December 9, 2021

McKenzielee Blog

Wicked Clever House Experts

Home & Design | Art + Soul

2 min read

It was love at first sight for artist Stephanie Dillon when she and her husband, Reilly, toured a model home in Eden Prairie. They fell for the exterior’s mix of whitewashed shiplap and shakes that felt timeless and airy. Inside, an unfolding of light-filled communal spaces—each with its own character—left more standard floorplans in the dust.

From the interior palette’s calming charcoals and paler neutrals to its moody greens and rich terra-cotta, the vibe feels 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 upon layer of materials, finely detailed, also hint at European design. In fact, the designer infused inspiration from her trips to Paris throughout the 5,000-square-foot home. She says the style is French contemporary farmhouse.

In the kitchen, three different glazed tiles dress the backsplashes. “The smallest hexagon draws light in and is almost reflective,” says Vogelgesang. “The mix creates an elevated sense of sight.”

Mixed media is also a signature of much of Stephanie’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 similarly follows her heart. “Every day, I do what I love,” Vogelgesang says. “Parting with a home is like giving up a child.”

Stephanie kept Vogelgesang on board to complete the interior design. “We’re both passionate about design,” Vogelgesang adds. “I was thrilled to use Stephanie’s killer rug collection throughout.”

Exterior materials like shiplap and painted charcoal dress the basement’s fireplace wall as well as the vaulted ceiling in a lounge space off of the kitchen. Charcoal-colored square tiles cover a kitchen backsplash from the counter to the ceiling. The color’s repetition weaves rooms together. “I like everything to be cohesive so that it’s a holistic progression with all of the environment relating,” Vogelgesang says. 

So many materials could feel busy, even cluttered, but Vogelgesang artfully incorporated them, akin to how Stephanie blends the colors on her canvases. Some choices pop, others recede, a few shimmer to define a mood. Like a completed painting, the materials ultimately come together in a composition ever mindful of balance and proportions. The result: a home fit for an artist.

“I love making spaces look timeless and elevated without becoming precious or unaffordable.”


– Kelli Fontana Vogelgesang



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


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