New remodeling tour focuses on upscale projects

  • Article by: LYNN UNDERWOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 9, 2014 - 5:11 PM

Need ideas for your next room redo? A new home remodeling tour offers an inside look at upscale projects.

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What do you get when you spend $600,000 on a remodeling job? For starters, an addition that doubles the size of the existing home. This whole-house remodel in Linden Hills is one of nine spendy projects on Midwest Home magazine’s first Luxury Remodeling Tour.

The concept was modeled after the magazine’s Luxury Home Tour, which held its 14th event in June, said publisher Jamie Flaws. “For this new tour, we only include bigger projects that focus on upscale finishes, materials and craftsmanship and a minimum cost of $100,000.”

And with a strengthening economy and consumer confidence, there are more homeowners pulling the trigger and spending big bucks on everything from two-level additions to knocking down walls and opening up floor plans in homes they want to stay in for a long time.

“Housing values are rising, and it’s less of a risk to invest and improve,” said K.C. Chermak, who designed a Tudor renovation, which is open for inspection.

Michael Anschel of Otogawa-Anschel Design+Build agreed. “In the last year, I’ve seen a massive swing, where folks want nice materials and craftsmanship and can pay for that now that the economy is back on its feet,” said Anschel, whose $150,000 modernization of a 1960s split-level is also on the tour.

Homeowners contemplating dramatic changes in their interiors can find out what’s hot, as well as some of the smart choices others are making in their transformations.

Green products and materials that are less harmful to air quality and health are on more people’s radars than ever before. Spacious kitchens that double as entertaining zones, and spa-style bathrooms still top the must-have list. But well-equipped mudroom additions for organizing everyone’s stuff are coming on strong, said remodelers.

“We move so fast all day that when we come home, we want to decompress, disconnect and be comfortable,” said Chermak.


Highlights from two of the projects featured on the Midwest Home Luxury Remodeling Tour:

Tudor for the new century

The home: 1927 stucco English-style Tudor on Minnehaha Creek in Edina.

The starting point: Cally Chermak and Chris Lawler bought their home for its solid structure, architectural character and location on the creek. “The kitchen had been redone in the 1980s, so we really wanted to update it, but not look super-modern,” said Cally, who is related to builder K.C. Chermak. Other items on the wish list: a half-bath on the main floor, mudroom, master-bathroom makeover and teenage bedroom suite in the unfinished attic.

Builder/designer: K.C. Chermak, owner of Pillar Homes Partner, Plymouth.

What they did: “We updated all the ‘hot- button’ rooms that affect function, productivity and everyday enjoyment,” said K.C. The biggest alteration was tearing down the wall between the kitchen and dining room and opening both rooms up to views of the creek and more daylight. “We made two separate rooms into one large space, which is how families live today,” said K.C. “When you’re in the kitchen, you’re part of the buzz of the rest of the house.”

Kitchen that cooks: The new kitchen merges modern function with a vintage vibe. The white enameled flat-paneled cabinets and quartz countertop are surrounded by a looky patterned backsplash of inlaid Carrara marble. There are two furniture-style islands — one for food prep and the other for casual meals and entertaining.

Fashionable foyer: The couple replaced the white tile floor with oak that matched the hardwood floor in the original living room. The walls are covered in a textural metallic faux finish with vintage floral patterns, for a one-of-a-kind arty accent. “The faux wall finish enhances the historical character of the 1920s home,” said K.C.

Basement party pub: K.C. took “free space” next to the family room and created a granite-topped wet bar with beer taps and dark, rift-sawn cabinets paired with a simulated distressed wood tile floor, for a masculine feel. The adjacent old fruit cellar was turned into a wine cellar.

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  • A kitchen in a 1927 Edina home is part of the first Midwest Home “Luxury Remodeling” tour.

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