Leaving a Legacy

Filed in Feature Homes by on February 3, 2015


By Merrie Sue Holtan | Photos by Bryan Wendland


In 2013, Paula Boehm, sat and listened to an area property owner’s mission, vision and dreams for Craftsman-style home. She nodded, leaned in, made notes and listened attentively. Paula, co-owner of Paul Davis in Detroit Lakes, whose full service firm does design, builds, remodels and restorations, says her client spoke of a personal life full of ups and downs, great sorrows and great joys.


Paula listened some more.


How could a house capture memories, help with healing and serve as a gathering ground for generations to come? Paula compiled the owner’s wish list, and told her,” Yes. We can make that happen.”



The home’s kitchen showcases its Craftsman style. The cabinet doors with their clean lines, tall height, warm tone and cup pulls look as if they could have been original to a Craftsman-era bungalow

Restore or rebuild?


A non-negotiable request included a family space where all family, even those grandchildren not yet born, would love to come and be together. The 60-foot sandy beach lakeshore lot runs 210 feet deep to the back with a backlot across the road. On the original lot, were a home built in 1967 and a newer garage constructed in the late nineties. The first decision was whether to keep the existing structure and remodel or to tear it down and build a new home.


“We figured we could salvage the old structure if it ‘had good bones.’” Paula says. “When our team went to inspect the property, they found ‘not good’ bones and a cement block foundation, which could not be salvaged. The right decision was to start new.”


Upon further inspection, the Paul Davis team discovered unstable topsoil under the existing home. In order to build, the soil had to be removed and replaced with new soil. This only reaffirmed that a new structure needed to be built. Paul Davis co-owner, Jeff Boehm, who attended the county variance meeting on behalf of the owner and shared, “The county determined the house had to have a deeper setback from the shoreline, so we lifted the garage and moved it back 20 feet, then built the new home and attached it to the garage.”


The plan – a Craftsman’s style home


Other wish list items for the home included windows “everywhere” to make it bright and sunny with “everywhere” views of the lake. The home needed to be maintenance free, a place to leave your shoes on, and efficient; with valuable but hidden storage spaces.



The narrow lot and setback requirements dictate the approach to the home but visitors know immediately that this gem is rooted in the past.

“As a result, we went over every detail, the pros and cons of everything for our client,” Paula says. “It had to be a blend of form and function. It needed to have practical elegance.”


Perham architect, Kelli Wegscheid, created the original blue prints for the new home, and she also met with the Paul Davis team.  “Our client did not want a huge home,” says Wegscheid. “The original single-story cabin was 780 square feet. The finished home is around 1250 square feet and only four feet wider than the original.”


Mike Lovelace from Paul Davis believes they did a great job working with the existing footprint to use every square inch of space. Nothing is wasted. The layout of the house makes it feel bigger than it actually is.


“We did alter a couple things from the original design,” Mike says. “One was the elevation, and the other involved changing the dormer roofs from shed to gable and adding an extra bathroom upstairs.”


The red roof asphalt shingled house with peaks and valleys along the roof line, lets the light shine through all around with vinyl Thermo-Tech windows. In a difficult to access area with no view, a textured rainfall glass was used for the sole purpose of letting in natural light. An array of Hardie Board siding in shades of cream, green, tan and cottage white was used on the exterior.


“We pushed our client a bit out of her comfort zone in encouraging a variety of color options other than beige,” Paula says with an affectionate laugh. “She is thrilled with her choices.”


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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