In the early days of HGTV, the network caught wind of Warren Kitzmann and his partner Gary Russell’s reimagining of their Arts and Crafts south Minneapolis home.
The next thing they knew, they were on “Decorating Cents,” a show that teaches homeowners resourcefulness when making improvements to their homes.
For the two, updating the home over the years has been a labor of love.
“From the time we moved in, it was falling in love,” Russell said. “As we started to spend more time in the home, we realized even more how special it was.”
When the couple purchased their home in 1997, it seemed fate was calling. The two had been house hunting and were driving home from looking at a place they weren’t stoked about when they spotted a “For sale by owner” sign in their neighborhood.
“I’ve had an affinity for Arts and Crafts and the Mission style of home with all the beautiful woodwork,” Kitzmann said.
The duo felt the house, built in 1915, also had great bones. With some restoration and a few modern updates, it could work.
“It was on a corner lot and had a lot of charm. None of the woodwork had been painted over other than the picture rail [in the dining room], which we ended up stripping down and staining,” Russell said.
The HGTV episode that aired three years into their house purchase — and home improvement projects — highlighted ways to restore an old house while updating spaces for contemporary living.
With Russell as the tour guide, he showed viewers how they gave their kitchen a makeover on a $3,500 budget — quite a feat even back then. While they splurged on custom birch cabinets that went all the way up to the ceiling for maximum storage, Kitzmann