2016 Fall Remodelers Showcase Guidebook Shares Real Remodeling Stories

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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 2016 Guidebook includes these stories (in words and photos) describing the remodeling experiences of four families whose remodeled homes are on the tour.

Remodelers Showcase Home #R49
18 Moonlight Bay, Stillwater
Sunrise Design and Construction LLC



When Life Comes Calling

From downtown Minneapolis to the relaxing shoreline of Big Carnelian in Stillwater, Steve and Brenda are enjoying the best of both worlds: city living and lake life.

Steve and Brenda were excited to settle into a gorgeous lake home where they could reside full time as empty nesters. Even better, they now have a “family cabin” where they can host their grown kids, relatives and friends in lake-side style. Having previously owned a home in Edina, then moving to a downtown apartment (which they are keeping), this transition to lake living was a big one and in stark contrast to their former lifestyles.

Steve and Brenda purchased a 1956 home on an incredible lot just ten minutes from Stillwater. The home offered incredible views of Big Carnelian Lake that made the transition a whole lot easier! “The whole house needed renovation,” Brenda explained. “but we loved the lake and the lot.”

The property was bursting with potential but they needed a professional and trustworthy contractor to help them create their dream. “We particularly wanted to select a contractor who was immersed in the community–had been around a long time, and lived nearby,” Steve explained, “so we interviewed two contractors and we picked Dan Jozefow of Sunrise Design and Construction as his honesty and knowledge won us over right away.”

Like many who choose to remodel an old home, Steve and Brenda encountered a lot of bumps in the pathway that they didn’t count on. “With every fork in the road, our remodeler, with the help of our designer Suzanne Van Horne from Smart Interiors, was able to take each left turn and offer exciting options and variations,” explained Brenda.

Keeping the shell of the home intact, Sunrise Design and Construction opened up the floor plan and reworked the structure of the home to best fit the family’s needs. Most importantly, they added large windows to the contemporary craftsman style home so that Steve and Brenda could enjoy an abundance of lake views.

Sunrise Design made Steve and Brenda’s vision come to life by transforming the little cabin on the lake to this family’s dream home. “It is now the place where we can continue to create lifelong family memories and look forward to enjoying our empty-nest years.”

Remodelers Showcase Home #R57
4370 Diamond Drive, Eagan
Inspiration Design Center


I Need Inspiration

When the Tapper family heard about a Facebook contest by Inspiration Design Center, located in Burnsville, they figured they had nothing to lose. Melissa penned a letter outlining their kitchen’s many woes and posted a photo of the family to Inspiration Design Center’s Facebook page with a sign that said it all: “I Need Inspiration!”

The young family bought their home in foreclosure after the loss of their daughter Valerie at 24 weeks gestation. The home was a welcome distraction and they purchased it knowing “there were many projects we wanted to do,” explained Russell. Replacing the blue linoleum flooring, painting the kitchen cabinets white and adding fresh color to the walls made the space more livable.

But despite these minor updates, the kitchen still lacked functionality for the growing family. Melissa, now expecting a third son, detailed the kitchen’s limitations in the letter she submitted for the $25,000 kitchen makeover contest. “We need inspiration in remodeling the cabinets to make them more efficient and usable for everyone,” she writes. “Please help us remodel our kitchen to be something we are proud to call our own.”

After interviewing three finalists, Inspiration Design Center, which specializes in kitchen and bathroom remodels, selected this deserving family as their winner. Melissa and Russell were stunned and excited! The team at Inspiration Design Center welcomed Russell’s help as he undertook the demolition process. “The process was really incredible. The team at Inspiration took the time to come up with a thoughtful and effective design with a lot of fresh ideas,” he shared.

The finished result was a dream kitchen that perfectly combined function and style. Melissa enjoys the ample storage and efficient layout, while Russell has a newfound appreciation for the art of cooking. “It’s inspiring to make meals now,” he laughed. “We have a huge island where we cook everyday and there’s room for the whole family.”

This island would come in handy when the Tapper family kitchen made its TV debut on KTSP’s Twin Cities Live for a special cooking segment hosted in their newly finished space. Talk about an incredible story with a made-for-TV happy ending!

Remodelers Showcase Home #R28
4506 Browndale Avenue, Edina
James Barton Design Build, Inc.


Remodeling Snowball

When homeowners Tony and Michelle purchased an older home for their family in Edina’s Country Club neighborhood, they knew a renovation was in order, and they were prepared to dip their toes into the process.

“We initially had the idea that we could make the kitchen bigger by moving one wall,” explained Michelle. With the innovative ideas from the team at James Barton Design-Build, however, the family quickly decided to dive all in. “Our initial plans snowballed into one thing after another until we were redoing the entire house!”

But don’t get the wrong idea. This story isn’t a cautionary tale of a remodel gone wrong (one thing snowballing into another). Rather, this story boasts amazing craftsmanship, thoughtful planning, attention to detail and—most importantly—a dream home (literally, as it was chose as a BATC Foundation Artisan Dream Remodeled Home) and a happily-ever after family of four.

From the beginning, James Barton Design-Build shared the family’s desire to maintain the character and charm of their older home, while customizing each space to fit their specific needs and style. To achieve a more thoughtful and updated layout they reconfigured the flow of the home by moving the main staircase. The result was dramatic. The newly reconfigured space opened up the main floor and allowed the homeowners to add a mudroom off of the kitchen and rear entry.

Traffic flow was improved on the main level and the upstairs was altered for the better as well. A gorgeous library nook and desk now greets you at the top of the staircase, which, by the
way, is a stunning focal point of the home in and of itself. To the left of the library nook you’ll find a large bonus family room with walnut paneling and floors, while bedrooms and breathtaking master suite await to the right.

The home’s color scheme and style also took a dramatic turn. While dark wood trim and dim lighting once dominated the home’s aesthetic, today you’ll find bright, airy spaces with lots of white and layers of style. With the help of James Barton Design-Build this family got their dream home.

Remodelers Showcase Home #R33
6309 Virginia Avenue, Edina
Puustelli USA


There’s No Place Like Minnesota

Coming from a woman who lived in paradise for six years, helping to run the family’s enterprising chocolate company in all but two islands of Hawaii, this statement is a true testament to Minnesota’s vibrant communities.

When Melissa moved back to Minnesota, she purchased a home in Edina to be closer to her parents and for better healthcare options in the state. Built in 1969, the house was a classic to that time period and featured lots of small rooms and compartmentalized spaces. Not long after moving in, Melissa’s brother Adam came to stay with her to share in the care of their ailing parents.

The quaint home the siblings shared was located in a charming neighborhood and, according to Melissa, boasts “the best neighbors in the world.” This caring community was a welcomed treasure as Melissa and Adam looked after their mother until she passed away from ovarian cancer in 2011. After this loss, the siblings realized that their father would be better cared for and comfortable if he moved in with them as well. A structure that originally housed just Melissa and her dogs had more than doubled its occupancy.

While the neighborhood suited the family well, the home simply could not adequately accommodate their new living situation. The windows along the backside of the home allowed light to shine brightly on one side of the home, while the segmented rooms in front created an imbalance of light within the choppy floor plan. The siblings wanted to modernize the home’s kitchen and reconfigure the flow and function of the home to create bright spaces throughout.

The “genuine and heartfelt” approach from the team at Puustelli USA was what convinced Melissa and Adam that this was the company they wanted to work with. The Puustelli team created open, yet distinct spaces and reconfigured the home to add a bathroom, mudroom and new kitchen.

“Bjorn Freudenthal [VP of Sales with Puustelli USA] listened to us and created great solutions so that we could achieve an open space without adding significant square footage to the home,” an important consideration for Melissa.

For Adam, Puustelli was professional and exceptionally talented. “We never felt pushed in the process, and we love the Scandinavian style and quality of product.” Puustelli USA specializes in Scandinavian design that features clean lines and the mantra “less is more.” The company is known for its smart organization and clean manufacturing, not to mention signature Scandinavian beauty. Lead Designer Lisa Kroskin channeled this style and transformed the kitchen into a work of art that’s sleek, beautiful and utilitarian, which was “exactly what we wanted,” explained Melissa.

The siblings, who have chosen to stay close together, along with their dad, can now enjoy a spacious, modern kitchen and a home that boasts an improved layout with an abundance of natural light. They are able to enjoy time together for a long time to come in a beautiful house that proves there’s no place like home.


The 2016 Fall Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase is sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors.