Nestled in the coveted South Tyrol Hills community, a midcentury home mingles seamlessly with the trees and other natural surroundings.
The 2,200 square-foot Golden Valley abode with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, built in 1962 and across from a pond and near South Tyrol Park, is on the market.
Listing agent Jesse Forsell said the home is an example of timeless design.
"This house is a true architectural gem. As a Realtor who has toured thousands of homes, I rarely get to see a home that wows me on all fronts," he said. "From the stunning landscaping to the masterful details throughout the home, this luxury treehouse boasts a unique vibe that is unparalleled. It is just midcentury perfection."
Homeowners Brian and David Woolsey, who have lovingly pegged the home the Woolsey Treehouse during their time there, said the game-changer was when the home underwent a major transformation in 2005. That's when then-homeowner Stephanie Shopa, former CEO of Thymes bath, body and home fragrance brand, commissioned Sala Architects to breathe new life into the home.
"When you look at pre-renovation photos, the home looks a bit frumpy," Brian said. "But there was a lot of potential. There's a lot to love about the lot itself. There are probably 20 oak and giant cottonwood trees. And it's a graded lot on a half-acre that goes all the way back onto the frontage road. It's one of the biggest lots in Tyrol."
The midcentury makeover and execution of details was a standout when the home was featured in the AIA (American Institute of Architects) Homes by Architects Tour.
Key was "a build better, not bigger" design philosophy. That meant designing spaces for daily life while cutting out things such as unused sitting areas and formal dining rooms.
"Every square foot is in use every day," Brian said.
With every square foot counting for something, the design also made sure spaces in the home had multiple functions whenever possible. The flow of the spaces was also important, with a design that transitioned indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly, connected to nature and brought in plenty of natural light.
Visually, it also was important to integrate various ceiling heights to create spatial elements of interest. Window positioning also was key for bringing in light and offering great views.
"We love the privacy that comes with the window placements and being perched in the trees. We are close to our neighbors, but the home is very private," Brian said.
The home also has plenty of stylistic visual elements, such as sliding closet doors with architectural details and a Japanese-inspired bathroom with a soaking tub as well as a shower located in the middle of the room.
"It's not something you always see in the Midwest. It was inspired by Japanese design," Brian said.
The Woolseys have owned the home since 2014. They are the third homeowners to live in the home after the major transformation took place.
They have made some changes of their own over the years, including designing built-ins in the lower level television room and library, and adding indirect lighting elements to the exterior and interior spaces.
They also tripled the amount of outdoor living space, adding a hot tub, dining area and gas fireplace. The pandemic and quarantining in 2020 gave them time to relandscape, including installing no-mow fescue grass for their two fluffy doodles, Remy and Walter, to play in.
The couple also had rooms throughout the home designed by interior designers. Tailor-made furniture emphasized natural elements, midcentury flair and fun artifacts from their lives.
"When we made the edits or improvements to the property, there were some things [we] debated," he said. "We had to be careful because you can't undo what was so thoughtfully composed originally."
Now Brian, a real estate developer and co-founder of the real estate advisory firm Monarch CRE, and David, a nurse at M Health, are moving.
"We found a 1935 Tudor on Medicine Lake that we get to restore and get Tudor-y with it. We're really excited about it, and we want to start a family, so it provides for all of those things," Brian said. "It's bittersweet. I went kicking and screaming at the idea of moving from downtown condo to suburban life. Then I walked in and instantly fell in love with the house.
"And we feel like we've gotten to be the stewards of the great design that came before us. And we tried to live up to that responsibility."
Jesse Forsell (firstname.lastname@example.org; 952-807-3193) of Coldwell Banker Realty has the $1 million listing. *At the time of publication, an offer on the home is pending.