Cable railing began as a solution for exterior deck and stair systems in situations where an uninterrupted view of the landscape was important. Rather than looking between balusters to see the lake, forest or the backyard, the cables all but disappear. Today we see this system being adapted for interior stair systems. The overall look […]
Architecture and Design
Do you enjoy painting? We don't either... we'd rather be at the cabin.
Most interior designers I know, self included, have a love-hate relationship with trends. Mainly because trends don’t always apply to the design concept or work within the constraints of our client’s home, site or budget. We hate to say, “no, that won’t work,” but frankly, sometimes it doesn’t. Black exterior doors are not for every […]
In a previous blog we talked about the elements and principles of good design. This morning, while flipping through photos we’ve taken of finished projects, I stopped on this image. It’s a beautiful space and a gorgeous photo. Like all good design, if we spend just a few minutes thinking about those basic elements and […]
In the Midwest we’re looking for a change. Spring isn’t here yet but we’re ready for the snow to melt. We can’t wait to see the trees begin to bud and the grass begin to sprout. A change of scenery might be coming in the way of a trip to a beach but if you’re […]
“Color is a power which directly influences the soul.” – Wassily Kandinsky When I was a girl, I remember the first time I watched my grandmother prepare beets for a summer lunch. I exclaimed, “Grandma! Look at your hands? What will you do?” Everywhere the beet juice had run there was a trail of deep […]
Even a ten minute run-through of architectural history would include a study of the ancient column orders (or styles). What’s the big deal about columns, you ask? They are one of the few, enduring architectural elements utilized in every historical period across the globe since they were established in ancient Greece! There is, quite literally, […]
If you had to guess, what hardware finish would you guess is the most popular? Satin nickel? Brass? While satin and aged brass finishes are making a slow but steady comeback, our three, most-popular-ordered-every-day-of-the-week finishes are: oil rubbed bronze, satin nickel and satin brass; in that order. And you thought I was kidding about brass! […]
1. Consider all other options. I type that only partially in jest. While it can be very cost effective to stay in your home during a remodeling project, there are significant trade-offs which might persuade you to re-evaluate you and your family’s happiness vs. monetary savings. The stress of having things un-done and out of […]
Last week’s blog included a drum-roll presentation of our #1 most requested color; Custom! Despite sticking to the facts, many of you didn’t like the answer. “Custom isn’t a color!” To satisfy our readers, we tabulated the numbers again but this time limited them to the paint and stain categories we offer within our color […]
The doors in this photo are taking their final run through prefinish and then leaving our plant for their intended locations throughout the Midwest today.
The following picture shows our three-panel interior doors in warm palettes. The color on the walls, the color of the prefinish stain and other finishes in the room are all from the warm end of the color spectrum.
In the Midwest, we are nuts about daylight; literally. Without it we establish something un-affectionately referred to as “cabin fever.” Talking to ourselves, becoming short with each other, sleeping for 14 hours because it’s dark at 5pm…these are the maladies of winter; some would say, “a gentle form of torture.” In just a few weeks, […]
The holidays are approaching and throughout the United States, uncles will be cracking corny jokes and mothers will be crowding the kitchen. Families will gather, friends will congregate and inevitably, memories will be recounted over a glass of wine or at the dinner table. We have a fancy word for this sentimentality for the past; […]
If your Fall To Do List, included replacing the front door, it’s not too late… yet! Mine will be replaced in the upcoming weeks and I’m looking forward to an updated and fully-functioning front door. One that doesn’t drag on our tile floor and will keep us cozy, and heat efficient, all winter long. To […]
It seems we are often worried about not having enough. Not enough time and not enough money and never enough space, “could you give me another closet?” Architect and author Sarah Susanka calls it, “the fear of too smallness.” Prior to the recession this concept was evident everywhere. “Why add 10’ when we could add […]
Painted cabinets and millwork is not a new trend. It gained popularity during the recession because of its very attractive price point. Plus, there are few things more enjoyable than a clean, bright, spanking-new kitchen in the whitest of whites! And while trends do come and go, paint is sticking around…at least a little while […]
Designing, selecting and constructing staircases is an overwhelming task. Each one is unique. There are many parts which have to be selected and all those parts can be any number of different finishes. How to start? Begin with the first step (which is not really a step at all) but a railing… 1. Would you […]
No matter where I am now, I notice millwork. Aside from the overall quality of light and the design concept for any given space, my eye goes directly to the doors and trim. Surprising? Maybe. I mean, there would appear to be very few changes in the world of doors and millwork. While it is […]
This is the time of year that begins to feel unsettled; at least at our house it does. Summer’s not over but school hasn’t begun. Activities for the kids are running out, the weather is a little hotter than I’d like it to be and the propensity for a storm to hit becomes a more […]
This was going to be an article about the vibrant colors of summer and painted front doors. But today I helped a friend make a decision about a new piece of artwork over the lunch hour. She had arranged to see a piece by local artist, Michael Schmidt and needed help deciding which one to […]
Prairie Style homes look as though they meld with the landscape. If you’re driving too fast or you blink, you might miss one. Granted they are few and far between but the style was imagined and inspired in the American Midwest. If you’re going to happen upon one, your chances are better in Illinois, Wisconsin, […]
Does the daily grind have you stuck in an all-too-familiar loop; one day blending into the next? We may have that in common. Yesterday’s schedule included stops in Mankato, Mendota Heights, Edina, back to Minnetonka and then over to Roseville. Lately, more time is spent in the car than at home; with or without a […]
The rate at which my children grow out of their jeans is alarming. On mornings when it is discovered that the closet is void of even one pair of pants long enough to wear to school without public humiliation, I ask myself, how could we have prepared for two full inches of, “overnight-vertical-expansion?” And why […]
You’ve likely observed that the best way to teach any person born after let’s say…1980, is to set them in front of an instructional video. Forget about 35-page instruction manuals; watch from your smart phone or your laptop or your iPad and you won’t have to try to figure out what that universal stick person […]
At some point in the history of the world, a tree became something more than just one part of a forest. It was collected or knocked down and used as a tipi pole; a bent frame for a wigwam; a stick frame for a farmhouse. Did you know the oldest wood saw known to man […]
Our goal is to provide you with the best quality prefinished millwork we can in a timely manner while also being stewards of the environment we all share.
They’re big, they’re beautiful; they’re Victorian. No matter what town you live in, chances are good you’ve driven past a Victorian style home. In every small town, there at least a few, likely built at the turn of the century by your city’s founder, doctor, banker or railroad magnate. Simply put, they are the more […]