The Atlantic Ocean is more than a thousand miles away from Jerry Lombardo and Vanessa Briese's home in Edina.
Still the couple wanted to capture the feeling of the classic East Coast shingle-style architecture Lombardo remembered from growing up on the New Jersey shore.
"We've spent a lot of summers visiting relatives on the Jersey coast," said Lombardo. "We both gravitate toward that style."
In 2010, Lombardo and Briese bought a lot on Mirror Lake and spent more than a year planning and building their dream dwelling, one of three Dream Homes open for touring on this fall's Parade of Homes. At $2.78 million, it's the priciest home on the Parade and involved a team of professionals.
The couple collaborated with residential designer Jeff Murphy of Murphy & Co. Design and Erotas Building Corp. in Excelsior to create the turn-of-the-century East Coast-inspired design.
Flickering glass lanterns atop stone monuments guide visitors to the welcoming front portico of the gray-shingled home. Murphy added Old World copper gutters to the traditional gabled facade. A cupola gracing the garage roof is reminiscent of homes on Martha's Vineyard.
Inside the 5,100-square-foot home, the spaces are embellished with Craftsman-era details, yet convey a clean and simple aesthetic.
"I'm a detailed-oriented person," said Lombardo, who was involved in the process from start to finish. "They really set this house apart from others." He chose the finials on exposed hinges, staircase balusters modeled after homes in reference books and switch-plate covers that mimic the interior wood molding.
Briese, an avid cook, helped design the chef's kitchen, which is outfitted with a pot filler, farmhouse-style double sink and multifunctional Wolf range. The dove white flat-paneled kitchen cabinets act as a neutral backdrop to the black furniture-style center island. "We like the clean, classic contrast of black and white," said Briese.
That look is popular with many homeowners, according to Holly Erotas, owner of Erotas Building. "Most of our clients today want cleaned-up traditional," she said. "Fresh and updated, but still classic. "
As in most of today's open-floor plans, the kitchen flows into the great room, which is defined by a gray-painted coffered ceiling. The far wall in the great room holds a media cabinet and gas log fireplace and is covered with ebony-stained wood paneling that matches the kitchen center island.
"The fireplace is a bit off-center, like one I saw in an old Pennsylvania farmhouse," said Murphy. "It gives it authenticity."
The large screen porch off the kitchen creates an indoor-outdoor connection to the wooded landscape and back-yard lake. Briese calls the porch "our cabin," and Murphy warmed it up with a dark-stained beadboard ceiling above a wood-burning fireplace.
But the family will have to wait until the Parade is over before they can use their fireplace. After more than a year of planning and picking out everything from cabinet hardware to light fixtures, Lombardo, Briese and their daughter, Olivia, are eager to move in.
For their first dinner, Briese plans to prepare a three-meat ragu sauce and pull a bottle of wine from the walk-in wine cellar in the finished lower level.
"It's exciting to see your vision become a reality and be able to live it every day," said Lombardo.
Lynn Underwood • 612-673-7619