A Modern Lake Elmo Rambler Maximizes One-Level Living

A careful design strategy that focused on exteriors and light fixtures led these homeowners to build the luxe rambler of their dreams

Photos by Spacecrafting

The upscale feel of the home translates seamlessly to the exterior’s natural stone elements.

When navigating the long list of decisions that come with building a custom home, the key is to start with the exterior and then move inside to lighting, says Julie Speer, who shepherds Hartman Homes’ customers through the arduous decision-making process. “[Lighting] really drives the direction of everything else,” she says.

Overlooking the tranquil waters of Horseshoe Lake and green fairway of Lake Elmo’s Royal Golf Club, this Prairie-style rambler is the perfect retreat for a golf lover.

The approach works, and it’s evident upon entering the 5,084-square-foot Prairie-style rambler that overlooks Horseshoe Lake and the 17th fairway of the Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo. The home has a unified, distinctive feel, as materials, lines, and colors used inside reference those first introduced outside on the exterior.

In the basement sitting room, expansive windows and neutral colors usher in a family-friendly feel.

The owners, recent retirees, went into the design process knowing they wanted the home to have clean lines, a modern feel, and a floor plan they’d seen in a Hartman Homes model down the street—with the den, great room, and master suite on the main floor and additional bedrooms, a family room, and bar on the lower level.

Following the strategy and focusing first on the exterior, they opted for a combination roof that yielded extra-wide eaves to provide shade and establish the home’s Prairie aesthetic. A ribbon of transom windows wrapping around the house accentuates the look, as do “floating” horizontal beams that stretch across the front and dissect a series of columns.

Inside, the light fixtures set a design theme that Speer dubbed “modern luxe.” The pendants over the kitchen island look as if they’ve been dipped in broken glass, while straw-shaped glass drops dangle from the rectangular arms of the chandelier over the dining room table. But the piece that “got their juices flowing” is the chandelier in the master bedroom that features strands of wafer-shaped glass drops. They are “friends, not family,” says Speer of the fixture choices. Relating, but not matching, she says, was the goal.

The home’s theme of distinctive lighting is continued in the kitchen, where pendants that appear as if they’ve been dipped in broken glass add an extra special effect above the island.

The modern part of the equation is shored up by design choices such as the flat-panel kitchen cabinets that are finished in a tinted lacquer and reach 10 feet up to the ceiling. It’s also bolstered by the clean lines of fireplaces and built-ins, including the dark floating shelf in the lower-level family room.

Silk wallpaper in the bar area contributes to the upscale feel of the home.

Speer says the luxe part is evident in selections such as sequoia marble (used on the backsplash, island, fireplace, and in bathrooms), silk wallpaper (used above the main-floor fireplace and in the bar), and the Flemish glass sliding doors closing off the den. Additionally, luxury is underscored by the temperature-controlled wine room in the lower level and Wolf appliances in the kitchen.

With its modern design and stunning views from nearly every room, the home offers the owners exactly what they wanted. Considering they weighed in on all of the decisions that went into creating it, that’s no accident.

Home Details

Check out more new builds featured on our 2019 Luxury Home Tour here.

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