Michael Anschel talks about going on tour! The Artisan Home Tour!

Tucked away in the secluded forests of Buffalo Minnesota, just 30 minutes outside of the twin cities, sits a timber frame masterpiece primed and ready to be admired thanks to Michael Anschel, who has recently completed the remodel of this exquisite 1980s rural home.

Front of house beforeaddition 2-2

The home when it was first built in 1992. The home took over 7 years to build!

Michael: “I met the homeowners at a lecture I was giving on Green Building at St Johns University last year.  They asked if we would consider working on a home outside of the city and they  specified that they wanted “an award winning home”.  After meeting with them at their property in Buffalo I was intrigued that several other companies had shied away from the project due to it’s timber frame.  Never one to pass up an opportunity to create something amazing and unprecedented, we agreed to work together to build something beautiful!”


The crew working on the original Timber Framed house in the late 80s.

The home, which is featured in the upcoming Artisan Home Tour, is one of four remodeled homes that are joining the historically new build only home tour this summer.  The Artisan tour is put on by the Builder’s Association of the Twin Cities and features 22 of the regions most exquisite homes.


And the home in it’s up to date state!

What is the selection process like? What are some of key features of this home that make it worthy of the artisan tour?

Michael: “The requirements are that the home is exceptional .  We were approached by the builders association for possible projects to enter into their new remodelers category. We then had to submit a written narrative and a list of features, floor plans, and conceptual sketches.  The requirements are that the project has both unique features and uses high-end materials.


The home’s great room

“The wood in this house is amazing- This house is actually made from timbers that were reclaimed from Bandana Square.  During the remodel we re-reclaimed the timbers to use as interior and exterior finishes on the walls and the new addition. Also the kitchen has a hand cut, intricate, puzzle piece backsplash made entirely out of remnant stone.  In addition there is an artisan crafted range hood made by local artist Lee McNamara.


Custom range hood by artist Lee McNamara


Kitchen Window view showcasing the backsplash and custom cabinetry.

“And the Zuri decking, which is cutting edge technology, that takes composite material to the next level.  Most importantly because it looks like real tropical hardwood, thus eliminating the need for harvesting Iron wood and other tropical rainforest timbers.


Gorgeous Zuri composite cutting edge decking.

“This is the first project we’ve used this material, and one of the first few projects in the state that has used it. We actually made a multitiered curve which Royal Building products sent out two technicians to assist us with the heating and bending the product. It is a beautiful composite deck!”


process shot of the curved portions of the deck

That sounds awesome!  What was the scope of this project?

Michael: “We remodled a great deal of the house; We did an addition which holds a kitchen expansion and remodel, an amazing new deck which is significantly larger, landscaping, living room with bar addition, home office, and four bathrooms including the master bath …It will make for a great home tour house.”


Bar and entertainment area

What sort of feedback do you get from having potential clients come through the spaces you’ve designed and built?

Michael: “The internet and magazines are great at getting a sense of our design aesthetic, but nothing can compare to being in the space. Clients appreciate seeing examples in person.  They like seeing how things come together; the quality of the finishes.  Often clients will say that projects look great in photographs but that they don’t capture the true beauty of the home and what it feels like to move through the space. Our projects are so detailed and intricate that it’s hard to get a sense of how all these pieces come together until you’re standing in the middle of it.”


Bar detail

What sort of feedback to do you get from the homeowner?

Michael: “It’s an opportunity for our clients to support the work we are doing.  Many of our clients found us through the home tour and they recognize the value for other people to see what can be done with some of these houses.  There is also a great deal of pride involved in having your home be an award winning house, or on a  luxury tour along with a select group of established builders homes.  As mentioned earlier, when the Buffalo homeowners approached us, they wanted an award winning home.  So in our approach to the design process, everything we did with each space was focussed on coming up with unique solutions we hadn’t tried before.  Taking a house that is already a great story with it’s reclaimed materials… and bringing it to the next level- it’s highly invigorating for all of us and  I think the homeowners are excited to share that with the world.”


This amazing house!

The Artisan Home Tour runs three weekends in June (June 5-7, 12-14, 19-21) 1-7 pm.  The Buffalo house will be open June 19-21 only.  It is located at 2520- 40th Street SE, Buffalo, MN 55313.  We hope to see you there!