the vaulted ceiling in a lounge area next to the kitchen. Charcoal-colored square tiles cover a counter-to-ceiling kitchen backsplash. The repetition of color weaves the pieces together. “I like that everything is cohesive so that it is a holistic progression with all aspects of the environment,” says Vogelgesang.

So many materials can seem busy, even cluttered, but Vogelgesang has cleverly incorporated them, much like Stephanie mixes colors on her canvases. Some choices appear, others disappear, some sparkle to define an atmosphere. Like a finished painting, the materials finally come together in a composition always concerned with balance and proportions. The result: a house worthy of an artist.

“I like to make spaces timeless and elevated without becoming precious or unaffordable. “

– Kelli Fontana Vogelgesang



Design + Construction: Kelli Fontana Vogelgesang and Rick Vogelgesang, West Bay Homes, 612-770-6433, westbayhomes.net


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Margarita B. Bittner

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