What's your vision of the perfect home? ¶ For one family, it's a lakeshore retreat in Wisconsin with room for a crowd. For a city homeowner, it's a tiny accessory dwelling next to his home, where he can host visiting friends and generate income via Airbnb. ¶ You'll find those two homes and more among this year's Home of the Month selected projects. Twelve designs by AIA Minnesota (American Institute of Architects) professionals were chosen from nearly 40 submissions. ¶ Starting in June, you'll get an inside look at these dozen homes on the first Sunday of every month in the Homes section and at startribune.com. ¶ The features will include interviews with the homeowners and architects, as well as plenty of photos to inspire your own building or remodeling plans. ¶ Here's a sneak preview of this year's 12 homes:

Calhoun Pavilions Residence

For this new modern house overlooking Lake Calhoun, the architects made the most of a deep, oddly shaped urban lot by stepping the house back from the street and creating three pavilions. The pavilions are connected by transparent garden spaces that bring natural light into each level. The L-shaped plan cradles the courtyard and swimming pool, providing a connection between indoors and outdoors. The upper-level master suite projects toward the city, with views of the lake and downtown skyline.

Design team: Ted Martin, Gabriel Keller, Lars Peterssen, Andrew Edwins and Jason Briles, of Peterssen/Keller Architecture

A Retreat for All Seasons

This lakeshore retreat in Wisconsin was designed as a getaway spot where a family could escape city life and connect with nature. In the main house, the kitchen is the hub of family entertaining, with easy access and flow to both indoor and outdoor dining and living areas. Across the lawn is a quaint bunkhouse with a sleeping gallery for eight. Reclaimed timbers, stonework and ironwork add character to both structures.

Design team: Dan Nepp and Colby Mattson of TEA2 Architects

Nordic Light Residence

On a wedge-shaped sliver of land at a very visible intersection in St. Paul's St. Anthony Park neighborhood sits this new modern home — a peaceful presence in the heart of the city. The house, which was designed to capture light, was inspired by its site, set carefully among mature oak trees and clad in unfinished cedar to weather naturally. The main level is open, while the upper level includes a roof deck with views of the Minneapolis skyline.

Design team: John Dwyer, Colin Oglesbay and Edward Eichten of D/O


A new modern home in the heart of Linden Hills, this house is Green Star-certified with a solar array on the rooftop and many other energy- and water-saving features. It was carefully designed to be in scale with its older neighborhood and to not crowd neighboring homes, as well as to preserve a mature oak tree in the yard. A central courtyard provides privacy in a dense urban setting.

Design team: Christian Dean and Katy Dale of Christian Dean Architecture

Linden Hills Addition

A small addition transformed a cramped kitchen in a traditional Minneapolis home into an efficient and inviting space for a chef and his family. The new kitchen makes the most of every inch, with a narrow island, an entire wall of shallow-depth cabinetry and additional storage below the eating-nook bench. The addition also created space for an expanded mudroom and powder room, and upstairs for a new owners' suite.

Design team: Mark Larson, Sarah Nymo and Anders Matney of Rehkamp Larson Architects

South Tyrol Midcentury Modern

This iconic midcentury modern house in Golden Valley, designed in 1961 by architect Richard Babcock for his own family, has been updated for contemporary living. The main-level floor plan was reworked to create an integrated kitchen, dining and living area, while the lower level was redesigned to create a family/media room, a home office and a sauna. A new front entry blends seamlessly with the exterior of the home.

Design team: Lars Peterssen and Brent Nelson of Peterssen/Keller Architecture

Marine Barn

The owners of this home were seeking a separate retreat away from the main house, as a place to host guests and also provide a space for musical composition. This new barn replaces a two-car garage that was located on the same footprint, but adds a workshop to one side and an open carport to the other. An interior stairway leads up to a light-filled loft with views of a pond.

Design team: David O'Brien Wagner and Brittny Roberts of SALA Architects

Compact Living

This tiny 380-square-foot home is near Lake Harriet and its historic streetcar line. A recent change to the Minneapolis zoning code paved the way for building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in this location. The homeowner wanted a separate guesthouse for visiting family and friends, as well as Airbnb renters. The use of glass, partitions and vaulted ceilings creates an open, airy interior.

Design team: Christopher Strom of Christopher Strom Architects

Hyytinen Cabin

This northern Minnesota retreat replaces an old, non-insulated cabin. The home's orientation was shifted to allow for a south-facing deck and a welcoming entry. The main floor includes a master bedroom and workshop, plus a terrace, while the upper level has two guest rooms. Materials including locally supplied wood and dry-laid stone were chosen to complement the cabin's rugged setting.

Design team: David Salmela and Malini Srivastava of Salmela Architect

Kenwood Carriage House

This modest house in Minneapolis' Kenwood neighborhood serves as a guesthouse to the house next door, giving the homeowners plenty of space for out-of-town guests. Large sliding doors connect the main floor to the covered porch. Outdoor living spaces — including a courtyard, covered dining area and fire pit — are shared with the main house. The simple, traditional exterior complements the main house, while the interior has its own fresh modern aesthetic.

Design team: Mark Larson and Ryan Lawinger of Rehkamp Larson Architects

Gathering Together

This traditional home, a 1915 Tudor Revival on Lake of the Isles, has been updated with three additions to accommodate a modern family of sports fans. The former attic is now a cozy retreat with bookshelves and a window seat with a view of the lake. A new kitchen, which takes its design cues from a turn-of-the-century chemistry lab, includes a large island for dining, entertaining and watching games. And on the lower level, a new English pub creates another space for enjoying sports and a pint.

Design team: Christopher Strom of Christopher Strom Architects

Credit River Residence

This new home, built in an established suburban neighborhood, blends modern and traditional elements, while meeting neighborhood guidelines. The architects pushed the envelope, designing two steeply gabled wings connected by a third wing and flanked by two flat-roof box shapes, which house a third garage stall and a screened porch. The home utilizes energy-efficient materials including structural insulated panels.

Design team: Lars Peterssen, Ryan Fish, Cindy Burns, Brent Nelson and Ashley Peterson of Peterssen/Keller Architecture