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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

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

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.


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.

Simple updates make a big difference


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

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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