Combining the love for innovative design with an admiration for fuzzy companions is luxury home remodeling company SpaceTurtle Construction. Operating out of Lake Elmo, SpaceTurtle’s home projects not only work to provide a safe and comfortable home for its clients, but for animals across the nation as well.
Co-owners and animal lovers Cody Kupitz and Marie Brenden say it was a “no brainer” to donate a portion of SpaceTurtle’s proceeds to cuddly creatures. “We both have been passionate about helping animals since the day we were born,” Brenden says. “Before we even brought in a dime, it was a part of our business plan and was something that we wanted to be able to do. It was a commitment we wanted to make.”
But SpaceTurtle shares its love for animals with more than just donations. The business name was created from a simple doodle on a spare napkin and combines Brenden’s love for turtles with Kupitz’s interest in astrophysics (found in the space helmet). Although the name represents who they are, SpaceTurtle incorporates animal elements with everything it does. Using the geographical location of the house and design elements as inspiration, each project is named after a specific animal species (i.e., Pony Project, Fox Project or Hedge Hog Project) for identification and to provide a personal touch for each client.
The Panther Project
Woodbury homeowners Megan and Dan Kuetter went through trial and error while searching for a contractor to provide a modern facelift to their dated 2000s home. Eventually the Kuetter’s stumbled upon SpaceTurtle on a community page. Prior to any commitment, SpaceTurtle gave the Kuetter family a full plan, featuring a 3D digital design for their unfinished basement, out-of-date living room and unconventional master bathroom.
“It starts with an initial conversation,” Brenden says about the first meeting with the clients about their homes. “If that is not how they plan to use a space, that is not how you should design it. Clients have an idea of what they want, and I help them realize it in a way that makes sense and fits what their needs are.”
The Hidden Support Beam
Working with an unfinished basement turned playroom, the team had a blank slate to create the entertainment space of the Kuetter family’s dreams. However, there was one thing that put a damper on jumping right into the whole process: support beams.
Like all basements, the need for supportive structures is essential, but that often comes with the inconvenience of poorly planned poles and beams. Due to the inability to remove the pole located in the center of their basement, it was necessary to seamlessly incorporate it into the design. Opting for a linear porcelain fireplace as the focal point of the room, the construction team was able to craft a functional work of art—not only did it serve as a base for all things entertainment, but it also hid the unwanted pole.
“We were unsure of what we fully wanted and how to approach it,” Dan says. “Let me tell you, once we saw the design and layout that SpaceTurtle [created] for us, it really brought together the ideas that we had. They came back with a finished product of what it could be which really blew our socks off.”
In addition to the construction of this fireplace, SpaceTurtle also created an area for game tables and installed a wet bar equipped with cabinetry, a fridge, countertop space and a sink to fulfill all of their entertainment needs.
The Master Bath
Featuring a standalone tub and a glass walk-in shower, the main focus of this bathroom remodel was to create a more spacious and calming space. The design opted for a neutral, cool-toned color palette, shown throughout the master bath. The trendy vanity is truly the star of the show—with its jet back cabinetry and stark white quartz countertop for an unexpected, yet bold pop. “It was fun to play with the contrast in colors,” Brenden says.
Revamping the fireplace hearth, what once was a boulder stone-faced surface is now a sleek marble feature with a modern Shaker style mantle. Bringing in sharp angles and simplistic lines, this fireplace reboot was a quick fix to help transform this dated space.
Though the three projects are complete, the couple plans to work with them in the near future to also renovate their guest bathroom and replace the battered siding on the exterior of their house—Dan says SpaceTurtle is now their go-to source for all things renovation.
Brenden says, “We have been really fortunate with repeat clients which is such a huge motivator and validation that we are doing something right and that they love our work.”
Making a Lasting Impact
The Animal Humane Society (AHS) provides direct care and services to more than 100,000 animals in need across the state, priding itself as one of the nation’s leading animal welfare organizations. It’s more than a place for individuals to adopt their next companion—it’s also a major resource for animals and their owners to have access to rescue and rehabilitation services, medical care, savior transport and training.
“Our goal is to support people and their pets for a whole lifetime,” says Melissa Peacock, senior planned giving officer. Helping domesticated dogs, cats and critters (rabbits, mice, Guinea pigs, etc.), the AHS strives to improve the overall wellbeing of creatures.
Primarily funded by donations, the AHS strives on the support of its community members. As a company that emphasizes this notion of giving back, Kupitz says he wanted SpaceTurtle to be a business that could inspire others to put their best foot forward too. “We wanted to change how a construction company could be and part of that is giving back to the community and helping animals,” Kupitz says. “Once [clients] find out that we donate, it is something that they want to be a part of too. In the future, I would love to see us to grow that relationship where we can be a way for homeowners to find an opportunity to donate in their own way.”
Raising over $4,000 for the AHS from a portion of their project sales, Brenden says that SpaceTurtle has full intention of increasing this number as the years progress—and Peacock agrees. “I find it heartwarming, and I would love to see more organizations share their values with their customers. [SpaceTurtle Construction] is sharing who they are with their clients, and it is making a positive impact for the animals and the people supporting them,” Peacock says. “I applaud them for the sacrifice they are making to provide these gifts.”
SpaceTurtle Construction’s initial $4,000 donation to the Animal Humane Society is equivalent to:
- 124: Animals served at the vaccine clinics
- 100: Animals transportation to Minnesota for a second chance at living a healthy life
- 50: X-rays to diagnose medical alignments
- 32: Dogs and cats that received care and rescue from humane investigation cases
- Spay or neuter surgeries for either 80 cats or 40 dogs
The impact and efforts of the Minn. Animal Humane Society each year:
- 105,000: Calls made to the free Pet Helpline
- 23,000: Animal intakes per year
- 22,000: Animal spay and neuter surgeries completed
- 9,000: People enrolled in community outreach programs to serve animals in need
- 8,555: Animals aided pertaining to their overall health
- 93 percent: Placement rate of animals