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Continued: A rural retreat lives large

  • Article by: LYNN UNDERWOOD , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 6, 2013 - 9:39 AM

The efficiently designed main floor and loft also have plenty of space-saving built-ins. A bench the full length of one wall offers more seating and storage, while built-in beds have drawers, and a cypress-trimmed window box serves as a reading nook. Many of the wood cabinets and millwork were built by local Amish craftspeople.

While keeping a close eye on expenses, the Jacobs decided to splurge on a geothermal heat system and full basement with a concrete foundation. “We got a 30 percent rebate on the geothermal cost,” said Myles. “And the home costs pennies to heat.” The unfinished basement cost about $10,000, but offers space if they decide to add a bedroom. “Plus we have a safe place to go when it storms,” said Myles.

Although the home’s main floor is only 850 square feet, “it never feels like a small and cramped house,” said Myles. That’s because its light-filled rooms, changes in ceiling heights and highlighted architectural details make the home feel much bigger than its compact size.

The Jacobs’ retreat is an example of building smaller, and not sacrificing style, to extend a budget, said Cornell. “Simple forms are used to the fullest to live bigger in small spaces,” she said.

Every weekend, Myles and Sue escape from hectic city life to their rural abode they’ve named “Coulee Wind.” They cultivate vegetables in an expansive plot they could never have in their small city yard, and also tend two beehives that produce fresh honey. There’s no TV, Wi-Fi or computers. Often, the Jacobs see Amish buggies traveling down the road.

“We’re only two hours from our home, and it feels like a million miles away,” said Myles.


Lynn Underwood • 612-673-7619



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