Twin towns interior decorator Bruce Kading is a patient man. He waited 46 years to finally renovate the cozy 1930s Tudor kitchen where he and his wife, Marcia, have lived since 1976. The reason for the delay? Kading was just too busy helping loyal customers create their own dream homes. “I didn’t want to do it until I could do it right,” he says.
Finally, in 2022, the opportunity presented itself and Kading seized it. Bordered along Minnehaha Drive in Minneapolis, the residence bears a graceful grandeur, with plaster ceilings and arched doors and windows. The idea was to bring that same vibe into the kitchen and then mix in a lot of modern practicality. “My wife needed space to function well, and I wanted to add a lot of detail,” he explains.
Kading started with the kitchen sink, which quickly became a focal point. Specially chosen for its deep and dramatic size, the apron sink is set in a bespoke walnut cabinet that exudes sophistication. Its two pilasters flank the white basin, while elaborate trim frames the entire console. “I wanted it to look like an antique piece of furniture,” he notes. “It adds meaning to the story.”
Known for his layered approach, which skillfully blends antiques with subtle variations in color, texture and shape, Kading has an encyclopedic knowledge of design periods. It is therefore not surprising that he brought the same rigor to his own kitchen, where dozens of aesthetic touches add up to form a nuanced whole.
Case in point: the upper cabinets are painted a soft white, while the lower cabinets are just a bit darker, all to add a subtle play of tones. The glass tile backsplash shimmers in gradations of blue, gray, and eggplant (Marcia’s favorite color), giving a vintage vibe and blending softly with the adjacent dining room. Above the stove, a custom-made hood gleams with a burnished pewter patina. One thing you won’t see here? The dishwasher, hidden behind a false panel that looks like three drawers; the same applies to the storage of garbage.
But what’s perhaps most appealing is the tiny nature of the space — too small even for a center island. Kading has certainly designed spacious kitchens for his customers, but he’s happy enough to honor the original size of his own. After all, bigger isn’t always better. “It works quite well; I can walk two steps to go anywhere,” he observes. “There’s still a lot of interest in smaller, cozier kitchens, because with an open kitchen it’s harder to hide clutter.”
And while that space is indeed small, the design packs a really big punch. Walls are painted a rich aubergine, providing a vibrant pop against the otherwise neutral palette. Turns out there’s a story behind that color (Benjamin Moore Black Raspberry 2072-20); it was inspired by a piece of pottery the couple bought while vacationing in Europe in 2005. “We were in Italy and bought this pot with bright sunflowers and shades of eggplant and plum,” Kading recalls . “We always said we were going to design our kitchen around that.”
So they did just that. The beloved vessel now has a special place in the updated kitchen, neatly tucked away on an upper shelf – a reminder of the Kadings’ love of travel and food. It’s one of the many reasons this space has quickly become a family favourite, the perfect gathering place where the couple can entertain their daughter, son-in-law and seven grandchildren. It’s living proof that even after four decades, good things do indeed happen to those who wait.
Read this article as it appears in the magazine.