Remodelers Showcase Guidebook Shares Real Remodeling Stories

Having your home remodeled is a great way to remain in the community you love while recreating your home to fit your family better. Hiring a professional remodeler like those that participate in the Remodelers Showcase, will minimize stress and maximize satisfaction. The Fall 2017 Guidebook includes these stories (in words and photos) describing the remodeling experiences of five families whose remodeled homes are on the tour.

Remodelers Showcase Home #R41
4828 Rutledge Avenue, Edina
JP & CO

Featured on the Guidebook Cover

Form and Function

When you can’t find just what you’re looking for in a home, you create it yourself. That’s what Kande and Samantha did when they purchased their 1940s Edina home and started transforming it into their dream home. With Samantha’s background as the principal designer for JP&CO. and her degree in architecture, she was ready to take on the challenge.

When Kande, Samantha and their 18-month-old son, Caleb, started their hunt for the perfect home to transition out of their condo, they were very open-minded. They searched all over the Twin Cities for a home they could make their own. They looked at ramblers and two-story homes. They checked out foreclosures and new builds. They toured fully remodeled houses and ones that still needed a total overhaul. But as the embarked on their house hunt, they found the search to be much more difficult than they anticipated.

Kande was searching for a move-in ready home, and he hoped for a house that felt like it was brand new, even if it wasn’t. But Samantha was more concerned about how the house would function and grow with their family, and she was willing to dedicate the time and planning to create a home that was just what they needed.

“Having a degree in architecture, I truly feel that the spatial layout of a house is the foundation to a home you will love forever. It affects so much of your daily life, so having a comfortable home where you can enjoy living is always my goal with every home I design,” said Samantha. “I knew we’d be growing out of a house really fast if we didn’t have that functionality.”

After months of searching, Samantha came across an Edina home and immediately saw the potential. She worked hard to sell Kande on her vision. In a home with a dark and dingy kitchen, pink carpeting and an overgrown yard, she saw beautiful stonework, coved moldings and a neighborhood they loved.

“When we came and saw the home the first time, I wasn’t sold,” Kande explained. “Samantha put together a design, and when I saw that I was really able to see the vision.”

Plus, the home had two bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor, something that was essential to them for all their out-of-town family and guests.

“We both have family out of town, so we really wanted a nice big space that could be used as a guest suite,” said Samantha.

“We didn’t have to do a whole lot of rearranging on the first floor, and we got to keep a lot of the integrity and character of the house.”

As the principal designer for JP&CO., Samantha has helped families all over the Twin Cities redesign their homes to fit their needs and tastes. She understood the complexities of a remodel and was grateful to have her team at JP&CO. ready to help her through the process.

“Working with professionals who really know and understand the entire process is so important,” she said. “Having that team on your side at the beginning of the house hunt is helpful because they will walk you through the financing, codes and other complexities of the project.”

Their remodel added on a second floor with a kid’s suite, loft, laundry and master suite, totally restructured the kitchen and updated the main floor bathroom. They also were able to create a more energy-efficient home by installing new insulation, plumbing and a new HVAC system.

“Our team at JP&CO. is fantastic and made this project great,” said Samantha. “The tradesmen who worked on the remodel take a lot of pride in their work and it’s really reflected in the house.”

Kande was most excited to have a master bedroom with a luxurious master bathroom, while Samantha couldn’t wait to cook in a kitchen totally customized for how the family lives. Not only does the kitchen feature a stunning stained hood and beautiful marble backsplash, it operates like a dream.

“We’ve been in this transition period for the last year and a half, so I’m excited to have our own space again,” said Kande. “I can’t wait for the kitchen—it’s similar to another project from JP&CO. that I loved. And that upstairs is all brand new and going to be excellent.”

Now the house feels brand new to the family, but it still has all the charm and character they were looking for in an older home.

“We didn’t want a giant open space,” explained Samantha. “Some houses can become like a giant canyon and I really wanted to keep the character of each room while still having good connections. And I think we really achieved that.”

Remodelers Showcase Home #R34
16041 Northwood Road NW, Prior Lake
Mark D. Williams Custom Homes

Welcome Back Home

After a major remodel and two earlier, smaller projects, the Carlson family’s home has now become their ideal lakeside retreat. It exudes the intimate, rustic warmth of a Colorado mountain lodge while taking full advantage of lake views and fun, with its oversized windows and easy lake access. The best aspects of this right-sized home may be that there are enough functional places to live, play and study. 

“We call it urban rustic,” said Scott Carlson, with a nod to Colorado skiing trips and a desire for sleek function.

Scott and Kerri, and kids Josh, 14, and Camryn, almost 12, love both winter and summer sports on Prior Lake. “Seven years ago we had a larger home, but we didn’t need that much space and really wanted a home on the lake,” said Kerri. 

“The remodeling of this home started, like it often does, to solve a problem,” Scott said. “So we built a bonus room above the garage for spaces for the kids. Then we needed an updated mud room and a laundry with storage for things like Josh’s downhill racing skis. Mark Williams was great on these projects and with that level of trust over seven years, we knew his company could help us create and remodel the rest of the home.”

“One of our challenges,” said Kerri, “was creating a dedicated study space. The step-down sunroom is spacious enough to incorporate a computer and study area, and at the same time it is the portal to the outside, with tile flooring instead of a sandy carpet. There’s cabinet storage for ice skates and boots, too.”

The rustic mountain inspirations include knotty alder wood cabinetry, barnwood ceiling beams and beautifully varied barnwood panels that surround the floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. The large windows bring a new dimension of height to the nine-foot walls. 

The urban feel is enhanced by decluttering, a turquoise kitchen backsplash, and large stainless steel sink along with unique lighting accents. The Carlsons said the numerous Parade of Homes tours they visited were always a source of ideas. 

“In the summer, we’re always outside,” said Kerri. “In the winter we’re in the kitchen.” In the kitchen, storage spaces hide appliances. A walnut butcher block-topped island extends into the dining room. The sink with azure tile backsplash is now under a generous lake-facing window.

Given the Carlson’s love of 4th of July entertaining, Scott said there was a push to get everything done in time. Mark Williams’s crew went the extra mile to ensure the family could be in and able to have friends and family enjoy lakeside relaxation over the 4th.

Remodelers Showcase Home #R26
24485 Cedar Avenue, Farmington
Treasured Spaces, Inc.

Translating the Art of French Country Living

When you come upon a charming French country cottage-style home at the end of a half mile-long driveway, it seems you’re in the European countryside. Picture the sweeping gables and cedar shake roof of a vintage cottage. The exterior is stucco and stone with window shutters, copper chimney caps and gutters. So welcome to Farmington, where a new, whole house teardown is set on 85 rural acres. Jerry and Elaine loved their country setting but the house needed repairs, and they had thought of moving the master bedroom to the first floor. The remodeling challenges were numerous, so they decided to tear down the existing house. Using the current foundation, they wanted the new home to spread out while allowing a smaller lower level. And even there, a stone wine cellar is tucked under the stairs. 

“We wanted to stay here for the foreseeable future with accessible living space. It’s wonderfully spacious yet intimate,” said Elaine.

With enough bedrooms for three grown children when they visit, this home’s unique appeal is how it accommodates the couple’s own wish lists. There’s the kitchen Elaine loves to cook and entertain in without bumping into people. The brass range hood is repeated in textured brass countertops and island, and there’s a pantry that reflects nostalgia for her mother and grandmother, where she has painted one of their recipe cards. 

There’s a third floor yoga room and second floor craft room that can each accommodate a bunch of friends. And a spacious bonus room above the garage is Jerry’s man cave, with all the amenities and comforts including a men’s bathroom, bar, pool table area, lounge and TV. Even the family dog has his own wash area in the garage.

“The home we have now is more than I ever imagined,” said Elaine. “Josh Carlson, Treasured Spaces, is a talented perfectionist and yet he was flexible. He’d say, ‘We can make that work.’ When we wanted to make a change in the architect’s original plan he went further and suggested we utilize the extra space created by an expanded roof line.”

Elaine and Jerry knew Josh’s level of work personally when they remodeled an office space. Then Josh removed and replaced an old barn roof on their property, a project that certainly deserves merits. 

The home took shape as a true collaboration. The couple knew they wanted a screen porch, and this one is a dream, with travertine tile and white oak floors that flow through the patio and deck, on one level. Josh’s ideas led to an all-season space with a wood-burning fireplace, mini-split a/c, heated floors and a huge wall of windows with Phantom Screens. 

Whether the crickets sing or the snow flies, you are surrounded by the scene, at home in the country.

Remodelers Showcase Home #R1
2008 Evergreen Court N., Roseville
Julkowski, Inc.

A Modern Craftsman Transformation for Five

What a difference a few months make. When the Knudsens decided to remodel the first floor of their 70s modified split level, they had never seriously considered moving to a different home, but wanted a transformation.

“We love the neighborhood and the neighbors,” said Jason Knudsen. “And both of our parents live close by.” Jason and Karsten decided now, not when Curtis, age 13, Andrew, age 11 and Audrey, age 8, were ready to leave the nest. “We want our family to enjoy the house now, and it really functions for everybody,” he said.

Karsten and Jason knew they’d all be living day in and day out with the remodeler they chose. “When we talked to several remodelers, the real stand-out factor was the rapport we felt with James Julkowski,” said Karsten, “and it was great to have Rachel Julkowski work with us as the designer.” The look they were after was a modern Craftsman style, including some exterior accents along with new windows throughout, roof, gutters and siding.

The transformed main level has brought a clean sweep of old barrier railings and walls for completely open spaces and a level floor where there had been a sunken living room. A modern accent wall that extends through the kitchen and across the dining room is an instant wow factor, achieved in a multi-step layered acrylic/plaster process and finally, a wax coating. A glass backsplash over the sink protects the artful wall and gives it dimension. 

Contrasting oak, cherry and poplar woods in flooring, custom cabinetry, trim and doors bring warmth and function to this modern Craftsman style. And a wonderful armoire-like entry closet with bench and facing display cabinet define the foyer. 

Of course, action revolves around the kitchen, which is now open to the living and dining 

areas. It boasts great appliances and a cooktop on the multi-function island. The artfully lit storage and display cabinetry is as functional as it is stylish.

Jason reflects that they appreciated a reliable timeline, and the fact that the Julkowski team made the process as easy and flexible as possible, even with challenges in the sub flooring when the floor was leveled. “The team was so accommodating to the family,” said Jason. “Our dog is a curious West Highland terrier who wanted to be with them when he had a chance, and they were happy to have him.”

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The 2017 Fall Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase is sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors.