AFTER: stair railing
AFTER: stair railing

A bright and welcoming entry

AFTER: entry
AFTER: entry

BEFORE: dining
BEFORE: dining

Before: The dining area is an alcove between the kitchen and living room.

AFTER: stair railing
AFTER: stair railing

A bright and welcoming entry

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Main level living

 

Cherry cabinets, dark countertops, dusty paint colors are all bound for the dumpster in favor of light, calm colors and a crisp finish.

The home is surrounded by trees - soon it will feel like a restful hideaway in the treetops.

Work by: Core Design Build, Paulson Woodworkx, Rightway Plumbing, H & J Electric

AFTER 1_
AFTER 1_

After: A frameless glass enclosure keeps the space feeling open. Red glass mosaic tiles line the shower niche and wake up the calming grays throughout the bathroom.

AFTER 2_
AFTER 2_

After: A large rainhead shower is centered in the shower between dimmable lights.

BEFORE 1_
BEFORE 1_

Before: A former workshop / ping pong room was unfinished in the lower level.

AFTER 1_
AFTER 1_

After: A frameless glass enclosure keeps the space feeling open. Red glass mosaic tiles line the shower niche and wake up the calming grays throughout the bathroom.

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A new office / guest suite

 

The unfinished portion of a lower level finally gets the attention it deserves with a new bathroom and guest room that doubles as a home office. Custom cabinetry are necessary for everything to fit properly and come to life.

The bathroom has a rain shower head and heated floors for extra comfort. A flash of red keeps the tranquil gray from getting too sleepy.

Work by: Core Design Build, Paulson Woodworkx, Rightway Plumbing, H & J Electric, Penguin Insulation, Zahler HVAC

upstairs1
upstairs1

before_living2
before_living2

Before: the living room is ready for furniture - once we get rid of that carpet

before_sun1
before_sun1

Before: the homeowner wasn't sure how to use the space

upstairs1
upstairs1

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From just a house to a real home

 

A blank slate that's just waiting for personality - that was the name of the game with this whole-house project. The home has so many things going for it: great layout, a 5-minute drive to downtown Minneapolis, tons of storage, high ceilings and lots of natural light. 

Once the upgrades were complete (extensive custom cabinetry, new trim throughout, new backsplashes and beautiful special-order countertops, a professional-style range top, new and refinished wood floors - I think you get the idea), filling the space with furnishings was the easy part.

 

after_lvr
after_lvr

After: Built-in bookcases provide much-needed storage.

after_pdr
after_pdr

After: The powder room is a good place to have fun with paint color.

before_pantry
before_pantry

Before:

after_lvr
after_lvr

After: Built-in bookcases provide much-needed storage.

1/14
Edina townhome

 

A smart townhouse in a private community that hasn't been updated since the 1990s got a complete overhaul. The work was mainly cosmetic, but there was a lot of it: every surface was touched.

Highlights of the project include refinished floors in a darker stain color, resurfaced walls throughout, updated staircase and additional built-ins. The final result is bright, calm and cozy.

after_lower
after_lower

After: fresh colors, updated finishes

after_lower1
after_lower1

After: now the inside matches the relaxing pond setting just outside.

before_bar
before_bar

Before: The lower level bar area was ready for an update....

after_lower
after_lower

After: fresh colors, updated finishes

1/8
Simple updates make a big difference

 

A lovely setting outdoors, but inside was tired. Easy changes made a big difference.

AFTER1
AFTER1

BEFORE1
BEFORE1

AFTER2
AFTER2

AFTER1
AFTER1

1/5
Family Room in Edina

​​

Challenge: change a family room from an out-dated hodge-podge of storage / playroom / movie theater / whatever the kids are doing, to a warm, comfortable place for the family and their guests to relax, play games, watch movies and have fun!

 

The custom-designed wall of cabinetry has an extended bracket mounted inside so everyone has a great view for movie night. And when the TV isn't in use, it's hidden behind doors.

upper_plan.jpg
upper_plan.jpg

main_plan.jpg
main_plan.jpg

elev_entry_south.jpg
elev_entry_south.jpg

upper_plan.jpg
upper_plan.jpg

1/6
Construction drawings for farmhouse

​​

Built in 1977, this barn-shaped farmhouse was ready to move into the 21st century. It was a solid house, but it was time to bring it up to date. The owner wanted a "modern-industrial" feel, which was complimented by the home's open floorplan. Large windows help dissolve the boundary between indoors and out, taking advantage of forest and pasture views.

 

 

Though the general floorplan wasn't modified too much, there was one major change: relocating the two flights of stairs to a new tower built to the side of the home, thus retaining the open feel of the space.

kitchen complete
kitchen complete

Beautiful (and high functioning) cabinets, yummy-colored tile and a well-planned layout make this small kitchen the life of the party!

during_cabs1
during_cabs1

During: cabinets are going in!

before_kitchen2
before_kitchen2

Before:

kitchen complete
kitchen complete

Beautiful (and high functioning) cabinets, yummy-colored tile and a well-planned layout make this small kitchen the life of the party!

1/16
Clear the clutter

An amazing turnaround for a neglected kitchen. With a small footprint to work with, we had to find the best use of space while allowing for easy movement. Mission accomplished.

 

AFTER1
AFTER1

Metallic tiles, also used in the shower, create a backsplash with a touch of shimmer.

AFTER2
AFTER2

Polished chrome knobs in a classic square shape.

BEFORE1
BEFORE1

We're ready to make some changes!

AFTER1
AFTER1

Metallic tiles, also used in the shower, create a backsplash with a touch of shimmer.

1/11
A welcoming guest bathroom

 

This bathroom was certainly cheery with its yellow and white striped wallpaper, but it was time to make this guest bath into something a little more spa-like.

 

Erica Olson Designs was a design and selections consultant for this project, with McDonald Remodeling doing all the heavy lifting.

 

Now, the homeowners have a steady stream of guests - with a beautiful bathroom all their own.

after_railing2
after_railing2

Besides bringing the railing up to code, putting in new iron balusters relieves this central staircase of some of its 1980s oak.

after_railing1
after_railing1

before_entry
before_entry

after_railing2
after_railing2

Besides bringing the railing up to code, putting in new iron balusters relieves this central staircase of some of its 1980s oak.

1/4
Up to code - up to date!

 

There were several problems with the railing surrounding this centrally-located staircase: mainly that it didn't meet code, but in a close second, there was just too much golden oak. New iron balusters are sturdy, safe, and give the space a much-needed balance of materials.

AFTER1
AFTER1

And here's the finished kitchen - quite a change from the former library!

AFTER2
AFTER2

Cooperation, creativity and perseverance were called in when designing around the kitchen sink and window - neither of which the homeowner wanted to move. A smart plumber and innovative woodworker made it happen!

BEFORE5
BEFORE5

We'll find new homes for all these books!

AFTER1
AFTER1

And here's the finished kitchen - quite a change from the former library!

1/10
Kitchen in St. Paul

​​

A late-1800s home in St. Paul had some growing to do. With as little structural change as possible, the home became a two-family residence. Previous remodels gave the owners an updated kitchen and additional living area, leaving the older part of the house available for rental tenants.

 

Working on a tight budget we looked from Ikea to outlets and everywhere in between. The result turned a little-used library into an effective use of space for the house’s newest incarnation. Scroll down for before photos and construction drawings.

after_bar
after_bar

The old-time bar in this lower level is updated with a granite countertop and a creamy paint color. The homeowner's art collection makes a bold statement against the clean, light background.

before4
before4

before3
before3

after_bar
after_bar

The old-time bar in this lower level is updated with a granite countertop and a creamy paint color. The homeowner's art collection makes a bold statement against the clean, light background.

1/11
Updating downstairs

 

The lower level in this late-1950s home was dark and unexciting. So with the goal of making the space more inviting, without a complete overhaul, we put effort where it would have the most impact. Whitewash-painting transformed the quintessential dark paneling; new, soft carpet warmed the room; and a granite remnant modernized the old-time bar.

dining_after2
dining_after2

before_dining
before_dining

dining_after1
dining_after1

dining_after2
dining_after2

1/3
Quick dining room update

 

Nothing like a can of paint to make a dramatic difference! It's one of the cheapest ways to look like a million bucks. Simple accessories make the finishing touches.

After backsplash2
After backsplash2

Sometimes you walk into a room and it just feels different. Changing a backsplash can do that; you can't put your finger on why exactly, but you sense a change - and you like it!

After backsplash1
After backsplash1

The linear mosaic tiles have the same colors as the countertops. By maintaining the color scheme, but in a different format the eye doesn't have to work as hard to take it all in.

Before backsplash1
Before backsplash1

The previous backsplash was too dark. Also, it was a single, solid color. The homeowner knew she wanted something brighter and livelier, and together we found a way to bring all the colors together without overwhelming.

After backsplash2
After backsplash2

Sometimes you walk into a room and it just feels different. Changing a backsplash can do that; you can't put your finger on why exactly, but you sense a change - and you like it!

1/3
Simple changes

 

Here's an example of changing one design element in order to have an impact on the entire room. This kitchen's previous backsplash was a dark tile. The new tile selected picked up the colors from the granite countertop in a lnear pattern. Plus, it reflected light and gave a sense of movement to the room.

mstr_wall1
mstr_wall1

To give this simple master bedroom extra texture and a rustic feel, we used Stikwood on one wall. What a dramatic effect!

mstr_wall2
mstr_wall2

To give this simple master bedroom extra texture and a rustic feel, we used Stikwood on one wall. What a dramatic effect!

mstr_wall1
mstr_wall1

To give this simple master bedroom extra texture and a rustic feel, we used Stikwood on one wall. What a dramatic effect!

1/2
Builder-grade to custom effects

 

Throughout this standard suburban home, there was a lot of beige and golden oak. All quite nice but not really the homey, rustic feel the homeowners wanted.

 

With a careful plan for a complete redesign, the home now balances colors with new finishes and fabrics. Most importantly, the home is comfortable, welcoming and reflective of the family's personality.