Todd Simning knows a thing or two about what makes a home come to life. Todd has been in the business of home design for more than three decades and is the face of ADŌR-Bespoke Homes in Excelsior. With Todd at the helm, the company builds gorgeous, luxury homes all over the Twin Cities and beyond the metro area. “I love the creative part of this business and I truly love working with people,” Todd says. “Even when things get challenging, I still have a good attitude about it, and I look at how to make it better.”
This attitude helps set ADŌR-Bespoke Homes apart. They collaborate with interior designers, architects, and their clients to bring their dream homes to life. “I love the people we work with, and this helps to attract good clients. We respect and treat each other well and our trusting relationship grows throughout the process. The end result is not only a great relationship but good friends.” ADŌR is with their clients every step of the way, from initial concept to design, construction, and every little detail in between.
Staying on top of the industry comes with the job, and Todd provided insight into what trends are now, and what’s to come.
Modern is Now
Looking at the industry today and what Todd’s clients are asking for, there are definitely patterns. “Over the past three years I would say the biggest thing for Minnesotan’s has actually been the more modern design,” says Todd. “We have seen people gravitate towards this design.” Even though Minnesota hasn’t generally been known as the area where people look for that kind of design, the state has added its own flair to the modern home design trend. “This is not the ‘Miami Vice’ modern, but more of the warm modern feel. We are taking a look at different roof lines or being open to larger expanses of glass with different vault lines, for example,” he adds.
Along with the modern design, walnut and blackened steel are materials that have continued to gain in popularity. “This is something we have once again seen in the last few years.” In tandem, natural millwork has been highly sought after. Previously with millwork, you used to need to apply a polyurethane stain or finish to natural walnuts or oaks. Because of technology in finishes today, using that polyurethane stain isn’t necessary to achieve the desired result. The beauty of the craftsmanship and design are allowed to be front and center.
Advice From the Pros
“Another thing I am seeing with my clients is that they are gravitating towards interior designers and architects in the home building process,” Todd explains. “It used to be a luxury to use an interior designer. Today, you are seeing people reaching out more to these services.”
These kinds of choices ultimately lead to more diversity in home design. “I think that this is happening for a few reasons,” he says. “There is too much of the same out there, and so people are looking for a very independent eye when creating these designs. Instead of just a design build firm, people are looking at and open to working with other professionals to create something that is different.”
Another reason is the availability of money today. “People are willing to spend more money to get what they want and to have something unique. Where I think there was a smaller percentage that was doing this before, now you have more and more people open to that idea of having a professional.” Todd continues, “Even as builders, we want to build something different to add to our portfolio. At ADŌR for instance, I don’t want to be known as the guy who only builds modern houses, or cottage style houses or Dutch Colonial. I want to be known for being a good general contractor that can put together any design style, and work with which ever team in order to construct a really nice house.”
The COVID-19 pandemic changed almost every part of our everyday lives, and what we use our homes for is included. “We are of course seeing more requests for home offices, and actually home gyms.” Todd and his wife are in the process of building their own home and are including a fitness center. “This isn’t something I would have thought of considering, but in our next house we are. Now I am thinking just in case I can’t go to the club, I want to have somewhere I know I can still workout - especially in Minnesota!”
And of course, there is a trend towards focusing on entertainment areas in homes and putting emphasis on having those types of spaces in our homes.
“I think you will see modern architecture continue. It is so underserved here in Minnesota,” Todd says. The other trend that will be here to stay is diversity in design. “People just don’t want the same things. They want something more original and they want it as their personal space.”
Looking even further ahead, Todd thinks what will be trending isn’t necessarily a material or design, but rather affordability. “Affordability is something that will really be a trend. We are currently pushing the envelope in terms of pricing right now with the general public,” he shares. “Somehow, some way all of us builders are exploring ways on how to get pricing down.”
This might be surprising, especially given that design-wise the concept of affordability can be challenging to achieve. However, Todd predicts a resurgence and renewed interest in materials such as stainless steel, chrome, and brass, which have historically had lower prices that will help to keep costs in check. “We are starting to see more chrome and stainless come back because people aren’t making their houses so stark, they are warming them up in different ways,” says Todd. “This will end up working out to our benefit.”
“I love natural millwork. It is so striking. When you get a natural oak, maple or walnut, it really looks nice.” This style of millwork and painted enamel millwork is what Todd believes will be here to stay.
Besides the craftsmanship of millwork, he also thinks the classic white house with darker colored trim is timeless. “When you look at the old clapboard houses that were built with white and black and natural decking, those have resurfaced in the past five years, and those are timeless houses. They always look really good.”
Invested in the Community
Todd is a life-long Minnesotan and has lived on and off Lake Minnetonka his entire life. “I spent a lot of time on Lotus Lake, and Lake Minnewashta. And at night even when I was a kid we went into Excelsior and went out on Lake Minnetonka,” he shares. “I’ve always enjoyed this area. This area reminds me a little bit of a small town. I love the old neighborhoods that are here, the walkability, and the convenience.”
Todd’s five children have all graduated high school from the Minnetonka School District, and he is a big supporter of the schools and the teachers in the district. With Todd’s kids scattered across the country at college, he still enjoys boating with his family and wife, snowmobiling, cooking homemade meals, and planning trips together.
For more information on ADŌR Bespoke Homes, check out www.ador-homes.com.