Kitchen expansion “feels like part of the house”

About Remodeling Showcase: Remodeling Showcase is a paid series of profiles featuring local contractors in Southwest Minneapolis. 

Bobbie Moesle and her husband, Scott, had been mulling a kitchen remodel for years. They visited home and garden shows, traipsed through Remodelers’ Showcase homes, and kept running across McDonald Remodeling.

At one of those shows, Scott took a break while Bobbie looked around. She met CEO Jim McDonald and saw some photos of a kitchen the Inver Grove Heights company had remodeled. Bobbie ran back to Scott and said, “You have to come and see these photos. This is exactly what I want,” she recalled.


“We would see them come to many a showcase home, which isn’t uncommon, but Bobbie and Scott made a mark,” said McDonald president Greg Alsterlund.

The couple put off the remodel awhile. Then Scott Moesle died suddenly in May 2015. Rather than sell the house and move, Bobbie decided to go ahead with the project that she and her husband had been planning. The renovation of the 1958 split-level house in Edina expanded and updated the kitchen, adding a sunny family room and much-needed basement space beneath the addition.

Bobbie Moesle works in commercial interiors and had some definite ideas around color and storage space. She wanted white cabinetry, a white backsplash and pearly gray walls in her kitchen. Instead of shelves beneath the countertops, Moesle wanted drawers that would make it easier to find things. She also wanted a five-foot-deep kitchen island with a low-divide farmhouse sink and plenty of room for storage.


The addition of the family room allowed for the deeper-than-usual island, according to Susan Wittine, an interior designer with McDonald. The island has a white Cambria countertop shot through with gray and the occasional sparkly stone chip. At Wittine’s suggestion, Moesle chose a curved edge for the island counter.

“That was another kind of feminine detail that made her kitchen feel special,” Wittine said.

Wittine worked with Moesle on color, cabinet, hardware and light fixture selections. To narrow Moesle’s choices among the various shades of white, Wittine ordered large paint swatches and had different shades painted on cabinet samples for Moesle to see them in different types and levels of light. Moesle settled on Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace.

The homeowner and designer also collaborated on a hutch that caps off a wall of floor-to-ceiling cabinets. Moesle gained that wall of cabinets by having McDonald remove an interior wall and the pantry behind it, adding three feet to the kitchen’s width. They added beadboard along the back of the hutch and curving brackets to support glass-doored cabinets that display Moesle’s stemware. The hutch also has a white-and-gray Cambria counter in a subtler design than the island.

The same style of counter spans the cabinets that hold a Wolf gas cooktop with its signature red knobs. Moesle had planned on the standard four burners, but when she saw the six-burner model and realized it made more design sense opposite the island’s farm sink, it wasn’t too much of a stretch to go bigger. She had also planned on a more moderately priced brand of double wall oven, but was able to pick up the previous year’s Wolf model for a comparable amount.


“It’s very functional,” Moesle said of her kitchen, which was started in December 2015 and completed the following April. The cabinets above the side-by-side refrigerator have pan dividers to keep the baking sheets straight and accessible. The under-counter drawers enabled her to spread out pots, pans and other kitchen essentials rather than stacking them.

“It’s also a safer reach,” Alsterlund added. “You’re not lifting heavier things over your head. You’re keeping them down low, and that’s a smart thing to do as you get older.”

Moesle’s Tibetan terrier, Grady, also benefited from the remodel. A low shelf tucked into the side of the island has cut-outs to hold his food and water bowls.

No walls separate the kitchen from the family room, which has a fireplace, wide-screen TV, and comfortable seating. The rooms even share oak flooring stained a dark shade of walnut to coordinate with the adjacent dining room.

“It doesn’t feel like an addition,” Moesle said. “It just feels like part of the house, like it was designed as part of the house.”

She took advantage of the expansion to have three patio doors installed along one wall of the family room, leading to a wide set of stairs and a patio built of pavers. The patio is just the right size for a small table and chairs, exactly what Moesle wanted.

The project went smoothly because the company designed it to Moesle’s goals, Alsterlund said.

“You were well organized. You kind of had a vision of what you wanted,” he told her.

“I had a vision and they looked at it, listened to it, and incorporated it into the plan that they went forward with,” Moesle said. “They understood my vision.”

The new kitchen and family room project also helped Bobbie Moesle grieve the loss of Scott.

“My husband died unexpectedly and I said, ‘Okay, what am I waiting for?’” she said. “It was probably the best thing for me.”



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