Lake Love in Minnetonka Beach by Gordon James


When a fourth child was born, this family needed more space. The children’s toys were underfoot, leaving room neither to play nor to entertain. The homeowners  gravitated to the big lake, builder Gordon James, and architect Ben Nelson to create a Craftsman-style house that would expand their living area to 6,000 square feet. Now they have dedicated space for the kids to be kids, the family to be a family, and guests to enjoy. Each of the children—who range in age from 3 to 13—has his or her own room, most with spectacular views of Lake Minnetonka. A shared kickback area, located in a turret, provides space for television or toys. The parents have a relaxing at-grade master suite and an expansive, private office for the husband, who works at home.

That leaves an open great room for entertaining friends of all ages. Grace Hill Design in Wayzata helped select the sophisticated yet durable finishes—weathered hickory floors and granite countertops. The farmhouse table and extra-deep island can accommodate a crowd. “I cannot wait to all sit down and eat together,” says the homeowner.

But perhaps the most stunning feature of this Minnetonka Beach house is the view of Crystal Bay through rows of casement windows. “We really designed around the lake,” says the homeowner. “It will be relaxing and calming for everybody.”

She anticipates gathering as a family to watch sunsets over the lake from the attached porch—made more versatile with retractable screens for protection on buggy evenings and a stone fireplace to warm up chilly nights.

In the lower level, a sunken sitting area and a reclaimed barn-wood entertainment center offer an ideal gathering place. Behind is a drink rail and a wet bar with a nearby stone wine cellar for adult guests. Meanwhile, the children are sure to gravitate to the sport court. The homeowner expects it will keep her offspring—and their parents—sane in the colder months. (They’ve already been tapped to host hockey parties.)

She recalls her first walk through the house with her husband, a native Californian. He declared the lake views breathtaking. She describes the entire home as “dreamy.” And yet, with all of the spectacular features, she says the mudroom/craft room may be her favorite space. She can’t wait for everything—and everyone—to have a place.

By Diane L. Cormany
Photos by Spacecrafting

Builder: Gordon James
Home Location: Minnetonka Beach
Architect: Nelson Residential Design
Interior Designer: Grace Hill Design
Brush Masters
Grace Hill Design
Hedberg Landscape & Masonry Supply
Lampert Lumber
Marvin Windows & Doors
Minneapolis Glass Company
Phantom Screens
Residential Technology Systems
Sub-Zero by Roth
Warners’ Stellian Appliances

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