Duluth, MN, 2002
The first structure ever designed by Silvercocoon, this simple potting shed was built in 2002 in Duluth for clients who are avid gardeners. Designed to be constructed entirely from off-the-shelf materials, the shed features operable barn-sash windows, sky lights, tongue & groove wood siding and board-on-board cedar roof.
This project was published in 2012 (ten years after it was built) in the book "My Cool Shed" by Jane Field-Lewis via UK publisher Anova Books.
South Minneapolis, MN, Ongoing
Our relationship with the client is notably marked by the age of our youngest son. Tia was pregnant during the first meeting and brought the newborn little guy to the construction site. As he's grown the layers of this project keep growing, too.
Construction on the main level was complete in 2011 but since then we have also renovated the basement into a study and guest sleeping area. The latest phase is currently underway formulating a master plan for the exterior including a new color scheme and landscape master plan that includes plantings, a fence, pergola, deck and small shed. This project perfectly exemplifies design is a process that can be executed over a period of time.
Our first task was to reconsider the main entry, kitchen & dining space of the house. Located in a rare mid-century-modern-laden cul de sac in the heart of South Minneapolis, what had been a small house received 2 additions before our time. This meant that the heart of the main living space was all chopped-up and felt more like a knuckle than the heart of the home. We elongated the kitchen into a galley that runs the length of the west end of the space, connected to the main entry on one end and great room space on the other. Slatted-wood screens made from Douglas Fir divide the dining from the main living room, and movable versions divide the kitchen from the dining, when desired. The custom Doug Fir closet doors in the main entry relate to the screens but stand on their own as a focal piece of the entry, visible from the exterior as you approach the front door.
The second phase involved selecting furnishings for the new living space. Pairing Room and Board with Design Withing Reach and a few classic Eames pieces enhances the warm and comfortably modern nature of the space. Tia designed and installed three organic-shaped rugs using Flor tiles in the central space that connects the living wing with the bedroom wing of the home. The colors compliment the owners artwork in this space.
The third phase reconsidered the basement family room space. The client wanted a warmer family room that also provided a work area, and a guest space that was separate from the family room. Responding to the wood screen elements on the main floor, we proposed a similar slatted wood wall that sandwiched a translucent plexi-glass. Using less refined materials (for the more casual space) and changing the orientation to a horizontal pattern allowed the wood to wrap a portion of the ceiling to help conceal a low-lying beam and simultaneously create a wood-clad lighting cove. This small move of pulling the wall back just a bit from the beam that had previously dictated the space, allows the family room to feel more spacious. Half of the slatted wood wall can slide to open or close-off the guest space from the main family room.
Duluth, MN, Ongoing
Located in the Lakeside neighborhood of Duluth, MN, our clients purchased a small, old farmhouse on 3 acres of land. The house was much too small for their growing family and their intention was to add-on.
Building out from the original farmhouse, the main addition, the old garage and new studio/shop create an intimate court space that is the heart of this place -- planted with a grid of tall grasses that act as rain garden, central focal point, privacy maker, and a forest that needs to be explored by our clients' 3 young boys. A mix of materials and finishes including the original lap siding, standing-seam metal, horizontal wood board and HDPE create a vocabulary that is dynamic and reminiscent of farmsteads that add buildings over a longer period of time.
Duluth, MN, 2006
Located in Duluth, Minnesota across the street from one of the city's favorite creeks, Chester Creek, this house has been given new life as every surface of this house was touched.
On the exterior, the existing vinyl siding was removed to reveal the authentic wood siding, which was carefully restored to its original beauty. The roof was replaced on the house, and twin garages were built off the backyard with fresh landscaping around them. Entry porches were added as well as a back patio complete with Silvercocoon-designed furniture to extend the living space to the outdoors and formalize the transition from the outdoors to the interior of the house.
Inside, all of the original solid wood floors were refinished. Walls and trim were painted a fresh coat of white, all windows were re-glazed, and textured ceilings were made smooth to brighten and modernize the space. The kitchen was entirely redesigned, the upstairs bathroom refinished, and the basement was newly finished as a mudroom, laundry, and bathroom suite.
Forest Lake, MN 2010
This is a perfect example of the fact that design doesn't need to be fussy or out-of-reach expensive. For our clients who are grandparents and starting a new life together after the death of their respective spouses, this house was the perfect size, on a private lot, next to a little winding creak ... it just needed some attention.
Souliyahn masterfully managed a practical budget, working closely with the owner who managed and completed the construction to transform this house into a home.
A bump-out addition that extends the main living space out towards the creek, with a clerestory that collects natural light down into the vaulted kitchen, is the main architectural move. New windows, metal roof and siding transform the appearance on the exterior.
Minneapolis, MN, 2010
Upon moving in their 1953 mid-century modern rambler, designed by architect Saul Smiley, the first project that Souliyahn and Tia tackled was the back yard. The planning of the interior of the house was so fantastic, that they wanted an exterior space that complimented the interior. The placement of the house on the lot created a spacious and semi-private backyard that they set-out to make even more private ... and fruitful. The space has evolved (and continues to) over the years.
2006: Patio project started and completed. Relating to the sunken living room on the inside of the house, the patio is sunken into the yard. A short concrete block retaining wall doubles as a bench and as garden-pot platform. Black brick (left over from a client's project) makes up the ground surface of the patio -- the bricks are turned on end to reveal their circular-cores along the walkway next to the garage, that leads to the driveway. The driveway was resurfaced with black pavers turned upside-down to create a tight, flat surface. Tall Karl Foerster grasses line the driveway, and interior fence, as well the enclose the end of the parked Airstream (aka Silvercocoon) on the other end of the yard. Souliyahn applied vertical cedar boards to the existing (extremely sturdy) chain-link fence to add an extra layer of privacy along the alley and driveway.
2006-2008: Garden consisted of pots and a narrows garden bed in the ground that extended along the same line as the retaining wally.
2009: Souliyahn (and our then 4-yr old son) built a large raised bed to expand the vegetable garden. Within the main frame of the bed there are three garden beds of varrying widths and two walkways.
2010: Souliyahn added 3 rain barrels along the garage and additional gravel beds to surround the garden with pea-gravel. The area south of the patio was also converted to a gravel bed sitting area surrounding a small fire pit. These additions mimimized the lawn to a perfectly defined rectangle that is easy to manicure and maintain.
Minneapolis, MN, 2013
This fence utilizes scrap wood and timber pieces from previous architectural projects that Souliyahn has been saving for years. Hung off of an existing chain link fence, the wood creates a sculptural composition with variations in pattern, height, and depth.
Minneapolis, MN, 2013
Tia and Souliyahn offered up walls in their own home as canvases for wooden installations. The walls are made up of wood pieces originally milled for window frames. The pieces' very unique profiles have variations in depth and length, casting shadows that give the walls a textured vertical composition. Three different rooms offered the opportunity for experimentation with pattern and color.
Minneapolis, MN, 2014
Working in the architecture and construction industry, Souliyahn acquires many scrap pieces of wood and timber which he saves for future creative projects. The need arose for a way to store this wood.
The structure is composed of four, 4'x8' bays of pallet racking (heavy duty shelving that is found in many commercial and industrial applications) with an aisle down the center. Three bays are open shelves for wood storage, while one bay was reserved as a play area for Tia and Souliyahn's young children.
A flat EPDM roof covers the structure to keep rain off while thin wood slats line the outer sides to allow the wood to breathe. Part wood shed, part play house, the structure creates a beautiful, functional edge to the backyard.
Minneapolis, MN, 2014
Our studio is located in the basement of our house. To finish the ceiling, Souliyahn and his brother, Rikk, applied thin wooden slats, originally milled for window frame trim, directly to the exposed floor joists. Evenly spaced, the slats screen the floor joists, electrical, and mechanical systems that run along the ceiling. The ceiling wood helps reflect light, adding warmth to the basement design studio.
Minneapolis, MN, 2014
St. Paul, MN, 2005
Working as part of a larger team with Coen + Partners Landscape architects, Souliyahn led the architectural design of a modern carriage house for one of the many historical houses on Summit Avenue in St. Paul, MN.
Golden Valley, MN 2005
After completing a basement renovation the year prior, our clients asked us back to work with them on a small dining room addition and outdoor patio space.
The interior goals of the project were to provide a more functional landing space from the garage, and to create a more distinguished dining room that was removed from the main traffic patterns of the house.
The exterior goals were to define some exterior living spaces. Their back door dispensed people into an expansive back yard that included a garage that functioned as a storage shed, and a play structure for their young children, and so our main moves were to set parameters to the space through decorative block walls, paired with rows of tall grasses on the "wild" side of the yard and a long narrow vegetable garden on the "inside". The dining room addition helped to define different portions of the outdoor living spaces with practical access from the garage (through the mudroom) on the smaller side of the patio, and the prominent outdoor dining space accessible from both the kitchen and the dining room on the more spacious side of the patio.
The organization of the space, defined by doors and functional uses, is strengthened by strategic openings in the block walls of the patio that draw people out and connect them to the yard beyond.
Duluth, MN, Ongoing
Duluth, MN 2008
Sweet little house on a hill.
Duluth, MN 2006
Renovation of a modern house in Duluth built around an indoor swimming pool.
Located on a privately owned, members-only race-track in Illinois, the Autobahn Garage serves as a garage and showroom, member lounge, and office.
Similar to many other utilitarian garage structures, the exterior is clad with corrugated sheet metal. However, the interior is finished to make the garage double as a comfortable lounge and office for the race track members.
Large windows on three facades flood the open space with light, and a two-level balcony reconnects the Garage and its members to the race track.
Minneapolis, MN, 2007
We were commissioned on two fronts to design the lobby of the SOHO building in the Northloop of Minneapolis. The building was marketed to artists and rightly so, the lobby of each floor of the building featured a commissioned art piece by one of several local artists. Souliyahn was selected as the artist for the main floor lobby. Simultaneously, Tia was hired to help select finishes & lighting for the lobby and the main elevator for the building.
Working with the marketing materials and identity Master had already developed for the property, the few walls in the lobby were painted red, simple glass lighting fixtures hang from cables as if they were simply floating in the space, and the small capacity elevator was finished in red and textured metal wall.
Working on the front-end of the SOHO Building renovation, Tia staged 2 model units to assist in the pre-sale of residential units that were marketed towards artists and individuals who desired a live-work situations.
When asked about a focal point/light fixture for a Promotional Event to pre-sell units of the SOHO Building, Souliyahn responded with the creation of this construction-light chandelier. It was part of a temporary space in the building that featured a red carpet that led people through a raw, unfinished floor of the building. Material boards, Floor Plans and pricing information was displayed along side cocktail tables where attendees could enjoy appetizers and beverages before touring the building to view the model unit that was staged by Tia Keobounpheng.
Uptown Minneapolis, MN, 2008
Tia was hired to envision a flexible, warm and welcoming office space for a Loan Broker who works with individual families who are purchasing a home.
The existing office space contained several walled offices and drop ceilings. Upon leasing the space, the entire unit was gutted and brought down to its bare state - exposing the original stamped metal ceiling and creating a spacious and well-lit open space.
Maintaining this open-ness was high on the priority list. In lieu of cubicle divisions, used industrial hospital curtain systems to create up to 5 work stations that could be divided by white curtains suspended from tracks in the ceiling. During educational events, the curtains can be pulled back to create a larger space that accommodates more people. Over sized, suspended woven light fixtures reiterate each station and bring character and warmth to the general office. Colorful checkered carpet tiles ground the entire space.
A master plan for the Brightwater Montessori's playground had been previously developed by a third party, Silvercocoon was commissioned to design structures that were specified in the master plan. The structures included benches, a music stage, various pergolas, a tricycle storage shed, and a play structure. The spaces and structures were design to be used by toddlers through elementary age students.
All structures were conceived to be easily constructed out of standard lumber as parent volunteers may be doing most of the actual construction. Additionally, the wooden structures were meant to bring nature closer to the children and facilitate interaction with the natural environment.
South Minneapolis, 2005
Given the tricky access to their 2-stall, tuck-under garage at the back of their South Minneapolis house, Greg & Debbie Hanka enlisted Souliyahn to design them a carport that would allow for at least one car to be left outside without having to clean snow off the car in the (long) winter months.
Simultaneously, they asked us to give the 3-season sunroom atop their garage a make-over, which ultimately involved trading out windows for full-glass door and side-light, white-washing the entire interior, installing new flooring inside and decking outside.
As part of the the master-plan, and before the carport & porch phases were completed, Souliyahn called for a line of birch trees to be planted along the property line that, now, perfectly provide a visual screen from the neighbors during the warm months.
Kenwood, MN, 2005
This renovation encompassed the flow and connection between the back of the house and the back yard, including a new kitchen, half bath, back entry, deck, fence and landscape plan.
NE Minneapolis, 2012
Kitchen and bathroom remodel.
West Broadway Avenue - North Minneapolis
This is the second Art Facade project that Souliyahn has completed along West Broadway Avenue. This one consists of ten panels of laser-cut and hand-bent steel that will be allowed to rust over time.
North Minneapolis - 2009/2010
The DELISI BUILDING ART-FAÇADE is Souliyahn’s second completed medium-scale art installation project. As part of the West Broadway Art-Facade Improvement program, Souliyahn worked with the building owner/developer to conceptualize a façade treatment that would work with their renovation plans for the building located at West Broadway Avenue and Penn Avenues North. The project was awarded a McKnight Foundation Grant through the Northside Arts Collective (NAC) which enabled him to fabricate and install the panels onto the renovated Delisi façade.
Inspiration for the art-façade came from multiple sources. Remnant sheet-material from Tia’s jewelry and ornaments is the prominent component to the panels, which offered a colorful palette that would complement the colorful building. The repeating vertical space between the windows on the façade created a column-like effect with inspired thoughts of totems and the way that groups of people, as well as ideas, can be represented collectively through a single means. The art façade is suggestive of a new sort of totem.
[Souliyahn developed a plan for the triangular plaza in front of the Delisi Building that created an even more dynamic relationship between the columnar art-façade and his abstracted version of three dimensional totems in the proposed plaza – however, his plan for the plaza was not brought to fruition.]
Thanks to the Feyereisen Studios team for being involved with the installation.
Tia has spent much of her life exploring the connections between art, design, craft and architecture, and has been and avid maker since childhood.
Her line of jewelry, which debuted in a solo trunk show at the Walker Art Center shop in November 2007, embodies a simple, organic, and playful style that appeals to the modern woman at every age. Pairing wood, wool, and acrylic with sterling silver, Tia's jewelry is light-weight and easy to wear while also being bold and expressive. Believing that design can improve one's everyday life, Tia and her jewelry invite you to "celebrate yourself everyday!"
Tia develops her designs in AutoCad (a computer drafting program used my many architects) and components are laser-cut out of sheet materials before being finished (wood-sanded and oiled, acrylic sandblasted and cleaned) and assembled by hand in her home-studio. All metal findings are 100% sterling silver that are oxidized to achieve the dark finish that so tastefully accents the acrylic and wood. Some wool pieces are made entirely by cutting and sewing by hand.
In their first collaboration, Tia Keobounpheng of Silvercocoon and Paige DeWees of DeWees Photography have produced this photography book/jewelry catalog. Over the span of 2 months, they completed 4 photo-shoots in and around Minneapolis and Southern Minnesota. Pulling together a mix of real people in their lives and from their neighborhoods, they photographed them as they were - the simple addition of some handmade jewelry.
MODELS in order of appearance: Phonsavahn Keobounpheng, Charlie (the dog), Amanda Eastvold, Avery Pettis Eastvold, Lilly, Journey & Martini, Betsy Ross, Marlene Banttari, Beverly Cottman, Latilah Ross, Connie Ballard, Souliyahn Keobounpheng, Mohannad Ghawanmeh, Ernest Banttari, Tia Keobounpheng
Minneapolis-musician, Jeremy Messersmith, asked Tia to design some merch for his 2014 tour promoting his newly-released album Heart Murmurs. After listening to the album for several days, Tia came-up with 2 simple, yet relevant pieces of jewelry that relate to the alblum: a glowing, neon-pink mini-pin and necklace (hung from 100% oxidized sterling silver chain). All pieces are made by Tia (and a helpful elf or two) in Minneapolis. The pieces are sold exclusively through Jeremy Messersmith - online or at the merch-table at all show-locations.
"The mini (squared) heart pin relates directly to the album cover and other promotional material already existing for the Heart Murmurs album and tour. The small size is off-set by the intensity of the neon color --- giving it a large presence despite itself. Because the material is clear to begin with, it catches light in a magical way, despite being sandblasted. I envision a crowd full of fans with glowing/beating hearts ... wearing them out “on their sleeve” during and after Jeremy’s shows. Suitable for sweaters, jackets, lapels, ties, bag-straps ...
The squared-off, hollowed-heart shape necklace hangs on it’s side - creating an abstracted form that is still immediately recognizable as a heart, though reminiscent of many of the linear, chevron/arrow shapes that are in fashion. The pendant hangs from a 24” chain- making it flexible for many shapes, sizes .. and also suitable for men. (Metal piece & chain: 100% oxidized STERLING SILVER) "
RICE PACKs are hand-made in Minneapolis, MN from recycled woven polyethylene rice sacks sourced from local restaurants.
These one-of-a-kind bags are perfect for commuting, errands, and adventures. The woven polyethylene material is durable (original sacks are rated for 50 lbs. of rice) and water resistant. Simple, but functional drawstring style bags are now available, with larger backpacks coming soon. Check out more photos and see the bags in use at facebook.com/ricepackmn Support your local economy, reduce the waste stream, buy RICE PACK.
RICE PACKs are available for purchase in our online SHOP
Each year, Bikram's Yoga College of India - Minneapolis sponsors the MN Regional Yoga Asana Championships. This year, the chief organizer, Martha Williams, asked Tia to make the medals for the Championship. As alternatives to actual gold, silver and bronze, Tia used a metallic sheet material that sandwiched a thick clear acrylic. Additionally, copper star medals were created for kids who took part in the Kids Yoga Demonstration.
Each medal was designed in AutoCad and laser-cut out of sheet material, then assembled by hand. Ribbons were sewn with a sewing machine.
Tia originally conceived of this alternative Christmas tree in 2003 as a one of a kind tree for our own home. The Modern Tannenbaum's tapered wood trunk was the heart of the design and the first prototype sat atop a salvaged metal base that had been used for a retail fixture. Souliyahn designed the chunky, interlocking wood X-base and Robert Feyereisen perfected the spun connection of the trunk to the base.
The first original 7ft tree was sold locally in Minneapolis in 2004 and was adapted to a 3ft. table-top version in 2007. Due to the nature of wood, the Modern Tannenbaum celebrates the natural, and sometimes uncontrollable variations that occur with solid wood -- slight curving of the trunk and small splits in the chunky base become celebrated details as unique as each of us.
The trees are very labor-intensive to make, each one made by hand and adjusted pains-taking-ly to fit together. The last batch of trees was made in 2012. No plans have been made for a new batch.
To coordinate with the Modern Tannenbaum, Tia designed a set of interlocking ornaments -- a modern take on the ball and a voluminous Flake. She expanded on that line over time, making the ornaments from sheet acrylic as well as plywood. The ornaments look great with the Tannenbaum and with a traditional green tree. Best of all, they all pack away flat for easy storage the rest of the year.
We approached each element of the design with a modern aesthetic that utilized the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis skyline. We made simple, modern, and intentional choices that resulted in a consistent visual thread, allowing one main element to shine and secondary elements to support and enhance its features.
The invitation, response card and envelopes were clean, formal and understated to allow the silver laser-cut city wrap to be the bold element. The bride's bouquet was viewed as her primary accessory and its design encompassed the theme of the wedding - simple, classic, and modern. There were no formal decorations for the ceremony with the intention that the skyline would be the main backdrop. The seating chart for dinner was simplified into a single map with an alphabetized guest-table list. At the table, each menu touted the handwritten name of each guest, doubling as the place card for their meticulously-planned assigned seat.
The majority of the wedding guests were coming to Minnesota from the coasts, so the invitations were designed to be the first glimpse of Minneapolis and the wedding. As a stand-alone element, the city-wrap could remain at each guest's home and would be a reminder of their weekend in Minneapolis with Katharine and Garnet. The other print materials pulled the silhouette of the Walker Art Center from the invitation and became a 'logo' of sorts, which was carried throughout the printed materials from the welcoming package for their hotel guests (schedule of wedding events, food and beverage recommendations and welcome note), to the program, and the menu.
The flower arrangements, from bridal party bouquets to reception centerpieces, were conceived as a pairing of two types of flowers, peonies and green dianthus. They were pulled together in mono-culture-clumps so that their distinct features, textures, and colors would contrast and complement each other. For the ceremony, the bridesmaids carried pure peonies bouquets, the groomsmen and woman displayed pure green dianthus, and the bride and groom had a blend of both flowers. The centerpieces for the reception featured three peonies blossoms in a round field of green dianthus - with the round table-name cards coming out of the center of the arrangement. Bridesmaids' bouquets doubled as centerpieces for cocktail tables immediately following ceremony and during the dance.
Working with the bride, we created a cohesive collection of Bridesmaid Jewelry that allowed for each attendant to have a different set that was suited to her. All pieces were made from sandblasted Translucent acrylic with oxidized sterling silver: POD_Bunch necklaces, STONE necklaces-single and double strand, POD earrings, POD_Chain earrings.
Design Concept & Coordinator, Invitations + Print Materials: Silvercocoon, Tia Salmela Keobounpheng / Photography:Ingman Photography / Flowers: Lisa Roy at Flora Bella / Ceremony + Reception Location: Walker Art Center / Wedding Dress: Monique L'hullier / Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade / Bride's Accessories: Toni Federici / Hair + Make-up: Denny Kemp Salon, Kari + Lauren / Bridesmaid Jewelry: Silvercocoon, Tia Salmela Keobounpheng / Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew / Groom's Attire: DKNY + Thomas Pink / Event Coordinator: Premier Planning Services / Wedding Cupcakes: The Bulldog Northeast / Wedding Rings: Tiffany & Co. / Caterer: D'Amico Catering
Stemming from a longtime relationship between Silvercocoon and Danish Teak Classics, and inspired by a collaborative adaptation of Steve Swanson's (DTC proprietor) Minus-Plus wall-mounted, bent-wire jewelry racks for table-top use in displaying Silvercocoon jewelry for shows, Tia and Steve have embarked on their partnership: T/S Collaborative LLC.
Doing business as FLOTIFORM, they have designed and developed a small collection of jewelry furniture geared towards home and retail/artist use.
Their working relationship is fluid, both working together on concept/design/development of new product options. Individually, Tia focuses on the identity, brand, packaging, and sales. Steve focuses on fabrication methods & coordination and product quality control. All stands are made in (relatively) small batches in Minneapolis Metro Area.
The MINUS PLUS stand is the first product of their shared vision - a tall stand that accommodates necklaces, earrings and even a bracelt or two, with a wooden base that acts as a tray for setting rings, pins and bracelets.
The INDEX stand was designed with Tia's jewelry collection specifically in mind. Each stand can hold 18 pairs of her earrings - which allows her display one style in each of the 18 color/material options per stand. When placed side by side in a row, the top little notch in the wire is the perfect finger-hold to pull each stand out to get a better view of the color options for each style -- thus working exactly like and INDEX. These same principles can be carried over to home use for those who have extensive earring collections - though the INDEX is fully able to hold bracelets and rings can be placed on its base.
The T STAND is available in three heights and is heavily geared towards retailers and jewelry artists in need of clean and simple ways to display their work. We are all familiar with stands for single pairs of earrings which are great ways to showcase one pair and set them apart from others. The T STAND provides more versatility - capable of displaying one or more pairs of earrings, or a combination of earrings and a bracelet. For consumers who have closed jewelry storage, a single T STAND is a great place to set the earrings you are wearing today and tomorrow ... and then rotate them out as your patterns change.
Duluth, MN, Ongoing
Duluth, MN, Ongoing