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Out of the egg
Bayside renovation is debut project for interior designer



Designer Lynn Tarrence calls the remodel of a 1952 Bayside ranch house an inventive adaptation of Prairie Style. The design of the porch overhang sets up whatís inside the home. Exterior finishes include cedar and Hardie plank siding, limestone and Eldorado stone veneer. Exterior lighting from Rejuvenation; landscaping by Johnson Nursery.

As a newly minted interior designer, Lynn Tarrence was big on ideas but short on experience. Thatís when she had her biggest idea of all. Tarrence decided to buy and renovate an "ugly house" to package her talents and deliver the real-world experience she desired.

Tarrence assembled a team of subcontractors under the umbrella of her newly formed Egg Design Group, and got to work gutting a 1952 red brick ranch in Bayside.

Any illusions of a glamorous life as an interior designer were quickly dispelled. "You have this idea of walking around with your portfolio under your arm and some really cute clothes, but the reality is (youíre wearing) hoodies and vests and boots and Wellies freezing your butt off," Tarrence says.

Todd Ovard of the 1128 Architectural Design Services worked with Tarrence on the prairie-school influenced/midcentury modern design. Discussions with a real estate agent drove the floor plan in order to create the flexible spaces and amenities for modern lifestyles, such as aging in place. Thereís also a master bedroom suite with private outdoor terrace, a second-floor retreat that could do double-duty as a home office or family room, and a library that could be used as a bedroom or home office.

"It makes people think of the possibilities," Tarrence says. "We wanted to give people the ability to make the space their own. The whole idea is that the design is for everyone."

No remodeling project is without setbacks and Tarrence had her share, including a major snowstorm when the entire middle of the house was gone. "I shoveled snow out of the second floor, I was holding down tarps, buying tarps, emptying snow off of tarps. It was a futile thing. I realized I cannot control the weather and how powerless I really was."

She also learned something about herself during the process. "I think itís changed my focus. I found I really do enjoy the building process. I like the fast pace. Itís taken my whole focus off Ďa sofa.í Those things donít matter as much as that it has to work with a space."

For more on the Manor House project, go to

The fireplace is faced with metallic porcelain tile, which is also used on the stair landing, entries and laundry. The hearthstone is a single piece of limestone. The wooden mantel is clear finished Douglass fir, also used on the staircase to the second floor.


Locked into the existing footprint of the house, Tarrence and her team worked with the narrow kitchen layout to create a multifunctional space loaded with modern amenities. Kitchen cabinetry and a built-in banquette are custom-made quarter-sawn white oak. Backsplashes are glass subway tile; counters are Cambria.

A mudroom off the garage and nearby first-floor laundry accommodate modern lifestyles.


Birch hardwood floors throughout and the use of color, texture and repetition give the home a comfortable sophistication, Tarrence says.


The master bedroom wing includes an en-suite bathroom with Kohler fixtures, in-floor heat and private adjoining patio.


Tarrence says the powder room is her favorite room in the house, due in part to overcoming the structural constraints of the space but also for its neutral, organic feel. The floating birch vanity goes wall to wall to offer maximum storage and counter space. Vertical placement of the tile backsplash and sconces visually balance the space.