Tour a Prominent Minneapolis Restaurateur Remodeled Chef’s Kitchen

Stephanie Shimp brings a dash of panache to her refreshed Minneapolis home, which is open for touring during the Remodelers Showcase. 

BlueStar chefs kitchen featured in the Star Tribune

Stephanie Shimp beamed at the dazzling bell-shaped crystal chandelier above the center island in her remodeled kitchen.

“I really wanted a big piece of jewelry here,” she said, “like your great-aunt’s cocktail ring.”

It doesn’t matter to her that the opulent fixture might look more at home in the lobby of a fancy hotel than in her century-old Colonial’s kitchen.

It’s just one of the ways that Shimp has infused her lively sensibilities into the recent transformation of her home’s interiors by Vujovich Design Build.

Shimp is co-owner of the Blue Plate Restaurant Co., which operates the Highland Grill, Freehouse, Edina Grill and other Twin Cities eateries. Her plate’s also full with two teenagers and a dog.

In 2016, Shimp enlisted Vujovich to bring her Kenwood home up to date with smart, functional enhancements, such as a transitional mudroom, a main-floor powder room, a luxe owner’s suite, and, finally, a kitchen worthy of a restaurateur and gourmet cook.

Thanks to meticulous design details, the house still retains its 1915 vibe. But now there are also endless storage cabinets and an electronic charging station.

The house has been refreshed and renewed while honoring some of the original Art Deco-style details that enchanted Shimp back in 2008 when she bought it.

You can tour Shimp’s house, the Dream Home among 63 projects featured on the Remodelers Showcase, March 23-25.

In addition to the new spaces, you’ll see Shimp’s jazzy style everywhere — from fun hot-pink knobs on the Blue Star range to a zebra-print stair runner in the foyer.

Her final flourish was to dress up the stately Colonial’s front door with “flame red” paint.

“It makes it feel welcoming,” she said. “And red is a lucky color.”

Kitchen refresher course

The dark closet-sized kitchen, which Shimp guesses was remodeled in the 1980s — was cut off from the rest of the house.

Vujovich took down several walls and a back servants’ staircase to open up the floor plan, while adding more space to do a complete makeover.

The new graphic black-and-white kitchen offers day-to-day modern functionality, yet kept the old-house character with a classic subway-tile backsplash, Carrera marble countertops and matte French gold cabinet pulls.

While the upper cabinets are painted a fresh white, the lower cabinets are a charcoal hue, which “feels more grounding,” said Shimp.

The kitchen centerpiece is a three-tiered curved walnut island reminiscent of an Art Deco bar, said Balestri.

There’s plenty of work space for Shimp to whip up spinach frittata and eggs Benedict for brunch.

“I spend so much time in restaurants all day that I treasure the time I get to cook at home,” she said. “And now we can all be together.”