An Extraordinary Design

Filed in Feature Homes by on April 2, 2015


by Wanda Perkins | Photos by Thru Him Photography


Ten years ago, she spotted a lake lot for sale in a development surrounded by established trees. The next weekend she and her husband brought their bikes and toured around the entire lake. That was the defining moment when they knew they had found their place to build their retirement home.


“I’ve known the homeowners for many years, so I was delighted when they asked me to design and build a simple, efficient structure on a lofty 1.25 acre lot on Big Pine Lake in 2005,” recalls Jon Anderson, president of Dreambuilder Inc. in Fargo. “Their first build encompassed a 700 square foot living space above the garage that included a bedroom, bath, kitchen, living area and second floor deck. This space was later converted into an office.”


IMG_0067The building process continued in the summer of 2011 with the design of a lakeside screen porch. As the years went by, the homeowners felt the timing was right to expand and build their dream home. This next phase of the planning and design process took place in the summer of 2013 when the homeowners contacted architect Kelli Wegscheid to explore how an actual home could be situated on the land, and to determine a floor plan that would best fit their needs. With a vision of the kind of home they wanted, Wegscheid met with the couple and altered the design, until the final drawings were just right.


“Finding the right angles to aesthetically place the home for the view of sunrises and sunsets was important to them,” Anderson notes. “After a lengthy variance process, we staked out the home and began excavating in November. Positioning the home between a bluff, covenant and county setbacks from property lines, and the existing building and trees, was challenging. We completed the final phase of their dream lake home in May of 2014.”


The homeowners desired a lake home that suited their lifestyle, one that was open and inviting where they could welcome and entertain friends and family. Constructing an energy efficient home was also a priority. In-floor warm water heat tubing and closed cell foam insulation were installed to keep their home warm, even during cold Minnesota nights.


Amidst a mature wooded backdrop with engaging lake views, their completed 2,503-square-foot home blends flawlessly into the natural setting. Rough-sawn cedar beams and posts frame the exterior and interior entryway. Pre-finished Hardie board lap siding, Versatex trim and accents, and Autumn Leaf dry stack stone veneers comprise their maintenance-free residence. Marvin Integrity windows and Cedar Valley pre-finished cedar shingles complete the exterior details.


IMG_0009“Almost every room entertains spectacular views.” Wegscheid explains. “Large windows offer generous natural light when entering the foyer. Their narrow floor plan lends itself to lake breezes while providing excellent cross ventilation.”


An open layout easily transitions to a charming great room with rustic cedar beams, a wood-burning, stone veneer fireplace and an 18-foot vaulted stairwell. Warm cherry woodwork and doors blend with ceramic tile plank flooring in Plantation Red. Sherwin Williams Bennington Grey paint beautifully showcases interior furnishings. The dining and kitchen spaces are located next to the great room, sustaining a floor plan favorable for entertaining.


Custom Crystal kitchen cabinetry, designed by Bill Tweten of Western Products, with Canelle granite countertops and stainless steel appliances blend style, classic lines and function. A generous island, complete with a Jenn-Air stove, is a favorite place to cook and entertain. Three clear pendant lights overhead and bar stools make this a great additional gathering space. There’s also a media desk to keep technology gadgets organized and accessible.


“The great room, kitchen and dining room spaces are visually connected but are differentiated by ceiling heights, architectural beams and columns,” Wegscheid notes. “A screened porch, raised deck and ground level patio provide seamless, yet different ‘outside’ spaces to enjoy as well.”


16999366081_60c9246b44_zHis favorite place is the three-season porch, which offers a cozy sitting area that encompasses lake views surrounded by the beauty of nature. “Depending upon the seasons, the room is my favorite place to relax and enjoy a cup of morning coffee,” he says.


“Springtime is a magical time here,” she explains. “It’s a time when the birds migrate and everything greens up and comes to life again after winter.”


An attached cedar deck utilizes EZ Breeze screen panels for comfort and bug-free summer nights. French doors open to the dining room.


Interior custom furniture pieces designed especially for their home were created by Grain Designs of Fargo. Furniture pieces include a dining room table and a great room coffee table with matching side tables. Also constructed was a reclaimed wood sliding barn door to the laundry room, an accent wall in the powder room, and a rustic timber mantle for the great room’s fireplace.


“Each furniture piece tells a story of its previous life and makes for great conversation,” replies Blain Mikkonen of Grain Designs. “The designs are a combination of rustic and modern with industrial touches consistent with the home’s style. Our goal was to complement the outdoor beauty with statement pieces for the interior.” All furniture pieces were built from reclaimed pine barn flooring from a barn salvaged near Valley City, ND.


16812112208_1d98d57b38_zTheir relaxing and spacious main floor master suite combines gorgeous views and a peaceful setting with a private raised stone patio softened by natural plantings. The master bath features a walk-in rain shower with a wood ceiling and a window to lake views for a natural bathing experience. Rain Forest granite with the look of birch trees tops off their cabinetry for an ultimate woodsy theme.


A contemporary interior catwalk combining cable railings and cherry woodwork overlooks the great room and leads to second floor bedrooms. High transom windows spill natural light to interior spaces, while providing privacy from the driveway. Upstairs, two bedrooms and a full bath offer additional sleeping space. An additional 544-square-foot lower level includes an oft-enjoyed exercise room and a mechanical room.


Outdoors, irregular-shaped flagstones inlaid in grass provide a natural walkway for the home’s entrance and a pathway that leads to the lakeside patio and deck. Borgert’s Bruckstone pavers, which resemble the look and feel of flagstone, were used for the lower and upper patios.


“We needed to gain 4 feet of elevation for the raised patio off the master, so we built a two-tier retaining wall and softened it with dark brown mulch and plantings. A variety of shrubs, blooming perennials and ornamental grasses were chosen to accent the home,” recalls Andrew Swedberg of Swedberg Nursery in Battle Lake, MN. “This gave the lakeside of the home a welcoming yet dynamic appearance.”


16999857285_0238ed5c2c_z (1)Whatever the season, this lake home offers plenty of spaces to enjoy coffee, a glass of wine, a great book or the comforts and aroma of a crackling fire. “This is home,” notes the home’s owner. “It’s where we imagined our future, where family and friends can gather.”


“When I walk in the door, I’m filled with joy. This place makes me happy. It’s everything I dreamed about,” his wife concludes. “The building process is finally complete. We have our comfortable, serene setting and a home to enjoy for the rest of our lives together.”


To read more, click here  to register for the free digital issue of Lake and Home Magazine. More photos, including photos not seen in the magazine, are available in the slideshow below.



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