Client Design Trends: Modern Farmhouse Style

Design trends come and go. Each era has its signature style and a few fads that fall by the wayside (we’re looking at you shag carpet and sponge-painted walls). So, what trend is on the rise currently?

You may have guessed it from the title, but farmhouse style has been a design force to be reckoned with for a while now. Equal parts timeless and trendy, modern farmhouse style is so attractive to people because it feels fresh but familiar.

Some of the hallmarks of this trend are bright white paint, subway tile, large farmhouse sinks, vintage or vintage-inspired light fixtures, open spaces, exposed shelving, and classic metallic hardware.

While the elements of farmhouse style are typically simple and relaxed, they lend themselves easily to mixing and matching with other trends. Whether it’s industrial, traditional, minimal, or transitional, farmhouse style plays well with others.

Want to see some of our client’s stunning farmhouse style inspired remodels? Scroll below to take a look or explore our kitchen gallery to browse even more of our past projects!


Meaningful Client Reviews from Houzz

Did you know that J. Carsten Remodeling is celebrating 15 years of business this summer? We are so grateful to pass such a significant milestone. Our team put in a lot of hard work to get this far, but there’s another group of people we absolutely couldn’t do this without – our outstanding clients.

There would be no J. Carsten Remodeling without the loyalty and support of our dear clients. Simple as that. All of you hold us up, keep us busy, and graciously welcome us into your homes each year. Thank you for trusting us with your greatest asset, your homes.

In an effort to trace back our project history, we thought it would be fun to share some of our most meaningful client reviews on Houzz. Thanks again to anyone who left a review, hired us, referred us to a friend, visited during a home tour, or supported us over the past 15 years. It means the world to us!

We were very happy with the work Jason did on our kitchen and bath remodels — so much so that we hired him for another project a few months later. After hearing so many awful contractor stories from friends, my main goal was to find someone who would always be responsive to questions and concerns, and Jason delivered. He kept us informed, cleaned up every day, kept the project on schedule, and was great to work with. I trusted that if anything went wrong, he would fix it. I felt like the subs he worked with were people with whom he had long relationships, so I trusted them as well. He made the process easy for us. I would definitely hire him again.

We had our kitchen remodel done in the middle of winter. This in itself created some unique issues, but the one thing that never wavered was Jason’s firm commitment to keep us more than satisfied. That he did! We are very pleased with the results which are a combination of his overall designs and our own personal tastes. The project was on time (for the Remodelers Showcase this year) and within budget. We would highly recommend Jason and his whole crew!

Kim and Brian:
Jason and his team made an intimidating process fun from start to finish! Jason offered innovative and practical solutions, he demonstrated excellent workmanship, stayed on schedule and budget, and was great at the details. We love our new bathroom! We have recommended him to our friends and definitely plan to use him on our next remodeling project.

Listen to all the horror stories from your friends about home remodeling …then call Jason. We put off a kitchen reno for years. Had some different companies out but never went forward. We got Jason’s company as a recommendation and went with him. He was always on time always available totally approachable with even the dumb questions I had or if I was in panic mode about something. He sticks to the timeline which I hear is not always the case. I’m glad we did it I’m glad it’s done. He wants 100pc satisfaction and that is what you will get. Would highly advise contacting him… (our dog still misses him)

Jason at J. Carsten Remodeling recently finished our kitchen remodel, and we couldn’t be more satisfied with his services. I’ve heard of many horror stories from friends and family who have worked with contractors, but we had a stellar experience and our kitchen is beautiful! We would work with him again in a heartbeat and would recommend him to friends and family. Why? Because Jason got the job done in a timely manner, he is the ULTIMATE perfectionist (this coming from someone with very high expectations), he and his crew respected our home, and communication was never an issue.

I can give a very concrete example of an instance where Jason exceeded our expectations. We have an older home and had several people look at a wall that we wanted to take out. We were told it was probably load-bearing. The house had been remodeled before so it was hard to say definitively. We planned to take only a portion out which was not our preference. When we hired Jason, he consulted with several experts and reassured us that it was not. This allowed us to completely open up our kitchen, which is what we wanted to do. We are so happy we did! We have a breakfast bar that can fit six stools and there is no longer a wall between the kitchen and family room. Our children can now do their homework while we cook – so much fun to talk to them about their day. We also love to entertain, and we now have the space to do that!

There are many contractors out there and some are very good. We’ve found a “sure thing” and there is no need to search in the future. Thank you J. Carsten Remodeling!


Remodeling Trends: Our Favorite Client Selections

Remodeling trends are always changing, what our clients liked five years ago is different than preferences today. While some may find that frustrating, we think it’s a fascinating aspect of what we do. It’s endlessly fun to see what styles, trends, and features our clients pick for their homes!

For our fellow building and design nerds, we thought it would be worthwhile to share some of our favorite client remodeling selections. Scroll below to explore the recent design features and trends that we love!

Built-in Storage Displays
Open storage is a massive trend on the rise! It’s appealing because not only do you keep things organized and accessible, but it also provides a display for showpieces and family heirlooms.

Centerpiece Kitchen Islands
Beautiful islands have been popular for decades, however lately, they’ve become the real heart of the kitchen. We love a sprawling, customized island for day-to-day family life and hosting occasions of all sorts!

Luxurious Bathroom Features
Modern bathroom design is all about practical sophistication. From soaking tubs to oversized showers to his and hers vanities, our clients are increasingly choosing elegant everyday bathroom upgrades.

Eat-in Kitchens
Everything old becomes new again, right? This evergreen trend is ideal because it adds functional seating for families in the busiest part of their home. Kids can do homework while parents prep dinner in the same space.

Organized Laundry/Mudrooms
Laundry and mudrooms receive a lot more design love these days! Instead of being an afterthought, many homeowners want a laundry and mudrooms that are structured and integrated into their regular layouts.

Ready to embark on your next remodeling project? Big or small, we’re here to help you create a plan and transform your home for the better. Just give us a call to get started!


Top 5 Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

Planning for a remodel is all about doing your research, finding reliable help, and setting realistic expectations. Embarking on a home improvement project can be daunting, especially if building and construction are foreign to you.

Yes, a remodel is a major investment. However, we don’t want you to get too worried or stressed! Armed with an awareness of these common remodeling mistakes, you’ll be ready to tackle your project successfully! Read on below for our top 5 remodeling pitfalls to avoid.

1. Your Budget is too Constrictive.
We get it; you’re a practical person who isn’t looking to break the bank. Our team works with a lot of budget-conscious clients, but there’s a difference between being responsible and realistic. Unexpected things come up when you start tearing down walls and gutting kitchens; it’s just the nature of the game. We recommend setting a budget that takes surprises or a few changes into account.

2. Settling for the Wrong (Cheapest) Contractor.
When it comes to finding the right contractor, you’re going to want to do some thorough research and vetting. This is one area where it pays to be picky! Your contractor is the point person on your project; you should feel comfortable and confident in their skills and judgment. While it may be tempting to go with the person who offers the cheapest price tag, we advise focusing more on hiring a professional you trust.

3. Embracing too Many Trends.
Refreshing a dated home is a common remodeling motivation. It’s normal to get sick of the same old style or to want your space looking modern and new again. One word of warning about trends, though: approach with care. A few smartly-chosen trends feel tasteful, an entire room decked out in every last fad becomes overwhelming. Hone in on the trends that compliment your style and will stand the test of time.

4. Skipping Over the Details.
In the thick of renovation decision fatigue, making even one more design choice can be exhausting. Remember though; this is your chance to get the home you’ve always wanted! Storage details, add-ons, and small modifications may seem insignificant now, but you might regret skipping them later. Our solution? Research as much as you can upfront and make lists of what you want. That way, you’ll be prepared if decision fatigue sets in!

5. Not Addressing Problem Areas.
Above making your home look amazing, remodeling should improve the way it functions. Addressing problem areas, bad layouts, and building quirks is our job, after all. A contractor should leave your home better than they found it, not merely cover up your issues with a band-aid of beautiful finishes. Please, never settle for a remodeler who promises you bells and whistles, but doesn’t actually fix your home!

Are you ready to take the next steps on your remodel? Get in touch with Jason, today. He’d love to help make your plans a reality!


Q&A: Preparing for Your Summer Remodel

Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s almost time for backyard barbeques, weekends at the cabin, and bonfires under the stars. However, if you’re planning a major remodel soon, then your vision for the summer may be much less relaxing.

While a renovation requires a little strategy, it certainly doesn’t have to disrupt the summer fun! It’s all about creating a plan, adjusting expectations, and getting prepared. Want a game-plan to build off of? Read our answers to common questions below.

How Do We Kid-Proof our Project?
Our crew does everything in our power to keep your family safe – it’s part of our job. But, anything you can do to support our efforts is always appreciated. We’ll get things cleaned up, put away, and kid-friendly (as much as possible) at the end of each day.

Your part comes in once we’re gone. Talk to little ones about how to stay safe, set-up barriers, and let them know what spaces and object are off-limits.

Should We Plan for Furry Friends?
We love people’s pets and do our best to accommodate them. However, your dogs and cats probably shouldn’t be wandering through an active construction site.

We recommend crating or sequestering animals while we’re at work – that way they’re accounted for and out of harm’s way.

What Should We Store Temporarily?
Storage needs depend on what area you’re remodeling and the extensiveness of your project. If you’re gutting the entire kitchen, then your fancy dishware is going to need a new home.

Across the board, we’d also say to store anything delicate, like family heirlooms, you wouldn’t want around the chaos of construction.

How Do We Live in a Building Zone?
Not surprisingly, we get this question a lot! The first step is acceptance (haha), your house isn’t going to be normal for a little while. But, remember, the light at the end of this tunnel is your newly improved home!

We think the secrets to staying sane are lots of open communication with our team and taking breaks from the construction zone as needed.

What are Tips for Eating During a Kitchen Remodel?
Kitchen remodels might be the most disruptive of any project – we all need to eat, right? Our advice is to go in with a plan.

Set-up a temporary kitchen; meal prep a stash of crock pot dinners; stockpile paper products; grill outside as much as possible; and embrace the break from cooking and go out to eat a bit more than usual.

Learn More
Still have lingering construction questions or want to know more about building process? Get in touch with Jason today – he’d love to chat about your project!


3 Reasons You Really Want that Kitchen Island

If you’re in the beginning stages of a kitchen remodel, we’re guessing one of your biggest desires is a beautiful center island. A perfect blend of form and function, a kitchen island is ideally suited for everything from food prep to entertaining.

However, if planned poorly, an island can also become a catch-all for junk or a kitchen flow roadblock. We recommend hiring an experienced contractor (ahem, like Jason) to strategize your island’s design from the start – leave no space wasted!

So, why should you really consider adding that new kitchen island? Read our top 3 reasons below.

1. Host with the Most
If you love being game day central or hosting big holiday get-togethers, then an oversized center island is your friend. Whether you need a place to gather over drinks and appetizers; a sprawling countertop for decorating Christmas cookies; or an open buffet area for serving Thanksgiving dinner – a kitchen island is up to the task!

2. Customized Prep Space
Another reason why we’re big fans of the center island? Serious prep space. It doesn’t matter if you prefer a clean, simple spot for slicing and dicing each evening or a customized cooktop with all the bells and whistles, your island can be tailored for whatever your heart desires. Extra appliances, special storage, sinks, or minibars; the sky is the limit!

3. Future Resale Value
Finally, we think kitchen islands are a worthwhile investment if you want to improve the resale value of your home. There’s no denying that most homeowners are looking for a showstopping kitchen these days, and islands are a lasting, appealing trend. Adding an organized, centerpiece kitchen island is a smart way to make your home stand out from the competition.

Ready to make plans for your own stunning kitchen remodel? Get in touch with Jason today – he’d be glad to answer your questions and help get the ball rolling!


10 Fun Facts About Jason – Your Average Guy

We’ve featured a lot of Q&A sessions with our owner Jason this year, covering everything from his NARI Presidency to showcase events to pets! Today, we thought it would be fun to keep things simple and share a few fun facts about the man behind J. Carsten Remodeling.

So, let’s get started! Here are 10 tidbits about Jason Myrlie, business owner, and your average guy.

1. Family Man
Jason is married to his wife, Gina, and has two daughters, Lauren and Hanna.

2. Brew-Master
Jason has been brewing his own beer for over 17 years – his favorite beer is a hoppy IPA.

3. Gopher Fan
A true Minnesotan, Jason is hard-core Gopher Hockey fan; go Gophers!

4. Animal-Lover
Whether it’s your pet or his chocolate lab, Stella, Jason likes hanging out with people’s furry friends.

5. Naming Rights
Our company gets its moniker from Jason’s middle name, Carsten. He thought it flowed better than J. Myrlie Remodeling.

6. Oak Expert
Jason is no stranger to builder-grade Oak kitchen cabinets. In fact, he works with them on almost every job he tackles!

7. Thoughtful
From being on-site every day during remodels to keep your home as spotless as can be – Jason is a thoughtful and conscientious project manager.

8. Woodworker
In his free time, Jason enjoys woodworking – a pretty appropriate hobby for a builder, huh?

9. Sense of Humor
If you follow our Facebook page, then you’re already familiar with Jason’s goofy sense of humor. He’s always sharing funny photos and project stories.

10. Foodie
On the weekends, Jason and his wife Gina can often be found trying out new restaurants with friends. They love scoping out the best food in town!


Q&A: Spring Remodelers Showcase Recap

The Spring Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase is over, and our owner Jason had a fantastic weekend! His highlights of these open house weekends are connecting with new and old friends, and getting lots of informative feedback. It’s always fun to hear people’s questions and discover their observations about the industry and weekend as a whole. Read on below for our Q&A with Jason!

What are your favorite visitor comments?

  • The J. Carsten team was inviting and personable
  • Everyone thought the kitchen looked fantastic – our clients’ have great taste!
  • People liked having a chair available for taking off their shoes – it’s the simple things, right?
  • Vistors enjoyed seeing a home at a more approachable price point (not a million dollars or more)

What’s the most common question you received? 

  • A lot of people inquired about how to upgrade their Oak kitchen cabinets. Oak cabinets were a pretty standard builder grade construction material in the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s. However, the style has fallen out of fashion lately. Plus, the cabinets are often not the best quality.
  • On nearly every job, we deal with oak. It is not feasible to remove all oak from a home – even in my own house! We pick and choose which areas to replace and then choose complimentary items for the floor, cabinets, and wall colors to work with the Oak. For a window in the kitchen, for example, we will typically replace the casing around the window. But for the rest of the house, the Oak stays, and the new trim for the kitchen butts up to the oak. (See an example space below.)

Thanks to everyone who took the time to visit, tour, and hang out during The Spring Remodelers Showcase. It was a pleasure meeting all of you!e