Gath­er­ing Grounds

A laid-back lake house is just right for a crowd — but still cozy enough for two.

Timber Home Living - - Contents - STORY BY SUZANNA LOGAN PHO­TOS BY JOSEPH HIL­LIARD

A laid-back lake house is just right for a crowd — but still cozy enough for two.

Richard and Lynn An­der­son are the kind of peo­ple who, when they find some­thing won­der­ful, want to share. That’s why when the Min­nesota cou­ple dis­cov­ered that a pris­tine, 45-acre lake­front prop­erty they’d been eye­ing for years was fi­nally up for grabs, their first move was to spread the word. “The land here is un­be­liev­able,” Richard says. “It was too good to pass up.”.

Three of the An­der­sons’ friends agreed. To­gether, the group pur­chased the prop­erty and be­gan mak­ing plans to create a devel­op­ment they would split equally. Each of the lots is bor­dered on one side by the spring-fed Up­per Lake Nashota and on the other by pro­tected for­est. “The wooded land is filled with hik­ing trails and tons of wildlife; it’s no sur­prise to see sand­hill cranes, deer and wild turkey walk­ing across your yard,” Richard says.

This idyl­lic stretch of earth has more than good looks go­ing for it; it has a rich fam­ily his­tory, too. “I grew up on the lake and used to go walk­ing through these woods,” Richard ex­plains. Dur­ing the 1860s, Richard’s great-great-grand­fa­ther worked and lived at the then-sem­i­nary-owned prop­erty. As fate would have it, the An­der­sons’ per­ma­nent nest­ing place — a 7,000-square-foot tim­ber frame stun­ner — sits just 100 feet from their an­ces­tor’s orig­i­nal home.

Fit­tingly, the house and grounds now serve as the go-to spot for ca­sual fam­ily gath­er­ings. “We have a large fam­ily and are very much out­door peo­ple, so this is sum­mer and hol­i­day cen­tral,” Richard says. “All of our kids have learned

to fish, wa­ter ski and swim in this lake.” When the en­er­getic fam­ily isn’t boating, fish­ing or swim­ming, they’re bask­ing in good sun and good views on the 200 feet of sandy shore or one of the sprawl­ing porches, decks and patios. In this re­laxed set­ting, ev­ery­one loves to visit and swap sto­ries.

If guests are lucky, they might hear tales of the cou­ple’s time spent over­seas. The home it­self bears taste­ful evidence of their trav­els, thanks to the work of River­bend Tim­ber Fram­ing. “Our first goal was to repli­cate the style of homes they had seen in the Euro­pean coun­try­side,” says Stephanie John­son of River­bend. Spec­tac­u­lar Dou­glas fir ham­mer­beam trusses sweep across the great room, call­ing to mind old-style cathe­drals in Europe. Stone-en­cased ma­sonry heaters, pop­u­lar in north­ern Europe hun­dreds of years ago, are placed strate­gi­cally through­out the in­te­rior. Out­side, the old-world in­flu­ence con­tin­ues with half-tim­ber con­struc­tion, stone ac­cents and cedar lap sid­ing, which marry un­der a span of gabled win­dows and a steeply pitched roofline.

In con­trast with the tra­di­tional Tu­dor look in the front, an ex­pan­sive, win­dow-filled rear makes a grand ges­ture to lake views. Over­sized win­dows usher in nat­u­ral light, cre­at­ing bright, happy spaces. “We de­signed the home around ex­actly where the sun was go­ing to be,” Lynn says. “I can go any­where in the house and find the sun.”

Large, open spaces en­cour­age fam­ily and friends to con­nect. The ter­racelevel boasts a the­ater room, a rec room — com­plete with a wet bar and pool ta­ble — and a spa bath with sauna and

The western-fac­ing home is a study in en­ergy ef­fi­ciency with tim­ber fram­ing com­bined with struc­turally in­su­lated pan­els (SIPs), inchthick cedar lap sid­ing, a geo­ther­mal heat­ing sys­tem with 20 sep­a­rate heat­ing zones, and triple-paned win­dows.

Lynn’s col­lec­tion of blue and white china is on full dis­play in the warm and wel­com­ing kitchen that fea­tures a match­ing blue range.

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