Blissful Beauty

Filed in Feature Homes by on October 6, 2015

1015LAHM-Brooks-11By Wanda Perkins

Interior Photos by Alex Steinberg Photography | Photos by Peter Bastianelli-Kerze Photography.

It may appear small amidst the vast shores of Lake Minnetonka. However, this quaint 285-square-foot boathouse, nestled within a wooded backdrop and plush landscaping, boasts grand views and offers a welcoming appeal to lakeside living. Standing picturesque near the water’s edge, the inviting structure is exquisitely designed in refined rustic style with touches of Scandinavian influence.

Completed in 2008, the homeowners initially contacted Christine L. Albertsson, AIA, CID, Partner, Albertsson Hansen Architecture, Ltd. in Minneapolis about a shed located on the lower part of the lake lot.

And since the main home was on a hill located on a peninsula, it was not conducive to sitting near the lakeside. Moisture issues were also problematic with the shed, steps and a dilapidated deck. The goal was to ensure the existing shed was remodeled into a boathouse that related architecturally to the main home while displaying a unique and distinct character of its own.

1015LAHM-snap-shots-002“Following lengthy zoning processes and variance proposals, building permits required constructing the new boathouse high enough above the water table,” Albertsson explained. “Most challenging was the strict adherence to no size or height changes. The deck was replaced and rotated, but the exact square footage remained the same as the original shed. Additionally, a waterproof foundation was poured and the back wall was restructured, adding a retaining wall of timbers to prevent fluid and moisture.”

Cedar shakes were chosen for the exterior roofing and siding, which complement the sun/shade element the white roof allows. Touches of Scandinavian design and a blend of traditional and modern elements create the English cottage appearance the homeowners desired. Exterior lighting with an industrial look was selected.

Rich mahogany flooring, a white painted pine ceiling and natural Douglas fir paneling and cabinetry balances an open layout which includes a great room, kitchen and bath. Custom built-in cabinetry, shelving and drawers frame each side of the Landon Limestone fireplace with a wood-burning insert. Every space was thoughtfully utilized. Even the exterior cleverly stores boating equipment and life jackets.

“Finding a place for the mechanicals and bath plumbing also proved challenging in this small space,” adds Albertsson.

1015LAHM-snap-shots-003Carefully designed, the full kitchen is cleverly concealed by wonderfully detailed custom Douglas fir cabinetry created by Albertsson. The bottom of the cabinetry conceals the pump for the bath. A stainless steel farm sink with an Ann Sacks hand-glazed tile backsplash and the installation of Loewen paned push out casement windows allow easy transition for serving and connection to the outdoors. An adjoining tropical ironwood deck affords a cheerful sitting area for guests, making the boathouse a perfect entertaining pavilion.

Attention to detail and superb craftsmanship allowed the entire building and design process to unfold flawlessly. When the interior paneling, cabinetry and detailing finishes were completed by Albertsson, Lisa Peck, ASID Principal and LuAnne Silvia of LiLu Interiors in Minneapolis worked closely with the homeowners to finalize interior finishes, choose furnishings and accessorize the extraordinary boathouse.

“The concept for building the boathouse was to create a cozy retreat on the same property as the client’s main home, an escape from the work-a-day world only a short walk across the lawn,” Peck recalled. “Our inspiration was designing a fresh approach to a traditional boathouse with easy to maintain surfaces including indoor/outdoor fabrics.”

1015LAHM-Brooks-7Soft nature colors of green and neutral shades beautifully accented with pops of coral enhance the comfortable open great room, kitchen and bath. The warmth of the fireplace make this a desirable lakeside living destination during both winter months and chilly summer nights.

A porthole mirror chosen for the powder room adds a bit of nautical flair. The limestone countertop, oil-rubbed bronze faucet and bronze vessel sink provide rustic accents in this well designed space.

“We loved working on this project with the homeowners,” recalls Peck. “They had a distinct style and point of view, and they were willing to explore some unexpected touches.”

“The homeowners were wonderful to work with,” Albertsson adds. “They were fully engaged with the project.”

Classic, picturesque and welcoming, the boathouse with amazing views stands at the end of a dock beaconing from the clear blue waters of Lake Minnetonka. With stylish architectural charm, it bids guests to come ashore, relax, refresh, chat awhile and enjoy the peaceful side of life from the boathouse, where the view is always blissful.

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