Classic Cottage Makeover

Above: The family room addition meshes beautifully with the existing house.

This classic cottage on Lake of the Isles embodied early 20th-century charm. It also featured a layout that hearkened to an earlier lifestyle with smaller rooms that lacked a fully realized connection to the beautiful setting.

Its philanthropist owners had more contemporary desires for their home, including outdoor entertaining and living areas. Since the couple serves on a number of boards, including the Guthrie Theater, Minnesota Opera, and Minnesota International Center, they also wanted comfortable spaces for hosting board meetings and fundraisers.

Creating rooms for modern lives while respecting a home’s lovely bones is the bailiwick of David Heide Design Studio of Minneapolis. The homeowners tasked architect Mark Nelson and the rest of Heide’s team with creating spaces that would seat 40 for dinner and allow easy circulation between indoor and outdoor rooms. The tight, urban lot made carving out new space especially challenging. Ultimately, it was the homeowner himself who suggested the solution: Create a tuck-under garage with an expansive terrace on its roof.

Before. Photo courtesy of David Heide Design Studio.
After. Photo courtesy of David Heide Design Studio.

That decision, Heide says, led to numerous options for outdoor dining and seating areas, as well as the addition of a new family room. Folding, divided-light glass doors can be fully opened to connect dining room and family room to the terrace.  A small adjacent outdoor room also gives the couple a private space where they can enjoy the lake view without being on display.

The garage placement also posed challenges: Excavating without disturbing adjacent property “was no small feat,” Heide explains. “The permitting required about everything except papal dispensation, with the cooperation of neighbors and zoning—all wonderful to work with,” he says, adding that the homeowners remained fully committed at every step of the complicated process.

The new layout shifted the kitchen from the back of the house to a more central location, creating contiguous entertaining spaces, including a wet bar that connects to the original dining room and a newly finished breakfast room. Each room maintains its historic scale and individual sensibility while all remain open to one another and the surrounding landscape.

That decision, Heide says, led to numerous options for outdoor dining and seating areas, as well as the addition of a new family room. Folding, divided-light glass doors can be fully opened to connect dining room and family room to the terrace.  A small adjacent outdoor room also gives the couple a private space where they can enjoy the lake view without being on display.

The garage placement also posed challenges: Excavating without disturbing adjacent property “was no small feat,” Heide explains. “The permitting required about everything except papal dispensation, with the cooperation of neighbors and zoning—all wonderful to work with,” he says, adding that the homeowners remained fully committed at every step of the complicated process.

The new layout shifted the kitchen from the back of the house to a more central location, creating contiguous entertaining spaces, including a wet bar that connects to the original dining room and a newly finished breakfast room. Each room maintains its historic scale and individual sensibility while all remain open to one another and the surrounding landscape.

The kitchen is outfitted with all the modern conveniences, yet maintains a vintage sensibility.

The remodeled kitchen now  features a wet bar that connects to the dining room and newly finished breakfast room.

The large kitchen is outfitted with modern conveniences for entertaining, including double ovens, a warming drawer, and a refrigerator drawer beneath the bar, yet also has a vintage sensibility. Luminescent quartzite atop the bar and the kitchen counters provides the look of vintage marble without its porosity. “It has a gem-like quality,” says the homeowner. “The light can reflect off of it or warm into it, which is just beautiful.”

Enameled white cabinetry creates continuity with the woodwork throughout the main floor, where beadboard ceilings and box beams marry the new spaces to the original living and dining rooms. Likewise, the kitchen’s mixture of drawer and cabinet pulls suggests a vintage sensibility. In the family room, adjacent to the breakfast room, cove skylights above the fireplace can be lit from within after nightfall. The overall effect is that of a bright lake cottage with an uncommonly well-situated floor plan.

While the homeowner notes how beautifully the additions mesh with the existing house and naturally complement the integrity of the existing structure, she and her husband are embracing the home’s new capacity. Throughout the summer they enjoyed the privacy of the terrace and eagerly anticipate autumn’s philanthropic calendar. They will host 75 for an upcoming event, filling both indoor and outdoor seating to capacity—yet folding open the family room doors will allow easy circulation. “It’s a much more gracious space for our own lives and for entertaining,” she says, contentedly.

By Diane L. Cormany
Photos by Susan Gilmore

 

Designer and Architect: David Heide Design Studio

Share on Social