The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) recognized Murphy Bros. Designers & Remodelers last week as Minnesota Contractor of the Year for residential interior remodeling under $150,000. The veteran Blaine contractors earned the distinction for a romantic wine cellar they designed and built in Eden Prairie for homeowners John Dockter and Cindy Vavra.
Murphy Bros. beat four challengers for the top (Gold) award. It also won Contractor of the Year honors in the Kitchens over $120,000 category last year for another project in the same home. The five judges awarded the winning 2014 project an average score of 57.8 out of 60 points. Two judges awarded it perfect scores of 60 points. Criteria included meeting clients’ expressed needs, aesthetics, evidence of superior craftsmanship, functional improvements, overcoming obstacles, and innovation.
The Star Tribune called the basement playroom remake “Minnesota’s coziest wine cellar.”
It features a triple-barrel vault brick ceiling, stone walls with functional niches, stained glass window, arched iron door, large marble table, special paint effects and mural, a copper bar sink, themed lighting and custom cabinetry for storing and displaying a large wine collection.
Contractors, architects and designers from NARI’s Milwaukee chapter judged the Minnesota CotY Award entries. The panel wrote:
- Beautiful space. I felt like I was transported to Paris.
- Great idea to use stain glass window to hide the exterior (deck) stairway
- Great use of outdated, underused space
- I would like to be in this space
- The curved brick ceiling looks great
- The woodwork to stone transitions were well done
- Nice light fixture
- The iron door was no joke!
- HVAC ducts are hidden well
The homeowners were intimately involved in selecting special fixtures and surfaces that reminded them of wine rooms they had experienced in Paris. “Congratulations on winning another award!!!,” they wrote John Murphy following the Awards Gala at the UMN McNamara Alumni Center. “So well deserved. We definitely made the right decision choosing Murphy Bros. for our remodeling.”
The wine room was designed by Murphy Bros. designer Cherie Poissant and managed by Aaron Lenz. It was one of 84 projects Minnesota remodelers entered across 20 categories.
NARI is the only trade association devoted exclusively to the remodeling industry. It has 63,000 members nationwide. The NARI MN chapter is the second largest in the country. Wisconsin boasts the largest.