There's no place like home. That's never been truer than it is today, with most of us spending the lion's share of our time there.

But what makes a home feel comfortable and comforting? What makes it function smoothly and efficiently? Which features attract the eye and lift the spirit?

The answers are as varied as the people who seek to create their ideal home. For one young urban couple, it was remodeling their single-bedroom warehouse loft to make room for a baby. For an architect and his wife, it was creating a new modern home designed to make the most of lakeshore living on an island, while designing for aging in place and sustainability.

These homes and more are among this year's Home of the Month selected projects. Twelve designs by AIA Minnesota (American Institute of Architects) professionals were chosen from 38 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 You'll hear from the homeowners and architects involved, and see plenty of photos to inspire your own building or remodeling plans.

Here's a preview of the next 12 homes:

1. Waterfront Stone and Glass

Design team: Leffert Tigelaar, Charlie Witzke and Tyler Nelson, TEA2 Architects

On a northern Minnesota lake, a new home blends modern and traditional elements to create a tranquil retreat with multiple outdoor rooms, including an entry courtyard. An open bridge separates sleeping areas for adults and children.

2. Warehouse Loft Remodeling

Design team: Todd Hansen, Jenny Seim and Katie Loecken, Albertsson Hansen Architecture

A young couple expecting a baby remodeled their single-bedroom loft-style condo to create a nursery, an improved kitchen and better flow throughout. Unused space under the staircase now contains wine storage, pantry pullouts and a built-in dog kennel.

3. Box Camp

Design team: David O'Brien Wagner, Caitlin Dippo and Katie Leaf, SALA Architects

In the North Woods of Wisconsin, a low-slung new lake home is modern, while evoking a camp-like arrangement of gathering and sleeping spaces. The heart of the camp is a central gathering box with a fireplace, tall ceilings and windows facing the lake.

4. Nenookaasi

Design team: Meghan Kell Cornell, Dan Wallace and Kelly Kraemer, Kell Architects

Set on a sliver of peninsula on a lake in Crow Wing County, a new family getaway home blends with its wooded surroundings while creating spaces for extended family members to enjoy. There's a great room with a hearth and reading nooks, a main-level owners' suite and lower-level spaces for grown children and future grandchildren to sleep and play.

5. Deephaven Up/Down

Design team: Todd Hansen and Amanda Chial, Albertsson Hansen Architecture

A split-level rambler in suburbia was completely reconfigured to meet the needs of an active family, including an updated kitchen, a new mudroom and a rear addition that creates a seamless transition to the patio and captures views of a hidden pond.

6. Jewel Box Cabin

Design team: Sara Imhoff, Imprint Architecture and Design

A small — 900 square feet — two-story cabin was designed to be efficient and environmentally friendly, with minimal impact on its lakeside site in northern Minnesota.

7. Caliente

Design team: Christopher Strom and Theodore Grothe, Christopher Strom Architects

A growing young family living in a modest Minneapolis bungalow expanded their living space with an accessory dwelling unit in their backyard that serves as both a home office and a space for movie or game nights.

8. Shady Island Summer Home

Design team: Charles Stinson, Chuck Thiss and Kim Streeter, Charles R. Stinson Architecture + Design

An architect's Lake Minnetonka home was designed for four-season family living, aging in place and sustainability. The modern home is connected to the outdoors by its west-facing sunroom and triple-pane windows overlooking the lake.

9. Norfolk Scandi

Design team: Kari Nelson, K|Nelson Architects

After living in Denmark for several years, a family returned to their St. Paul rambler. The family had doubled in size and needed more space, so they re-created the rambler as a two-story home, incorporating the Danish modern aesthetic they had come to appreciate.

10. Mahtomedi Modern

Design team: Mark Stankey and Matthew Byers, PLAAD

A new modern family oasis on White Bear Lake was designed to facilitate indoor/outdoor living. The home has a quiet one-level presence on the street side, opening up to a walkout with sweeping views of the lake.

11. Edmund Residence

Design team: Lars Peterssen and Andrew Edwins, Peterssen/Keller Architecture

Set on a narrow, deep city lot, a new modern home creates a strong indoor-outdoor connection, maximizing river views. The home's design includes space for the owners to spend time with grown children and grandchildren, and features a craft room that can be converted into a main-floor master suite in the future.

12. Modest Mid-Century Remodeling

Design team: Christine Albertsson, Michael Burgoyne and Abigail Merlis, Albertsson Hansen Architecture

A 1960s suburban two-story home with small disconnected rooms was opened up to create an appealing modern home, without expanding the footprint. The formal dining room was repurposed to create space for a mudroom and pantry, improving livability.