Homes with an artisan’s touch

The June tour features high-end homes across the Twin Cities.

Artisan Home Tour
Artisan Home Tour interior


Taking place over three weekends in June, the fifth-annual Artisan Home Tour showcases style and craftsmanship in 27 new and remodeled homes across the Twin Cities.

Launched in 2014 by Builders Association of the Twin Cities, the Artisan Home Tour was inspired by the popularity of the high-end “dream homes” included in BATC’s twice-annual Parade of Homes event. Each of the Artisan Home Tour projects — including the four featured here, all located in or near Southwest Minneapolis— must meet the standards for design, finish and craftsmanship set by BATC’s Artisan Builder Committee.

Proceeds from the tour benefit charitable arm of BATC-Housing First Minnesota. The foundation’s mission is to provide safe and affordable housing for the homeless, veterans and others in need.

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1206 Kenwood Parkway

1206 Kenwood Parkway

Kroiss Development

This two-building, four-unit condominium development on Kenwood Parkway began with Todd Simning, president of Kroiss Development, asking himself, “What haven’t we done as a contractor?”

While Kroiss was well versed in classic home styles, Simning said, it hadn’t taken on too many modern, contemporary homebuilding projects. A deep double lot on Lowry Hill, previously occupied by a 1950s rambler and already divided by the former property owner, presented the perfect opportunity to change that.

Simning said they chose to partner on the project with Peterssen/Keller Architecture because of the local firm’s forward-looking portfolio. The result combines contemporary design with the hilltop location’s timeless views.

The side-by-side steel and stucco duplexes are nearly identical, with window openings positioned to preserve privacy. All four include generous patios, and the two upper units are cantilevered out over the hill’s edge. The back walls are almost entirely glass, so the rear rooms feature 80-inch TVs that retract into the ceiling and out of the way of the skyline views when not in use.

Each unit features a long, gallery-style hallway, with windows openings positioned like art on a gallery wall.

“It’s flush with glass and sunlight, and it really, really gives a great perspective for the house,” Simning said.

5328 Halifax Ave. S., Edina

5328 Halifax Ave. S., Edina

John Kraemer & Sons

The European touches found throughout this five-bed, five-bath Halifax Avenue home were inspired by the clients’ love of France, said John Kraemer of John Kraemer & Sons, vice president of the 2017 BATC Builder of the Year Award-winning firm and a grandson of the founder.

A couple with two young children who recently relocated from California, they spent months looking for a property in the high-demand Arden Park neighborhood on the Minneapolis-Edina border, he said. They found a teardown house on a narrow but deep lot, and Kraemer said their new home melds Old World and new — a clean, all-white stucco exterior and traditional detailing inside.

The clients worked with design coordinator Megan Monse, who said they were inspired by the thick mouldings found in some French homes. The white-oak flooring is “character-grade,” speckled with attractive knots and imperfections. A two-story great room includes a wall of windows, exposed beams and a large chandelier.

Monse said the first-floor powder bath, located off the kitchen, is one of her favorite spaces. The teal-blue paneled walls are paired with brushed-brass accents.

The house features a fully screened, three-season porch with a gas fireplace set in a brick surround and a pass-through window that connects a bar area to the kitchen. A sliding door opens to the stone patio at the rear of the house, another area designed for entertaining.


5412 Halifax Lane, Edina

5412 Halifax Lane, Edina

City Homes

Dubbed a “classic city cottage” — if just a little larger in size than that description would imply — this five-bed, six-bath Halifax Lane home near the Edina-Minneapolis border takes a traditional Twin Cities housing type and updates it for a modern family.

Rebecca Remick, a principal and general manager for City Homes, said the company recently built another house in the neighborhood, and they acted quickly when they learned the large, wooded lot with Minnehaha Creek views just across the street was about to come on the market. The home’s design, which places and emphasis on connecting indoor spaces with the natural surroundings, was the work of Andrea Swan of Swan Architecture, who tweaked her plans when the future homeowners committed to the project late last summer.

Tour-goers will likely notice the landscaping before they take a step inside the house. A level backyard space was created with the addition of enormous boulders — some as large as 8 feet high by 5 feet wide.

Beneath the home’s cedar shake-covered roof, the gables flare out at the bottom instead of running straight down, an eye-catching design detail. Blue paint on the underside of the front entry stoop was a personal touch requested by the clients, who were inspired by homes in the South, and particularly New Orleans, said Erich Hastreiter, City Homes managing director.

Remick said her favorite interior spaces include the office, which has all four walls covered floor to ceiling in shiplap, and living room.

“There’s two cute little nook areas on either side of the fireplace in the living room that are the perfect place for their little kiddos to go read a book or color and look outside,” she said.


5516 Oaklawn Ave., Edina

5516 Oaklawn Ave., Edina

w.b. builders

To construct a “modern Tudor” house for a client relocating to Edina from Arizona, w.b. builders took the essential elements of the style — the steeply pitched roof, exposed wood beams and detailed millwork — then tweaked them to be lighter and more streamlined.

“We really tried to keep the lines of the Tudor,” said designer Ronda Brandvold. “Historically, Tudors have been a little darker on the inside, and this one is very light and very airy.”

It’s an effect achieved both through materials and design. The windows are painted black with no trim for a clean, modern look, and they’re also taller than classic Tudor windows, bringing more light into home’s the high-ceilinged interiors.

Brandvold said one of her favorite rooms is the master bath, which mixes 8-inch cement tiles in two different patterns. The patterned tiles, an element drawn from historic Tudors, pop up in other areas of the home. Tour-goers will also notice the trendy brushed-brass fixtures, she said.

w.b. builders CEO Scot Waggoner said the home is filled with custom work, including the steel handrail the company built for a floating staircase and all of the interior trim. The baseboard design was modified from one found in a 1930s Tudor-style home. The house’s archways are “a signature piece” of w.b. builders, Waggoner added.

The house is located just over the Edina-Minneapolis border, within walking distance of 50th & France. Because the client ended up taking a better job offer in Arizona, the five-bedroom, five-bath house is on the market.


Artisan Home Tour

When: June 15–17 and 22–24

Where: The tour includes 27 homes in various locations

Info: Tour tickets are $30 at any of the homes, $25 online at and $20 at Bachman’s and Holiday Stationstores. Single-home tickets are $5 at the home.