Cape Cod Cottage

Located on the south side of one of Central Minnesota’s most popular lakes, this 5-bedroom, 6.5 bath custom-built home is as striking as it is functional. On the lake side, the full three stories of this walk-out home open up to a picturesque shoreline view.

Boulder retaining walls flank three large decks that offer plenty of room for family gatherings, entertaining and outdoor living. Viewed from the street or the lake, inside or out, the architectural features of this Cape Cod-style cottage make it one of a kind.   

Family First

For many families, lake homes become a can’t-miss central gathering area. In the case of this home designed by Chris Hawley of Chris Hawley Architects, that theme certainly rings true. Constructed as a 4,660-square foot home to accommodate a large extended family, the year-round home serves as a gathering place during summers and holidays.

Radiant Homes of Fargo was commissioned to build the lakeside home. One of the company’s credos is to “build homes of unmatched quality and design.” The finished product was certainly on point.

David Reid, President of Radiant Homes, says, “Our team is integral to the success of projects such as this home.” David serves as project manager and works with superintendent Andy Strom and their crew of skilled craftsmen. The team did the framing, siding, decking, plywood flooring, and finish carpentry throughout the house.

The main level has an open floor plan that offers easy access to the upper and lower levels, as well as the dining room, living room and kitchen. The flooring is one area where Radiant Homes pinpointed an opportunity to give this home a unique sense of character. The team created custom-made flooring by cutting sheets of three-quarter inch birch plywood into 4-foot by 4-foot squares. Next, they beveled the edges, installed the squares with exposed fasteners and finished the floor in place.

Space for Serving

The kitchen, with its neutral palette and dramatic red accents, was designed by Michael Ste. Marie of Ste. Marie Design Group. This Saint Paul-based team focuses on “creating spaces that are mindful and unique.” Ste. Marie utilized this build as another opportunity to showcase the
kind of work this company has become known for.

White cabinets and white quartz countertops provide a subdued backdrop for the silver and white tile backsplash installed by Jacobson Tile and Stone of Detroit Lakes.

The cabinets were built by Fargo-based Braaten Cabinets, as were all the cabinets throughout the house. With extended family gatherings a frequent occurrence, a large center island became a critical component of the kitchen plan. Made of wood butcher block, the island is perfect for casual meals, while the table nearby is well-suited for more formal dining.

Convening in Comfort

When you think of cozy living rooms, it’s easy to picture a fireplace being the focal point. This home stays true to the standard definition of a comfortable gathering area, as a gas fireplace is one of the primary features. The surrounding stone, which contains shades of grey, is Chilton Country Manor. The solid limestone mantel is heavy, making the installation process a feat in itself.

“It took some considerable work and planning in getting the mantel installed,” Reid remembers. “There is a lot of steel backing in the wall, and holes were drilled in the back of the mantel to slide over steel rods to hold it in place.”

Perhaps the most striking feature of the main level is the ceiling. The curved railing used as part of a hallway upstairs also allows the dining room to be located under the vaulted ceiling. The curved railing is a trait of the home that adds a sense of drama upstairs and down.

Once again, with family gatherings taking high priority in the planning process of the home, a north-facing three-season porch provides another place for groups to congregate. It’s a section of the home that brings a refreshing cascade of light into the main-level living area. The barrel-vaulted ceiling is a striking architectural feature giving the space an open feel. Windows have a track system of vinyl-glazed sashes installed over screened openings. During warm-weather months, these can be raised to let in fresh air. As the Mercury drops, they can be lowered to keep out the rain, snow, or wind.

The flooring of the porch was constructed with AZEK building products, known for providing a beautiful aesthetic with a low-maintenance, durable material. AZEK is engineered to be a long-lasting alternative to traditional wood that has become increasingly popular with homeowners looking for a hassle-free deck or porch that maintains excellent visual appeal.

The lower level offers families separate areas for relaxing or entertaining guests. Featuring a “flex” space, the lower level includes a section that can be used for a game room. As the house fills with overnight guests, it can also be lined with bunk beds to accommodate the growing numbers.

Practical, Yet Polished

One of the most unique features on the lower level is a bathroom the family calls the “locker room.” This space features three vanities, two showers, and one toilet stall. Grandkids sleeping in nearby bunk beds have a handy bathroom that can be used by several kids at once, while maintaining privacy.

Once again, specialization in specific areas of the locker room help make this bathroom unique. A glance in this room will have you instantly drawn to the vanities, countertops and tile work. The vanities were purchased from Restoration Hardware. STC Flooring of Fargo installed the stunning tile. The beautiful countertops are made of Italian Carrara marble.

This striking Cape Cod cottage in Central Minnesota fulfills the promise of both architect and builder. The home is one of innovative design and unmatched quality that meets the unique needs of a large extended family. ~L&H

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