House Tours


walsh dining room

I met my friend Anna and her daughter Poppy at an early childhood family education class in Minneapolis when my daughter Mia was 6 months old. One day, in response to a bunch of first-time mom chatter surrounding sleep training and whether it was humane, Anna spoke up:

“You know, after months of no sleep, I finally came to terms with the fact that letting Isaac {her first born} cry it out was giving him a gift.” You could almost see the bleary-eyed moms ears perk up, as if Anna was reading from the Holy Grail. “I was teaching him how to sleep, which is a very important skill,” she said matter-of-factly.

I swear, that same week Mia was sleeping through the night, and I always credit Anna—who became a dear friend—with helping me get there.

It is this no-nonsense warmth that is so compelling about her, and that is also evident in her hands-on decorating style. A California transplant, Anna took a grand old turn-of the century Victorian house and infused it with warmth, color, and lots of crafts.

Her inspiration: “My mom and grandmother were crafty, and I remember crawling underneath the looms and looking up at what my mother was making. My memories of her are very interchangeable with my relationship with colors.”

Anna wallpapered the back of her wooden kitchen cabinets and the dining room nook with a graphic Orla Kiely print. The kitchen shelves are stacked with colorful pottery: “I like when color and texture come out in food presentation—as if you’re presenting someone with a gift,” she says.

Above the family eating nook, Anna displayed color studies of the quilts she’s made for her three children out of their old clothes (see bedroom photos for the actual quilts.)

This layered carrot cake was set with 85 candles for her father-in-law’s birthday.

The living room and family room are a mix of heirloom pieces (the console was Anna’s grandmother’s, the strawberry dresser was in her mother’s nursery), painted vintage pieces (the doll crib), colorful toys, and artwork (the kids’ self portraits, Anna’s color wheel quilt.) As for the yarn set about: “I don’t have the patience for knitting,” Anna says, “but yarn is so pretty that I use it around the house for decoration and hang balls of yarn from our Christmas tree.”

Anna turned the sunroom into a studio, with a separate craft station covered in oil cloth for the kids to work on their own projects.


“We’ve never had a headboard, so I wanted to create a headboard-like thing,” Anna says of the display above the master bed. The wooden circles are actually rings from an old ring toss game she found at an antique store in Stillwater, a small town in Minnesota on the St. Croix River.

“I was super close to my grandmother, who was an artist and would make baskets and quilts,” Anna says. “She taught me how to sew and play with color and pattern.” The quilts that cover the kids’ beds are made from remnants of their baby clothes. Anna takes on one quilt project every winter.

 

 

This past summer, Anna planted vegetable boxes using a Sunset magazine how-to article as a guide. “I apparently needed a power tool fix,” she says. The supply of tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables made it into many meals, including this fresh ceviche, served in a bowl by Rebecca Wood.

 

The Walsh Family: Andy, Anna, Isaac, 9, Poppy, 5 1/2, and Ezra, 1

 

 

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Comments (12)

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  1. Posted by: Kristin nilsen

    Great pix, Meg! Love everything about this house!

  2. Posted by: Kristin Walsh

    This is a wonderful tribute to Anna and her amazing artistic abilities. I am so proud to be her sister-in-law and wish we lived closer. My husband Charlie and I stayed at her lovely home over the summer and it truly is a cozy and fun place to stay! We enjoyed Anna’s AMAZING hospitality, including homemade ice creams and sorbets. My mouth is still watering!

    Every room in Anna’s home is unique and filled with color and texture. Best of all, it has so many great places for sharing quality time with family, without feeling like the kids stuff has taken over. (A challenge for many moms I think!)

    Kudos on a great article about a wonderful and warm person and her special talents.

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  4. Posted by: Rachel

    Can she please share where she got those great orange dinner trays? I’d love to replace our always messy placemats with a solution that is tasteful and easy to clean.

  5. Posted by: Anna Lowenthal Walsh

    Thank you for the feedback.
    I purchased the orange trays from Crate and Barrel a few years back.

  6. Posted by: Chiara

    This home is incredible! Im swooning over everything. Particularly the color studies of the quilts (and the quilts themselves). Any chance that I can purchase a set of the color studies? Please let me know.

    Thank you!

  7. Posted by: Jason Edwards

    Love the name Poppy! :)

  8. Posted by: Greg Richards

    Poppy! It’s the “it” name for the cool girls.

  9. Pingback: We asked an 11-year-old to review the museum’s new Half Pint cafe for families. He came, he ate, he wrote. | Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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