Designing Barrington Lifestyles

Designing Barrington Lifestyles

An entrepreneur trusts her unique business vision to a designer who creates
a beautiful yet functional space for cooking, learning, and celebrating
one another with healthy living.

interior design By NaNcy Nygaard | photography By Jim PrischiNg |
Written By Lisa stamos


A Contemporary Yet Warm Space for OneLife to Grow

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Lauren Brynjelsen created OneLife to nourish both body and mind. Her new business offers clientele cooking classes in a well-constructed space that separates the key areas of a welcoming yet private entryway, kitchen, dining room, and a coffee and wine bar. Designed to comfortably house from 8 to 20 guests at a time, OneLife features a variety of cooking classes, including cultural cuisines, hands-on cooking demonstrations, and private one-of-a-kind dinners. The space can also provide a private environment for bridal showers and other special occasion events. One of her favorite classes is speed-date cooking—a fun night for meeting other singles while cooking and dining in a relaxed setting.

“OneLife is also about nourishing the mind,” Brynjelsen said. “We offer monthly nutritional seminars. One of my favorite nourishing mind classes we offer to both children and adults is called “Food for Thought”. In this class, we cook appetizers and desserts and have a book discussion on that month’s personal enrichment book selection.”

A long-time Barrington resident, Brynjelsen and her husband are raising five children who range in age from middle school to college. Having worked for herself before motherhood as a piano teacher when the children were in school full-time, the busy mom went back to school for a degree, and then decided to start OneLife. Her inspiration—or figurative sucker punch, as she puts it—arrived during a work-out session with her personal trainer. While her regular exercise garnered a healthy look physically, her trainer asked why her only focus was on her physique, and not her inner body with good nutrition and food for the mind and soul. After that conversation, she decided that if one life is all she has, then she would take charge of making sure it was the best one she could realize. She turned that vision into a cooking business to help others with similar goals.

“I have always enjoyed hosting dinner parties,” she said. “My main design goal for OneLife was to create a high-end, beautiful kitchen that makes you feel at home. The whole vibe of OneLife is that of a peaceful sanctuary from life while living in the “now”. We want to provide you with an experience that nourishes your OneLife from the body to the mind to the soul.”

Brynjelsen met designer Nancy Nygaard and immediately knew she was the right space planner. “She listened to my vision and wanted to make it my space, not her space,” she said. “She respected my time and we worked efficiently together, plus she has a great network!” Trips together to the Mart and other industry providers were smooth and decisions came quickly about materials and appliances.

Nygaard’s skill set and ability to follow an entrepreneur’s vision has created an exciting new business located at The Foundry in Barrington. For Nygaard, her favorite part of the job was working with Brynjelsen: “She is a warm, talented woman with a heart to serve and teach others what she has tediously trained for. She told me many times that this was her life’s dream and it was a privilege to help her dream come to reality. She knew what she wanted, and I was her paint brush.”

Learn more about OneLife at Nancy Nygaard with Studio Kitchens of Appleton may be reached at


“The feel of this space is transitional with a touch of farmhouse, as well as hints of Scandinavian influence. We created gentle contours that use white with gray tones as the foundational colors with a playful accent of soft blue. It carries a balance of engineered and organic materials.”

Nancy Nygaard, Designer

Above: The dining area features two custom-made long tables, designed to comfortably seat 20 people. A closet with mirrored doors reflects the glow of the light fixtures and fireplace. The light fixtures are linear to echo the long tables, and their pierced patterns provide a soft pattern of light on the walls.

Left: The custom designed beverage station is located between the dining area and kitchen for use that does not disturb the surrounding spaces. A Sub-Zero wine refrigerator also features a humidor for cigars. The wine bottle tile motif on the wall is a glass waterjet mosaic tile that was made to measurement and arrived pre-cut and sheeted with a map for reassembly.

“I have always enjoyed hosting dinner parties and realize that bring to friends and family together are the moments I hold very dear to my heart. Often, people have reasonable objections as to why they can’t host a party whether it be the size of their home or their inability to cook. At OneLife, we want to take away every objection and help our clients carve out time to enjoy their loved ones in a beautiful space with delicious food.”

–Lauren Brynjelsen, Proprietress

Baked Stuffed Pumpkin


  • 4 ounces sweet Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous (barley or orzo as substitute)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. fresh oregano
  • 2 cups chopped fresh pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup chopped Granny Smith apples
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup diced cranberries
  • 4 small pumpkins
  • Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, decase and crumble the sausage meat. Cook the sausage for about 8-10 minutes and then remove it from the pan. Increase the heat to medium, and add the onion and 2 cups of the peeled chopped pumpkin. Sauté until the pumpkin begins to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Once softened, add the chopped apple and sausage and sauté for 3 minutes. Add then the wine and cook for about another 2-3 minutes, before removing it from heat. / In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat and add couscous stirring occasionally until slightly brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10-12 minutes until the liquid has evaporated. / In a large bowl, combine the couscous mixture with dried cranberries, olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme, oregano, parsley, and rosemary. Add the stuffing mixture to the hollowed-out pumpkins and place in a shallow baking dish. / Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 10 more minutes.

Nancy Nygaard is a kitchen and bath designer with a degree in architecture and accreditation in interior design. She started her career 28 years ago with designing new homes and additions before entering the kitchen and bath field. With experience in Milwaukee, Wisc., as a high-end bathroom designer for a design-build firm, to high-end kitchens for Chicago clientele in Appleton, Wisc. , she owned and operated her design studio for 14 years and recently sold it to be more independent and flexible. Nygaard has designed homes from East Hampton to Grand Cayman. Although she lives in Central Wisconsin, she does much of her work in the Chicago area. Nygaard’s aesthetic is achieved through her wide range of education and experience, yielding a successful balance of design, space planning, ergonomics, product selections, function, aesthetics, mechanicals, and structure.