Nantucket in Northern Minnesota

Filed in Feature Homes by on February 3, 2015

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Patrick and Maryann are from the same small town. Both went away to college, discovered each other on a whole new level, fell in love, got married, and returned to start their lives together back in their hometown. Maryann had always been a “townie” as were her parents and grandparents before her. Patrick grew up amongst rolling fields and woods on a picturesque farm south of town that had been in his family for decades.

 

The couple had two children, and happily settled in a lovely neighborhood on the edge of town close to church, school and community activities. They could be anywhere they needed to be in less than five minutes. One day, Patrick got an opportunity to invest in a lakeshore property which he couldn’t pass up. That property was a large parcel on Farm Island Lake with acreage and hundreds of feet of lakeshore.

 

And so began their journey to life on the lake.

 

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With its soft yellow walls and crisp white furnishings, the two-story octagonal sunroom offers a coastal summer getaway all year round.

The transition began in stages; first they went out to the property to stroll. Then they started occasional afternoon excursions with picnics, swimming and boating that soon turned into all day outings. This was a new experience for them, as neither Patrick nor Maryann had childhood memories of time spent at cabins and lakes. Unlike many native Minnesotans, it had never been a dream of theirs to own lakeshore, or even to spend time at the lake. It took several years of visits before Patrick realized he’d fallen in love with the property and began to visualize making their home “out at the lake.”

 

He shared his thoughts with Maryann, who was perfectly content with their home in town, and who had imagined themselves growing old in the home they were in. She confided in a friend, who calmly proclaimed “better lakeshore than another woman.” That comment helped put things into perspective and was the moment Maryann resigned herself to life in the country. Everything began to fall into place.

 

The couple mentioned to one of their neighbors that they would be selling their home, and that neighbor immediately committed to buying the home. This meant that Patrick and Maryann wouldn’t have to go thru the ordeal of listing and showing their home, which further reinforced their decision to make the move. During the time between the sale of their old home and the building of their new home, they rented a second floor apartment in the heart of their little town. Its views of Main Street gave them time to bid life in town a slow and fond farewell.

 

By the time they’d come to the conclusion that they were going to build their primary residence on the lakeshore property, they knew exactly how they wanted everything to look. Over the years Patrick and Maryann had made numerous trips to the east coast, spending time in Nantucket, Kennebunkport and Newport. Their dream was to capture the essence of coastal living and transport it to the shores of Farm Island Lake. The property has a gentle slope to the lake, with sweeping views and lawns that lend themselves beautifully to the image they had in mind.

 

With its soft yellow walls and crisp white furnishings, the two-story octagonal sunroom offers a coastal summer getaway all year round.

With its soft yellow walls and crisp white furnishings, the two-story octagonal sunroom offers a coastal summer getaway all year round.

When approaching the property, the drive to the house takes you through woods then opens on to a meadow. Here you can stretch your eyes across a field to the open expanse of the lake and on to the home, which is the epitome of classic East Coast Shingle Style architecture.

 

All of the elements that come to mind when envisioning coastal architecture are in place inside and outside this home, including the Gambrel roof with its complex profile of intersecting rooflines with a pair of dovecotes on the ridge of the roof. Natural shakes cover both the roof and exterior siding. A colonnaded wrap-around porch, dormers, a stone foundation, an octagonal half-tower, a combination of fully-divided and cottage-style windows, and the crisp contrast of white enamel trim work complete the design.

 

As you step onto the wrap-around porch, you feel inclined to pause a moment before proceeding to the front door. There is something nostalgic about the colonnade and the beadboard ceiling, and the feeling that you may have been there before, perhaps in another time.

 

The glass entry door sweeps open to panoramic views that pull you straight across the great room to the two-story windows and out onto the lake. The home was designed with an emphasis on views. Every room in the house has a wall of windows that are oriented to the lake, allowing nature to take full command of each space, in all seasons, with constantly changing views and spectacular sunsets. A soft yellow palette, that wraps itself around you on sunny days and suggests warmth during the colder months, has been used throughout the space.

 

The property has a gentle slope to the lake, with sweeping views and lawns that lend themselves beautifully to the image they had in mind.

The property has a gentle slope to the lake, with sweeping views and lawns that lend themselves beautifully to the image they had in mind.

With its soaring vaulted ceilings, two-story Palladian window gracefully tucked into the vault facing the lake, and two-story stone fireplace, the sunken great room is the centerpiece of the home. The raised hearth and magnificent mantle of the fireplace easily accommodates oversized pieces. Custom built-ins flank the fireplace.

 

The entertainment-sized kitchen is a single step up from the great room; giving it enough separation to create its own zone, but keeping it visually connected to the open living space. The bar seating at the island is perfect for quick meals and the breakfast table is beautifully situated next to a wall of windows. The room offers easy access to the flagstone paved veranda that runs along the lakeside elevation of the home.

 

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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