By Linda Scherer
WINSTED, MN Sam Oertel of Winsted, owner of Artistic Kitchen Creations with her husband David, has been designing kitchens and bathrooms for 17 years.
Sam does the architectural space planning, the designing, and the construction management for the business. David does all of the tear out, drywall and finishing construction under the Oertels’ other business, Stud Finders Contracting & Installations.
When a customer comes in to Artistic Kitchen Creations with a sketch of a room to be remodeled, the first thing Sam asks for is a “wants and needs” list, then spends some time getting to know the people.
With a construction background, she asks a lot of technical questions and people are amazed that she can visualize the room without seeing the actual space.
“I like it when they (the customers) let me give them a sense of what they can do with the space. I always tell them you can always go back to what you have, but let’s at least look at what your potential is, Sam said.
“You have to know this is what you want because once it is done, it is in and you own it.”
Sam’s goal is for every customer to be so satisfied after the project is complete, they run out and tell their friends and neighbors about it.
“Most of our business is referrals. That is huge in this business,” Sam said. “That is because each and every client we treat like we would treat someone in our family.”
Both Sam and David grew up with fathers that were construction contractors and they used their help and knowledge of construction to remodel their first home in Maple Plain.
They built their second home in Buffalo, before moving to Winsted in 1999.
The home in town they purchased in Winsted was temporary while they built their current home, by William May County Park, and moved into it in 2002.
When Home Depot first moved to the Twin Cities, Sam went to work there in interior design and gained some additional experience.
When she moved on to work at Kitchen Direct, Stud Finders Contracting and Installations was used for subcontracting jobs. Together they worked at Kitchen Direct for 13 years.
In January of last year, the couple found an abandoned warehouse and could see the potential for a kitchen and bath business of their own.
Once again, the Oertels used their talent and trade to remodel the warehouse, making it eye-catching to motorists driving by. The interior of the building is perfect to display some of their custom made designs and cabinetry.
At Artistic Kitchen Creations, the Oertels have done small projects like counter tops and others as challenging as the recent one they just completed, which was a kitchen in a home that was built in about the 1920s.
The project is to be shown in the upcoming Parade of Homes this spring and included all custom wood work, custom cabinetry, a marble floor in the entry way, special lighting, two ovens, an ice cooler, wine refrigerator and a regular refrigerator.
“We have worked on many projects together and we are still together. I think it’s because we look at things the same way,” Sam said.
“He (David) is so multi-talented, I think he was just born with it,” Sam said. “There isn’t anything he hasn’t ever been able to do.”
The couple have two children Brittney, 15, who attends Watertown-Mayer High School, and Zachary, 13, who attends Holy Trinity.
Artistic Kitchen Creations is located at 5708 West 36 Street in St. Louis Park, MN. Call (952) 926-1900 for more information.
Besides kitchens and baths, the Oertels also design and remodel basements, laundry rooms, and design cabinetry for every room in the house.
Check out their web sites at: www.artistickitchencreations.com. or studfinderscontracting.com.