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Photography by LandMark Photography

Dubbed the Orchard Creek Overlook, this home was the second of five approved and built on a private 39.5-acre parcel of land in Orono. John Quinlivan, founder and CEO of Gordon James Construction & Development, worked closely with Tommy Everson of Everson Architect from the earliest conceptual stage through final construction. The new home artfully blends nature and suburban living in 5,300 square feet of livable space, plus a garage and athletic court.

The location itself offers suburban amenities, a nearby golf course and highly regarded public schools, all just a short drive from downtown Minneapolis. “It’s a popular area,” said Quinlivan. “People scour the city’s activities to see when a new development gets approved and jump on it. Before we even had our permit to build, people had connected with us and we already had an agreement to hold three lots.”

While all five lots are located within a protected reserve, Orchard Creek Overlook presented a premier position and idyllic setting for a family with two children. “There’s a large wetland in their backyard,” Quinlivan explains. “No one can ever build there. It’s a very private setting with great views.”

“One of the main drivers for the layout of the house was capitalizing on views to the west,” Everson shares. “The great room was oriented parallel to the wetland, in order to maximize glazing on the west façade and provide panoramic vistas. Main level bedrooms were also positioned along the west side of the house so that each could have their own unique view of the wetland.” According to Gordon James Construction & Development, combining an open floor plan with large custom windows allows natural light to flood main living spaces and promotes uninterrupted views to surrounding nature.

“This is the second custom home that I have designed for the homeowners,” says Everson. “They wanted a sprawling single-story house that complemented their scenic property. They were inspired by Mountain Modern style homes.” He notes that the clients shared designs from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Aspen, Colorado, as inspiration.

Unique finishes were added to bring a personal touch to the client’s preferred architectural aesthetic. These design details included one-of-a-kind ironwork railings, hand-blown glass light fixtures, locally sourced limestone flooring and Wisconsin-made Kolbe Windows & Doors. High-quality, custom-crafted windows and doors to frame the exceptional views were among the clients’ priorities.

Artful Living | Kolbe Windows & Doors Elevates Indoor/Outdoor Living in an Orono Home

“Early in design development, we took a visit to the Kolbe showroom to look at their offerings, and the clients fell in love with the VistaLuxe WD LINE windows and doors,” recalls Everson. “They really liked the clean lines, elegant details and sleek grids, and felt that they couldn’t get the same product from anyone else.” Kolbe’s VistaLuxe collection features a low-maintenance, extruded aluminum exterior frame with a natural wood interior. An industry-leading frame-to-daylight-opening ratio increases the viewing area and multiple units can be joined together for an even more expansive experience.

For Orchard Creek Overlook, Everson selected the Flush profile style to capitalize on its contemporary, streamlined appearance. The majority of the windows and doors showcase a Colonial pattern muntin grid with performance divided lites. “The project is a blend of traditional forms, modern detailing and rustic materials. We felt that the windows and doors should reflect the hybrid nature of the design. The VistaLuxe WD LINE was a good fit because of its narrow profiles and thin square grids,” describes Everson.

“Kolbe was just the perfect fit for this project,” reiterated Everson. “Stylistically, the VistaLuxe WD LINE gave them the right combination of sophistication and rusticity. Without these products, I do not think the house’s design would have been as successful.”

Artful Living | Kolbe Windows & Doors Elevates Indoor/Outdoor Living in an Orono Home

On the exterior, the window and door framing is finished in a dark Corbeau color to complement the dark finish of the metal roof. On the interior, the natural wood is painted black to contrast with white walls and ceilings, and to frame the vistas. Natural materials extend the connection between outdoor and indoors, with wood and stone floors, exposed wood beams and a stone fireplace.

Along with complying with the development’s architectural standards and attaining the aesthetics desired by his client, Everson selected glass options to optimize performance of the windows and doors. Specifying standard double-pane glass with low-e coatings throughout the home helps maintain comfortable temperatures in both cold winter months and hot summer months. The glass choice also helps mitigate direct UV exposure, minimizing damage to interior furnishings, finishes and artwork.

“The clients are thrilled with how the house turned out,” says Everson. “They were very happy with their decision to use Kolbe products. They love how the house feels integrated with its surroundings, both inside and out.”

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