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Life seemed to have come full circle when Kristina Sakaria and her husband, Aaron Sakaria, bought their home in St. Louis Park.

It was just two doors down from where Kristina's grandparents had lived and where she visited often on weekends as a child. She remembered her father talking about how the midcentury modern home on Cavell Lane was the talk of the town for being ahead of its time when it was built in 1966.

The home went on the market 10 years ago, just when the couple decided to move to Minnesota, where Kristina had relatives. The Sakarias had been living in Shanghai, where they met and both held jobs.

The St. Louis Park home was not only in a neighborhood that Kristina was familiar with, but was tucked into a cul de sac, as well. The home's midcentury-style was also a draw for the Sakarias.

"I walked in and just fell in love with the huge windows and the design," Kristina said. "And it was on a quiet street."

Home improvements

However, there was one tradeoff.

"It was a short sale," Kristina said. "So you definitely had to have a vision of what you could make it out to be because it needed some work."

During the decade that they owned the home, the couple have taken on many home improvements, starting with a remodeling of the upstairs "to make it more contemporary," Aaron said.

They installed wood flooring, removed the popcorn ceilings and put in new light fixtures. They also reconfigured a few of the rooms, including moving the primary bedroom from upstairs to downstairs.

The kitchen had already been remodeled, so all they needed to do was give it a refresh with new appliances, lighting, cabinet doors and a vent hood. The home's exterior got a fresh coat of paint.

"We did whatever we could to keep the midcentury vibe to it," Kristina said, including adding George Nelson light fixtures, which are known for their modernist flair. They preserved the original cedar paneling wherever possible as well as the vaulted wood beams with skylights in the kitchen, stairwell and primary bathroom.

To connect the indoors to the outdoors, they put in floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto a ravine, and added a deck.

"The large windows, especially, really connect us to our backyard," Kristina said. "You feel like nature is brought into your home with the bright light and beautiful trees, especially when the leaves turn color."

Time to bid adieu

Now with two growing boys, the Sakarias are in need of more space. So they've put their 3,168-square-foot, five-bedroom, three-bathroom abode on the market.

"Our plans were to continue to update and renovate," said Kristina. "But we found another space that was bigger. We have two really active boys and our boys are only going to get bigger."

"Selling this home is very bittersweet because we love the neighborhood and we love the space," admitted Kristina. "It's been very good to us."

In addition to enjoying the home itself, Kristina said they have appreciated living in the area surrounded by nature. Minnehaha Creek is just across the street and the home is within walking distance of Aquila Park and the Cedar Lake Regional Trail.

Listing agent Todd Breyfogle said a new owner will likely appreciate that the home still has midcentury modern hallmarks.

"[The design] shows the simplicity by using flat planes and prominent large glass windows that flow into an open floor concept that lets the homeowner integrate with nature," he said.

Kristina said she's happy that she got to live in a home and neighborhood full of fond family memories.

"My grandma is going to be 101 in June and loves to tell stories," Kristina said. "She tells me, 'I never thought in my life you would end up on Cavell Lane.' "

At the time of publication, an offer was pending on the home. Todd Breyfogle (; 612-382-3084) of Coldwell Banker Realty has the $574,900 listing.