When you can’t find just what you’re looking for in a home, you create it yourself. That’s what Kande and Samantha did when they purchased their 1940s Edina home and started transforming it into their dream home. With Samantha’s background as the principal designer for JP&CO. and her degree in architecture, she was ready to take on the challenge. When Kande, Samantha and their 18-month-old son, Caleb, started their hunt for the perfect home to transition out of their condo, they were very open-minded. They searched all over the Twin Cities for a home they could make their own.
They looked at ramblers and two-story homes. They checked out foreclosures and new builds. They toured fully remodeled houses and ones that still needed a total overhaul. But as they embarked on their house hunt, they found the search to be much more difficult than they anticipated.
Kande was searching for a move-in ready home, and he hoped for a house that felt like it was brand new, even if it wasn’t. But Samantha was more concerned about how the house would function and grow with their family, and she was willing to dedicate the time and planning to create a home that was just what they needed.
“Having a degree in architecture, I truly feel that the spatial layout of a house is the foundation to a home you will love forever. It affects so much of your daily life, so having a comfortable home where you can enjoy living is always my goal with every home I design,” said Samantha. “I knew we’d be growing out of a house really fast if we didn’t have that functionality.”
After months of searching, Samantha came across an Edina home and immediately saw the potential. She worked hard to sell Kande on her vision. In a home with a dark and dingy kitchen, pink carpeting and an overgrown yard, she saw beautiful stonework, coved moldings and a neighborhood they loved.
“When we came and saw the home the first time, I wasn’t sold,” Kande explained. “Samantha put together a design, and when I saw that I was really able to see the vision.”
Plus, the home had two bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor, something that was essential to them for all their out-of-town family and guests.
“We both have family out of town, so we really wanted a nice big space that could be used as a guest suite,” said Samantha. “We didn’t have to do a whole lot of rearranging on the first floor, and we got to keep a lot of the integrity and character of the house.”
As the principal designer for JP&CO., Samantha has helped families all over the Twin Cities redesign their homes to fit their needs and tastes. She understood the complexities of a remodel and was grateful to have her team at JP&CO. ready to help her through the process.
“Working with professionals who really know and understand the entire process is so important,” she said. “Having that team on your side at the beginning of the house hunt is helpful because they will walk you through the financing, codes and other complexities of the project.”
Their remodel added on a second floor with a kid’s suite, loft, laundry and master suite, totally restructured the kitchen and updated the main floor bathroom. They also were able to create a more energy-efficient home by installing new insulation, plumbing and a new HVAC system.
“Our team at JP&CO. is fantastic and made this project great,” said Samantha. “The tradesmen who worked on the remodel take a lot of pride in their work and it’s really reflected in the house.”
Kande was most excited to have a master bedroom with a luxurious master bathroom, while Samantha couldn’t wait to cook in a kitchen totally customized for how the family lives. Not only does the kitchen feature a stunning stained hood and beautiful marble backsplash, it operates like a dream.
“We’ve been in this transition period for the last year and a half, so I’m excited to have our own space again,” said Kande. “I can’t wait for the kitchen—it’s similar to another project from JP&CO. that I loved. And that upstairs is all brand new and going to be excellent.”
Now the house feels brand new to the family, but it still has all the charm and character they were looking for in an older home.
“We didn’t want a giant open space,” explained Samantha. “Some houses can become like a giant canyon and I really wanted to keep the character of each room while still having good connections. And I think we really achieved that.”
Photos: Laura Rae Photography
Samantha and Kande’s story was featured as the cover story for our 2017 Fall Remodelers Showcase. For even more real family remodeling stories pick up a free Guidebook in Holiday Stationstores or read it online here.