Jkath Design Build + Reinvent is a residential remodeling firm located in St. Paul, MN, which services the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. The 10-year-old firm specializes in kitchen remodels, main floor updates, and whole house renovations and additions, with a goal of creating a lifestyle while enjoying comfort and function.
Jesse Kath founded Jkath Design Build + Reinvent and currently operates the business alongside his wife, Katie, the lead designer, and a team of four talented professionals. One of the company’s most recent ventures included an extensive renovation of a local, Tudor-style home, which was close to 100 years old, utilizing a range of colored glass and stone tile from Jeffrey Court.
“This design intent was a modern Tudor, preserving original character and integrity where it made sense, while adding modern amenities and updates to give this home another 100 years of life,” Katie Kath said of the 2,300-square-foot home. “We fell in love with the original charm and the overall historic neighborhood this house is in. The improvements needed were necessary, knowing we had creative autonomy with the selections and a new family would be able to call this home with quality finishes to last a lifetime.”
Since the home was purchased as an investment property, Kath wanted to complete a full renovation along with a two-story addition. However, she ultimately decided to nix the addition in place of a small kitchen bump out to expand the kitchen footprint. The entire house was overhauled, including the mechanicals, plumbing and electrical updates throughout.
“Our goal was to touch every square inch of this home, with a small addition on footings and finishing the basement level, which is a huge property value add-on in this neighborhood,” she explained. “In the end, we made our goal, but had to research more cost-effective ways to finish the home; using footings and skipping the foundation for the kitchen bump out is a good example. We did not replace any windows in the home and opted to clean up the original stained window casings. While we changed the entire second story footprint to add a master suite, we made concessions in the basement level and did not add the fourth bedroom and fourth bathroom we had hoped to.”
With the kitchen and mudroom expansion on the first floor, two of the upstairs bedrooms were converted into the new master suite, which features a bathroom, two adjoining closets and a master bathroom with a soaking tub, standing shower and custom vanity. To create a contemporary vibe in the kitchen and master bathroom, Kath utilized two different types of Statuario marble tile from Jeffrey Court’s Chapter 15 – Classic Statuario series. For the kitchen range backsplash, 4- x 6-inch tiles from Chapter 15 – Classic Statuario in the “Botanic Imprint” design were used, which emulate a leafy pattern. In the master bathroom, 1 3/4-inch marble mosaics from the same collection were utilized to create a herringbone design on the shower walls, along with 1-inch penny rounds, which were used on the shower floor.
“We chose tile that felt timeless, with character and resembled the original era of the home,” Kath said. “We used natural stone in most areas, as this is a quality and timeless material, with a playful nod in the kitchen area using the printed mosaic tile.”
Colored glass tile from Jeffrey Court was also utilized for the front entry, fireplace hearth, powder room and kids’ bathroom. As a contrast to the white brick fireplace surround, a 5/8-inch hexagon mosaic in black from Chapter 14 – The Press was used to create the hearth. The colored glass tile series was also utilized on the floors in the powder room and kids’ bathroom. The powder room’s floor features a unique 13 1/8- x 15 1/8-inch “Tribune Mosaic” in navy blue, while the floor of the kids’ bathroom highlights a black-and-white, 13 1/8- x 13 3/8-inch hexagonal mosaic, known as the “Union Mosaic;” the walls of the kids’ bathroom also feature glossy, beveled 3- x 3-inch tiles in an off-white color, “Crisp Linen.”
“We knew Chapter 14, The Press, was made for this home,” Kath said. “With the early 20th Century inspiration, we had a few places to select and install this tile. The black and white contrast might be our favorite touch in the whole house.”
Around 370 square feet of tile was used, which was supplied directly from Jeffrey Court, Inc. in Norco, CA. “We always spend time laying out a portion of the tile together as a team on location, approving placement, direction and verifying grout color,” Kath explained of the installation process. “Aside from this standard procedure before we set our installer loose, we did not have any unexpected issues. The handmade tile behind the kitchen range was very delicate and we had a limited amount of waste on hand, so we did stay on location to oversee this install. Fortunately, we did not have any issues.”
The entire project was finished last year and took around five months to complete. “We have since specified the Chapter 14 – The Press tile in a recent project as this Tudor home inspired these clients,” Kath said. “We have also received many positive comments on the finished photography, with another project in the works for summer 2020 using the same tile in a different colorway.”
St. Paul, MN
Builder/Designer: Jkath Design Build + Reinvent, St. Paul, MN
Tile Supplier: Jeffrey Court, Inc., Norco, CA (Chapter 14 – The Press™, Chapter 15 – Classic Statuario)