How to Choose the Best Team to Build Your Dream Home

Building a home isn’t all about paint, windows and doors, it is about creating a space you and your loved ones can enjoy, safely and comfortably. When it comes to bringing that home you’ve been dreaming of to reality, it is extremely important that you carefully choose the best design team for the job. As you can probably imagine, there are a lot of things to consider when choosing your building team, so, we’ve outlined some ways you can make sure you hire the best team for you!

 

Hit the Ground Running

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a dream home, so it’s a good idea to get started early. It’s okay to start small, simply looking through websites and galleries of a variety of custom home designs. Then, well, start reaching out and having conversations! You are looking for someone to trust to create your home, meaning you don’t want to leave with any confusion as to who all you could be working with.

Tip: Because building a home is partially dependent on the current weather conditions in the area, some specialties may be booking up, so it’s good to make quick, but informed decisions.

 

What to Ask and What to Answer

From the first conversation you have with a contractor, you want to be as transparent as possible about what you are looking for, so they can build their design process from there. By providing your chosen team with the full details of your project scope (timeline, budget, potential conflicts, etc.) you are equipping them to lay the right foundation for your custom home design. That being said, you need to trust this professional with a very large part of your life, so asking them questions will not only lay out the limitations/possibilities before you, but will also begin the process of building trust between you and your design team. From every professional you consult, you should ask for their licensing, experience, and rates, and if they’re properly prepared, they should have this information readily available, no negotiation needed.

 

Design Your Dream Home with Gordon James

From our award-winning team of professionals, to exciting and truly extraordinary custom home designs, Gordon James is here to make your dream home a beautiful reality! By connecting with each of our clients, and understanding the vision they see for their home, we can create a dream home for the homeowner.

Partner with the professionals at Gordon James in Minnesota to start designing and planning your dream home. For more information, contact us at info@gordon-james.com or call us at 763-479-3117 today.


4 Design Ideas for a Rustic Luxury Home

Rustic (ˈrəstik), meaning to be made in a plain and simple fashion. Luxury (ˈləkSH(ə)rē,ˈləɡZH(ə)rē), meaning to be made for extravagance.

And, as the saying goes, opposites attract. Where your luxurious home offers comfort and elegance, adding natural tones and design elements brings a sense of calm that can only come from nature itself. Tastefully unique and artfully simplistic, incorporating rustic luxury design will bring comfort, relaxation and a fashionable functionality to every home. Read more for design ideas and inspiration from the professionals at Gordon James to begin adding a touch of rustic luxury to your own custom home renovation.

  

Wood-Work It

Rustic design is all about taking designs, materials and concepts from nature, highlighting them in their truest forms. Using different forms of wood throughout your home lays a neutral yet elegant foundation for your home renovation. Ceiling to floor, including an abundance of woodwork throughout the space carries a naturally intricate design from room to room. Plus, with the durability and adaptability of some woods, these design elements really do get better with time.

 

  

Mixing Materials

With that being said, Mother Nature has quite the variety in her jewelry box, meaning that you have tons of materials and canvases to choose from. One of the most fun aspects of incorporating rustic design elements into your luxury home renovation is the immense amount of possibility. The simplistic vibe gives allowance to mix and match your favorite neutral materials and textures into one custom home design. Try switching things up with a wood-layed backsplash over a granite countertop in the kitchen for an unexpected yet stylish twist.

 

  

The Call of the Wild

Feeling a bit animalistic? For those of you looking for something a bit bolder, including design and decor elements related to different animals walking around in nature is sure to liven things up. While I say this with caution, as it should definitely be used with discretion, including a variety of faux animal furs, skins, etc. is a great way to add a subtle accent to your custom home design.

 

  

As Big As the Sky

One of the major appeals to incorporating rustic design elements into your luxury home renovation is the openness it brings to any room. By mimicking the grandeur of natures open air through strategic architecture and design, you begin to remove the barrier of outdoor versus in. Include high vaulted ceilings and large open rooms to your custom home design to create both the freedom of nature and the comfort of luxe.

 

Start Designing Your Dream Home with Gordon James

Our dream homes are architecturally exciting and structurally robust, with elegant interiors and refined exteriors. They are designed by architects to mirror each client’s personality and lifestyle needs. The Gordon James team orchestrates the intricate process through which a confluence of people, events, talents, and dreams will produce the perfect results – your dream home!

Partner with the professionals at Gordon James in Minnesota to start designing and planning your dream home. For more information, contact us at info@gordon-james.com or call us at 763-479-3117 today.


3 Renovation Ideas to Update Your Home’s Aesthetic

After 2020, do you feel like breathing some fresh life into your home for 2021? Then you may want to consider some luxury home renovations featuring some current design trends. Here are three luxury home renovation ideas that will give your home a more updated look in the new year:

 

1.   Let the Light In

While windows often seem like a permanent fixture in a home, there are many reasons you might decide to replace them. To create a new look or feel many people change the style of their windows to update the design of their home. If your home feels dated, consider updating the frames throughout the house or widening a window to let in more natural light.

 Another way to modernize a home is to renovate or install statement light fixtures. An intricate lighting fixture not only breathes life into any room but also sets the tone for a room. You can install modern, industrial pieces, sleek metal pieces, or even retro-designed fixtures. The lighting in your home sets the tone for your space, so don’t overlook the power of windows or light fixtures in a home renovation.

 

2.   Reimagine Your Kitchen

Whether you realize it or not, family life revolves around the kitchen, making it a place where both beauty and function are more important than anywhere else. A dream kitchen renovation combines high-quality appliances, custom designs, and gorgeous materials to break up the room with warm and cold elements. A luxury kitchen is more than just functional, it’s a beautiful escape that meets all practical needs, suits your aesthetic taste, and welcomes family and friends.

Whatever the size of the kitchen, the overall elegance is a mix of various design elements: inviting lighting, sleek cabinetry, stone features, wood accents, stylish tile, and glistening appliances. Your kitchen is the heart of your home, so it needs to be stylish and functional; a place you can host company and hold intimate, family dinners.

 

3.   Create an At-Home Spa

The time spent in the bathroom is precious. So, if there's a room that deserves renovations that seek more attention, it's the bathroom. A bathroom should not only function well, but it should also be designed for optimal comfort and relaxation.

Invest in a state-of-the-art sound system to enjoy your favorite tunes in the morning or evening. Paired with new tiling, cabinets, and other luxury upgrades your bathroom will feel like an at-home spa.

 

Renovate with Gordon James

Partner with the professional Minnesota home builder, Gordon James, to start designing or renovating your dream space. Our dream homes are architecturally exciting and structurally robust, with elegant interiors and refined exteriors. They are designed by architects to mirror each client’s personality and lifestyle needs. The Gordon James team orchestrates the intricate process through which a confluence of people, events, talents, and dreams will produce perfect results – your dream home! For more information, contact us at info@gordon-james.com or call us at 763-479-3117 today.


Creating Breathtaking Spaces in Your Custom Luxury Home

Creating a custom luxury home is an exciting adventure that, at times, can also feel overwhelming. Building a custom home means you have a completely blank slate to work with - you can design all the elements and transform the space into anything you desire. Here are a couple of ideas from Gordon James for designing breathtaking spaces in your custom luxury home:

 

Elevate with an Open-Floor Plan

The benefits of open-floor plans are nearly endless: the illusion of more space, convenience while entertaining or enjoying family life, and an abundance of natural light. To create a cohesive and captivating open-floor plan, maintain an aesthetic flow throughout different rooms with consistent flooring and complimentary color palettes. Add layers of texture and various hues for accents throughout the space to keep things visually vibrant.

 Hardwood floors in entryway by Gordon James in Twin Cities Mudrooms in dream home by Gordon James in Twin Cities, MN

Reconsider the Entryway

Your home’s entryway is your first chance to impress guests and introduce your home’s design. Whether you’re looking to create a grand space or something more subtle, you should utilize your available options to elevate the space into more than a mudroom. Consider a dramatic staircase, mosaic walls and floors, columns, and sweeping chandeliers to establish a lavish introduction to your home.

 Bathroom in lakehome in Medina mn Gordon James

Embrace Natural Light

Carefully examine the view from each window in your home and you’ll be able to create rooms with amazing landscapes for your family and visitors. Regardless of what lies outside the window, consider each as a picture frame for the outdoors. An eye-catching view makes the room feel larger, and the more natural light you add into your home the more inviting, natural, and airy your home will feel.

 Cozy up your custom home in Orono, MN by Gordon James

Express Your Style

The design of your dream home is personal, and it should serve the people living in the space - you and your family. How do you want to feel when you walk into your home - thrilled, relaxed, calm, safe, happy...or even all of these at once? The answer to this question should guide how you choose to design your home. Discover what design elements bring you joy and find ways to incorporate them into your dream home design.

 

Start Designing Your Dream Home with Gordon James

Our dream homes are architecturally exciting and structurally robust, with elegant interiors and refined exteriors. They are designed by architects to mirror each client’s personality and lifestyle needs. The Gordon James team orchestrates the intricate process through which a confluence of people, events, talents, and dreams will produce the perfect result – your dream home!

Partner with the professionals at Gordon James in Minnesota to start designing and planning your dream home. For more information, contact us at info@gordon-james.com or call us at 763-479-3117 today.


Kitchen and Dining Designs for a Stylish Space

If you host New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, or any of the holidays in between, you know exactly how important a well-designed kitchen and dining space can be: a kitchen that is too crowded or a kitchen that doesn’t flow? Too much open space or not enough?

When you’re ready for a kitchen and dining redesign, all of those entertaining issues can be addressed. Consider these kitchen and dining ideas to design a stylish and functional space:

 

Open Kitchen and Dining Room

One of the attractions of an open dining room layout is being able to visually and aesthetically connect several interior living spaces, such as the kitchen, living room, and dining area. In an open-concept dining room, you have an unobstructed view of other living areas. For those who prefer casual and frequent entertaining, this is a great layout design. An open dining room allows you to mingle and converse with dinner guests while you're in the kitchen for a convenient entertaining option.

 

Traditional Kitchen and Dining Room

On the other hand, a formal dining room separate from the kitchen provides a more intimate dining space that's removed from visual and audible distractions, such as television, children playing, or dirty dishes. While the traffic flow in a formal dining room differs from that in an open layout, it often reduces the busyness and noise surrounding the kitchen. Formal dining rooms offer charm and nostalgia as many people grew up sharing holiday meals in the formal dining room.

 

Butler’s Kitchen

Today, a butler’s kitchen may not come with a tuxedo-clad steward or an extensive collection of antique kitchenware, but there are plenty of reasons why this design is becoming popular again. Butler's kitchens were used to store, polish, and count silver, dishes, and china, while a butler would keep the pantry under lock and key to protect the family heirlooms.

The butler's pantry is located just off the kitchen, serving as the perfect area for dining and entertaining prep. If you require a unique kitchen upgrade, a butler's pantry may be the perfect solution.

 

Host in Style with Gordon James

Partner with the professional Minnesota home builders, Gordon James, to start designing or renovating your dream kitchen and dining space. Our dream homes are architecturally exciting and structurally robust, with elegant interiors and refined exteriors. They are designed by architects to mirror each client’s personality and lifestyle needs. The Gordon James team orchestrates the intricate process through which a confluence of people, events, talents, and dreams will produce perfect results – your dream home! For more information, contact us at info@gordon-james.com or call us at 763-479-3117 today.


Beautiful dining room from Gordon James custom builders in Wayzata, MN

Reasons to Consider an Open Floor Plan

The benefits of open-floor plans are nearly endless: convenience while entertaining or enjoying family life, the illusion of more space, and an abundance of natural light. The flow and functionality of an open floor plan bring your family together in unexpected ways that matter most. Here are four reasons to consider an open floor plan as you design or renovate your dream home:

 

1. Love Family Life

Living with fewer barriers from room to room not only increases the flow of your home but also eases some of the stresses of daily life. Family life can be chaotic at times, especially with little ones running about. Building a home with fewer barriers in the communal spaces offers a great vantage point. Whether you are cooking in the kitchen or reading in your great room you always have a good view of your children.

 

2. Host Guests with Ease

For those who enjoy hosting, the open floor plan makes entertaining family and friends enjoyable and easy. It can be overwhelming to host a dinner party or Thanksgiving but with an open floor plan, you can be in three different spaces at once. From the kitchen, you have a view of the activity in the great room, and from the great room, you can keep an eye on dinner, all while conversing with your guests.

 

3. Create the Illusion of More Space

While having an open floor plan is convenient while hosting guests, daily living is paramount. Walls and doors divide your home into parts and often make a home feel boxed in, whereas open floor plans give your home the illusion of more space. Opening up the common spaces creates a relaxed and roomy atmosphere in your home. The majority of your time is spent in the kitchen and great room anyways, so it’s important to make them open so you and your guests always feel comfortable.

 

4. Bring in Natural Beauty

With more open space and fewer barriers, light flows seamlessly from room to room. The shared light from the windows and light fixtures bathes the entire house in a soft glow. Open spaces allow for more windows that bring in natural light throughout the day. Natural light increases productivity, helps you sleep better, and improves your mood. As you design or renovate your custom home, consider creating open spaces with an abundance of windows.

 

Renovate or Design an Open-Floor Plan with Gordon James

Our dream homes are architecturally exciting and structurally robust, with elegant interiors and refined exteriors. They are designed by architects to mirror each client’s personality and lifestyle needs. The Gordon James team orchestrates the intricate process through which a confluence of people, events, talents, and dreams will produce perfect results – your dream home!

Partner with the professionals at Gordon James in Minnesota to start designing and planning an open floor plan for your dream home. For more information, contact us at info@gordon-james.com or call us at 763-479-3117 today.


3 Eco-Friendly Luxury Home Renovation Ideas

Environmental impact is among the top concerns of many luxury homebuyers. At Gordon James, we’ve recently spent more time considering our home designs, and how it can reflect our values. We want to be able to provide homes that allow you to reduce your carbon footprint, live more simply, while also being luxurious spaces.

You don’t have to sacrifice the luxury and style of your home in order to make it more efficient and eco-friendly. Now, discover three ways to own a luxurious dwelling with a smaller-than-average carbon footprint.

  

1. Give Your Kitchen an Eco-Makeover

Your kitchen can showcase the latest in finishes, design ideas, and amenities while still being energy efficient with the latest technology. Energy Star certified kitchen appliances and compact fluorescent bulbs will reduce your kitchen’s carbon footprint. Updating your appliances is an easy upgrade and gives your kitchen a newer look.

If the kitchen is a place where you gather your friends and family, replace your light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, which generate less heat. As an added bonus, these bulbs will last up to ten times longer than standard bulbs without losing any brightness.

From the things that make a kitchen beautiful to the things that make it green, the attention to detail is what creates a gorgeous and functional kitchen design. Be inspired to make your dream kitchen eco-friendly with this beautiful green kitchen design.

  

2. Let The Light In

Homes with large windows showcasing beautiful views in abundance make your day-to-day living an alfresco experience. With streams of natural light, the kitchen is bright in the morning and the great room glows as the sun sets in the evening.

Windows not only give your home a natural radiance but also reduce your home’s energy expenditure. So, open the shades or consider installing more windows in your dream home. It will not only enhance and give a room a more vivid look, but it can result in being twenty-five percent more efficient.

As a rule of thumb, north-facing windows are perfect for letting in non-glare light while south-facing windows can help with moderating seasonal temperatures. If you have east or west-facing windows, this will result in more daylight in the morning and evening.

The more natural light you add into your home the more inviting, natural, and eco-friendly your home will become.

  

3. Efficient Bathroom Faucets

From getting ready in the morning to a long soak after work, the bathroom design should be more than an afterthought. While your bathroom may be one of the smaller rooms in your home, it’s also where some of the biggest eco-challenges arise. Water use in the bathroom accounts for more than half of household water used by families indoors.

A way to reduce water usage is to install WaterSense faucets, most faucets produce 2.2 gallons per minute while WaterSense faucets use 1.5 gallons per minute. The average person uses 80-100 gallons of water per day indoors. That’s 36,500 gallons per year. By installing WaterSense faucets, you could save nearly 11,000 gallons per year.

These faucets are available in a variety of models to ensure your bathroom doesn’t lose any of its luxury appeal.

  

Start Designing Your Eco-Friendly Dream Home with Gordon James  

Crafting an efficient home should never mean sacrificing style or design. With Gordon James, you can have the best of both worlds by integrating these energy-efficient renovations into your luxury home.

Our dream homes are architecturally exciting and structurally robust, with elegant interiors and refined exteriors. They are designed by architects to mirror each client’s personality and lifestyle needs. The Gordon James team orchestrates the intricate process through which a confluence of people, events, talents, and dreams will produce perfect results – your dream home!

Partner with the professionals at Gordon James in Minnesota to start designing and planning your dream home. For more information, contact us at info@gordon-james.com or call us at 763-479-3117 today.


3 Ways To Increase Your Home’s Value Through Custom Renovations

Many custom home renovations not only increase your home’s value but also improve your family’s quality of life. Whether you’re renovating your home to make it more functional, or simply more beautiful, here are three renovations for increasing your home’s value.

Spacious kitchen in Orono custom home by Gordon James custom home builder   

 1. Renovate the Kitchen

For active families, devoted hosts, and seasoned cooks the kitchen is the heart of the home - a place where beauty and function intersect. Whether you’re planning a total kitchen makeover or simply a fresh paint job for the cabinets, kitchen renovations provide the highest return on investment. Some of the best renovations include cabinets, countertops, modern appliances, and removing a wall to create an open kitchen. Here are ten questions to ask yourself before you begin renovations so you can create the kitchen of your dreams.

   

2. Invest in Energy-Efficient Materials

Environmental impact is one of the top concerns for many luxury homeowners and buyers. Homes that haven’t been modified with energy efficiency in mind cost more to live in, maintain, and leave a larger carbon footprint. By investing in energy-efficient windows you can save up to 90% of your costs and receive a green energy tax credit of 10% for this upgrade. Another way to lower your home’s carbon footprint is through a smart thermostat. Half of the monthly energy costs are controlled by the thermostat, and a smart thermostat can reduce energy expenditure greatly.

If you make energy-efficient upgrades, make sure your realtor markets your home appropriately; consider providing copies of your bills to potential buyers to display the difference in an energy-efficient home.

   

3. Create a Relaxing Outdoor Oasis

Adding or renovating a terrace or deck is a way to increase your living space without increasing your home’s footprint. A beautifully furnished terrace is a basic build for an outdoor space. Some homeowners design a convenient outdoor kitchen or bar space with a countertop, grill, and sink for summer dinners and drinks with friends and family. For those with a green thumb, gardens on the deck provide a peaceful escape.

Whether you decide on a green balcony, complete with a garden, or lounge furniture, the outdoor space will become your favorite place for all the lounging, dining, and entertaining you can fit into a Minnesota summer. For those who enjoy hosting, outdoor spaces create a comfortable entertaining space while increasing the value of their home.

Great room in Orono lakehome by Gordon James   

 Partner with Gordon James and Renovate Your Dream Home

Partner with the professional Minnesota home builders, Gordon James, to start renovating your home and increasing its value. Our dream homes are architecturally exciting and structurally robust, with elegant interiors and refined exteriors. They are designed by architects to mirror each client’s personality and lifestyle needs. The Gordon James team orchestrates the intricate process through which a confluence of people, events, talents, and dreams will produce perfect results – your dream home! For more information, contact us at info@gordon-james.com or call us at 763-479-3117 today.


Lakehome in Orono, mn by Gordon James

Designing Your Dream Lake Home

Is it your dream to build a home next to a lake? In Minnesota, a lake home will help you get the most out of the summer months. While the process of designing a lake home is demanding and challenging, it’s the first step in turning your dream into a reality. Read our blog for some inspiration to start dreaming up your lake home:

    

Integrate the Indoors and the Outdoors

Homes with luxurious patios, decks, and screened-in porches are common in lakeside homes and help bring the outdoors in. Design a breezy deck with railed balconies for views of the lake and surrounding landscape. Make your patio or deck a destination by defining different activity zones within the space. Carve out different spaces for amenities including; a stainless steel grill, pizza oven, and lounge seating.

   

Enhance the Views

Your lake home gives you the opportunity to connect with nature and the outdoors, so making the most of the breathtaking lake view is important. There is nothing quite as beautiful as water, and a lake home should have expansive windows so you can enjoy the view. Having an open floor plan with lots of windows in your lake home makes it easier to feel at one with nature by maximizing the view of the lake. By adding ceiling vaults, the different areas of the home are defined without compromising the floor plan’s smooth flow.

   

Enjoy the Water 

Why build your dream lake home if you can’t enjoy the water? Do you want a natural shoreline, long dock, or retaining wall? Does your family swim or boat frequently? Consider your family’s lifestyle and what sort of beach access you all want. Add a patio or gazebo adjacent to your lake access, connected to a path with flowers to enjoy the water even when you’re not in, or on it. It’ll be the perfect space to celebrate with your family or friends or lounge during lazy summer Sundays.

      

Designing Your Dream Lake Home with Gordon James

Building and designing your dream lake home is not an average design or construction process. Consulting with a reputable builder with experience building waterfront custom homes should always be your first step. An experienced builder has the ability to guide you through the myriad of steps involved in building your dream lake home.

Gordon James has years of experience building luxury homes on waterfront property on Lake Minnetonka and surrounding areas. Partner with the professionals at Gordon James in Minnesota to start designing and planning your dream lake home. For more information, contact us at info@gordon-james.com or call us at 763-479-3117 today.


Master bedroom in custom Gordon James home Minneapolis

Steps to Creating a Guest Suite Oasis in Your Dream Home

If you’re considering designing your dream home or renovating your home, don’t forget the guest bedroom. After all, you want to be able to host your friends and family in the utmost comfort. For a weary traveler, a stylish guest room creates comfort a hotel can't match. A guest room should have the luxurious feel of a hotel with the charm of an inviting home, to create an inviting guest suite design, read our tips.

   

A Place to Put Their Things

No one wants to live out of a suitcase - even when it’s just a weekend getaway. Digging through wrinkled clothes looking for a hairdryer is the worst way to start the day. Instead, make sure there’s plenty of space for your guest to store away their things and hang their clothes with ample closet space, dressers, nightstands, and hangers. Consider creating a walk-in closet with mirrors or vanity seating so your guest can prepare for their nights out in style. Here’s the Gordon James guide to designing a walk-in closet or dressing room so your guests experience luxury and convenience whenever they open it.

   Bathrooms in dream home by Gordon James in Lake Minnetonka, MN

A Place to Be Pampered

Guest bathrooms are often pushed into corners and shoved aside, but creating a luxurious retreat for guests elevates the space and improves their visit. While they’re away from home, a luxurious bathroom is a relaxing place to start their day and a soothing and serene place to end it. A single slipper chair, a spacious ottoman will encourage them to treat the room like a luxurious day spa. Here, they can sit back and relax after busy vacation days. If you’re looking for some more inspiration, take a look at these beautiful bathrooms.

 Custom guest bedroom in Orono home by Gordon James   

A Place to Rest Their Head

Finding the ideal location for your guest bedroom is just as important as the design. Do your in-laws or parents visit you frequently and you don’t want them to climb stairs? Do you host out of town guests that need a quiet place to get some extra sleep? Read our blog on master bedroom locations and keep these in mind as you design your guest bedroom in your dream home.

Luxury room by Gordon James in Wayzata, MN   Custom's kid bedroom in Orono, MN by Gordon James

Guest Oasis in Your Dream Home

Partner with the professionals at Gordon James in Minnesota to start designing and planning your guest oasis in the home of your dreams. Our dream homes are architecturally exciting and structurally robust, with elegant interiors and refined exteriors. They are designed by architects to mirror each client’s personality and lifestyle needs. The Gordon James team orchestrates the intricate process through which a confluence of people, events, talents, and dreams will produce perfect results – your dream home! For more information, contact us at info@gordon-james.com or call us at 763-479-3117 today.