Orono Lakefront Living by Stonewood


Don’t blink”: The Kenny Chesney lyric reminds this Orono family to be in the moment. “Before you know it, life passes by,” explains the homeowner. “We have to be together, enjoy each other.”

This simple philosophy drove the design of the generous shared spaces of their new five-bedroom, 6,500-square-foot home, built by Stonewood. Builder Sven Gustafson describes the overall feel as laid-back, detailing the easy flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. “It’s a house that feels like it fits on a lake,” he says.

Lake Minnetonka takes center stage in the great room, where a 20-foot-wide bank of glass doors frames Maxwell Bay. The homeowner says her family wanted to use the views as a work of art and be surrounded by its beauty. The doors slide open and a retractable screen lowers, turning the great room into a de facto outdoor room.

Though built for year-round use, an adjacent veranda feels like a three-season porch with its flagstone floor and siding-covered walls. An interior pass-through wet bar serves the transitional space, which steps out to a stone terrace for easy outdoor entertaining.

All should come in handy (as will the generous gourmet kitchen) when the family hosts its annual summer bash for about 150 friends. A band plays on the patio, and revelers enjoy the lake and one another. The homeowner looks forward to more expansive accommodations for the inevitable overnight guests, including a suite that she calls the Oar Room.

The lower level is likewise designed for hanging out and features a movie screen, granite-topped wet bar, and alcove for wine storage. But you would be hard-pressed to draw the gang away from the arcade, which was custom-designed to fit three vintage Skee-Ball games, and other old and new amusements.

“This is how we live. It may not work for everybody, but this is how we live,” says the homeowner, adding that architect Peter Eskuche incorporated their design ideas. Her adult son and daughter designed the arcade—a favorite hangout for friends—by sketching it on a piece of paper. On it they wrote “Don’t Blink,” which the family commissioned a sign-maker friend to realize in neon. It reminds them that enjoying loved ones is what their new dream home is all about.

By Diane L. Cormany
Photos by Spacecrafting

Builder: Stonewood
Home Location: Orono
Architect: Eskuche Design
Interior Designer: Studio M Interiors
Admit One Home Theater
Eskuche Design
Hedberg Landscape & Masonry Supply
Phantom Screens
Scherer Bros. Lumber Co.
Stone Countertop Outlet
Studio M Interiors
Sub-Zero by Roth

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