Artisan Home Tour

Exceptional Design, Masterfully Crafted

Four generations of homebuilding contribute to Accent Homes’ solid reputation for beautifully designed custom-built homes. This small, design-centric company has built homes across the metro since 1975. Bud Dropps, President, grew up in the business that his grandfather started, and his sons, Ed and Jim, head sales. With designer Jim Kuiken, Jim Kuiken Designs, the company has collected a number of prestigious BATC home design awards since 2006.

Both Kuiken and Bud Dropps describe Accents’ hallmarks as highly personalized design and truly custom building. “We give people exactly what they want,” said Dropps. “We want you to say, ‘This is everything I asked for’ – and more, with other great features we help clients realize, too. To achieve this makes us proud and happy. We work as a team.” “My background is carpentry, so I know the nuts-and-bolts job site. Jim Kuiken is a fabulous designer who is an integral part of our team. He visits the client’s current home and learns how they want to live in a house. He develops a design, and I’ll figure out the logistics and engineering process to build it. Part of the genius of Jim’s design is his space planning, which makes this a seamless process.”

Jim Kuiken has an uncanny ability to design a home that beautifully interprets the owners’ personalities and wants. His own signature style is showcased in Accent models, and is influenced by the clean lines of Prairie style, with warmth, natural light and flexible functionality. Homes are always designed for the landscape.

Accent is loyal to its select group of craftspeople. “We have developed a great group of people who work with us,” said Dropps. “We have high expectations, and we’re all comfortable with each other. We treat everyone with the same high level of respect; we pay promptly and demonstrate that we want them on a job.”

A testament to Accent’s reputation is repeat generational business. Recently a young woman choose Accent to build a home for her husband, two children and his father, because Accent had built her parent’s favorite house.

Homeowners know what the budget, finishes and timeframe are going to be before building. Pricing per square foot is completed based on a level of finishes that the client can explore before the building process begins.

Kuiken says he enjoys every aspect of the building process, especially putting it altogether in a cohesive plan that comes alive and expresses the clients’ vision. “Our building engineering process is multi-faceted and organized. We are in close communication with the client all the way through,” he said. “We want this experience to be a really good one for them.” That excellent experience and resulting home is what has built Accent’s strong referral business.
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Best of Houzz 2014 Award

JIM KUIKEN DESIGN of Minneapolis, MN Receives

Best of Houzz 2014 Award

Annual Survey and Analysis of 16 Million Monthly Users

Reveals Top-Rated Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals

jimkuikenphoto-2010 MINNEAPOLIS, MN, February 4, 2014 – Jim Kuiken Design of Minneapolis, MN has been awarded “Best of Houzz” by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The “Twin Cities award winning architectural planning and design group” was chosen by the more than 16 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community.

The Best of Houzz award is: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2013. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 16 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 230 million professional images of home interiors and exteriors to their personal ideabooks via the Houzz site, iPad/iPhoneapp and Androidapp.

‘We couldn’t be happier than to receive this recognition again, our third year in a row. Thank you Houzzers and to our exceptional group of clients. We’re absolutely delighted!’

“Houzz provides homeowners with the most comprehensive view of home building, remodeling and design professionals, empowering them to find and hire the right professional to execute their vision,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of community for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognize Jim Kuiken Design among our “Best Of” professionals for customer satisfaction as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

With Houzz, homeowners can identify not only the top-rated professionals like Jim Kuiken Design, but also those whose work matches their own aspirations for their home. Homeowners can also evaluate professionals by contacting them directly on the Houzz platform, asking questions about their work and reviewing their responses to questions from others in the Houzz community.

About Jim Kuiken Design

Taking a fresh approach to home design, Jim Kuiken has become a vital conduit between builder and clients in expressing just how they want to live in their homes. Hallmarks of a Kuiken design reflect a sophistication of line, material and functional space that radiates a new simplicity and warmth in a home that resonates within the landscape.

ArtAndes dazzles Accent Homes



Melanie Ebertz, Founder of ArtAndes Peruvian Textiles and Travel Company, has her unique rugs featured at Accent Homes for the Fall Parade of Homes. Melanie worked closely with Jim Kuiken of Jim Kuiken Design, to create a rug for every space. The fine architecture that is further enhanced with the depth of color & texture, is a stunning combination.

Melanie will be talking about her hand-made, heirloom rugs at Accent Homes, Inc. Parade of Homes #252, located at 4732 Cumberland Street in Shoreview, Mn. Sunday September 8th & 22nd, 2-4pm.  651.430.1848

Jim Kuiken Design & Houzz ‘Best of 2012’

houzz interior design ideas

Jim Kuiken Design of Minneapolis, MN Receives
Houzz’s 2012 ‘Best Of Design And Remodeling’ Award

1.2 Million Members Reveals Top-Rated Professionals and
Current Design Trends from Across the Country

Minneapolis, MN — May 01, 2012 – Jim Kuiken Design of Minneapolis, MN has been awarded “Best Of Design and Remodeling” 2012 by Houzz, the leading online platform for residential remodeling and design. The design firm of Jim Kuiken Design reflects a sophistication of line, material and functional space that radiates a new simplicity and warmth, was chosen by the more than 1.2 million registered members of the Houzz community.

The Houzz “Best Of Design and Remodeling” award for 2012 is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction award winners are based on homeowner members who rated their experience working with remodeling professionals in 12 categories ranging from architects, and interior designers to contractors and other residential remodeling professionals. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the 1.2 million members, also known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 16.5 million professional images to their personal ideabooks via the Houzz site and iPad/iPhone app.

‘We are thrilled to receive this recognition and thank Houzz for a tremendous opportunity to share our work with you’. Thank you!

“With 3.5 million monthly unique users and 80 million monthly page views, Houzz has rapidly become the largest community of active remodelers, providing homeowners and design enthusiasts with first-hand advice from Houzzers who have been through the renovating and decorating process,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of marketing for Houzz. “This is a real stamp of approval for Jim Kuiken Design from the Houzz community and we’re thrilled to welcome them to this elite group of ‘Best Of’ winners.”

About Jim Kuiken Design

Taking a fresh approach to home design, Jim Kuiken has become a vital conduit between builder and clients in expressing just how they want to live in their homes. Hallmarks of a Kuiken design reflect a sophistication of line, material and functional space that radiates a new simplicity and warmth and a home that resonates within the landscape.

Cliff May Architecture

Indoor-Outdoor Living
First and foremost, Cliff May homes are unique in their relationship to the outdoors. They are Californian, built for individuals who want to erase the lines between indoors and outdoors and embrace the spectacular Southern California climate. And in an environment where the sun shines 300 plus days a year and the average high temperature is 75 degrees, why would anyone want to live differently?

It is not uncommon in Cliff May homes to find that every room in the house has a connection to the outdoors. Floor-to-ceiling glass takes the place of walls to bring light and nature in, creating a relationship to the outdoors that is as much a part of the home as the decor. Perhaps the San Diego Union put it best when it featured an original Cliff May design under the heading: “Home with a Garden in Every Room.”

Builder and Pioneer
In the early 1930s Cliff May was designing homes in San Diego and Los Angeles. Then, and throughout his career, he was building homes for the Southern California climate and for people who wanted to enjoy it. He was a builder and a promoter and he pioneered a style—the California ranch house. In an interview in 1936, May explained: “ The early Californians had the right idea. They built for the seclusion and comfort of their families, for the enjoyment of relaxation in their homes. We want to perpetuate these ideas of home building.”

What made Cliff May exciting to anyone interested in home design was his drive to perpetuate ideas of livability rather than façade. His passion was designing homes that were in harmony with the way people wanted to live. He watched families use his houses—watched them give parties, prepare meals, use the patio for entertaining . Each idea that brought pleasure to home owners was worked over and improved in the next house he built. No new idea in planning, no new material, escaped May’s attention. Large expanses of glass and sliding glass doors, for example, came into his designs the month they were available.

The Father of the California Ranch Home
May loved wide open spaces. No wonder. A descendant of an early California Spanish family, he was raised on a San Diego ranch. Considered by many to be the father of the California ranch-style house, May is noted for combining the western ranch house and Hispanic hacienda styles with elements of modernism. His approach called for houses to be built out instead of up, with the continual goal of bringing the outdoors in.

May studied business and accounting at San Diego State for a couple of years but left school around the time the stock market crashed in 1929. While still a student he made furniture, which he sold in a model home. That led him to home building after leaving school, and he built and designed his first house in San Diego when he was just 23.

Still, May never became a member of the American Institute of Architects with the designation of AIA, but rather, spent most of his career as a licensed building designer. “I was proud that I got where I did and wasn’t an architect,” he said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times at the age of 79. Cliff May was ultimately given the designation of licensed architect when the State of California, under Governor George Deukmejian, did away with the agency overseeing building designers.

Not-So-Big Parade of Homes

Parade of Home #259

The Parade of Homes of the Twin Cities, a long tradition for home builders and home buyers, starts September 10th and runs through October 2nd. 278 new homes can be seen during this event.

Dwellings, by Accent Homes is showcasing a new trend of sensibly scaled homes with a focus on architectural and interior design detailing. While today’s homes are shrinking, the functionality of creative space planning and design elements are rapidly increasing and proving to be the utmost of importance for today’s buyers. Jim Kuiken of Jim Kuiken Design, creator of the Accent Homes ‘Dwellings’ home series proves that less is more in his new line of custom home designs. ‘Less square footage doesn’t mean you have to give up the functionality of space or the beauty of design, it means your space is designed smarter and more effectively while the architectural and interior design elements create a look and feel of exceptional substance’.

Join in the fun of the 2011 Fall Parade of Homes and visit a Dwellings design at Parade of Homes #259 in the ‘Lakes of Blaine’ and #9 in ‘Whispering Pines’ in Shoreview.

MN State Fair

Hi Everyone

I will be working the BATC’s Parade of Homes booth today, Friday-Septemebr 2nd from 1:00 to 5:00pm. Come on down and say hello and be the first to get your free 2011 Parade of Homes and Remodeler’s Showcase Guidebook with 278 new homes and 86 remodeled homes as well as 5 Dream Homes! You can also register at the booth to win a ‘Dream Home Limo Tour” for up to 8 people departing on October 2nd from 1-6pm!

Everything on a stick here I come 🙂 See you there!

Parade of Homes

Hello Everyone!

Get ready, the MN Parade of Homes is only a little over 2 weeks away. Doors will open to some of the most exciting homes in the Twin Citites on September 10th at 12:00.

Parade of Homes guidebooks can be picked up at the great Mn State Fair Grounds or any Holiday Gas Station. Get yours today to plan your route! And be sure to check out Accent Homes in 2 locations; The Lakes of Blaine and Whispering Pines in Shoreview. Two brand new designs are being introduced to you! See you soon!!

Simplicity Reigns

Trends Ideas, Volume 2703

For many people, a retreat is all about paring back the frills and complications of everyday life and taking time out to relax with family and friends. The carefree simplicity of such family vacations helped determine the design of this second home in the Michigan countryside.
Architects Dan Wheeler and Jeremy Olsen of Wheeler Kearns Architects say the owners wanted to be able to host friends as well as family, so the house not only needed to have a laid-back attitude, but also plenty of space.
“At the same time, however, the owners didn’t want the house to look overly large,” Wheeler says. “The lakeside neighbourhood reflects a medley of architectural styles, with a large number of cottage-style homes. But we wanted to create something a little more contemporary and agrarian – a design that would reference the local architectural vernacular of farm buildings that have evolved over time.”
Wheeler says the solution was to provide three simple gabled volumes – a stand-alone garage with a self-contained apartment above, and two linked volumes for the family and guest accommodation.
“The separate buildings help to break down the mass of the house. By orienting the volumes to sit squarely on the site, and providing a long ‘hotel’ wing for guests, we could also screen the outdoor living areas from the street.”
The architect says the farm building reference extends to the rhythmic placing of the windows, the barn-style garage doors and the 45° pitch of the roofs. Because the gabled roofs have such a prominent form, Galvalume standing seam metal roofing was specified. This accentuates the surface and adds visual interest. The same metal clads a firebox on the outside of the main living pavilion.
“We wanted to limit the number of building materials, so the house could be presented as a series of pure, simple forms,” says Wheeler.
For this reason also, the whitewashed cedar siding has a very architectural look, with flat, rather than bevelled edges. And the corners are mitred – unlike typical buildings, there are no end boards over the edge of the siding. This emphasizes the idea of a house in its simplest form, much like a child’s drawing, or a simple model carved from wood.
“Essentially, in taking a vernacular approach we have reinterpreted past practices,” says the architect. “The design is all about proportion and the need to provide a comfortable living environment with a sense of airiness.”
High ceilings with whitewashed wood boards contribute to the light, airy look of the interior. On the upper levels, the ceilings follow the slope of the roof.
“Visually, the wood helps to break down the scale of the roofs, both sloping and flat,” says Wheeler.
Wood also features in the glazed dining room, which has whitewashed cedar siding on one wall, so it appears as a closed-in porch or addition.
“Again, this room makes it seem as though the house could have been added onto over time, just as traditional farm buildings grow,” says the architect.
The family living room incorporates a modern Poliform kitchen with an extra-long island that can be used for food preparation, serving and casual dining. Bright terracotta-coloured glass overhead cabinets are teamed with gray cabinetry and a maple butcher’s block.
On the upper level, the master suite provides another escape for the owners. A freestanding wall behind the bed separates a dressing room, with the bathroom beyond. The bathroom has a central shower unit, with glass walls protecting his-and-hers vanities from water spray.
The guest accommodation wing, or hotel, as the family calls it, provides three bedrooms, a bathroom and guest living room, all accessed by a circulation axis that runs the length of the building.
Away from the street, the house opens up to a series of outdoor rooms and a pool. Wheeler says the owners were able to buy a neighbouring site, which they have landscaped with long stone walls like fingers, interspersed with broad expanses of lawn.

11 Kitchen and Bath design trends for 2011

Dark natural finishes, induction cook-tops, satin nickel faucets, and LED lighting are among the top design trends for kitchens and bathrooms for 2011.
By NKBA Staff

More than 100 designers who are members of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), and have designed kitchens or bathrooms during the last three months of 2010, participated in an NKBA survey to reveal design trends in the marketplace for 2011. The results of this survey suggest there will be some changes in the direction that kitchen and bath styles will take this year. Below are 7 kitchen trends and 4 bathroom trends that are poised to take hold in 2011. These are overall trends across the United States and Canada; they won’t necessarily appear in all geographic areas.

1) Shake It Up
The Shaker style began a rise in popularity in 2009 and gained momentum in 2010. By the end of the year, Shaker has supplanted Contemporary as the second most popular style used by NKBA member designers. While Traditional remains the most popular style, having been used by 76% of designers surveyed over that last three months of 2010, that’s a slight drop from the previous year. Meanwhile, the percent of respondents who designed contemporary kitchens fell to 48%, while Shaker rose to 55%. Cottage was the only other style to garner at least 20% of the market, as it registered at 21%.

2) Dark Finishes
Dark natural finishes overtook medium natural, glazed, and white painted finishes to become the most specified type of finish toward the end of 2010. While medium natural fell from being used by 53% to 48% of designers, glazed from 53% to 42%, and white painted from 49% to 47%, dark natural finishes rose from 42 to 51%. Light natural and colored painted finishes remained fairly common, as each rose slightly from the previous year: 24% to 25% for light natural and 24% to 29% for colored paints. Distressed finishes dropped significantly from a year ago, when they were used by 16% of designers, to just 5%.

3) A Place for Wine
While the incorporation of wine refrigerators seems to be on the decline (see Bonjour Réfrigérateur below), unchilled wine storage is growing in popularity. While only 39% of surveyed designers incorporated wine storage areas into their kitchens at the end of 2009, just over half—51%—did so as 2010 came to a close. While other types of cabinetry options remain more common, most are on the decline, including tall pantries (89% to 84%), lazy Susans (90% to 78%), and pull-out racks (81% to 71%). Appliance garages also seem to be falling out of favor, as their use declined from 36% at the end of 2009 to 29% a year later.

4) Bonjour Réfrigérateur
The French door refrigerator has strengthened its position as the type specified most often by NKBA member designers. While freezer-top refrigerators were only specified by 8% of designers as 2010 drew to a close—down from 10% a year earlier, freezer-bottom models fell very slightly from 60% to 59% and side-by-side units actually rose slightly from 46% to 49%. Meanwhile, French door refrigerators jumped from 67% to 78%. Among smaller units, refrigerator or freezer drawers remained flat at 31%, while undercounter wine refrigerators fell sharply from 50% to 36%, an interesting change given the increasing use of unchilled wine storage.

5) Inducting a New Cooktop
Induction cooktops haven’t overtaken gas and electric models, but they’re closing the gap. As we entered 2010, gas cooktops had been recently specified by 76% of NKBA designers, compared to 38% for electric and 26% for induction. However, while the incorporation of gas cooktops has fallen to 70%, electric cooktops has risen slightly to 41%, while induction cooktops are up to 34%. Meanwhile, single wall ovens are down from 46% to 42%, although double wall ovens are up from 68% to 74%. In addition, warming drawers are down from 49% to 42%, and ranges are down sharply from 81% to 68%.

6) LED Lighting
Incandescent lighting continues its journey to obsolescence. While 50% of NKBA member designers incorporated incandescent bulbs into their designs at the end of 2009, only 35% have done so a year later. Instead, designers are clearly opting for more energy-efficient lighting options. While the use of halogen lighting is down from 46% to 40% over the past year, LED (light-emitting diode) lighting has increased from 47% to 54%. Designers aren’t turning to CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) as a solution, though, most likely due to the poor quality of light they produce; their use by designers remained flat at 35%.

7) Trashy Designs
A greater emphasis is being made to address trash considerations in the kitchen. Some 89% of kitchens designed by NKBA members in the final quarter of 2010 include a trash or recycling pull-outs. In addition, garbage disposals were incorporated by 86% of designers, up from 75% the previous year. Trash compactors have also become more common. Entering 2010, they were recently used in designs by 11% of designers, but a year later, that figure had climbed to 18%. These changes may be due to an increase in sustainability awareness, but they certainly indicate an increase in concern toward trash generated in the kitchen.


1) Quartz Countertops
Quartz continues to take away market share from granite in the market for bathroom vanity tops. A year ago, 85% of NKBA bathroom designers incorporated granite into a recent design, compared to just 48% for quartz, but now, that gap has narrowed to 83% for granite and 54% for quartz. Unlike in the kitchen, solid surfaces haven’t gained much popularity in the bathroom, increasing only from 23% to 25% over the past year. Meanwhile, solid marble has declined from 46% to 37%, while cultured marble and onyx have increased from 12% to 19%. No other material has even 10% of the market.

2) Green Bathrooms
No, we’re not referring to eco-friendly spaces—we literally mean green bathrooms. A year ago, green color palettes were used by only 14% of NKBA designers, but at the end of 2010, that figure had risen to 24%. Still, whites and off-whites, beiges, and browns are the three most commonly used color tones in bathrooms. However, while white and off-white palettes are up slightly from 57% to 60%, beiges are down sharply from 66% to 57%, while browns have dropped from 48% to 38%. Other common color tones include blues at 22%, grays at 21%, and bronzes and terracottas at 17%.

3) A Worthy Vessel
Under-mount sinks continue to dominate newly remodeled bathrooms, with 97% of NKBA bathroom designers having specified them over the last three months of 2010, up from 95% a year earlier. However, vessel sinks have become the clear second choice among designers, as 51% of NKBA member designers have specified them in the final quarter of 2010, up from 39% a year ago. Integrated sink tops were also up from 34% to 38%, pedestal sinks were up from 21% to 29%, and drop-in sinks were up from 23% to 27%. This shows that bathroom designers have been specifying more lavoratory sinks across the board.

4) Satin Nickel Faucets
This trend relates to both bathrooms and kitchens. From the end of 2009 to the end of 2010, the percent of NKBA designers who specified a satin nickel faucet rose from 41% to 63% in the kitchen and from 45% to 57% in the bathroom, while the percent who specified a brushed nickel faucet fell from 61% to 48% in the kitchen and from 66% to 38% in the bathroom. Other popular faucet finishes in both the kitchen and bathroom are bronze and oil-rubbed bronze, polished chrome, and polished nickel. However, while stainless steel is popular in the kitchen, specified recently by 44% of designers, that figure drops to just 16% in the bathroom.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is a non-profit trade association that has educated and led the kitchen and bath industry for more than 45 years. provides consumers with an inspiration gallery of award-winning kitchen and bath designs, as well as articles, tips, and an extensive glossary of remodeling terms. At, consumers can also find certified kitchen and bath professionals in their areas, submit questions to NKBA experts, and order the free NKBA Kitchen Planner and NKBA Bath Planner.