How do you inspire a suburban neighborhood to feel a little more, well, neighborly? One way is to build houses that give residents a good reason to come outside and hang a little. That’s exactly what AMEK Custom Builders did with this new modern farmhouse in Prior Lake. The roomy front porch with a fireplace is just the thing to beckon passersby into friendly conversation. Matt Schmidt, the AMEK co-owner who was integral to the design, had never seen a front-porch fireplace, but the company had built see-through, two-sided fireplaces and plenty of front porches. He hit on the happy combination as a way to de-emphasize the garage and make the house feel more neighborly. Mission accomplished: With its gas fireplace, heat-circulating ceiling fan, and clear-cedar railing, the 10- by 14-foot porch gives this house an airy, welcoming three-season room. amekinc.com.
Above: A modern farmhouse with a steel roof and a friendly feel.
By Chris Lee
Photos by Stuart Herrick
Builders: AMEK Custom Builders