Organic Elegance Distinguishes this Bruce Lenzen Design/Build Home


Above: This home’s organic elegance is apparent from the Chilton stone exterior, mahogany soffits, and infinity-edge fountain that together create its extraordinary entry. 

It takes a premiere design to complement a pristine vista. This St. Croix River home excels on both fronts.

Residential designer and builder Bruce Lenzen, president of Bruce Lenzen Design/Build, LLC, conceptualized a home that treats the inside and outside as one continuous space. Rooms—indoors and out—flow easily into each other.

Retractable folding doors that open the kitchen, great room, and master suite to outdoor living areas—with heated porcelain flooring running seamlessly between—welcome the scenic river bluff into the house. Likewise, the material choices emphasize effortless transition between rooms, with buff-colored Italian porcelain tile, amber millwork and cabinetry, and mahogany ceilings throughout.

The river commands attention even before you enter the house: From the front walkway, you can gaze through the open great room and past an outdoor lounge area to the water. “It’s quite magical, very soothing and calming,” says the homeowner. “I think [Bruce] did a really great job of protecting the view and fitting in the house so that it doesn’t overpower nature.”

An open and inventive layout also ensures that nearly every room in the 7,000-square-foot house looks over the river. The stunning dining room—one of the few spaces from which the river isn’t immediately visible—features its own commanding view of the wine room. Its 1,800-bottle capacity and Old-World details compose a fitting showcase for the owners’ extensive collection.

Their curated art collection inspired interior designer Ann Ludwig’s choices in a neutral palette and finishes. Creative freedom allowed her to incorporate original selections, such as the African Anigre wood used in cabinetry throughout. Her standout choices also include a custom-lacquered bamboo dining-room chandelier, honey onyx on the television room’s wet bar, and a spectacular back-lit quartzite infinity sink and bench in the main powder room.

As summer hits its stride, the homeowners look forward to cruising on one of their classic wooden boats along with their six grandchildren, then enjoying dinner in the outdoor kitchen and dining room, and cozying by the gas fire pit. Then grandma and grandpa can retire to their private wing and spa-like suite, while their offspring relax in a guest suite that rivals any luxury hotel.

When they return from their other homes or from extensive travels, Ludwig says, “I want them to walk in and go, ‘There’s no place better than this.’ ”

Mission accomplished inside and out.

The 1,800-bottle wine room features octagon concrete tiles and custom wine racks.

Outside and inside spaces are designed to flow together seamlessly.

The master wing is open, with the bedroom adjacent to the marble-draped bath.

The TV room features its own fireplace and hand-painted wallpaper.

The indoor kitchen, with its enormous island topped with mirage granite, flows to the outdoor kitchen and terrace.

The great room is a study in modern, muted serenity.

The dining room is moodily dramatic, with black vinyl wall covering and a custom-lacquered bamboo chandelier.

By Diane L. Cormany
Photos by Spacecrafting


Architectural Designer: Bruce Lenzen
Interior Designer: Ann Ludwig
Sponsors: ALL, Inc., AllStar Construction, Granite-Tops Stone Countertop Outlet, Hedberg Supply, Landscape & Masonry, Lampert Lumber, Pahl’s Designer Showrooms, Phantom Screens, Scherer Bros. Lumber Co., Twin City Fireplace & Stone Company, Inc., Warners’ Stellian Appliances, Zuri Decking

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