Traci Dokken Designs Lake Minnetonka Porch Addition

A Lake Minnetonka family relaxes in their lakefront addition.
The Bly family porch after a remodel by Traci Dokken Designs.

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. “It opens up the whole lakeshore to the house,” says mom Stacey Bly.

Traci Dokken Designs (then McGowan & Dokken) directed the 16-by-40-foot porch addition. Their first challenge came in the form of a large backyard maple tree. The family loved the maple, which was nicknamed “Cheryl” by one of the Bly children, so instead of disposing of the tree altogether, it was locally milled and incorporated into the ceiling of the porch addition.

Other special features included the teak porch railings, salvaged from a sunken ship and re-finished on-site. They complemented the space that featured four skylights and remote-powered executive power screens.

“[The space is] excellent. We love it! Everything we wanted was in there,” says Stacey Bly. The family now uses the addition as a second living room and enjoys having friends over for dinners and football parties. Best of all, they won’t have to worry about those pesky mosquitos anymore.