Let the Sunshine In

The focal point of the master suite is the window wall, which celebrates the beauty, imagination and range of variety within core, basic shapes.

April 30, 2006

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Hiding Posts and Beams

Imagine finding a breathtaking parcel of lakeshore property a mere 80 feet from Minnesota's Lake William, cousin to the greater Lake Minnetonka — and the area of the home closest to the lake is the garage. Brian Jones, owner of Jones Design Build, planned to turn the tiny rambler into a home for his own family.

A wall of built-ins houses the television, bookshelf, dresser drawers and a fireplace. Dividing the space with a low center wall provides privacy while retaining the loft feel. The window above the bedroom door allows light from a window on the opposite side of the home to enter the master suite.

Jones, who has a master's degree in architecture, envisioned a contemporary house with a cottage or cabin feel that took advantage of the lake views. The remodel converted the existing 900-square-foot, three-bedroom structure into a 3,000-square-foot, four-bedroom home with a vaulted great room and lakeside screened porch and deck. A three-story addition made room for a walk-out basement playroom, first-floor children's rooms and a master suite — bedroom, balcony, bathroom and walk-in closets — on the top floor.

The focal point of the master suite is what Jones calls the window wall, which celebrates the beauty, imagination and range of variety within core, basic shapes.

"It's the first thing you see when you come in," Jones says. "The circle draws your eyes upward, and the contrast of how the other panes are laid gives the wall its own presence. It brings in great fall colors, and in the winter it opens up and lets you see the lake."

To create consistency with the rest of the home, Jones carried the same woods into the master suite. Instead of mahogany with maple highlights, he used the reverse template to make the space light and airy.

The mahogany accents — window and door trim, cabinetry moldings, the ceiling fan, a cross band in the floor inlay — anchor the sun-strewn space and give it sophistication and personality. Each square of the floor inlay echoes the directional variation of each of the window wall's smaller squares.

The master bathroom features his-and-her sinks, a whirlpool tub and a walk-in shower accented with a band of glass tile that was also used to create a tile pattern against the shower's back wall. The walk-in closets are accessible from both the bathroom and bedroom. The cost of the entire space is between $100,000 and $150,000.

Clean, crisp and coaxing, the subtlety of the suite's style shows that using quality, high-grade materials can make a simple space stand out. The finished product is a voluminous yet clearly defined space that doesn't feel overwhelming or impersonal.


Remodeler and architect: Jones Design Build, Shorewood, Minn.
Project location: Shorewood, Minn.
Age of home: Approx. 25 years old
Scope of work: Create a loft-like, 650-square-foot master suite with plenty of light in an update of a 1950s lakeshore rambler

Products List

Bathroom fixtures: Grohe, Kohler, Toto. Ceramic tile: Casa Dolce Casa. Exterior doors: Marvin. Interior doors: Woodharbor. Paint: Benjamin Moore. Lavatories: Kohler. Windows: Marvin.

Hiding Posts and Beams

Inspired by a previous project with a vaulted ceiling, Brian Jones of Jones Design Build knew using one in his own home would allow more sunlight inside and capitalize on the lakefront views. The long spans of the roof rafters, however, required a support post to be exactly where Jones wanted a circular window.

To provide the needed support, Jones built a header above the round window and split the post from there, running the split post through post pockets that were fitted on the adjacent windows at the manufacturer. Because the jambs of the adjacent window wrap around the support post, Jones knew he'd have to space those windows closer to the circular window than he normally would. He was able to accommodate both the post and the window framing in a 3- to 4-inch space.

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