French-Style Fanciness By John Kraemer & Sons


This homeowner’s dream was to build “a beautiful Country French–style stone house on Prior Lake.” That’s what she asked for from Minneapolis architect Tom Rauscher. And that’s what she got from Edina builder John Kraemer & Sons. The structure sits on less than a half-acre lot, albeit one with 100 feet of prime lakeshore. But with an exterior entirely of stone, a cedar-shake roof with copper gutters and trim, and a cobblestone driveway, this 6,000-square-foot stunner isn’t a house, it’s a chateau.

Visitors walking in the front door look straight across the soaring two-story great room through a gracefully arched expanse of glass doors and windows to a covered terrace facing the lake. “I wanted a house where people would walk in and say, ‘Wow!’” explains the owner.

Mission accomplished. And the “wows” just keep coming. The chef’s kitchen that opens to the great room features a striking hood of François stone—the same stone that surrounds two of the home’s five gas fireplaces, those in the main-floor sunroom and the upper-level master suite.

The oversize pantry off the kitchen offers not only built-in cabinetry but a sink and dishwasher so that cleanup after a dinner party can be done unobtrusively while guests linger in the kitchen, dining area, and great room. The homeowner preferred that useful alternative to a standard butler’s pantry.

The elegant wood flooring of hand-scraped walnut with a French-bleed effect continues on all three levels of the house. Up the walnut stairway, in a recessed alcove overlooking the great room, a baby grand piano is positioned to flood the home with sound.

The owners’ bedroom boasts palladium-style French doors that open to a Juliet balcony and the vista of Prior Lake. Two guest suites, one on the second level and one on the main floor, offer ample quarters for visitors. Down the hall from the master suite is another space with semi-separate sleeping and play areas, with a built-in desk beneath a window. This is one of several features intended as grandchild bait for the homeowner’s three grandsons who live nearby.

On the walkout lower level, the grandchildren also get a kid-proof recreation-and-storage room. It’s just down the hall from the adult recreation and billiards area, which boasts a full wet bar that recalls a miniature Irish pub.

And the homeowner has more custom features in mind. The lakeside area beneath the arched windows of the sunroom will soon sport a putting green.

By Jack Gordon
Photos by Spacecrafting

Builder: John Kraemer & Sons
Home Location: Prior Lake
Architect: Rauscher & Associates
ALL, Inc.
François & Co.
In-Focus Systems
Marvin Windows & Doors
Scherer Bros. Lumber
Stone Countertop Outlet
Sub-Zero by Roth

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