Moving to a new city can be daunting. If that city happens to be Minneapolis, and your only visit to the area prior to moving was in cold February, the prospect of transitioning can be a tough sell. This was the case in 2006, when accessories designer Talin Spring and her husband Arthur relocated from Marseille. Born in Istanbul, but having spent most of her life in France, it was hard for Talin to leave her dream home in Provence. Arthur chose the Minneapolis home, while Talin only saw it through photographs before moving. He said it was the closest one he could find that resembled their home in Marseille. It was close to water (Lake Calhoun), walking distance to the movies, cafes and restaurants — ostensibly as close as it could be to a European lifestyle.
Once they moved in, the couple set upon renovations almost immediately. “It took me [a] very, very long time to feel at home in this house, to really own it.” says Talin. The house had gone through a lot of cheap remodeling and had lost most of its character. They started with the basics, painting every room and getting rid of the popcorn ceiling. Two years later, they renovated the entire second floor, which contained two bedrooms, a family room, a sunroom/guest room, and on the exterior, a deck. New hardwood floors, cabinetry to display treasures collected from around the world, and a wood-burning stove provided a huge improvement. Out on the deck, the wood lattice fence now allows great air flow as well as complete privacy. A few years later, Talin and Arthur tackled the kitchen and the guest bathroom. They installed IKEA cabinetry and new hardwood floors in the kitchen. The guest bathroom was finished in Marmorino stucco (a plaster made with a mixture of crushed marble and lime putty), which is one of my favorite parts of the home. Talin learned the technique in Avignon, and it truly looks like a little piece of France transported to the Midwest.
There are still areas that they would like to renovate, but their main objective — to create a house that felt like them — has been met. Talin loves the multiple common spaces, whether she is reviewing prototypes for her accessories line, Spring Finn and Co., sketching out future projects, or planning the next big dinner or trip.
The aspect of her home she is perhaps most thankful for is that there is always a sunny room. A self proclaimed “sun animal,” Talin loves that there are multiple areas of the home where she can enjoy the sun. Since the couple’s daughters have grown and moved out, Talin added a table in front of the living room window, where she can bathe in the sun for lunch. A little slice of that Provence sunshine right in her own Minneapolis home. —Shannon
Photography by Colleen Eversman and Mary Jo Hoffman