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The furniture is "mismatched." A green Kermit the frog, along with an assortment of other fuzzy puppets, perches by the front door. And a portrait of a beloved black Lab hangs alongside a picture of Jocelyn and Jed Gorlin's three children.

The memorabilia the Gorlins have collected from traveling around the world and portraits of their loved ones are a big part of what makes their house in Hopkins feel like a home, Jocelyn said.

It was this search for their own identity within such a storied home — a New England-style colonial built by the Gluek family of Minnesota brewery and restaurant fame — that inspired yet confounded them when they purchased the house 27 years ago. The Gorlins wanted to be loving stewards of the home while at the same time making it their own. With the last of the major projects recently wrapped up, it feels full circle.

"[Our contractors] told us your house will speak to you and will tell you what it wants, and my husband thought that was wildly funny at the time," she said. "But it was true because you shouldn't go into a house and just renovate it."

Surprise visit

According to an article in the Gorlin family's archive, the six-bedroom, five-bathroom house was hailed as the "three-chimney house" after it was built in 1939, with white clapboard exterior, green shutters and a pitched roof.

Inside, big French doors open into the dining room and arched doorways connect the kitchen to the living room. Upstairs, two bedrooms and a bathroom are tucked away in a wing of the house, connected by a common area. The house has four fireplaces — two on the main level, one in the primary bedroom and another in the basement.

Over the years, the Gorlins repurposed rooms to cater to their family's needs. In the basement, the brewing family, perhaps not surprisingly, built a bar with a serving window and tap. When the Gorlins were raising their three children in the home, they turned the taproom into a play space that their kids called the Pioneer Room because of the Lincoln log-like walls.

Ten years ago, the couple received a surprise visit from Bob Gluek, who grew up in the house and even brought the Gorlins a gift: a painting of the house that was used as a proposed outline for landscaping in the front yard when the home was built. The Gorlins have hung the painting in their updated kitchen, one of the many ways they've balanced honoring the history while making the house their own.

When tackling rooms, Jocelyn took inspiration from the New England-style house she lived in growing up.

When redoing the kitchen, they balanced new cabinetry and appliances with vintage-looking hardware reminiscent of the era and style of the house. They also transformed the sunroom into a workout space with new eco-friendly windows and raised the ceiling (since Jed would hit his head when using the exercise equipment, Jocelyn said), giving it a coastal look with white paneling.

"I tried to make the sunroom and kitchen like my [old] home in Connecticut," she said. "I have three sisters and we're all really close and I wanted to re-create that [vibe] here."

Wrapping things up

Over the winter, the Gorlins finished their biggest project yet — redesigning the primary bedroom and bathroom. They were careful to restore authentic details, such as bringing back to life the home's original oak floors hidden under off-white carpet.

"[We wanted to] respect the history of the house," Jocelyn said.

However, the space was awkwardly designed around the chimney for the living room fireplace. And the primary bedroom had a hidden room behind it built for nursing.

The hidden room was turned into a dressing room with floor-to-ceiling closets. The Gorlins widened the hallway connecting that room to the bathroom, which was redone to include a tiled standing shower and new tiled flooring and walls.

"You know all the houses from the 1940s and earlier had tiny bathrooms. But we felt we needed to have something that was more functional," Jocelyn said. While they outfitted the bathroom with a new deep-bellied white standing bathtub and the primary bedroom with a contemporary wallpaper pattern, those and other design details keep with the home's old New England aesthetic.

And that awkward chimney? They carefully worked around it, hiding it behind the primary bedroom's wall on one side and one of the hallway's walls on the other.

The couple had a 75th "birthday party" in 2014 for the home, in which they recounted its history to family and close friends.

"Now we've decided we hope to live here until 2039 because we want to celebrate it when it turns 100 years old," Jocelyn said.

And when the day comes for them to pass the house on, they hope the next stewards will highlight details special to the house and its New England-style charm. All while, of course, making it their own.