One day in 2011, while searching Craigslist for rental properties in Minneapolis, MN, graphic designer Claire Moyle and animator Jeffrey Grutter came across a rather odd listing. The landlord of an early-1900s-era bungalow was offering free rent to any family willing to renovate it. Intrigued, the couple immediately set up a showing and prepared themselves for an encounter with what could have been a disastrous home and/or a rather interesting owner. Instead, Claire and Jeffrey found themselves touring a house full of untapped potential accompanied by a landlord who was both friendly and humble. All they truly wanted was someone to help them make the property a winner.
I think you’ll agree after taking a peek that Claire and Jeffrey have done just that. During their time renting, they’ve had floors stained, combined neutral-colored accessories to create an environment that’s perfect for unwinding, and painted nearly all the walls. The new paint jobs are amplified even further thanks to Jeffrey’s artwork. He went to school for painting, and his ability to create simple yet evocative pieces is truly admirable.
While renting, these two revitalized the space beyond recognition, but they gave it a second (even more dramatic) boost after purchasing the home in 2012. Since then they’ve replaced the kitchen, landscaped the entire property, nearly finished the basement and painted the exterior a brooding navy that has surely made them the envy of every neighbor. Overall, it’s a space you’re not going to want to miss. Scroll down to check it out, and enjoy! —Garrett
Photography by Hannah Voermans
Image above: The Craigslist listing for this home caught Claire and Jeffrey’s eye because of the odd proposal that accompanied it: the landlord was offering free rent to anyone willing to renovate the space. Intrigued by the offer, the couple took a tour. Sure enough, there was a lot of work to be done. Baby blue walls, filth-soaked floors and a totally-unusable kitchen are just a few of the challenges they were met with.
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