Luxury Sneak Peeks

Sustainable yet stunning: FSC-certified red birch flooring runs throughout much of this Minnesota GreenStar pilot project home, built by Keith Waters & Associates (#5 on the Twin Cities Luxury Home Tour).


I spent the last week getting sneak peeks at houses that will be on this year’s Twin Cities Luxury Home Tour. Though still in various stages of completion (this so-called spring, weather delays have taken a toll), these custom homes showcase new products and building trends. No surprise that green building—the hot building trend of the moment—is the attraction in several of them.

Builders Keith Waters and K.C. Chermak of Pillar Homes led me through their respective homes—two of three Minnesota GreenStar pilot projects on the tour—and pointed out a few of the highlights. They showed off green features I could see (sustainable flooring, countertops of recycled glass, Energy Star appliances, and rain gardens), as well as those I couldn’t (low or zero-VOC paint and melamine, closed cell insulation, and geo-thermal heating and cooling). A great demonstration in how far “green” techniques have come—and in how many products are now both sustainable and good looking.

All these previews have whetted my appetite for the upcoming tour, beginning Friday, June 6, and continuing through the following two weekends. I can’t wait to see all 17 homes, luxuriously furnished and decked out in the latest amenities.

Chris Lee, a longtime magazine writer and editor, has been a keen observer of the Twin Cities thriving design scene for more than a decade. As editor of Midwest Home, she combines her passion for all things home with her love of good story telling.