A Family-Oriented Abode

A dream property becomes an oasis for a family of seven in Minnetrista, Minnesota

Photos by Spacecrafting

A neutral palette, loads of natural light, and plenty of plush furnishings make this Black Dog Homes, Windmiller Design Studio, and Haus of Rowe great room a lesson in family-focused, yet elegant interior design.

This modern Tudor home in Minnetrista was always going to be a family affair. At the groundbreaking, the homeowners’ five young children wore hard hats, cut the ribbon, and celebrated with doughnuts. The family visited the site almost weekly to see the progress, despite being able to see updates through Black Dog Homes’ app. But even before all that, the homeowners picked the 35-acre lakeside lot with their children in mind.

“It’s a little bit out of town and it’s a bigger acreage, and I think they were looking for that solitude,” Dan Vanderheyen, owner of Black Dog Homes, says. “[The homeowners] are both very busy professionals, and I think this was their oasis.”

On the main level, the open-concept kitchen showcases a Venetian plaster hood, zellige tile backsplash, white oak floors and finishes, and architectural archways—a signature Tudor-style feature.

The 6,910-square-foot house has endless space for the family to make plenty of both memories and messes. Five bedrooms and five and a half baths with an open-concept great room, dining room, and kitchen combo (with one of two islands dedicated solely to seating) make up much of that square footage, while a bonus space above the garage includes a craft room, bunk room, and game room. In the 1,600-square-foot lower level, Black Dog’s real-time project management app helped the owners flesh out their guest suite, secondary family room, an exercise room, and a theater room with tiered seating, custom cabinetry, and an adjacent wet bar.

Picturesque sights grace the bedroom, which features a step-out balcony that overlooks the 35-acre plot.

“We made sure to include breakout areas for privacy in the largely open floor plan,” says Max Windmiller, principal of Windmiller Design Studio, the residential design firm on the project. “At the same time, we anticipated kids and parents calling out to each other throughout the house, necessitating an openness between all floors.”

Black-framed windows offer views of the surrounding property from the soaking tub in the primary suite—decked in modern, yet timeless finishes.

Black Dog General Manager Nick Vanderheyen adds, “It’s set up in a way that the primary suite, the three-season porch, the balcony off the primary, and the four living areas are [all] situated for some really beautiful views.” But even that’s underselling it—the suite’s soaking tub also has a view of the surrounding wetlands and Whaletail Lake, as does the Phantom-screened porch with a hot tub.

Tying everything together is the interior design by Haus of Rowe. “We chose to keep the overall feel of the home light and lifted but wanted to infuse a touch of drama in certain areas,” Marcelle Timonen, co-founder and principal designer, says. Take the office, which the team saturated in a dark and dreamy Soot by Benjamin Moore, for example. “This includes the built-in bookshelves, walls, and trim, and we added a whimsical, nature-inspired wallpaper on the ceiling. [We also] brought in some warmth with the brushed brass library lights and ceiling fixture. This combination creates a room that completely envelops you.”

The rooms, the views, the whole house—Black Dog Homes and its partners have worked to truly make it the oasis the homeowners wanted. At the end of the day, though, it all comes down to why they wanted it: for their family.

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