Design

This Cozy Minnesota Home Will Make You Want a Candelabra

Wendy and David Coggins House Tour

Wendy and David Coggins have lived in their Minneapolis home for 41 years. They raised a son and daughter — and now their third child, a Bernese mountain dog — and collect books, art and even rocks from vacations. “Our house is very full,” she laughs. “Marie Kondo would have a fit.” Here, Wendy takes us on a tour…

LIVING ROOM:

Wendy and David Coggins House Tour

On a “full” house: I don’t think we have much choice! We love our memories. David and I will travel and find this and that. When you have children, you gather things, and it just keeps escalating! But I think that everything is still considered; it’s just fuller than many people might like.

Wendy and David Coggins House Tour

Artwork over fireplace: David Coggins.

On seasonal decor: Right now, in the middle of winter, we have lots of red and green around the house. Then, in the spring and summer, I put linen slipcovers on the chairs and change the pillows to lighter ones. I also take up all the rugs to reveal the hardwood floor. So, all of a sudden, it’s a much lighter place and feels more spare.

DINING ROOM:

Wendy and David Coggins House Tour

Paint: Pink Ground.

On paint that glows: Most people carry lipsticks or pens in their purse, but I carry a Farrow & Ball book of paint samples. In museums, I’d pull it out and see which color they had on the wall. We chose Pink Ground for the dining room. We don’t have an overhead light, we just have a candelabra — plus candles everywhere on the table. The whole room really glows.

Wendy and David Coggins House Tour

On unexpected artwork: We hung a painting on the back of the door. When you have a lot of pictures, you have to start hanging them wherever you can.

KITCHEN:

Wendy and David Coggins House Tour

On a romantic traditions: For Valentine’s Day and Christmas Eve, David makes cheese soufflés. We cook lots of things on the grill in the summertime. In the winter, it’s time for soups. We love French and Italian food, and cookbooks by David Tanis, Yotam Ottolenghi and Alice Waters.

Wendy and David Coggins House Tour

On a ceramics collection: Our daughter, Sarah, will say, no more pitchers! We get them on our travels here and there. We use them for milk, sauces, flowers, everything.

Wendy and David Coggins House Tour

On a burst of Champagne corks: It’s funny, we had a little wall space between these two doors, so we squeezed in a spice cabinet. We keep Champagne corks from different celebrations! And David painted our first dog to hang up.

SON’S FORMER BEDROOM:

Wendy and David Coggins House Tour

Paint: Skylight.

On sharing names: It’s tricky having my husband and son both named David. But it was a requirement from my mother in law, and you have to listen to the mother in law!

Wendy and David Coggins House Tour

Chair: Frank Gehry.

On a childhood relic: Son David’s old bedroom is full of his childhood stuff. There are tennis rackets and a fishnet! He sleeps here when he visits — not necessarily happily in the twin bed.

On children’s books: At Christmas time, son David will pull out his picture books from childhood. Tiger Voyage is one that young David loved dearly. And I like to give books as baby gifts, so I choose ones that were my children’s favorites, like Make Way for Ducklings or Appley Dapply’s Nursery Rhymes, which are Beatrix Potter’s short poems. The size of the book is perfect for a pocket. We can all still recite them.

BATHROOM:

Wendy and David Coggins House Tour

Paint: Borrowed Light.

On an airy bathroom: When guests come, even my kids, I always have flowers and extra toothbrushes and toothpaste, just in case. With this bathroom, I love the tile — they were done by hand, so there’s variation and little mistakes. We chose the pale blue paint to complement it.

GUEST ROOM:

Wendy and David Coggins House Tour

Paint: Farrow’s Cream.

On a special bed: This is the guest bedroom, but it’s also the bed that Milo the dog sleeps on most of the time! He’s our third child. He’s very spoiled, but he’s just a love. He brings people happiness.

Wendy and David Coggins House Tour

Butterflies: Deyrolle.

On choosing a book: We both love reading. When I travel, I choose mysteries because they’re so entertaining and easy to pick up and put down. I’ve been liking the Donna Leon series. I think about Venice when I read them and imagine walking through the streets.

MASTER BEDROOM:

Wendy and David Coggins House Tour

On an old-fashioned bed: Our headboard is an old Dutch piece. In Europe, lots of times you’d have a bed in a cupboard; you’d climb in to get to the bed inside.

Wendy and David Coggins House Tour

On marriage advice: My husband David and I met in college. Our 49th wedding anniversary is this year, and we’ve been together for 51. We know everything about each other. When it comes to advice, I’d just say, make sure you really listen to each other.

Wendy and David Coggins House Tour

On Marie Kondo having a heart attack: When friends come over, they say, It’s so full, how can you clean it? But it’s a very personal house. It’s layered because it has been done over time. To someone else it might look like a mess, but I would tell Marie Kondo, everything here sparks joy.

P.S. More home tours, including small living as a family and a skyrise in New York City.

(Photos by Wing Ta for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Sarah says...

    Is there any way to find out what color the staircase walls are painted? It is such a lovely warm gray!

  2. Stacy says...

    I live inMinneapolis and would happily let them adopt me. The house is warm and inviting and just when I was falling for the white trend, I saw this and have been pulled back to my warm and inviting home sensibilities. It’s just so good.

  3. Tricia M says...

    This is a house of great character, one I can imagine sitting , relaxing with a good book and a pot of tea or coffee on the go. It’s so welcoming. Why do people put rugs, especially antique ones in their kitchens though? My kitchen floor can get really messy and isn’t it a trip/slip hazard too? Just a minor query as I do love the house overall.

  4. Nadege says...

    Such a beautifully decorated yet REAL home. So very tired of all white minimalist homes. Ho-hum…. This home is gorgeous, and well-appointed with SOUL. Bravo!

  5. Mary Houck says...

    So nice not to see white everywhere! This has has a soul and it glows. I love the people and the dog. They all belong.

  6. Bea6 says...

    Spectacular home tour of an amazingly talented & accomplished couple! Such special collected treasures all artistically placed! I have enjoyed reading a couple of David’s books, and they’re even more meaningful after seeing their beautiful home. (I live in a 110 year old home just a couple lakes over from you, Wendy & David. Hope to see you out walking your handsome dog this spring!)

  7. Mary Jane says...

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful home, I have a home that “Sparks Much Joy”, also! I think they are the best kind! Full of warm wonderful memories that a rich life is made up of!

  8. I absolutely love it. This house just exudes warmth and class and art and is so homey and magical! It’s like a museum of a life well lived!!!

  9. Leslie Teague says...

    I love it!! the quaintness, coziness gives it a feeling of belonging, of feeling secure! Would I personally want that many things around my house? Probably not, but I do admire it :)

  10. This home is just an amazing example of why I love maximalism. It feels like you could crash here and she would feed you homey potato soup and let you take all the bubble baths you wanted. It’s not stark and sterile, but it looks like the most comfortable place to be. Thanks for featuring it!

  11. While I probably wouldn’t have a house like this, I could just feel the love and care that have gone into it. It’s absolutely magical!

  12. g says...

    Love the pup! Love the house! Love the people!

  13. Dani says...

    this home tour brought so. much. warmth. to my heart. it’s a home i would love to just get lost in and read book spines and learn back stories on mementos and hear funny memories that different rooms conjure up.

    i can’t get over their beautiful pup (and that expression omg). even just the way the coggins spoke about their space and their family. i love that, though busy for some, everything is “still considered”, i love the distinction of “son David”. i can’t wait to say my future dog is “just a love” and to have a home full of layers.

    i’ll be coming back to this one for a long long time.

  14. Megan says...

    Love this house so much! I love all the details and how you could wander around for days and never quite uncover every story!! Long live maximilism!! Lol.

  15. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL home! It’s so full of amazing things that tell amazing stories and hold amazing memories. Just as home should. This tour was such a joy Jo!!!

  16. Thank you! This post brought me great joy. I love this home and could wonder in it for days exploring all its curiosities. Bravo.

  17. Kelsey says...

    Oh my god she must have an amazing housekeeper with that clutter + Bernese mountain dog. Love my berner but not when I find a tail hair on my lip in the morning.

  18. Katy says...

    I know this house!! What fun to see people I know on here!

  19. Meg says...

    Love this house! Also, the owner looks SO young and cool! Was surprised to read they’ve been together 51 years! Whoa!

  20. Wonderful. And the dog…

    • Traci Welch Moritz says...

      I get annoyed when people comment on my full house about housekeeping duties. They don’t understand that as I’m dusting my great grandfathers clock or the family pictures or filling the ironstone sugar bowl belonging to my great great grandma, I remember them and our family history and it brings me happiness. This house is also full of love and memories.

  21. bethany says...

    When I was in high school, one of my best friends lived near this older couple who lived in a house very much like this – full of beautiful antiques and collections from their travels. We’d ride our bikes to down the dirt road to visit them, and play with their glass chess set and drink cocoa from blue hand-painted china teacups. I wanted a china set just like theirs and to visit all the places they’d been to. Still do, actually. :)

  22. Kristian Olson says...

    1) This home is so lovely, full of stories and love.
    2) I really want to see the living room in Spring-mode now too! I love it with all the reds and rugs and would love to see it with linen and bare floors too.
    3) I like that we get book recommendations and marriage advice as well as a home tour.
    4) While all the home tours on here have so many different styles, I’ve noticed that a lot of the furniture has similar lines to them (not that that is a bad thing! Gives this decor-novice an idea of timeless and versatile furniture to look for). But the furniture in this house is so unique and that is really lovely to see as well.

  23. Janet says...

    Beautiful house! Author mentioned is Donna Leon, not Leone. Her brand new book was just released this week. I recommend reading them in the order they were published.

    • Alexandra says...

      Agreed – I have read them all, and reading always transports me to a mini-vacation in Venice, albeit with its darker sides.

  24. Emily says...

    This brings me all the joy!! Homes that are full always remind me of the houses of my childhood. I think the reason it doesn’t come across as cluttered is everything looks meaningful and well-made. Thank you for sharing. Can’t wait to see their son’s house!

  25. Sherry McLaughlin says...

    I have to say that the color of pink is the prettiest and I discovered today when going through all my cans of paint, that the pink color is what I used in my LR with a creme to make stripes….it turned out so pretty, I have on my walls pretty pink and creme stripes with all my pictures of the old world that I have collected over the years….and the same with my foyer, only that has my needlework display hanging there.
    I have this thing about keeping color in my life and all the cans of paint that are unused are in my storage in case of a slight repair. What a glorious home……want that sofa in their LR now.

    • SB says...

      I’m not sold on candelabras but I really want a pink room in my house now!!!

  26. Brooke says...

    This home is totally delicious -like living inside of a beautiful, cozy story. After noticing all the comments about father David’s writing and Paris in Winter, I looked him up and OH MY WORD this article about his studio:

    http://mspmag.com/arts-and-culture/artist-in-residence/

  27. Natalie T. says...

    That dog made my day!

  28. Kayleigh says...

    The most amazing thing about this is that I don’t see any tumble weeds of Berner hair rolling past or hiding in corners. I would love to know how they keep so many cool knick knacks and things laying around without them constantly getting knocked every which way with tail wags. I love this house! And that beautiful Berner.

  29. Annabelle says...

    A lovely home of must-be-lovely people.

  30. Wendela says...

    I agree with everyone else that this is a lovely home, very thoughtfully curated (which is very different from simply cluttered!), and with an inspiring use of color! We painted everything white when we recently moved because I didn’t have the bandwidth to figure out other colors (it’s really hard—so much depends on the light and the other things in the room that the light reflects off of, and we had to paint when the house was completely empty and before the floors were finished so we had no idea what things would end up looking like). This makes me want to get more paint chips and to start to think again about color! I love pale pink walls that make things glow, and have had that in past homes. Also, love the dog with the hilarious expression in that first pic, AND: I’m so happy to see a woman of her generation featured here. There is something so comforting about seeing a life well lived, a few steps further down the road than I am (a few decades further along). It is inspiring and just all around lovely, and makes me want to have these people as friends! Thanks for this post!

  31. Vanessa from Minneapolis says...

    I’m curious as to the location! City and neighborhood. Minnesota is a big state – despite it being simply “flyover county” to most Americans a global travelers. Many of us are actually world travelers, as this neurone exemplifies.

  32. Wade says...

    milo dog…

  33. Lisa says...

    It’s such a beautiful homey home. It’s clearly got happy lives living in it

  34. Katrina says...

    At first I wondered if as the tour progressed, it would look hoarder-y. But it is a truly beautiful and warm home.

  35. Alyssa says...

    The real star of this home tour is that sweet fluffy pup. <3

  36. Hayley says...

    oh wow, i don’t even know how i’ve started following the Coggins father & son on instagram, but i’ve always been delighted by their similarly maximalist homes. it’s such to an unexpected pleasure to see mr & mrs Coggins’ house featured on COJ. It is beautiful, and dare i say, airier than i expected!

    p.s. i live in greater Twin Cities area will be wondering which house it is whenever i am in Lowry Hills now :-)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we are doing a house tour with son david soon, too! :)

  37. Abigail says...

    I love love love this house. It reminds me of the home in the movie The Family Stone. So cozy.

    • Brooke says...

      Oh my gosh Abigail, I LOVE Family Stone. And the house is scrumptious ;). So many tender wonderful moments.

    • Nicole B. says...

      I thought the exact same. Looks like the home in The Family Stone. I secretly would love to be part of their family because of the coziness of their home!

    • JoLynn says...

      I loved that house in the movie! I always say that is what I want my house to feel like! I love the Something Gotta Give house as well :)

    • Erin says...

      The Family Stone!!! Yes! That’s exactly what this reminds me of.

    • Brooke says...

      Oh my gosh love that so many of us know and love the Family Stone house/family/vibes. How about the house in “It’s Complicated” with Meryl Streep? Swooooooon. Something about lots of leather chairs, blankets, wood floors, gorgeous kitchen and California chill just makes me weak in the knees.

  38. Erika says...

    Such a delight! The curve of those stair treads and pail of perfectly-shaded rocks. Tulips are indeed the perfect addition to this home and I adore the owner’s take on creating seasonal decor. Pulling the rugs up for a lighter, clean season is brilliant and sounds refreshing.

  39. The pink dining room – total SWOON! I loved the kitchen, too. Love her use of pitchers! Thank you for featuring this cute couple.

  40. I love this house and I embrace the idea of surrounding yourself with memories and joyful things. As a dear friend once said as he walked around our house, “What magnificent clutter!”
    Dusting is a bit of a nightmare, so I don’t do it too often.
    The paint colors in Wendy’s and David’s house are dreamy.

  41. vi says...

    What a lovely house ! I would love to sleep in this guestroom…

  42. Althea says...

    My favorite home tour yet!

    • Patty says...

      I agree!!! 💯

  43. Jess says...

    I am something of a minimalist BUT I love the heart and soul of this home! I’m all for people having and keeping objects if they mean something to them – and it sounds like all of their belongings are things that bring value to their life. Thank you for this story!

  44. This house feels like a hug – especially the dining room. I love how the ceiling is somewhat concave. I imagine the pink walls at a dinner party, with all the candles lit, shine like magic.

  45. Kathy says...

    I’m a minimalist but I love this beautifully organized home where everything brings joy to the owners. I’m particularly pleased to see the home of a couple with 50 years of marriage, featured here. Cheers!

  46. karen says...

    I feel so much better about my stuff! This house is so lovely and warm-thanks for sharing! I will visit often!

  47. JoAnn Pari-Mueller says...

    Ah – a kindred spirit. Who says being a maximalist and hanging artwork salon style isn’t the most interesting? How can anyone select just one piece to hang in a room!!! I also love to mix antiques, nature items, and contemporary pieces. Tyger Voyage (and The Patchwork Cat) by Nicola Bayley were some of my son and daughter’s favorites, too.

  48. GoldenMoon says...

    That first pic of the dog’s eyes and face just made my day. What a cozy house and a cozy pup to snuggle up with . Love the mix of all things loved in this space. They really pull it off. My house always turns to clutter but they are nailing it. Feels like you could just kick off your shoes and have a cuppa….

  49. Tricia says...

    What a joy to find a post about Wendy and David Coggins! ‘Paris in Winter’ is one of my favorite books .. I reread it each winter without fail. This glimpse into their ‘real’ life at home was a delight. I felt as if I was visitng with old friends! The layers of art, books and memorable objects were no surprise. Their home is a reflection of a life well-lived, both in Minneapolis and in Paris.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so cool, tricia!

  50. Ellenel says...

    I cringe when other people say this to describe anything but I’m going to have to do it: This home is EVERYTHING. I’m completely in love with it’s warmth and joy. It’s the home style the true me speaks to that I often quiet. Not going to be quiet about it anymore. (Hand me the paint!)

  51. laurel hammond says...

    THIS THIS. MORE OF THIS. This house and its layers gives me life! Take your white subway tile and clack stools and give me artwork on the doors!

    • Amy B says...

      I agree, 100%! Step aside white walls with pops of color – this colorful, eclectic, and texturific (haha) house is right up my alley!

  52. Lori says...

    Ohhhhhh. I love it. The layers, the warmth, the worn floors, the pictures on the doors, the DOG!! And I want to see a photo of that dining room with the candles lit!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      same!!! i bet it’s magical!

  53. carmen says...

    i love everything about this home… but the painting the husband did of their first dog? i almost passed away when i read that. SO. SWEET. where can i get a print?!

    • Wendy Coggins says...

      It is painted directly on the door!

  54. Jenna says...

    This reminds me so much of my grandparent’s house. There are so many treasures and books and paintings and records everywhere, and it is overrun with antiques. Mementos of a life well-lived and an appreciation for beauty and art. It was always so magical visiting them because of this. I have a soft spot for (thoughtful) maximalism as a result. One of my favourite home tours to date!

    • Kay says...

      This reminds me of my grandparents’ home, too. Their walls are just full of the most beautiful art that tells a story of their lives and travels. Once my grandfather told me to buy art that I truly love because you only have so much wall space and eventually you will run out!

  55. Margaret says...

    What a wonderful home! So beautifully layered and inviting. This is exactly how I picture my home evolving over the upcoming decades. My narrow row house is full of art, pillows, glassware, bar carts, toleware, books, and bowties! While I admire a minimalist aesthetic my natural state is quite the opposite. I love textiles, wallpaper, fringe, details, art, and color. Gotta have it!

    And, my husband and I just painted our very cozy living room nearly an identical shade of pink and I can’t wait to get the art back on the walls. Thank you for sharing.

  56. Kat says...

    This entire home is beautifully lived in! I love it!

    Also, that is the goodest doggo ever! *cries* So sweet.

  57. Julie says...

    This home is so welcoming, I love every aspect of it.

  58. E says...

    I live in Minneapolis and now want to know the neighborhood … Lowry Hill? Kenwood? So gorgeous!

    • Wendy Coggins says...

      Lowry Hill

    • Madeline says...

      Same!

    • E says...

      Thanks for sharing Wendy :)

    • Nat says...

      So fun to see Minneapolis x Cup of Jo community members! Hello from the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis!

    • Emily says...

      Agreed! Hello from Saint Anthony Park neighborhood across the river in St. Paul.

    • Courtney says...

      Haha all the Minneapolis residents are here wondering which neighborhood…Lowry Hill makes sense given the age but also apparent size of the home. How fun :)

  59. Jill says...

    The pink walls and gold velvet curtain! Swoon! The paint color choices in this home are so lovely… especially when paired with beautiful curtains!

  60. Steph says...

    Home design goals! I’m definitely one who supports collecting and displaying meaningful things, and they’ve done so in a way that really looks special, purposeful and intentional. And I love all the books! My apartment is overrun with books too.

  61. Cara says...

    Not my style, but their house is gorgeous!! Mostly I just kept looking at pictures of their sweet dog. He’s so cute and fluffy, I love him.

  62. Em says...

    Hahaha “on Marie kinda having a heart attack”. That’s funny. Though I think Marie Kondo would say you’re living by her philosophy. She’s all about keep it if you really love it. Who is a famous minimalist?

  63. Jennifer says...

    I love seeing a home that is so unique and personal! Decorating trends are fun, but in the end it’s the homes with personality and warmth give off the best energy.

  64. Mimi says...

    I loved the pale blue tile bathroom

  65. So refreshing to see people living so graciously and unapologetically! Really charming style (and it’s not my style) because it’s so authentic to who they are. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Although I still want to know, like Wendy’s friends, “It’s so full, how do you clean it?” haha

  66. amy says...

    I love this so much! The first picture of Milo… he looks like a fluffy stuffed animal! <3

  67. jessica says...

    Really it just made me want a Bernese mountain dog!

  68. Sarah says...

    I felt so much of my sweet mother-in-law from this post, but nearly teared up with her mention of children’s books. My mom has bought Blueberries for Sal or Make Way for Ducklings for every expecting mom my whole life; it’s her signature. This post is such a great reminder that people my parents’ age are fantastic role models and so worthy of looking up to, rather than just the echo chamber of peers my own age. Thank you for posting this, Jo!

  69. Alexandria Roullier says...

    Can we PLEASE see the dining room at night all lit up with candles?! Please??

  70. Maya says...

    So refreshing to see a home tour that’s not just fiddle leaf plants and trendy furniture and sparse minimalism for the sake of it (not a drag at other home tours but this one is so wonderfully against the grain of the aesthetic on every design blog.) Great to see more of the lives of older people as well. Thanks!

  71. CMR says...

    Why no mention of her husband’s amazing books? LOVE Paris in Winter! And another tour of his awesome studio?? please!!

  72. Julie says...

    The deep layers of this home spark absolute joy! Genuine and lovely story. Thank you.

  73. caroline says...

    SUCH a great tour. What a warm and special house. How lucky those grown kids are to come home to a childhood house like that! I really hope to give that to my kids when they’re grown.

  74. Carrie says...

    What a lovely home and sweet couple! I love this house tour.

  75. Anne says...

    Love this! And can we get a beauty uniform post from Milo?! 😉

  76. Brooke says...

    I absolutely love this house tour. I could spend hours there! It’s so cozy and interesting and reflective of the couple and what’s important to them. I think of all the conversations sparked from visitors/guests because of all those treasures and memories.

  77. I also have a full house and just the other day as I puttered around changing out more wintery items to usher in March I had that same thought, everything in my home sparks joy. Two wonderful things said to me about my home from different people: “Everything here sparks magic.” and “Your home is like a candy store for adults.”

  78. Sasha L says...

    Laurel, you might enjoy the book Maid by Stephanie Land. Your neck of the woods too! One of my favorite parts of the book was when she would give glimpses into the homes and lives of those she cleaned for, and what all of it meant personally to her. Very touching.

  79. Anna says...

    Milo the dog! But also what a warm, lovely house .

  80. Mouse says...

    This is a LIFE tour, not just a home tour. Love this; I aspire to building our own home over time like they did…..

    And thank you for featuring older people on your blog!

    • Sherry McLaughlin says...

      I very much agree that showing what I call the *Renaissance Generation* wonderful here. We are the ones that have lived the life of raising young children and building our homes. We have much to give to those now doing the same as we lived it and are still living it…..wisdom from my grandmother has carried me through life to this day and I hope it carries through to my grandchildren. This home reflects the family of the Renaissance Generation and more to come…..what a wonderful home this is.

  81. Amanda says...

    That dog, though!

  82. Kate says...

    You had me at Bernese Mountain Dog. Makes me almost wish we lived somewhere it wasn’t 36 degrees (Celsius!) in March.

  83. Rue says...

    I love the brilliant use of color in this home! The layered colors, varied hues and saturations, it’s a dream. My partner and I are slowly moving in together (thanks to leases we can’t beeak!), and I’ve been focusing in particular on this kind of color blending.

    I’m a geologist who grew up on the coast, so my default decorating style is plates and bowls and glasses and trays of rocks, minerals, and shells. ❤️

  84. DIPAL SHAH says...

    This house is so beautiful and you can really feel the personality in each room. So many layers but each seem beautiful and meaningful to the inhabitants. Bravo!

    • Sharon Walton says...

      Thank you, Dipal Shah, for giving me the right description for this lovely, warm, interesting home—-“personality”! The Coggins’ personalities are obvious in every room. So much for the cold, bare rooms in so many homes……no personality!

  85. Abby says...

    I have so much respect for people who can fill a house and it not look like clutter!! Their home looks so lived in and authentic to their family! It’s cozy, inviting, and filled with happy memories of a well-lived life. I hope that someone describes my home like that someday.