On 815-acre Maple Lake, a few minutes south of Alexandria, a recently-constructed gem of a home opened its doors to a tour. From conceptual sketches to the finished product, many provided input and no stone was left unturned in exploring and delivering immaculate detail. With Maple Lake views spanning nearly three quarters of the compass, not only do the homeowners enjoy sunrise and sunsets like few can, the home itself is more than a sight to behold.
Acquired in the 90s, the property hosts many memories – swimming, fishing, learning to waterski – yet the original home encountered a time it could no longer meet the needs of the owners. It is beyond amazing to stand in today’s masterpiece and think in 2008 the owners were told “tear it down and put in a gazebo.” Down but not out, an uncharacteristically wet 2013 pumped new life into the idea of building and in 2014, the owners reached out to Jay Paulson at HighPoint Homes to start their creative venture.
Spearheading the tremendous build, HighPoint Homes teamed up with Woodland Home Design and Blue Ox Timber Frames to bring together the owner’s dream. The tour displayed incredibly detailed taste and innovations throughout the home, many revealing adventure in their origination, installation, or imagination. Paulson, owner of HighPoint, adds that while “…a lake home plan dealing with roughly an acre and salvaging part of an old foundation was especially challenging, the [owners’] long thought process, taste, and selections give a great feel and it was a fun project.” Along those same lines, Kim Green of Woodland Home Design recalls the planning and “…how you really have to coordinate well with everyone because with the timber frame, the lot lines, and the oak to save, it was a challenge to design but very fun to see how it all came together.”
Upon moving forward, there were a few key tenets in play from start to finish. First, taking advantage of the wide spectrum of Maple Lake views was paramount. Second, the concept of an open home was crucial to accommodate several objectives. Last, and equally important, a motto of “no regrets” served as an umbrella protecting the build from rushed decisions.
The phrase “Framed in February” undoubtedly carries images of our frigid Minnesota winters, but serves as a fond memory the owners share of the home’s early building phase. Building began the fall of 2016, with major construction wrapping up later that year with some of the owners’ hands-on adventures spanning well into 2017. Ashley Trousil, of HighPoint Homes, a chief interior designer, recalls “…it was a long thought process, but I was amazed with how well prepared the homeowners were and the myriad of good questions they asked.”
Outdoors, the home has a clean, modern-meets-rustic feel as cedar timber frame components accent the Walnut LP SmartSide supplied by Hilltop Lumber. Minnesota Gutters adds to the overall look with color-matched gutters which are unobtrusive from both in and outdoors. Strategically placed outdoor lighting enhances the home further with both up and down light washing of the walls. Permeable pavers installed by Creative Landscaping tastefully comprise the driveway, sidewalk, and front porch.
Upon entry, even the small foyer provides proof of an open floorplan desire, and the kitchen catches the eye slightly to the right. With a splendid view of Maple Lake through Andersen Windows supplied from Builders Firstsource out of St. Cloud, Amazing EZ-Screens™ with wood frames serve their purpose well and amplify views throughout the main level.
Burton Forge, of Two Harbors, Minn., custom designed a light created to hang some 18-feet off the vault. It brings light to the kitchen where it spotlights an incredible center island of reclaimed long-leaf pine. With a natural patina finish and incredible wood grain, the island is finished by Swedberg Wood Products. Derek Swedberg added
“…in order to keep the lake view open, they chose floating cabinets rather than traditional on the sink wall, and incorporated various wood species to blend nicely with the timber frame.” He also noted that working with the owners and their design team “… was an absolute pleasure, from start to finish.” Soft-close doors on all drawers and cabinetry provides more small, yet important, detail to the owners’ “no regrets” approach. Sub-Zero appliances and a Wolf Gourmet range from Cullen’s Home Center round out the kitchen as “nice appliances” completes one of the owner’s non-negotiable needs for the build.
Angling northeastern from the kitchen stretches a great room with the vaulted timber frame’s distinctive upward arc creating an iconic separation. 1800-era, Gettysburg Pennsylvania reclaimed Skip Sawn Oak flooring, provided and installed by Ron Holstrom Antique Floors (Fergus Falls), holds a fond memory of the ambitious owners’ sweat-equity staining handiwork. Uniting the two types of wood, and truly defining the great room as such, is a crackling birch fire in a Rumford Fireplace by Alex Brick & Stone. Fireplace materials were provided by Alex Brick & Stone with work provided by Stonewall Masonry.
Pushing northwest off the great room toward the lake, a gas fireplace heats a 30-square foot porch with a floor of reclaimed corncrib boards which once resided in a barn on an owner’s childhood farm. Atop the fireplace rests a SunBrite TV™ designed for outdoor use and installed by Blue Collar Bobs.
The cedar timber frame ingenuity throughout the home is meticulous and eye catching. The homeowners reflected on how they “…spent a lot of time working with Ben, Ashley, Kim and the whole design team on the main part of the house,” and when they got to the great room, Ben had said, “well, how about if I surprise you here?” And that’s he did.
“This part of the design was a surprise, and we love it,” the owners declared. As the great room/porch wing of the home angles away from the rest of the home at roughly 30-degrees, there is a clear delineation in the ceiling frame as the horizontal beams arc gracefully upward and create a superb transition from the kitchen.
The reason the great room angles away from the lake is twofold. The owners desired to save the 100-year old oak tree on the roadside and accommodate the beach which carves inward on the shoreline. Both elements posed challenges in the design phase, yet were seen as unique opportunities not roadblocks. To the right of the beach, upon a small peninsula formed as the shoreline juts further inward, grows a blue spruce planted some 20-years ago by the owners.
Opposite the great room and kitchen lies a dining room tastefully lit with walls of Grecian Ivory color by In & Out Painting, with a rustic dining room table focal point. Trim of mostly Douglas fir, provided by Sunridge Construction, ties together well the varying wood species, and much of that work was done with few other subcontractors present to heighten focus and let their exceptional work speak for itself.
A guest bedroom adjoining the dining room is a favorite of one owner’s parents and boasts one of the home’s closest points to the water. A bumped out window well increases the span of the level Maple Lake view. The guest bath shower features mahogany inset shelving to maximize space in the tiled shower. Arnquist CarpetsPlus COLORTILE provided tile work and carpeting throughout the home and notably dedicated additional time working with the owners to ensure both short and long-term goals were met.
The hallway outside the bedroom leads from the dining room and front foyer to a well apportioned pantry, stairs to the second level, and a Swedberg cabinet-adorned mud/laundry room with access to the garage. The pantry not only features well lit shelving, but is framed for the future possibility of an elevator. The 2-stall garage boasts a heated floor and is well-equipped with storage and drainage for varying possible needs from cleaning vehicles to outdoor socializing while watching a game on a wall-mounted flat screen.
Ashley Trousil of HighPoint notes that within the pleasure of designing the interior, “…one of her favorite details is the Hogwire stair railing that started with just a sketch.” The ornate wrought iron was assembled and welded by Glenwood Welding and Fabrication. With extremely intricate mitering, the stair treads leading up are yet another element of high detail finishing by Ron Holstrom Antique Floors that offer an opportunity for discussion.
The second level of the home further accentuates the owners’ lake view priority and features two suites with a cozy loft overlooking the dining room, kitchen, and great room. The timber frame craftsmanship can truly be admired from the loft at eye-level as it follows the angle of the great room transition. With its own vault, the loft creates a sense of separation, yet still captures the stately feel of the timber frame.
The lakeside suite continues a theme of forethought and detail by featuring its own vaulted ceiling, a wood-lined bumped out lake window, and a master bath. With walls of Labordite color, the lakeside suite and the master bath are exquisite in both functionality and comfort. The shower is floor-to-ceiling tile that took a week of labor alone by Paul Peterson from Arnquist.
With walls of Silverpointe color, the roadside suite takes in great natural light with an octagonal window designed for just this purpose. An iron barn door frame and door separate the master bath with a cast iron claw-foot antique bathtub as a unique anecdotal centerpiece
(it was once orphaned and rusted prior to being rescued and restored by the owners).
Scattered about the home are a number of flat screen televisions and Sonos WiFi speakers provided by Cullens Home Center, with an LG OLED television over the great room fireplace. While being extremely modern, the electronics feel in no way intrusive. All is well protected via a security system and integrated cameras from Alextronics, while advanced WiFi functionality lies at the owners’ fingertips through mobile apps – the owners can even remotely open or close their Viking Garage Door or operate certain Lennes Electric-installed lighting.
Touring the home leaves one with a sense of awe and admiration of just how much thought, detail, and unique yet functional elements comprise this Maple Lake home. To say it is finely polished is an understatement as it is difficult for words to capture the entire beauty of this gem. From framers shivering on scaffolding in February to designers working with the owners at all hours, it is the teamwork of all who makes this home shine so bright. The owners would like to thank all those involved from concept to finish for their patience, perseverance, and dedication to working to create their dream home which serves them so well now and long into the future. ~L&H
by Tyler Wirth