After years of tolerating Minnesota’s mosquito-ridden summers, the Bly family decided to make a change. In February 2011 they embarked on a bold home renovation project, converting their upper- and lower-level screen porches into one large, luxurious feature.

People who live near Lake Minnetonka might not realize just how unique a resource it really is. “It has destination boating, offers water recreation and you can be 20 minutes from your downtown office,” says Woody Love, Realtor and sales manager with Coldwell Banker Burnet.

Judy Cyr watched a 1,000-pound slab of granite get hoisted with pulleys into her new screened-in porch. That was followed by two pieces weighing 400 pounds each and a final piece weighing in at 800 pounds.

Tucked away in Tonka Bay is the home that architect Jack Griswold designed and built in 1956. Griswold constructed a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house in Scandinavian style with clean lines in which to raise his three daughters.

If you ask Tyler Middleton what he loves about his new home, his thoughts barely make it past the front porch. “I think the porch reinforces the neighborhood culture of yesteryear. You sit on the porch and invite neighbors to stop by and have a seat,” Middleton says.

Ever passed a renovation Dumpster and wished you had one in your driveway? That’s what Minnetonka homeowner Cindy Oman wished when her neighbors were remodeling their kitchen.

Once a year, homes around the lake area transform into awe-inspiring displays of holiday pride.

From the front, 201 Mill St. in Excelsior looks just as it did more than 100 years ago.

This past summer, the $10 million Trails of Orono senior housing development opened. Located minutes from downtown Wayzata along the Luce Line Trail, this one-of-a-kind establishment paints a new picture of the way seniors can savor their days.

Some folks have that preternatural ability to see what isn’t there. They can look beyond any flaws, foibles or failings, and see the possibility of what could be.