Homegazing: A musical mansion

  • Article by: LYNN UNDERWOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 13, 2012 - 6:13 PM

Pianist Lorie Line’s biggest production – her Orono home – listed last month, is now facing foreclosure

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Pianist Lorie Line, known for her grand holiday spectacles, is now facing foreclosure on her sprawling Lake Minnetonka house. Documents filed with Hennepin County say Line and her husband, Tim, owe more than $2 million on the glitzy Mediterranean mansion, recently put on the market for $3.99 million. Realtor Patty Yorks of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who listed the house last month, said she was surprised by the foreclosure news. “I feel sad for them,” she said. 

The house, built in 1996 on a point on Lake Minnetonka, even boasts a mini-stage where Line performs for guests. From the lake, the circular mansion is known to boaters as "the Lorie Line house" because it's been featured in several magazines, and in the spring, Line plants pink and white impatiens on the lawn with a white "L" in the middle.

But with her two children gone, Line and her husband, Tim, are looking for something a little smaller than an 8,500-square-foot estate.

"Tim and my son have four acres to mow, and I have 10 bathrooms to clean," said Line, who does the household chores. "It's a good time to sell. I see myself living in a simpler way."

Line, famous for her crowd-pleasing holiday spectacles at venues such as Orchestra Hall and the State Theatre, will be embarking on a 40-show tour this month.

But her biggest production was building this house on Forest Lake Bay in Orono.

Line chose a Mediterranean architectural style because it reminded her of her childhood. "I love the terra-cotta roofs I grew up with in Nevada," she said. "When we moved to Minneapolis, we didn't see any."

She collaborated with designer Blake Bichanich on the design, and the home was built by Keith Waters & Associates.

"After we found the property, Blake and I sat down and drew out the layout in about five hours," she said. "But we spent a year and a half on all the details."

One design element that came easily was the curved walls facing the lake, which mirror the shape of the land on the peninsula.

"The property just screamed for a house full of curves," said Line. "There's not one square line in my house."

The result is sweeping, three-quarter views of Lake Minnetonka from many of the living spaces, including the master bedroom.

"Waking up in the bedroom, it's magical -- it's so full of light, and you can see water everywhere," she said.

The rest of the home is also a mix of glamour, drama and warmth, reflecting Line's stage and at-home personality.

"My other passion, besides playing the piano, is design," said Line, who made all the decor decisions, from the wallpaper on the dining-room ceiling to the champagne limestone kitchen countertops.

Another feature she loves is the wide-open floor plan. "You can lean over the railing and talk -- which I really like in a big house," she said.

The home's design also gave the Lines an unexpected perk: The third-floor cupola is party central at galas and fundraisers. "We use it for drinks before dinner and serve appetizers on a landing," she said. "We didn't plan for it, but it's great for entertaining."

In their next home, space for her concert grand piano is a top priority. "We can't live in a loft -- I practice every morning, and it would drive people crazy," she said.

The couple are contemplating "tricking out" their downtown Wayzata business office of Lorie Line Music, and turning it into a penthouse apartment where they'll work and live.

But for now, Line, who lives out of a suitcase as much as 100 days a year, relishes coming home to the Lake Minnetonka mansion.

"I feel really blessed to have lived in a house like this," she said.

Other features

• The 8,500-square-foot home has four bedrooms and six bathrooms.

• An Italian-style courtyard welcomes guests.

• The two-story foyer has a patterned limestone floor and a rotunda, with views of the second floor.

• A Rumford fireplace with Kasota stone surround is in the hearth room off the kitchen. "We can light a real fire, and that's where everyone hangs out," said Line.

• The black-and-white master bathroom includes a chandelier from Line's shows suspended above a slipper tub and a huge dressing room.

• Black walnut and Brazilian walnut floors are throughout most of the home.

• Lower-level walkout houses a fitness room, lakeside kitchen, office, a porch where Line serves summer dinners, and a concert memorabilia room.

• The basement wine cellar can hold more than 1,000 bottles.

• An outdoor kitchen with a big patio faces the lake.

• The 1,000 feet of shoreline features a big dock and swimming beach.

• The manicured grounds are planted with boxwoods, arborvitae and formal gardens.

• Location, location, location. The home sits on a private point on Lake Minnetonka, but is only a 30-minute drive from downtown Minneapolis.

Patty Yorks of Coldwell Banker Burnet has the listing, www.pattyyorks.com, 952-334-3333.

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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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