Empty-nesters Vanessa and Mike Smith wanted a new space that encapsulated their love for lake life but didn’t sacrifice the convenience and community feel of a bustling metro area.
Upon purchasing their new four-bedroom, four-bath home in Wayzata in June of 2017, the couple knew that they wanted a space that was closely tied to the bay that the property sits on.
“We wanted to stay close to the lake and it’s what drew us in,” Vanessa says. “The lot was amazing.”
In search of a way to make their new home feel a bit more like their own, the couple reached out to Hendel Homes for advice on what to do with their newfound space. With intentions to update the property, the couple began working with Hendel Homes to make a space to better fit their family’s needs. Through numerous discussions, the Smiths realized it would make more financial sense to demolish the existing home and create a new one.
“The most rewarding part of being in residential, high-end construction is that we are creating something from essentially nothing (from paper blueprints to real life),” Hendel co-owner Amy Hendel says. “At the end of the day you are able to provide the structure of their dreams.”
As a residential boutique builder and remodeler in the Twin Cities, Hendel Homes develops one-of-a-kind houses catered to each client’s unique lifestyles. Focused on execution, the Hendel team strives to create spaces that evoke a custom feel through detail-oriented designs ranging from traditional to modern or coastal to mountain lodge.
“Every style is different,” Hendel says. “It is fun to create something new every time. Not one project is the same.”
Preserving the original integrity of the home, they went for a modern Tudor style that features clean-line peaks emulating the Rosemary and Alyse Cape Beach architecture in Florida.
Maintaining this waterfront feel was essential to the Smiths, but in order to make it a reality, they had to work with the city’s regulations.
To reconstruct their home, they either had to build it on the existing foundation or knock it all down and move the whole structure back 25 feet. Considering their desire to stay as close to the lake as possible, the Smiths decided to build their new space on the old foundation. However, it put restrictions on the size and design of the home.
“They hire us to be problem solvers, that is what we do every day,” Amy says.
Maintaining the same style and initial layout of the original house, they were able to make it feel spacious by increasing the ceiling height by two feet, opening up the floor plan and extending the structure out five feet in the opposite direction of the lake. Continuing to push for space, they worked to create a layout that flowed and connected each room to one another, like a loop.
Customizing the upstairs space for Mike and Vanessa to live on one floor (including the laundry, the master bedroom and two home offices), the downstairs was designed for their kids to have a separate space (including three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a full kitchen) for when they come back home to visit.
Trusting in the long process of developing a custom home, Vanessa says that the Hendel team used their expertise in a way that truly catered to their wants and needs for their new house.
And “the clients were unbelievable, accommodating and genuine,” Hendel says. “When you have people that really appreciate the talents and the traits, everyone can put in their best efforts which makes for a great project. We are so thankful for clients like that who make what we do so enjoyable and rewarding.”
The lakefront view was the feature that the Smiths wanted to accentuate. Facing the water, the whole back side of the home is filled with large windows that capture every breathtaking angle of the lake.
The More (Space) the Merrier
With boats, water toys and outdoor gear to store, it was necessary that they create a space to house it all. With a new four-car garage and a remodeled one-car garage from the pre-existing home, the Smiths now have all the storage they needed and more.
Pop of contrast
Originally wanting an all-white kitchen, they settled on a subtle gray to add warmth to the space and add variation in the design. As an easy way to add a point of interest without sacrificing taste, money and space for other decorative items, the Smiths also carried on the pop of contrast to the wet bar as well. Painted a deep charcoal, the cabinets tie in the serenity of the water without taking away from the breathtaking view.
Functional focal points
The Smiths are all about entertaining and they wanted to create a space that would draw on that element in their lives. Featuring not one but two large kitchen islands on both floors allows for them to have enough space for all of their guests to gather.
A stark contrast to the light and airy kitchen upstairs, this space features a farm sink, charcoal cabinets, black stainless appliances (oven, full fridge and wine fridge) and brushed brass accents. The dark features create a warm and inviting feel for the kids’ space.
The kitchen upstairs is designed with the openness in mind to highlight the focal point of the home, the lakefront view. Equipped with light gray cabinets, an island, a white and gray stone slab backsplash, and brass features.
Along the back wall of the kitchen is a large mantled hood inspired by design trends in London. This approach helps to draw in detail on large walls without windows, making for an effective focal point that is proportional to the space.
Originally a supportive structural pole at the base of the downstairs entrance, the Smiths hoped to completely remove this inconvenient obstruction. To ensure the structural integrity of the support and improve aesthetics, the Hendel team built a wine cabinet out of wood and glass around the pole.
Bringing the outdoors in, the home features two screened porches that are stacked atop one another. Equipped with fans, “phantom” screens and heaters, the porches extend the functionality of the home with the additional space nearly year-round.
Something old, something new
As an ode to the original home, the Smiths salvaged elements from the prior space to maintain its historic lakeside character. From repurposing the tattered wood from the old dock to create hooks for the bathrooms to hanging the original gold pantry sign above their own, and re-using the slabs of stone for landscaping outside the space, they were able to highlight some of the home’s unique features.