Modernism meets outdoor living

  • Article by: LYNN UNDERWOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 21, 2012 - 10:46 AM

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Dave Kuettel and his wife, Megan, were very intrigued by the large clean-lined contemporary home on Indianhead Lake in Edina. But it took them a year "to pull the trigger" and buy it in 2007, said Dave.

"Our kids were older, and we were ready for something visually simple, sleek and uncluttered," said Dave, who was living with his family in a traditional Tudor at the time. "But we would want to make changes and decided it was too big of a project."

A year later, the sellers dropped the price dramatically. "We decided to go for it," he said. "It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Dave and Megan, who had built and renovated previous homes, took this one on as a creative challenge. They were well aware that revamping the 1989 home to suit their taste would be a significant investment. But living on a private, densely wooded site on Indianhead Lake, only a few blocks from their children's school, would be worth it.

The couple collaborated with architect Tim Alt of Altus Architecture + Design and Streeter and Associates to update the 7,700-square-foot structure, which Dave described as "stuck in the 1980s." They also reconfigured some interior spaces to draw in more light and better connect with the site and the clear, deep lake in their back yard.

"The home's different angles and heights made it really interesting," said Dave. "We wanted to use the original architecture as a springboard to enhance it."

But first they had to cut down 20 trees and clear out overgrown landscaping. "You couldn't even see the lake from inside the house," said Dave.

It took a year to complete improvements, such as rebuilding the front stucco entry to make it feel more welcoming, tearing out two staircases and putting in a new see-through staircase to open up the main floor for better lake views.

The sleek new kitchen, outfitted with dual center islands, two refrigerators and rift-sawn oak cabinets, is the centerpiece of the home, especially when the couple entertains large groups for work-related events. They're also hosting a graduation open house next month.

To warm up the minimalist interiors, they replaced the stark whitewashed walls with a soft gray and off-white color palette and integrated lots of wood accents. "The juxtaposition of curves and rectangular shapes makes the house visually pleasing and turns it into a piece of art," said Dave.

At the same time, it's family-friendly, with a walkout lower level housing an amusement room and full kitchen. Stone steps lead to a dock on the lake where the Kuettels canoe and fish in the summer and snowshoe and skate in the winter. And when the lake's too cold, there's a heated in-ground swimming pool surrounded by terraced gardens.

For the past four years, Dave and Megan have enjoyed their home's melding of modern architecture with nature. But with their youngest child heading to college in the fall, they've decided to sell. They're looking for a low-maintenance townhouse and are considering moving to a warmer climate during the winters.

"I'm going to miss waking up in the morning and seeing the sky, the shoreline, layers of water and the beautiful trunks of the birch trees," said Dave. "It's like being in a treehouse."

Other features

• The three-level 7,758-square foot home includes five bedrooms and five bathrooms.

• Hardwood maple floors throughout the main level.

• Vaulted foyer with slope skylights.

• Master bedroom makeover includes Japanese-inspired dark walnut built-in bed, headboard and night stands.

• Master bathroom was recently updated with zebrawood cabinets, 13-foot-long vanity, chrome fixtures and travertine tile.

• Home office/library with built-in maple bookcases, fireplace and wet bar.

• Three-season porch with a built-in grill.

• Two new curved decks with steel railings offer panoramic views of Indianhead Lake.

• Location, location, location: It feels like it's in the middle of the woods, but is just blocks away from Edina schools, Bredesen Park and close to shopping.

Barry Berg of Coldwell Banker Burnett has the listing; 612-925-8404.

Lynn Underwood • 612-673-7619

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To have a unique property considered for a Homegazing feature, please send digital photos and a description to lunderwood@startribune.com.

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