Delightfully Designed

Filed in Feature Homes by on December 31, 2013

9125832301_0e822660d3_bFamilies relocate for many reasons: employment, upsizing, downsizing, even adventure. With three athletic boys, one family gave up their home on three-acres to relocate to an expansive lake home with over 9,000 sq. ft. on Lake Minnetonka near Minneapolis.

“We gave up our yard for the lake!” the homeowners agree. “Our lake home is conveniently accessible to schools and located close to highways, making it easy to attend all the boys’ activities.”

Shortly after purchasing the home, the homeowners contacted interior designer, Lola Watson to assist with paint colors. The project quickly became a full-scale remodel with a goal to transition the formal European-styled home into one that matched the homeowner’s style of living.

Watson had previously worked with them and knew the family well. “I became the advocate and coordinator between all the components of trades’ people to ensure an overall cohesive design that best reflected the family,” recalls Watson. “Their home is bustling with activities and visitors, and now their home reflects a laid-back style, while being sophisticated enough for business entertaining and occasional charity fund-raising events.”

9128052572_caa71d7da4_bThe homeowners wanted to revamp the existing home into a comfortable, inviting, family-oriented place; a home that suited their intent to enjoy family time, boating, waking surfing and swimming (as well as snowboarding and skiing in the wintertime). “Our home encompasses all these things and more,” the homeowners add. “It lends itself to drawing the boys, their friends, our family and guests outdoors; to come over and enjoy the lake.”

Framed with a lead fountain and lush landscape by Andrew Kruger of Gray Gardens, the circular brick paver driveway leads guests to exterior architectural columns near the entrance. “The house is shaped like a boomerang which embraces the shoreline,” adds Watson. “The bend toward the front is not imposing, but rather a charming invitation to enter. Once inside, each room boats stunning lake views. A back patio area offers several places to gather and relax.”

Even though the 3-story home with seven bedrooms and nine baths is large in size, the homeowners wanted to create a welcoming, cottage appeal. The property also features a carriage house with a kitchen, bedroom and bath perfect for guests.

“Much of the disruptive work of remodeling and designing was accomplished during our traveling and the weeks leading up to moving in,” the homeowners recall. “During that time, floors were refinished and painting and carpeting was complete in the main living areas.”

An open foyer with a baby grand piano, a stunning staircase, a two-sided fireplace and 180 degree lake views greet guests. A nearby dining room with double pocket doors provide private entertaining space. Watson designed a buffet with an unusual granite slab of blues and copper-rose tones which complemented their Stickley dining table. Over the table hangs a gorgeous natural shell chandelier, made from recycled shell pieces and metal frames, created by descendants of Portuguese metal workers living in the Philippines Islands.

9128053342_32a44775c5_bIn the kitchen, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a built-in coffee maker, a warming drawer and two beverage drawers within the island make this a standout space. The porcelain tile and recycled glass backsplash were designed to echo reeds under the water as sunlight danced above. Cheery pendant lights add sparkle, and architectural columns divide the kitchen and family room. Warm, cherry hardwood floors complete the look.

Perhaps the place most everyone gathers is the family room. Conveniently located off the kitchen, the room allows family relaxation by the television. The gas fireplace offers cozy warmth on chilly nights.

Another favorite room is the master suite. Even the overhead television does not detract from outside views. The fireplace creates a welcoming ambiance. Two entrances doors into the master bath (through a walk-in closet space and off the sitting area) make for easy traffic flow. A glass-enclosed double steam shower, bathtub and double vanity are accented by white cabinetry and marble countertops. Large windows beautifully frame lake views. A built-in saltwater fish aquarium outside the master bedroom (and one in the lower level) add another touch of nature’s beauty.

9125833529_7a9817f9db_b“It’s truly a privilege to wake up during the summer days with lake views,” the homeowners note. “Even when it’s icy, windy and cold, the status of the lake is ever-changing and beautiful. It can be calm as glass or rough with two foot waves. It’s always different as the seasons change.”

“The proximity to water was a strong source of inspiration,” adds Watson. “Various shades of blue, along with moss and earth tones were included. Copper adds contrast to the palate, and rosy tones were inspired by gorgeous sunset colors. We subtly emulated the effect of waves seen while viewing the lake. The custom-made dining room rug characterizes a streaming water pattern. Even the master bedroom exemplifies this wave pattern within the woven carpet and bed skirt.

A team of talented individuals worked alongside of Watson, along with the home’s original builder, Zvi Leilbovich, to renovate and re-design the lake home. Furniture and fabric selections were carefully evaluated throughout, so the overall look of a room would not be disturbed by moving furniture to different locations. This resulted in a more fluid and flexible living space.

9125834473_664e8827cd_bThe design plan included use of natural fibers and quality furniture pieces. Watson also designed a cocktail table and ottoman in their family room and the lower level cocktail table. Local craftsmen built items that were not readily available.

Downstairs, a pool table (with convertible ping pong tabletop) game area, bar and family room give the boys plenty of room to play. Pendant  lights over the lower level bar use shades of layered strands of Philippine plant, offering beauty both lit or unlit. The three-season porch, with gazebo-like roof detail, wood-burning fireplace and Summer Classic furniture creates additional family entertainment space.

Another favorite is the theatre room, which was converted from a previous exercise room located beneath the garage. Alder beams and three tiered rows of reclining, brown leather seats make this room a comfortable, action-packed, family favorite. An entry room off the lower level maintains a generous supply of beverages, snacks and candy on hand for family and guests.

“To spare the expense of all new cabinetry in the lower level, we had our artist apply a faux bois finish, bringing the wood stain used on the main floor downstairs,” Watson notes. Faux bois literally means fake wood. The artist paints the trim and overlays a hand painted wood grain so that it appears to be wood trim.

9128054000_9700f16a4d_bThe backyard is currently undergoing transformation. Luke Busker Masonry constructed a new outdoor pool with an automatic cover. Chief Cliff Blue Valley flagstone was used to create the pool deck, surrounding patios and steps. The flagstone was grouted with a custom aggregate mortar for a more natural look. Comfortable Brown Jordan and Homecrest outdoor furniture were selected for minimalistic lines to capture incredible views. A fire pit (next to the flagpole) and a hot tub make this entire outdoor living space the ideal place for the family’s oldest boy to assume the role of grill master for family and friends. Further outdoor plans include installing new exterior lighting and redesigning all the railings with an oiled bronze finish.

Since moving to the lake, the family has added a few more cherished members. Feline additions include two Russian Siberian cats named Ivan and Iker (named after a professional soccer player).

“We are so pleased with the final results and everything that was accomplished with our lake home,” the homeowners concluded. “Our home will serve us well for many years to come, even when children and grandchildren come back to enjoy it.”

by Wanda Perkins, a freelance writer living in Fargo

images by Gilbertson Photography

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