For 13 years Samantha Grose has spent her days building and remodeling other people’s dream homes as principal designer at JP & Co. Homes, a company specializing in large-scale remodels for homes all over the Twin Cities Metro area.
“I do the layouts for all our houses, engineering, a lot of project management. I do all the selections; flooring, carpet, paint, trim molding—everything that comes into a house short of furnishings,” says Grose.
So when it came time to find a home for her growing family, she wasn’t afraid of a massive remodel that would take a 1940s two-bedroom, one-bath rambler with pink carpet, siding falling off and a sagging roof to new heights—literally.
Grose and her husband Kande Ngalamulume purchased their Edina fixer-upper in December of 2016.
“It was pretty standard rambler for that time period,” Grose says. “When I looked at this house, my husband saw complete garbage, but the layout was so gracious and open. The stonework was gorgeous. There were hardwood floors beneath all of the carpet.”
Grose spent a couple of months planning, and after a zoning issue caused a short delay, construction started in earnest in April of 2017. The home was completed in August.
“Not only is Sam a great designer, she certainly has the temperament and flexibility to deal with all of the uncertainties that come with managing a project of the size, scope and complexity of our home,” Ngalamulume says about getting an inside look into his wife’s world in home construction. “My natural disposition is one of which I like to get things done quickly and to the exact specification and design, and I had to learn to exercise an abundance of patience and not be impervious to change.”
"The kitchen is a little master-piece of mine. I love the look and feel of it." -Samantha Grose
In addition to planning the architectural details, the couple did some of their own demolition. “My husband was in the garage pulling down plaster. That was a horrible dirty job, and he definitely got some street cred for that,” Grose says. “He’s in corporate finance, so this gig is pretty far from his everyday world.”
“It was a great workout,” Ngalamulume says. “I did not have a full appreciation of how hard it was to take down the sheetrock. Putting sweat equity into the property gave me a greater sense of ownership.”
Raising the Roof
The remodel touched every part of their home. On the first floor, the layout was opened up a bit by removing some walls. They replaced windows, doors and moldings, however the replacements closely matched the look and feel of the home’s original style. Additionally, those original wood floors were refinished and brought to life.
The rambler’s first floor footprint was replicated in a second story addition, doubling the home’s space. The second floor has a large walk-in laundry room, and a kids’ suite with two kids rooms, a bathroom and a loft playroom—perfect for their young son Caleb.
There is also a second floor master suite with large bathroom and walk-in closet.
“I really love our master suite,” Ngalamulume says. “The bedroom is spacious with a lot of outside light, and the master bath is not only exquisite but very well designed for our fast-paced lifestyle.”
On the exterior, the original stonework was enhanced by carrying it up the second story and they added to the chimney.
“The stonework was a big budget item, but it was so beautiful and we wanted to maintain the integrity of the home,” says Grose. All of the siding was replaced.
Among the many decisions made to make the home energy efficient and environmentally safe, making sure the home had plenty of daylight was essential.
A UV light was installed in the Hvac system to kill airborne mold or allergens, and only water-based finishes were used to avoid any strong smells. The family has plans to go solar.
A Designer’s Dream Kitchen
Grose’s favorite part of the home is her gourmet kitchen. “That’s a space where we went a little over the top,” she says. “The kitchen is a little masterpiece of mine. I love the look and feel of it. I’ve done pieces of this kitchen in other people’s homes, so I got to pull it all together with my own,” she says, adding many design elements were inspired by a trip to Paris.
The kitchen features a Parisian-inspired marble tile backsplash that goes to the ceiling and quartzite marble countertops.
The center of the kitchen is 8-foot furniture style island with four barstools. Wood details in the island and a custom oven hood offer warmth against the clean white cabinetry.
“I love to design stations,” Grose says. “For example, we have a clean-up station. We did all the dishes in a big drawer, so as you unload the dishwasher basically everything that’s high use can be stored within an arms reach of the dishwasher. It’s just practical family stuff.”
There are lots of highlights for the home chef: An appliance storage area hides the blender, coffee maker and mixer, commercial-grade double ovens are ready for lots of weekend cooking and a pot filler over the gas range is a fun addition.
Room for More
In addition to space for their growing family, the home’s original two bedrooms and main floor bath allow a perfect space for frequent out of town guests.
There are more plans for the basement and mudroom, but Grose says those can wait. “I really want creative spaces, but there were times I just had to take a deep breath and remind myself that it can be done later. We needed the space and the house so we have room for our whole family which was really the most important.”
She says, “I do this for clients all day long. We left some strategic things to do down the road.”
Grose is positioned to take over ownership of JP & Co in the future, and the family loves their new neighborhood in Edina, which is full of children for 23-month-old Caleb to play with and a park nearby.
"I love to design stations... It’s just practical family stuff." -Samantha Grose
Additional Features of the Gose Home
~Removal of outdated main floor carpeting revealed original hardwood floors that were refinished.
~An 8-foot furniture style island and quartzite marble countertops combine beauty and function.
~Windows, doors and moldings were replaced with selections to closely match the home’s orignal style.
~Original stonework was enhanced by carrying it up the second story. A feature that maintains the home’s integrity.
~The couple did some of their own demolition. Sweat equity can save money and provide a greater sense of ownership.