Jan/Feb
2016

Remodeler's Corner: Keeping the Pace Building and Remodeling for a Growing Family

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Written by Bob Freund Photography by Fagan Studios

Εverything seemed to meet in the mudroom at Blair and Stephanie Seelhammer’s house for years. It was the day-to-day entrance, as well as the family laundry center, where the washer-dryer-sink worked hard and often.

Add three children under 10 to the scene and the traffic could turn “chaotic,” Stephanie says. “There was no place to put anything. This was always just a problem area.” Today, the mudroom still is the entry and drop point for outdoor gear, but the youngsters’ winter coats can hang neatly in newly built lockers. Boots and shoes wait for action in cubbies, and overhead cabinets hold belongings. A granite shelf also provides a drop-off point for stray stuff—or perhaps seasonal decorations. The laundry room migrated upstairs to the second floor because, as Blair observes, “That’s where the clothes are.”

MORE THAN A MUDROOM

Blair, an optometrist, and Stephanie, a Mayo Clinic physician, have owned their home in the Scenic Oaks subdivision since 2008, the year after it was built. The Seelhammers encountered general contractor Mike Allen, who had built some homes in their neighborhood, about three years later at an open house.  Allen frames the opportunity he saw:  “Can we accommodate a growing, fast-paced family of today?...That’s really what we did.” Allen and the couple started planning their project in late 2013 and construction began in June 2014. 

 

Nov/Dec
2015

Remodelers Corner: All-White Kitchen

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Written by By Bob Freund, Photography by Fagan Studios

A visitor to Becky and John Sperling’s kitchen might not spot their refrigerator at first glance. Locating the dishwasher certainly will take a short search. And finding the microwave will involve pulling out drawers. 

The appliances in the Sperling kitchen all are within easy reach, but they don’t call attention to themselves. Instead they are understated, amid a landscape of white cabinetry and light gray countertops, waiting to be called into service. Hidden behind white wood panels, some act as brushed-nickel accents in the bright white scene.

 

Home is where we hold our fondest memories. Home is mom, love and a cocoon of safety and acceptance. As children, the majority of us knew where we were going to sleep at night and never had to wonder if we would have enough food to keep our stomachs satisfied or if we would be warm enough during the winter. We were able to be kids: We got to play with our friends, go to school and grow into educated, well-rounded adults. 

Growing up, most of us were shielded from the harsher realities of life; however, not all kids are afforded that safety net. It may come as a surprise to learn that even in Rochester, Minnesota—a city blessed with a low unemployment rate, high quality of life and exceedingly high education and income levels—there is a homelessness issue affecting youth and adults of all ages.

 

Nov/Dec
2015

Merry in Moderation: Decorating for the holidays with linens to libations

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Written by By Sue Whitney, Photography by Sue Whitney

The holidays are almost upon us, and I don’t know about you, but for me, I like to keep things simple, stress-free and efficient. I say it’s about time the entertainer gets to enjoy the festivities, rather than wipe sweat from her brow from start to finish. 

Imagine a dinner setting on a gentle, snowy winter evening. If all were right in your world, what would you see? Do you envision glitz, glam, bling, flashing lights and bedazzle? Or do you find that image a bit disturbing? Although festive decor has its place, I’d like to introduce an approach to your winter wonderland holiday table that’s more refined. Not so much Griswold’ Christmas vacation but more in the direction of old-fashioned good taste. This plan of attack will save precious energy and won’t blind your guests as they sit at the table.

 

Sep/Oct
2015

Creating a Tranquil Home: Designed with purpose, meaning, hidden treasures and a room for prayer

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Written by By Anne Scherer, Photography By Josh Becker

Amid trees in the Mayo Woodlands area on a four-acre lot sits the home of Sameer and Rachana Nevile, built by Craig Swanson Builders Inc. This Craftsman-style exterior home has a four-car, side-load garage and a colored, stamped concrete walkway to the front door. It has a combination stone- and cedar-style lap and shake cement board siding exterior. 

Collaboration and Communication

After touring the parade of homes in Minneapolis and Rochester and getting ideas, the Neviles made the decision to build and contacted Craig Swanson, builder and contractor. Craig presented plans from previous builds and made the modifications based on the Nevile’s needs. Architectural sketches created by Mark Sawyer, an independent architect with MHS Design LLC, came next, preliminary pricing, then back to the architect for the final blueprint. 

“We all worked together as a team to carry it through,” says Craig. There was collaboration and communication with the Neviles from the very beginning. Much thought, planning and effort went into designing this house.  

 

Sep/Oct
2015

2015 Fall Showcase and Remodelers Tour

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Written by By Jorrie Johnson

2015 Fall Showcase of Homes Entries

Batzel Builders, Inc./Dahl Home Builders, Inc.

  • 3612 Galaxy Lane SW [Home]

Bigelow & Lennon Construction

  • 6304 Mallard Drive NW [Home]
 

Sep/Oct
2015

House Still Growing: After All These Years

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Written by By Bob Freund, Photography by Fagan Studios

At 135 years of age, this Elgin house grew. Owners Janice and Chris Draxler today enjoy the practical conveniences of an expansion along with the character built into the 1880s house where they have lived for the past 25 years. 

In the summer of 2014, the Dreaxlers attached a multi-room addition to the rear of the home. They also lopped off and replaced aging porches at both ends of the residence. To finish it off, they wrapped the house in modern siding hung from its original frame. 

The couple took a practical approach by adding useful living space and convenient storage to their home. Janice, who works as human resources director for Family Service Rochester, and Chris, who is retired from the heating and ventilating industry, plan to live there awhile. Their addition, constructed by Chladek Construction, was among those featured on the 2014 Remodelers Tour held by Rochester Area Builders Inc. 

PUSHING OUT THE WALLS

Working from concepts sketched by Janice, general contractor Brian Chladek and two of his workers attached a single-story addition on a new foundation at the rear of the house. They used two existing openings in the back wall of the house—a window in the kitchen and the original back doorway. 

The kitchen window now has grown into a full-sized door leading into a deep, walk-in pantry with a quartz countertop. “We really wanted to have a space for extra [kitchen] appliances and [food preparation] activity,” Janice says. And she uses the space, which is just a few short steps from the kitchen oven. “I made all my Christmas cookies in there,” among other foods, she says.

 

 

Sep/Oct
2015

FALL IN LOVE WITH RUSTIC MODERN: START YOUR ENGINES

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Written by By Sue Whitney

I hail from Minnesota, and I’m taking a wild guess that many of you agree with me that autumn is the best season of the four. It’s not too hot; it’s not too cold. At long last, fall is just right for the mamas, the papas and the baby bears. It’s time to relish in the final days of warm, glorious Minnesota weather and to get a jumpstart on bringing the outdoors in, as we prepare to embrace our longer-than-necessary winter hibernation season. 

Modern rustic is an excellent design option to do just that. Personally I’m a sitting duck for the radiance of rustic charm and modern amenities, so why not combine the two? It’s a big buzzword right now, I know, but there is no reason to follow all of the guidelines set forth in this article or any other, for that matter. I believe rules were meant to be broken. Pick a few of your favorite suggestions and insert your own special spin. Get ready to unleash your inner designer, JUNKMARKET Style.

 

 

 

Jul/Aug
2015

Shades of Grey: Start in the kitchen and go into adjoining rooms

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Written by By Bob Freund, Photography by Fagan Studios

Rick and Linda Seime had been comfortable with the look and workings of their kitchen for almost 14 years. It featured a center island, white appliances, maple wood cabinetry, yellow-hued walls and a nook dominated by a hefty table and chairs.

Over the years, they had grown accustomed to a narrow space around the island and close clearance for the automatic dishwasher. They got used to the limited counter space next to the cooking range. They were content to maneuver chairs around the table in the dining nook, a family gathering spot. Those inconveniences now are gone. A two-month remodeling project transformed their dated kitchen area and gave it modern appeal. 

 

Jul/Aug
2015

Healing Waters: Soothing Relief From A Devastating Diagnosis

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Written by By Jennifer Gangloff, Photography By Mike Hardwick Photography

In the face of a devastating diagnosis, Michelle Harris is finding ways to heal her heart and soul, especially against the now almost constant companion of fear.

These days, as chemo saps her energy, wraps a scarf around her bare head and tapes her fingernails in place so that she can play another tune on the piano, Harris is comforted by the everyday gifts of normalcy with her husband and four children and the calming gurgle of a waterfall garden freshly installed through the Healing Waters Project for breast cancer survivors.

“We already love having the waterfall,” Harris says. “We fall asleep to its soothing sound and wake up to it in the morning. I was so touched that there are so many in the community with such generous hearts.”

 

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