Kitchen innovation for more than the chef

A kitchen suitable for cooking and entertaining

Photos courtesy of Erotas Custom Building

The first meeting to discuss an Edina couple’s mid-century hiker renovation started with hot, fresh cookies and personalized coffee. Chuck is an epicurean chef and Vicki an amateur bartender – together they are the ultimate hosts. Their plan was to update two bathrooms and build an addition for a kitchen and bar where they could entertain side by side.

When prices returned to an unsustainable level, they changed direction, taking scissors and glue. They took the drawing plan for the addition and pasted it in the middle of their existing footprint, keeping the structure intact.

The interior of the house was dark and closed, with inadequate lighting and overgrown landscaping that blocked sightlines from windows. Removing virtually all of the downstairs walls was exactly what the space needed to bring the house to life.

Accordion kitchen window |  Erotas Custom Building
Accordion window overlooking the aft deck

Their architect delivered an improved design with structural beams, redesigned windows, and reconfigured spaces, and Erotas Custom Building did it all within budget.

kitchen sink with pedal tap |  Erotas Custom Building
Sink with flat faucet operated by pedals

“The most innovative details of the kitchen remodel came from the customers,” says Tom Hendrickson, president and owner of Erotas Custom Building. “Their island sink was a huge challenge as the client wanted a completely flush surface. They found a flat faucet for which we asked the stone top manufacturer to make a flush pocket. Our plumber called the inspector for a brainstorming session that resulted in a faucet that works from foot pedals. Our team worked hard to make their idea a reality. No one else has a faucet like this!

Chuck’s hot zone was set up so he could cook and serve food alongside Vicki’s drinks at the bar. “They never have a reason to cross paths or get in each other’s way,” adds Tom. The bar features open floating glass shelves for barware and bottles with easy access from the kitchen island or dining room table.

An accordion window brings in fresh air, with a wall-to-wall opening that overlooks the outdoor dining area and terrace. Plus, a hidden wheeled cabinet can be pulled out to access serving utensils and cutlery from anywhere in the kitchen.

The real focal point of the kitchen is the wood-burning oven with an acid-washed steel surround that has been meticulously weathered. “It’s a unique kitchen. There is no other kitchen like this in our community,” boasts Chuck.

Chuck and Vicki were very pleased with the level of craftsmanship and experience with Erotas. Vicki said: “Since that first meeting, we have never met another builder. Their integrity is beyond reproach and it just showed during our first conversation over coffee.

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