Luxury Meets Simplicity in this John Kraemer & Sons Wayzata Home


Above: The rear elevation showcases the expanse of windows as well as the distinctive bluestone buttresses. 

This modernist home, neatly slipped into a pie-shaped lot in Wayzata’s Locust Hills by John Kraemer & Sons, is a masterful demonstration of clean lines, pared down finishes, and simple spaces.

It also is a case of design ingenuity: The developer, East Hampton, New York-based KGA Lifestyle, envisioned a minimalist Shingle-style house here, but Locust Hills requires houses to maintain its European-enclave sensibility. Charlie Simmons, principal of Charlie & Co. Design, devised streamlined, linked pavilions for the shingled house and garage, and bookended both with bluestone buttresses—an old idea he borrowed from the massive stonewalls of  700-year-old Scottish barns. The European enclave idea preserved, the design won a thumbs-up.

Kraemer’s meticulous detailing abounds throughout, from the copper flashing and thermal-finished bluestone walk to the subtle transition inside to a bluestone foyer, partition wall of rift-cut white oak, and glimpse of the breathtaking transparent wine wall. As much artwork as functional wine storage, the glass-surrounded wall immediately draws the eye and catches the light.

Quartered white oak flooring, stained with a 5-percent white pigment, reflects cool white walls. Natural light floods in from carefully placed dormers, skylights, and walls of windows, creating interiors that are airy and serene. Thanks to the Kasota stone fireplace and wood box, multiple white oak built-ins, and the park-like view on display outside, the living room is infused with elegant warmth.

The open floor plan delineates spaces with architectural cues: a white oak ceiling in the kitchen, soffits in the dining room, and two steps down to the living room with its deep trey ceiling lined with white oak. The living room bay, with its 16-foot doorway and transom windows, opens to an enormous deck. The flow from entry to living areas is made for gracious entertaining, inside and out.

The kitchen, a study in marble, features a two-level island with a waterfall of Arabescato Venato and a working surface of sequoia brown granite. The backsplash, perimeter cabinets, and buffet likewise are marble-draped. This end of the house includes the pantry, an office space, powder room, laundry, and mudroom as well.

The main-floor master bedroom features sliding doors to the deck, which has a spiral stair down for easy access to the lower-level family room, three bedrooms with en-suite baths, and exercise room. The master bath is another marvel of marble, with double vanities and a dressing table. The shower and pedestal tub share a separate room—a wet room—completely waterproof and also lined with marble.

Up the three-level staircase, which features light cascading from top to bottom, is an aerie-like getaway with a built-in desk and extra-wide bench. Perfect for lounging, reading, or simply gazing over the treetops at the view of Lake Minnetonka’s Gray’s Bay.

Occupants of the  master bedroom can see Gray’s Bay from bed.

The marble-wrapped master bath includes a waterproof wet room that holds both shower and pedestal tub.

The open floor plan provides a clear view of the luxurious built-ins, from the waterfall marble island to the glass-enclosed wine wall to the Kasota stone fireplace.

Marble countertops and backsplash are part of the kitchen’s elegant allure.

White oak flooring, stained with a white pigment, and floods of natural light give the dining room its fresh, airy sophistication.

The light surrounding the open staircase cascades three floors.

By Chris Lee
Photos by Spacecrafting


Builder: John Kraemer and Sons
Architectural Designer: Charlie & Co. Design, Ltd.
Sponsors: ALL, Inc., AllStar Construction, AllStar Masonry, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Granite-Tops Stone Countertop Outlet, Hedberg Supply, Landscape & Masonry, In-Focus Systems, Martha O’Hara Interiors

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