Photos by Alyssa Lee
What do you do when your plans for a one-level home with a decked-out basement get nixed thanks to being in a flood plain? You build the basement on the second floor. That’s what happened to an Edina couple who purchased a Lake Cornelia house, intending to remodel.
They soon discovered that plan wasn’t possible, and neither was building a new house the way they wanted. After hiring custom builder MA Peterson Designbuild, the couple pivoted. The Edina firm came up with an ingenious concept to turn the upstairs into a second-floor basement, complete with a screen porch, recreation room, office, and bedrooms.
“We got creative in how to handle the restriction,” says company owner Mark Peterson. “By taking the function of a basement and putting it on the top floor, you get better views and better light. It unleashed the potential of the site that didn’t have any.”
That potential includes wall-to-wall windows for showing off the lake. An open plan and modern design provide a satisfying contrast with the natural views, including features that bring the outside in. In the dining room, a Landstone wall spans inside and out, while the marble-patterned porcelain fireplace and kitchen wall incorporate earthy elements.
With a house full of glass, Peterson used elements like a white oak floor, dark-stained cabinets, and brass fixtures and hardware to add warmth. The modern aesthetic extends to the lack of visible window treatments. In the living room, electronic blinds drop down from the ceiling to keep the enormous windows bare. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the powder bath provide expansive lake views, with the glass turning opaque for privacy.
Other elements include a moveable wall that closes the screen porch into its own room. Windows can then be opened to the elements without affecting the temperature in other parts of the house. The 4,000-square-foot home has versatile space that makes it quite functional, including five bedrooms—three upstairs and two ensuite bedrooms on the main floor with a double rain shower.
“At every turn there is something fun to look at—something unique that draws you in,” Peterson says. “There is a reason to go into all the different spaces in the home, and I just love that.”
- Builder: MA Peterson Designbuild
- Interior Designer: Brown Cow Design
- Home Location: Edina
- Square Footage: 4,000
- Bedrooms: 5
- Bathrooms: 5
- Style: Contemporary