Private Residence, Grays Bay, Wayzata, MN
February 2000 issue of Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine.
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Wanting to remain in their comfortable and familiar neighborhood on the lake, the owners decided to tear down their circa 1960 home and build a new one this site.
The main architectural challenge was to integrate this new, larger home with the older, smaller scale of the neighborhood houses. This was accomplished by working in a prairie style and keeping the predominant lines of the house horizontal. A large setback was established from the street and the second story elements were directed toward the lake at the intersection of the cruciform plan.
The warm exterior is a combination of stucco and Chilton limestone, and is framed against the blue backdrop of the lake by tall hedges and classically massed plantings. The landscaping extends the gold-grey stone of the house into the yard where stone steps curve around the house creating a private path to the water’s edge.
A desire for lake views and north light evolved into a generously scaled grouping of rooms that allow for gracious entertaining of many guests. Large double front doors lead into a gallery space providing a sophisticated backdrop for their collection of museum-quality art. Opening onto the gallery is the main entertaining area of the house. Window seats at the large windows of the formal living and dining rooms welcome intimate groupings and conversation before the tranquil view of Gray’s Bay. The adjoining bar provides generous space for food preparation for the many catered events hosted by the homeowners. The rich tones of granite and limestone accent various architectural elements — from the large fireplace to the small, built-in cocktail tables.
Beyond the formality of the living/dining room, the family room and kitchen meld to create a fun, casual atmosphere. The large island seats several guests and also serves as an informal buffet for smaller get-togethers. Large, overstuffed couches are drawn up to the inviting glow of the fireplace.
The lower floor is designed for the family’s daily life. Opening onto the lakeside backyard, the recreation room provides space for a game of cutthroat pool, and the adjacent media room can boast a good scary movie along with late-night snacks from the kitchenette. Storage for personal watercraft, tools, and recreational equipment, as well as a large bath to clean up in after a long afternoon of sailing and swimming, are only a few steps from the lake.
Technologically up-to-date with radiant hydronic floors, automated lighting and security, and an integrated audio system, this home also showcases new products such as bamboo flooring and colored cast concrete deck and patio pavers.