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Connecting past with future

Area couple incorporates heritage and own talents

GLENVILLE — A rural Glenville couple has incorporated their heritage with updates of modern flair to make a home all their own. 

Matt and Angela Moller have lived on their acreage off of 140th Street for 10 years. Built in the 1860s, the home belonged to Matt Moller’s grandparents, the late Robert and Margaret Woodard, for 50 years.

While some people choose to build new homes on old farmsteads, the history of the old family farmhouse was important to the Mollers.

Matt Moller used to be a plumber. Now that he has started his business, Homestead Design, one of the pieces he makes is shelving made out of pipes and wood. - Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

Matt Moller used to be a plumber. Now that he has started his business, Homestead Design, one of the pieces he makes is shelving made out of pipes and wood. – Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

“I’ve always been intrigued by the history of old homes and buildings,” Angela Moller said. “I grew up on a century farm and was the fifth generation of my family to live there, so family history is very important to me. We wanted our kids to have the opportunity to grow up in the country like we both did, and this is the perfect place for us to do that.”

With many memories in the home from Matt Moller’s childhood, the couple said they were honored to keep the acreage in the family and make it their own.

Angela Moller said she likes to change the decor in the couple’s bedroom to coincide with the seasons — from different curtains to varying color schemes. - Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

Angela Moller said she likes to change the decor in the couple’s bedroom to coincide with the seasons — from different curtains to varying color schemes. – Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

They have done extensive remodeling to update the home, including an addition built three years ago to accommodate their growing family. The couple has four children — Maggie, 14; Judd, 12; Greta, 8; and Cleo, 6.

“The original house was only about 900 livable square feet, and after our fourth child was born, we started to feel like we were bursting at the seams,” she said.

The family’s living room, though part of the addition to the home, features an original exposed wood wall and window that pays homage to the history of the home. The room features several pieces of Matt Moller’s own custom-made furniture.

In the adjacent dining room, Matt Moller’s grandparents’ heirloom table is the focal point, along with a Civil War-era mirrored dresser that is now used as a buffet. In the master bedroom, a chenille bedspread that once belonged to Angela Moller’s great-grandmother adorns the bed, while her own hand-crafted decor hangs on the walls and old glass bottles found in the attic line the windowsills.

A wooden box filled with a collection of old buttons and jewelry belonging to various great-grandmas is displayed in the hallway, and the children enjoy sifting through the treasures.

She decorates the home with an eclectic mix of decor, ranging from family heirlooms and garage sale treasures to her own creations and her husband’s furniture.

There are rustic pieces throughout the Moller family’s home. - Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

There are rustic pieces throughout the Moller family’s home. – Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

“My goal is to make our home feel warm and inviting — a place that we love to be,” she said. “While I love the beauty of old things, I don’t necessarily collect antiques that would be considered valuable. I just enjoy special items that have a story or remind me of loved ones and things that make me smile.”

She said everything in the house is meant to be used and enjoyed.

The home has many opportunities for the children to develop their creativity, whether through craft materials in the home office area or musical instruments in the recreation room. The children’s art projects hold places of honor on many walls of the home, along with family photos.

“We want our home to reflect the personality of our family, to illustrate who we are and what’s important to us,” Angela Moller said. “We hope to create a warm and inviting atmosphere for our family and our guests.”

Matt Moller’s furniture creations in December launched into a new business: Homestead Design. The business specializes in rustic-industrial furniture and home decor. With their youngest child starting kindergarten this past fall, the couple said they felt the time was right to explore the idea of collaborating on some projects that would not only allow him to work from home, but also to have more flexibility to accommodate the family’s busy schedule.

He previously worked as a plumber for 14 years.

He makes everything from coffee tables and shelves to bookcases and end tables. He incorporates piping and pine and finishes it to have a more rustic, reclaimed look, with an end result that’s solid and sturdy. The goal of the furniture is to add character, warmth and beauty to homes.

Angela Moller works as a freelance corporate graphic designer and has worked from home for nearly 10 years while raising the couple’s children.

Since launching the business in December, Matt Moller said he has enjoyed the opportunity to combine his woodworking abilities and creativity into a business that is fulfilling. Word is spreading about the business via word of mouth and Facebook.

The couple tries to teach their children by example that if a person can use their God-given gifts and talents in a productive way, it can ultimately lead to a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment.

“Whether they learn from our examples the opportunities of entrepreneurship, the value of hard work, or how to incorporate talents into a career, we hope to fill our kids’ minds with ideas for where their futures can taken them,” Angela Moller said. “Self-employment is a very viable option these days, and is becoming more common than it used to be.”

The couple’s 14-year-old daughter already has her eye on a creative career path and is exploring the idea of becoming an interior designer or an architect.