Rustic Grandeur in Lake Elmo by Divine Custom Homes


Not a family-friendly detail has been overlooked in this 6,800-square-foot house, from the spacious informal kitchen and dining area to the oversize mudroom to a kids’ attic-loft room above the second-floor bedrooms. With three active boys ages 4 to 8, the homeowners required plenty of space and hard-wearing finishes.

But they are also avid entertainers, so livable family areas are carefully balanced with spaces for large-scale get-togethers. The design also had to meet the preferences of both spouses. While his style is displayed in the rustic lower level, she wanted a more elegant feel in the main level and master suite. Divine Custom Homes delivered both, says builder Jeff Warren.

The great room gets its airy elegance from the 17-foot ceiling and wall of glass that looks out on the surrounding lawn and trees of the large yard. The lot backs up to Lake Elmo parkland and a walking trail, and will remain private as the neighborhood develops. The kitchen features a peninsula and sink open to the great room and a wet bar outside the adjacent three-season porch. A large window brings the porch into the house, says Warren, giving it the feel of a hearth room.

The wall of built-in cabinetry flanking the Fond du Lac stone fireplace in the great room and the lighted newel posts of the staircase to the second floor add a Craftsman feel to the space, but here and there are rustic touches: the reclaimed barn-wood ceiling and fireplace mantel in the porch, for example, and barn-wood shelving details in the powder room.

All are designed to portend the rustic lower level, where the husband wanted to create an entertainment area worthy of a luxurious lodge. In addition to a bar that seats eight to 10, there is a wine room, shuffleboard, a sunken entertainment area, loads of storage, an archery range, and a guest suite.

Wood is the showstopper here, however. Wood from three different barns in Minnesota and Wisconsin lines the walls, finished in both board-and-batten and tongue-and-groove styles. Even more unusual is the wood the homeowner spotted in an Arizona hotel. This so-called mushroom wood is sandblasted to show off its heavy grain, which gives it an aged, worm-eaten appearance. Warren sourced and installed the Arizona wood to give this rustic space its unique look.

Still more custom details abound: the bar top—wood from a 1913 barn—sealed iron bolts, the dry-stacked appearance of the walls of flat Missouri River fieldstone, and the bathroom’s slab-of-wood vanity and petrified-wood vessel sink. “This is a great party house,” says Warren. “But every space is tailored for the homeowners.”

By Chris Lee
Photos by Spacecrafting

Builder: Divine custom homes
Home Location: Lake Elmo
Interior Designer: Bria Hammel Interiors
Bria Hammel Interiors
Hedberg Landscape & Masonry Supply
Warners’ Stellian Appliances

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