The demands of this year’s Luxury Home Tour hit our team like a freight train. With our company’s other events like Minnesota Monthly’s GrillFest and Fine Spirits Classic taking place just weeks prior, it feels like we haven’t taken a full breath in months. Much like other small yet mighty teams, the consequences of the ongoing pandemic have required us to churn out content at a frenetic pace, respond to emails far after office hours have ended, and plan (not to mention cancel) calls and meetings on a whim. But come July 30—the first day Luxury Home Tour attendees relished the opportunity to see, feel, and experience our 20th annual event—we all came to a clear consensus: It was worth it. To this day, I’m amazed that we brought nearly 15,000 discerning people through the doors of 16 multi-million-dollar homes across the Twin Cities metro and beyond, topping our best year in Luxury Home Tour history by more than 40 percent.
In fact, the pride I felt on that Friday afternoon has continued to compound as I’ve reflected on what it truly means to have the best of the home industry put their trust and reputation in our hands. There’s a certain weight that comes with that, but I believe responsibility and reward are a package deal. As I approach my 1-year anniversary at the helm of Midwest Home, I’m feeling that pressure as my role now includes the task of choosing a home to be dubbed Editor’s Choice.
To say I pored over this decision is a gross understatement, as the remarkable work I witnessed this year was unbelievable. For instance, I adored Hartman Homes’ Mediterranean-style abode in Hudson, Sustainable 9 Design + Build’s waterfront home in Hugo, and Trestle Homes’ modern masterpiece near Lake Harriet. But ultimately, I based this decision on what I felt in my heart best represents the true spirit of Midwest Home.
My 2021 Luxury Home Tour Editor’s Choice goes to Nor-Son Custom Builders’ California-inspired escape on St. Albans Bay—a home that is magnificent in both makeup and meaning, as the artisans and small business owners found within are the reason the house truly feels like home. When I first toured the Greenwood abode and met Mollie (the homeowner who also doubled as the interior designer), everything—from the tapestry in the living room to the backsplash on the wet bar—had a story. A maker. A memory. That’s something I value in design, and something I believe takes a beautiful home and makes it unforgettable.
As this year’s equally memorable event slowly slips into the rearview, I’ve realized the lyrics of Sara Jackson-Holman’s 2012 track, “Freight Train,” ironically capture how I feel. She croons, “What’s a little pain when you have so much to love?” Because despite the fair share of tiffs and trying times that we (not just our team but our loyal readers, Luxury Home Tour participants, small business owners, and everyone else) have collectively endured as of late, we persevered in the name of passion, pride, and commitment to our beloved design-build community.
And so, it only feels fitting to dedicate this commemorative Luxury Home Tour issue to those who kept fighting over the last 18 months to continue doing what they love every single day—even when the train didn’t stop.