Construction just wrapped up on Sandy LaPrade's Tonka Bay home. Now the family will roll out the welcome mat in grand fashion.
The new home — a light-filled contemporary rambler — will be part of the 2021 Artisan Home Tour. The self-guided tour, which spotlights new and remodeled homes throughout the metro area, starts June 11.
Before deciding to build, she and her husband looked at several homes that were on the market. They wanted a contemporary home with lake views, a house they could grow into.
"The first Realtor told me what we were looking for didn't exist," said LaPrade. "I kind of gave up hope. Then a friend of ours recommended we reach out to Realtor Matt Johnson."
Known as "Minnetonka Matt," Johnson helps buyers find homes in the Lake Minnetonka area.
"We met for lunch and within eight hours he texted me this listing," said LaPrade. "We looked at it, and the rest is history."
The couple instantly fell in love with the home's location — in Tonka Bay on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, near where they had raised their family.
But the home itself — five-bedroom, five-bathroom and in the Tuscan style — would need to be completely rebuilt to include all the amenities they wanted.
"I wasn't really up for the task of building again because of how much work it is," said LaPrade, noting that she and her husband had already built four houses in their 30 years of marriage. "But he really wanted to live on the lake."
So they decided to purchase the lot and start from scratch.
Once they'd found their dream lot, the LaPrades put together their dream team: luxury builder John Kraemer from John Kraemer & Sons; architectural designers Colby Mattson and Jonathan Mason from Charlie & Co. Design; and Ellington & Co. Design interior design. LaPrade would also play a hand in the decor.
"I tend to pound the pavement and visit several different designer furniture marts," she said.
LaPrade wanted the design to ring contemporary, bring in plenty of natural elements and sunlight while emphasizing outdoor spaces to capitalize on lake living. Also important was creating space for her adult children, as well as future grandchildren.
"We're a really close family," she said. "We want our kids to come over and also have a place for the grandkids that will be coming along someday."
Dog lovers, the family needed functional, Fido-friendly spaces. And, to accommodate LaPrade's love for baking, the house has an expansive gourmet kitchen plus a butler's pantry with a wine refrigerator.
Coming full circle
The result: a 6,066-square-foot walkout rambler with clean lines, bright colors and materials such as rift white oak and blackened steel. Natural elements, such as Fond du Lac stone, are used on the exterior and integrated into the living room.
When tourgoers walk through the five-bedroom, four-bathroom home, they'll also find a design that captures lake views, an open floor plan and a blueprint that maximizes outdoor spaces. Amenities such as a heated outdoor dining and lounge space, fireplace, built-in grill and stone bench seating are part of the home's charm. A separate lake entrance makes for easy access to laundry and a beverage center.
When it's time to relax indoors, an owners' suite that includes a spa bath helps with that charge.
The couple also planned three spacious guest suites for when their adult children visit. And the blueprint allows space for a bunk room. There's also an in-home elevator, so the LaPrades can age in place.
For the finishing touches, art pieces throughout the home are ones LaPrade has collected and are an ode to her family's love for travel. It ties together what the home is to her, one where her family can gather and enjoy for years to come.
"It was a lot of work," she said, "but it's been fun."
Nancy Ngo • 612-673-4892
Artisan Home Tour
What: Self-guided tour of 22 new homes and eight remodeled homes (open final weekend only) across the metro area, from Minnetrista to Afton and North Oaks to Prior Lake. Presented by the Parade of Homes.
When: June 11-13, 18-20, 25-27.
Tickets: $20 at Bachman's stores or by using a coupon available at Holiday Station stores; $25 online; $30 on-site. Single home tickets can be purchased for $5. artisanhometour.org.