When Mike Hillesheim first got into the home building business back in the late 1980s, golden oak was king, every room was wallpapered, and mauve and seafoam green were the colors du jour.
A carpenter who hails from a long line of general contractors, Hillesheim started a framing business and moved on to building starter homes and townhomes.
“It’s something I always wanted to do,” says the president of Creek Hill Custom Homes, as we sit in a palace representative of his new niche. Starting at around $500,000 on up to about $2 million, Hillesheim builds about 10 to 15 homes per year, mainly in the Maple Grove area.
“About 75 percent of the homes I build are in Maple Grove,” says Hillesheim, who has garnered one Reggie and several Trillium Awards, and was 2010 Builder of the Year runner-up. “I live in Maple Grove, I work well with the city, and feel Maple Grove has a strong sense of community.”
So, with that in mind, it made perfect sense to us to have Hillesheim (and Kelle Lang Staats, director of marketing and design) give us a tour of one of his beautiful homes so we could see all of the unique features it has to offer.
Are you ready? Well, slip on a pair of those blue paper booties and let’s get touring a luxury home.
The 6,400-square-foot home is located in the Whistling Pines neighborhood—a pocket of 24 homes that is tucked in among wetlands, meadows and trees, and offers a community pool, numerous trails, sports court, and extra-large lots.
The exterior boasts a two-story stone and shake façade with double doors, as well as Hillesheim’s signature architectural details: matching cedar columns and a cedar peak pediment. “I’ve been adding cedar posts outside and cedar-beamed ceilings for about three years now,” Hillesheim says. “It gives a bit of that ‘up-north’ look.”
The Heart of the Home
The kitchen has long been deemed the official heart of the home, and Hillesheim makes sure this one lives up to that sentiment. This large gourmet kitchen is complete with enameled cabinetry, crown molding, glass front cupboards, pot-filler, oversized refrigerator, an appliance station, walk-in pantry, and a stunning black-stained island that features a natural soapstone counter.
“We’re seeing a lot of mixing of the finishes,” says Kelle. “And everyone who comes in here has to touch the countertop because it is just so appealing.”
Adjacent to the kitchen is a large family room with a beamed ceiling, stone fireplace, and a mantle that is crafted from a piece of a log cabin that was built in the early 1800s.
A Porch for Most Every Season
It’s no surprise that we love the summers here in Minnesota. It’s also no surprise that we don’t like the bugs that come along with it. This three-season porch has windows that can convert to full-screen for those warmer nights—sans bugs—and it also offers a gas fireplace for those cooler evenings.
“There is a lot of emphasis on the porches now,” says Hillesheim. “Almost every home I build has one.”
Remember when laundry rooms used to be down in dark, dingy basements? Well, no more. Nowadays, laundry rooms are extensions of the rest of the home. And Mike has taken that one step further with the laundry/craft center, an area that consists not only of the washing appliances, but cupboards, drawers, shelves, and loads of workspace that is perfect for activities such as sewing, scrapbooking, what-have-you.
The Drop Zone
As the most used entry into the home, the back hallway needs to be organized and well planned out. In this home there are lockers, cubbies, boot bench, and an official “message center/drop zone,” where you can drop your mail, keys, and all those incidentals you have with you when you enter.
“Dining rooms are still common in homes of this price range,” Hillesheim says. And this one offers a coffered ceiling, crown molding, and a butler’s buffet complete with a granite countertop and pocket fridge. Wine with dinner, anyone?
The Upper Level
Besides a master suite with magnificent views, a master bath with a walk-in shower, his-and-her vanities (the “hers” includes a pull-out salon station complete with stainless steel holders for all those hair appliances), heated floors, and expansive walk-in closet that boasts enough drawers and shelves to make any fashionista shudder, the upper level also includes three additional bedrooms, a Jack-and-Jill bathroom and a three-quarter bath.
And, just in case you want another place to get away from it all, there is an additional bonus room that could be used as an office, teen zone, or a quiet place to kick up your feet and relax.
The Lower Level
The lower level features an additional bedroom and bathroom, an exercise room (which could become a theater/media room), a natural stone wet bar, an Alder entertainment center, and an indoor sports court. Yep, a sports court. Inside.
“We have probably done at least six or seven of these,” says Hillesheim, as we stand in the 23-by-28-foot space. “We’ve had people customize them with their favorite college or professional sports team colors. We leave the concrete walls exposed so the kids can get out there and smack stuff around.”
Details, Details, Details
Not to be forgotten, throughout the home Hillesheim uses Knotty Alder millwork (“It adds character and texture,” he says.), heated floors, extra tall Andersen windows, 8-foot doors, 10-foot ceilings, granite counters in all bathrooms, a dual staircase to the second floor, central vacuum system, heated and insulated three-car garage, and, for all you techies, a state-of-the-art AV system that utilizes Sonos technology so you can adjust the heat, sounds, lights, etc., from your iPad or iPhone.
Rose and Chad Kinkead built with Creek Hill Custom Homes in 2010 and love the home that Hillesheim built for them.
“We enjoyed the entire process from initial consultation, design, planning to watching the construction bring our dream home to reality,” says Rose. “We love the open floor plan and that it brings everything together. We can cook dinner while helping our children with homework and makes for easy entertaining.”
Creek Hill Custom Homes will feature a home in the 2012 Midwest Homes Luxury Home Tour: June 8-10, 15-17, 22-24.
For more information, go to Creekhillcustomhomes.com