Perhaps the only summer activity more iconic than cruising on Lake Minnetonka is admiring the homes that line its shores. Tucked into an angled lot, this one hints that there’s more to see than what meets the lake’s-eye view. Its copper edging reflects golden hues in the sunlight and contours the elegant, elongated layout with its series of hip roofs that echoes the water and the shoreline.
This vision came to architect Charles Stinson as he stood on the lot, shortly after Jaleh and Patrick Peyton purchased the property. The couple interviewed a handful of architects, but Stinson was the only one who actually set foot onsite, solidifying their decision to partner with him. “I’ll stand on a lot until I realize where the house wants to be, what orientation it has — you have to feel it,” the architect explains.
The uniquely shaped lot angles inward before doglegging out to the lake. It was originally owned by the beer-pioneering Gluek family, and the Peytons are only the fourth owners since the property’s 1800s beginnings. The site, however, came with its fair share of challenges. Trees and vegetation had encroached over the years, so the first order of business was restoring the natural beauty. The team removed 200 dead or damaged trees then redefined the lot by planting 300 new ones. After four years of landscaping and building, the couple was able to call the house home in June 2017.
The exterior immediately evokes warm, modern appeal, with natural materials like stone and copper welcoming guests inside. A light well rises above the roof and pours natural radiance into the residence, while black-stained Loewen windows offset the aesthetic. The house, boathouse and detached garage boast similar geometric elements and proportions, making up one cohesive composition.
The Peytons primarily reside in Miami but call Minnesota home during the summer and the holidays. Six children and eight grandchildren keep the couple busy and were major motivators for the layout of their lake home. To achieve their family retreat goals, Stinson designed an environment with special twists and turns.
“Every inch of the playroom is part of the adventure, from the carpet to the walls,” laughs Jaleh. It includes a bunkroom that sleeps 14, cozy play nooks inside and out, extensive outdoor space, and a playhouse inspired by Stinson’s children’s book, Stripey Island, that features slides, ropes, climbing walls and even a 500-ball jumping pit.
Adults most certainly enjoy the residence as well, from the catering kitchen and 28-seat dining room to the private guest rooms to the deck spanning the length of the house (complete with infinity pool — one of few on Lake Minnetonka). The Peytons ultimately eliminated a third level to keep the space open yet intimate and efficient. “Charles took great efforts to design the interior and exterior spaces we anticipated for both the current and future generational needs of our family,” Patrick explains.
Throughout the bustling abode, Stinson thoughtfully emphasized the homeowners’ art collection to create moments of pause. “We didn’t want to lose the warmth of our home, but we wanted to maintain a quiet elegance where our art enriches our daily lives,” notes Patrick. Early designs of stone walls were replaced with large continuous walls and gallery-like spaces. Similarly, numerous walls were designed to be artful in and of themselves, featuring beautiful paint and plaster treatments that can stand alone or enhance art.
“We collect artwork from young, mid-career and well-established artists from around the world,” explains Jaleh. “The power is in the story that each artist brings.” A narrative that has transferred beautifully to their home, its vision brought to life by builder Streeter & Associates. “This house is put together like a Lego set; the specifications and execution are tight as a drum, and only a builder like Streeter could do it,” Patrick remarks.
Streeter Senior Project Manager Kevin Hilgers has always wanted to build a Stinson home, and with this project, he finally got the chance. “The structural work was intense, but the partnership we had with the homeowners and with Stinson’s team made for a flawless finish,” he notes. “This home was always meant for this site. It’s rewarding to give someone something as special as family time.”