Over the last two years, we‘ve become intimately familiar with our homes and perhaps noticed a few things that need changing. Like that drawer you have to slam shut to close properly, or the overcrowded countertops from experimental air fryers and bread makers. (Sourdough, though!)
With our kitchens doubling as offices, plus living rooms-turned impromptu classrooms, the thought of remodeling is prevalent. And fixing what’s broken, creating more space, or a complete reimagining of your home is what Sawhill Custom Kitchen & Design does best. “Make things better, it’s one of our core values,” says Sawhill President Matt Cook.
Sawhill Kitchens offers custom luxury design and remodeling services for the Twin Cities and surrounding areas, with a showroom in International Market Square.
Sawhill provides full-service design-build model, guiding clients through their entire process. Their designers and project managers collaborate with clients to design the project from concept to completion.
Sawhill’s success as a full-service design and build business comes from a long held philosophy and approach to remodeling.
Building Something More
With kitchen remodels, a similar pattern develops. It’s the clichéd “copy this picture” mentality, thus tearing everything out and putting in all new and trendy items. “And while it’s beautiful, the remodel is done without any consideration of how it works within the existing home,” explains Matt. So your beautiful remodeled kitchen might have all the latest trends, but when going between rooms, the little differences feel off. “Our approach is to look at the entire house. What does the exterior look like, what kind of neighborhood, what is the history? Is the house English Tudor? Colonial? What elements give the home its unique architecture?”
The Sawhill team carefully considers the home's existing elements and architecture, then highlights and preserves its best features in the remodel design. “We want a level of consistency with the existing house. So when you walk in, it looks beautiful, but it also looks like part of the house, that it’s meant to be.”
Innovation in Practice
Matt describes a recent Eden Prairie remodel. The client expressed to Sawhill designer Tricia Tidemann that they wished to “open up space and allow natural light to flow through the house." The homeowners also expressed that they enjoy cooking, so second on the list was to upgrade the kitchen from a functionality standpoint, including replacing outmoded appliances.
While the home has plenty of windows, a wall dividing the kitchen and dining room blocked most light. Tricia designed an open floor plan, which included tearing out the wall and existing door openings and replacing them with cased arches, allowing more light in.
The biggest challenge was tying in the unique, rich millwork and flooring integrated throughout the house. “The home has a bit of a more traditional feel, and we wanted to incorporate those same elements in the remodel. We also added light blues and whites, with warm tones on beams for an inviting element that blends well with the rest of the house.”
The Sawhill team also re-did the flooring to match the original, installed high-quality cabinetry, updated appliances and new countertops before focusing their skills on the home’s main level, refurbishing the fireplace with new stone, millwork, and remodeling an entertainment area.
“We’re best known for amazing kitchens,” says Matt, “but many times one project grows into other areas of the home to include mudrooms, laundry rooms, dining rooms, and family rooms.”
As with the Eden Prairie remodel, functionality and a well-organized kitchen are spot on. The Design team sees requests for spice-rack drawers on one side of the range and knife-inserts in drawers on the other, along with a move toward larger drawers that fit all your pots, pans, and dishes. Kitchens are also incorporating small bar areas for coffee, wine, and beer. “That’s where people entertain, in the kitchen, instead of going to a basement bar, they can have it all in one space.” The Designers are seeing a comeback of stain, warm colors, woods, brown and gold-tone paints and countertops, and says brass is back.
The Perfect Remodel
Matt advises, “Slow down and figure out the best options; what exactly needs to be done, and then you can make decisions.” Rushing through a design to achieve budget numbers without digging into details can lead to unwelcome delays, surprises, or reworks. By slowing down and prioritizing, you can design a space that truly fits your vision and the overall home, not just today, but for many years to come.
With light flowing through the Eden Prairie remodel, the Sawhill philosophy is working. “The clients are so happy and loving their new kitchen/ family area. The best moments for us are when we see that our clients are thrilled.”