For more information on this project visit
For more information on this project visit
The arts and crafts-style home, in the Lynhurst neighborhood of Minneapolis, features a renovated kitchen, powder room, and sitting area. An eco-friendly design respects the home’s historical character while integrating the modern elements of today’s kitchen amenities. This efficient use of space features craftsman details in the cabinetry and millwork. Recycled glass, cork flooring, and low VOC paints join a variety of other ‘green’ materials honoring our clients sensitivity to the environment.
There were some interesting challenges in designing the project. We had to conceal plumbing lines coming down from the upstairs bathroom as well as hide the support beam that divided the pantry space from the kitchen. The solution was to create an arch that housed both problems. Viola! The powder bathroom on the main level was a wish list item and we creatively built under the stair. A Perfect fit! Another wish list item was to open up the stair well to the living room. The clients commented that everyone who visits is amazed at how original to the home it looks. Like it was always there!
By Sue & Pete Jacobson, Lake Country Builders
For more information on this project visit www.lakecountrybuilders.com.
This project is in the home of two adults and three children. The owners wanted an open gathering space with informal dining, a mudroom/entry area, a remodeled powder room, and provisions for a future laundry facility. Because they cared so much about the environment and the health of their family, they specifically wanted it to be “green” for energy-efficiency, earth-friendly, and health-conscious reasons.
Other sustainable design elements included in this project are the use of dimmer switches and timers on electric lights, the avoidance of recessed lights, the installation of a HEPA filter and the use of a refrigerator with a bottom-mount freezer. Low or no-VOC paint and wood finishes were also used.
By Katie Jaydan, Castle Building & Remodeling
For more information on this project visit www.castlebri.com.
This family was growing. They had a small turn of the century home in the Macalister Groveland neighborhood of St. Paul. They enjoyed their neighbors, were walking distance from their church and local shops. They didn’t want to move, but could no longer squeeze into their 2 bedroom 1 bath house – especially with a 2nd baby on the way.
Initial design discussions were focused on listening to the client and understanding their needs and desires. After many design iterations, we landed on a perfect fit. We proposed enlarging their home while optimizing space to accommodate their growing family which allowed them to stay in the neighborhood they loved. Nearing the close of design, Rinnovare learned about the MN GreenStar pilot program just being released. After talking with the client, they supported green, wanted to learn more, but could not afford to pay a premium to the total project for any green upgrades.
Rinnovare accepted the challenge and modified the design, specs and methods to build green and to meet the existing budget. To Rinnovare’s credit, many of its standard building practices had green attributes – spray foam insulation, protecting the site during excavation, hydronic radiant heat and others. But thanks to MN GreenStar, many more practices were learned and shared with not only the client, but it’s partnership of subcontractors. Things like caulking top plates before drywall, creating a waste management plan, using low VOC paint, low flow faucets, reclaimed doors, countertop remnants and pre-finished North American hardwood flooring, extensive use of informal passive cooling and thorough project documentation became new standards of performance.
The end result was a Bronze certified addition, that exceeded the clients expectations, met the original budget and provided a healthy and energy efficient home for years to come.
By Mike Williams, Rinnovare Inc.
For more information on this project visit www.rinnovareinc.com.
FROM THE HOMEOWNERS:
Our 1978 house had a unique feature which we hadn’t seen in other homes built in the same era: a vaulted ceiling which leads up to the living room framed by soaring arches. There was one Achilles heel, however. The connected kitchen was very small and even worse, was enclosed on 3 sides by walls, further limiting the usable space. It also had only an arm’s length worth of counter space, which could only lead to marital strife during team-cooking sessions!
We enlisted the help of Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build, who were able to design a spectacular space within the existing footprint while somehow transforming the entire house! We now have wonderful storage, counter space, clever built-ins and custom- designed Cambria countertops and bar. When you step past the front door, your eye follows the striking angles of the tile floor through the kitchen and the natural elm floors, up the stairs to the modern black iron railings, which complete the flow of the house. The best part is how much strife was avoided by our investment!
FROM THE REMODELER:
When homeowners Eric and Christina purchased their split level home in Mounds View, they loved the neighborhood and the additional square footage. However, the kitchen was an eyesore. Upon entering the home, one was confronted with a small, dark enclosed kitchen cut off from the rest of the house. Whenever the family wanted to entertain, the cook would be isolated from the guests and excitement. The awkward situation prompted them to call Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build for an eco-friendly design solution that better fit the family’s lifestyle.
The homeowners wanted a contemporary kitchen that possessed optimal storage solutions, supported the entertaining of guests and allowed for an abundance of natural light. They desired all of this without adding to the original footprint of the home. It was also important that this project have energy efficient appliances and use sustainable materials.
Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build dramatically improved the function and flow of the entire first floor by removing the interior walls of the kitchen, brightening the area during the day and creating multiple opportunities for hosting in the evening. Now the kitchen is open to the dining room and even to the living room beyond. Bar seating allows the chef and guests to interact. A narrow free standing wall placed between the entryway and the kitchen creates an entry space on one side and a well situated storage center on the other while both areas feel open and spacious.
Proving that green design can be cool and stylish as well as functional, the project boasts eco-resin panels set within the cabinets add a clean vertical counterpoint to the horizontal rift-cut wood and sleek minimalist hardware pulls. The white Cambria split counter block diverges from the straight line of the cabinet wall and adds personality and flare to the home.
Our firm’s Green solution includes cabinets which are custom-made locally with FSC-certified no-formaldehyde-added white oak. The floor is locally reclaimed elm (from trees felled by Dutch Elm Disease). We used recycled-content tile and locally produced Cambria countertops. All paints and stains used were low VOC. The appliances are all Energy Star rated.
For more information on this project visit www.otogawa-anschel.com.
ATTN José Reyna
1451 Lake Drive SE, #6484
Grand Rapids, MI 49516
Tel: (616) 458-6733
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