Country Chic

We are delighted to share with you, one of our latest projects. A country chic kitchen which blends traditional style cabinetry, subway and marble accent backsplash,  reclaimed barn wood timbers, and top of the line appliances. These features create a timeless space that will be functional and comfortable for years to come.

In paying homage to the country style, this kitchen features an apron front sink, reclaimed barn wood, original 1″x 8″ pine flooring, jadite barn style island pendants, tongue and groove ceilings, and a salvaged school chalkboard. 
One of the showcase features of the kitchen is the unique copper range and hood.  The range is from the Blue Star Precious Metals Collection. 
  
There you have it, a classic updated country chic kitchen. 

Trends In Remodeling for 2014

We are excited to share our list of 5 Trends in Remodeling for 2014.

  •  Mixed Metal Accents
    • We are seeing a lot of mixed metal combinations in interior design, you don’t have to pick just one finish and use it through out the house. Here are two great examples of using mixed metals to create a sophisticated look. 
  • U-Socket Outlet
    • Like it or not, technology is the way of the future. Many are incorporating u-socket outlets into their homes.  These allow the charging of multiple electronics at once, as well as feature specialized Apple product hook ups. 
  • Luxury Showers
    • Lets’ face it, you are either a bath person or you’re not. Lately, many have been focusing on making the shower a spa like experience. It is something you are using everyday and it is an important feature of the house. While tubs are still important, showers are seeing some serious changes. 
  • Open Shelving
    • Open shelving isn’t exactly new to the remodeling industry for 2014, it has been in demand for the past year and will continue to stay on trend. It gives any kitchen a clean and updated appearance, and gives you a place to show off your favorite cookware or cookbooks.
    • Not ready to commit to the open shelf concept, glass doors are equally as great of an option!
  • Organized Cabinetry
    • Wouldn’t it be great if everything had its own place?  Good news, now it does! Cabinetry makers and manufactures are designing down to every detail. Pull out drawers for spices, knives and even dishtowels.  Here are a few of our favorites:
    • When investing in a kitchen or bathroom, make sure you spend the extra money on these highly sought after upgrades, which will not only benefit you now, but in the future as well if you ever want to resell.
Hopefully these 5 trends in remodeling gave you the nudge you needed to make 2014 the year of the remodel you have been waiting to start. Not sure where to start give us a call, 651.748.1304.

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Conservatory Project

Today we are sharing a very unique project we have been fortunate enough to work on, a conservatory. We did a full renovation on this historic home, located in Minnesota. Although the conservatory was a smaller part of a much larger project, it was a fun and challenging addition.
Conservatories originated in the 16th century, when wealthy landowners sought to grow citrus fruits that began to appear on their tables. These fruits where brought by traders from warmer regions. Nowadays these conservatories serve as sun rooms and dining rooms as well as indoor gardens (green houses).  They are highly sought after as lounging and breakfast rooms because of the large amount of natural sunlight they receive, is there a better way to start the day?
Here are some examples of conservatories being used as extended living spaces.

 

 

 

 

The conservatory we built was fairly large in size, 18′ wide by 25′ long with a 16′ peak and had a vast amount of windows. The conservatory operates on a separate heating and cooling system then the rest of the home, for this reason.
Conservatory by Purcell Quality

The building and finish materials used in the conservatory are as unique as the space its’ self. The tile floor was imported from England, the style and pattern are reminiscent of what you would typically find in a Victorian home, such as this.  The wall and roof structure are built out of African Mahogany. Mahogany was used for various reasons, the first being its’ stability and natural rot resistance.  The second, it is a tight wood grain and enamels very well, thus giving it longevity.

As you can see conservatories can be equally as beautiful inside and out.

 

Whether your are building a new home, renovating or daydreaming, don’t overlook this rare space!
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Health and Wellness

We are excited to share something a little different on the blog today! It is a health and wellness post, which Kelley Suggs of Lithe Wellness Solutions shared with us.

Hi there!  I am Kelley Suggs, CHES from Lithe Wellness Solutions.  My focus is helping people get real food into real life easily and affordably.  That wasn’t always my focus though.  Once upon a time, I focused on conventional wellness, like the Food Guide Pyramid and low fat living.  I used to be so good at it that I was responsible for the health and wellness of 8,000 people including about 3,000 active duty Air Force members and I did consultant work for the Air Force Surgeon General and 72 Health and Wellness Centers around the globe. 

Oddly enough, we never had great, long term results with conventional wellness.  Once our kids were born and they started to have issues that conventional wellness didn’t fix, I started seeking out alternate solutions.  Once I knew what they were, I had to share them with everyone else.  What Purcell has asked me to share with you today is about one of the 5 Things You Need to Know to Survive and Thrive in the Grocery Store: Food Dyes and Colors. Packaged foods are loaded with colors and preservatives to increase their shelf life and make them look pretty while they sit on the shelf.  Food additives also make those packaged foods smell good, look good and maintain the texture of the food.


Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics officially linked ADD and ADHD to artificial food dye. Parents and researchers in other countries like Britain and Australia have known and acted on this for years, and their food supply is dramatically different from ours, even though it comes from many of the same producers and suppliers.  Aside from ADD and ADHD behavior, food dyes also promote sleep disturbances and extreme irritability.  Aren’t you glad you aren’t a teacher after a neon colored birthday celebration?  Not only is the day of the party going to be difficult, but just think of all of those cranky first graders who are missing a good night’s sleep!

Wonder why food dyes are such a big deal for kids?  The amount taken in is dose and size dependant.  Think of it this way.  If you give a 170 pound man a dose of pain reliever, his pain would subside (hopefully!), but if you gave a 30 pound 3 year old the same dose, it would likely send the child to the hospital.  A colorful serving of candy will give a 3 year old a much higher dose of colors than a full grown 30 year old parent, and that child will respond accordingly.  Food dye effects grown-ups, too; we just have much better control over our thoughts, emotions and actions than children do and then we spend time wondering why we feel so odd.  So what is a consumer to do?

Here is where to find the crazy makers (food dye):   
Anything that starts with FD&C, specifically Red 40 (which is derived from petroleum), Yellow 5 and Blue 2.  Found in food in a box like cereal and mac n’ cheese, yogurt (any kind), candy (conventional M&M’s), chips (Dorritos), crackers, bread, pickles, over the counter and prescription medication (Motrin/Tylenol/pain relievers/allergy medications)

Here are some great alternatives: Stonyfield Farms yogurt, plain potato chips with Daisy brand sour cream, chocolate chips instead of brightly colored M&M’s or Skittles , Homemade mac ‘n cheese or Annie’s Mac ‘n Cheese instead of Kraft or other store brands.  You can also consider organic foods, which use vegetable based food dyes like beets.

Want more information?  Kelley’s website is www.LitheWellnessSolutions.com, where you can sign up for her free newsletter and receive a gift:  3 Tips to Picking the Perfect Produce.  You can also take advantage of Kelley’s free 30 minute health coaching call.  Reserve your time by calling 763.647.0522 or emailing her at Kelley@lithewellnesssolutions.com

Thanks Kelley!

The Perfect Master Suite

A master suite is a luxury, an escape from the stresses of everyday life and a private place to call your own. While many may take their master suite for granted, other have been longing for a space to call their own. Regardless of the size, there are a few key things to consider when designing this space.

It’s in the details
Details are what give a master bedroom character. This can range from architectural details to artwork. Be sure to have a focal point as well, it can be a large four poster bed, a fireplace or even a gallery wall made up of your favorite art. All these pieces make your master suite unique and truly you!

More than just a place to sleep
Add a sitting area into a master bedroom if possible. This allows a place to read and relax that is quite and tucked away from the rest of the house. It could be a lounge chair with an ottoman, a window seat or even a sofa. All of these pieces add an extra bit of relaxation to the space.


A luxurious bathroom

An on suite bathroom is one of the most important aspects in a master suite, check out some trends in shower design on this post. Keep the master bathroom spacious, include a dual vanity as well as a tub and walk in shower.

Keep it casual

Master Bedrooms are a place to relax, don’t make it fussy. People are often discouraged when looking through home design magazines, sure the rooms are beautiful but they don’t fit in the everyday lifestyle of most people. It should reign true to your lifestyle. If you are a casual person, keep your home casual. It will feel forced otherwise, and truly be harder to live in. Your home should be a reflection of your family and your day to day living. Keeping this in mind, casual does not equal messy. These are some causal, well designed bedrooms!

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Purcell Home Care and Repair

We would again like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has contacted us regarding our Purcell Home Care and Repair program. Keep the referrals coming in!
 

Thank You!

We wanted to extend a thank you to everyone who has contacted us regarding our Home Care and Repair service. We have had a great response and are excited to continue offering these services.
Don’t forget to share with friends and family!
 

Kitchen Design….. Done Right

We all know the heart of the home is the kitchen, so be sure to take these important considerations into the design of your kitchen. We spoke with Karen Soojian, principle of KSID Studio a Twin Cities based Interior Design firm to get her inside scoop on what makes a well designed kitchen.

What are the most important things to incorporate into kitchen design
How many times have you heard friends and family saying “We always end up in the kitchen.” The truth is, this is where many of us live today. In my opinion, all of the aspects of kitchen design are equally important. How can you design for one feature and not the other?

For example, you might have a functional layout but your surface selections don’t fit your needs. Your counter is beautiful but your lighting is poor. Your kitchen appears beautiful to the eyes but your cabinets don’t function well for your storage needs. Your kids do their homework in the kitchen but there is no where to plug in their devices.

In the design process each decision leads you to a different conclusion. It is like fitting all of the pieces of the puzzle together. I usually consider several layouts and may end up selecting components from each. Kitchens today are hardworking spaces that are both the social center for family interaction and entertaining.

What are the best options for countertops
When making countertop selections for the kitchen it is important to decide on a material that fits in with your lifestyle. There are so many options out there, from the familiar granite to more unusual surfaces such as concrete or copper.

I advise my clients to consider the benefits and drawbacks of the products they are considering and be truthful about how they will live with it. Combining countertop surfaces in a kitchen is commonplace now. I am currently designing a kitchen that will have three different surfaces: soapstone, live- edge wood and copper. Each area has different functions and each require different maintenance. My client loves them for their aesthetic qualities and feels comfortable they will be able to maintain them.

What are the best options for kitchen flooring
Again, it depends on what your priorities are. For comfort underfoot, I have had several clients request cork flooring lately. It is very comfortable to stand on and easy on the back. I designed a kitchen in the ASID showcase house last year and the homeowners requested cork flooring. Green initiatives were a high priority in this project. Cork flooring holds up extremely well with particularly high traffic areas.

ASID Showcase House 2012
ASID Showcase House 2012
ASID Showcase House 2012 
ASID Showcase House 2012

The 2012 ASID showcase house kitchen was part of a large scale renovation of a Victorian-era home built in 1899. As stated, green materials and principles were a high priority in the renovation. We put a modern twist of classic American style. Inspired by men’s fashion we chose a color palette of navy, white and tobacco.  The homeowner was the architect on this project, John Larsen of Design 45 and this project was photographed by Mark Ehlen of Ehlen Creative.

For durability clients prefer natural stone, concrete, porcelain or ceramic tile. For warmth and character you can’t beat reclaimed wood flooring. The more distressed they are the less wear and tear they show. Everyday wear blends right in!

How can one personalize your kitchen without committing to something permanent
Don’t forget to allow a place for artwork or photography to add personal flair in your kitchen. Carefully chosen light fixtures have an amazing impact on a kitchen both visually and functionally. Wallpaper while somewhat permanent, is once again enjoying resurgence.  Window treatments can help you define your kitchen’s personality as well.

Important factors to consider in kitchen design layout
A functional layout is key, you need to consider the working triangle. All the legs of the triangle should be approximately four to nine feet. You need to be able to work efficiently between your sink/ preparation area, stove and refrigerator. You will waste a lot of time in your kitchen preparing a meal if this classic idea is not well thought out and incorporated.

Unique features to incorporate into your kitchen design
There are too many unique cabinet details, door styles and other options that are available to even scratch the surface. An example of something unique would be incorporating different types of inserts into cabinet doors ( more interesting then just glass) such as antique mirror or copper with a beautiful patina.  You might select architectural elements such as iron brackets for shelves or carved corbels for your island.

For a sleeker look you can use back- painted glass or stainless steel on the backsplash. You can select your cabinet hardware to be the jewelry of the kitchen or opt for no hardware to reinforce a sleek design. Using unexpected patterns and colors on the floor or ceiling can make a bold statement. There are endless options!

Trends in kitchen design
A strong ongoing trend that everyone seems to follow these days is the white cabinet, white subway tile, Carrera marble trend. New trends on their way into the American market include the increased appearance of gray and greige for cabinets as well as walls. Brass faucets and light fixtures are once again becoming very popular. Designers like the contrast between the warmer metal and the gray or griege background. This is not the shiny brass of the past but a sophisticated antique brass.  Some designers are using unpolished brass that is considered a live finish because it will change over time.

Upcoming trends in European kitchen shows include the use of natural wood finishes, counter materials and added textures. Bloggers who have attended these design shows say that glazed cabinets we have seen so abundantly in the past were nowhere to be found. Also they have reported seeing a lot of glossy cabinets and color blocking with bright colors. Strong eclecticism was seen.

For appliances integration was noted. The kitchens were decidedly sleeker and more modern. I have also noted that appliance companies such as Blue Star, and  Smeg  are making customizable color features available. They are daring but really beautiful.

A huge thank you to Karen for sharing her expertise in kitchen design and trends. Check out more of her work on her website and houzz page!

Preparing Your Home For Spring

With “spring” upon us, it is time to get your home ready for the warmer months. From the interior out, getting your home ready for spring will ensure you get the most out of the few months that it is really great to be a Minnesotan. 

Your home’s exterior
Undeniably your home’s exterior endures the most wear and tear from Minnesota’s harsh winter, so let’s start on the outside. Walk around and examine caulking around doors and windows. Replace old or cracking caulking. Inspect and clean out gutters and downspouts.

Landscaping
Well of course, we aren’t quite to the point of planting flowers around these parts. Once the snow does melt we can begin thinking about that, but in the mean time we can prepare our garden hoses, and removed downed tree limbs from our yards.

Check your interior
As we stated in our Preparing your home for fall post, it is also an important time to check your homes HVAC systems. These include your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

Spring cleaning
Last but not least… time to tackle the interior. The simplest way to get it done is by making a list and prioritizing. You can begin by cleaning windows, inside and out. Another important thing to take into consideration is cleaning the carpets and rugs.

Freshen up
Add a fresh new coat of paint, pillows or a new rug. These are simple and inexpensive ways to give your home a new fresh spring makeover.


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