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When the homeowners of this peaceful six-bedroom house on Lake Minnetonka set about designing their dream house, they had a very specific vision: They wanted it to feel like home; specifically, a home they already owned in Florida. “This family loves their Naples, Florida getaway and they wanted to recreate that traditional coastal style in the heart of Minnesota,” says Sven Gustafson, of Stonewood, noting that this serene and timeless architectural design aesthetic, curated by Peter Eskuche and Jeanna Landon of Eskuche Design, closely aligns with the picturesque views and calm ambience of lakeside living. “This required a careful balance,” he says. “We needed to incorporate the airy openness and sun-inspired motifs characteristic of their Florida home while embracing the warmth and earthy tones that resonate with Minnesota’s natural landscape and climate.”

Upon entering the home, this goal is immediately apparent in the clean, beachy palette. Throughout the home, you’ll find the softest shades of azure mixed with crisp creams and warm whites, thoughtfully selected by Studio M InteriorsMelissa Musgjerd. “The use of these colors by our design team is strategic and intentional,” says Gustafson. “Reminiscent of clear skies and tranquil waters, the light blue shades induce a sense of calm and relaxation. Whites amplify the brightness of the spaces, evoking the freshness of a beachside retreat.” These traditional coastal colors also highlight the natural materials and textures used throughout the house, bringing an organic, down-to-earth feel to the architecture.

Photography provided by Stonewood

We sense that simplicity in the very center of the home, where the kitchen, dining room and great room all come together in one glorious and inviting space. This bright, open area is where the family gathers for meals or just chills out in front of the fireplace. “The coherence in the design is achieved through the deliberate and harmonious selection of materials and fabrics that echo throughout the spaces, creating a seamless transition from one area to the next,” Gustafson explains.

It’s easy to imagine languid days in the home’s nearby sunroom, which nods to a more tropical state of mind. Here the vaulted, wood-paneled ceiling is a tour de force, creating a sense of expansiveness and drama. Accented with stylized ceiling fans, it projects a sweet dose of Floridian flair — you can almost feel the cool breezes washing over you. “The room’s versatility is heightened by the large sliding door that can seal it from the main home for privacy or open up to connect with the outdoor patio, effectively blending indoor comfort with an outdoor experience,” Gustafson explains.

This kind of versatility and tailor-made design is what puts Stonewood in a league of its own. In business since 1945, this fourth-generation company is one of the most established builders in the Lake Minnetonka/West Metro area. The son and grandson of home builders, Gustafson grew up working alongside his dad on job sites where he learned the trade from the bottom up. “I always thought of my father as an artist and knew that I wanted to follow in his footsteps,” Gustafson says. With a commitment to authenticity, craftsmanship and innovation, the builder shares his father’s meticulous attention to artistry. For Gustafson, it’s not just about building homes but creating masterpieces that seamlessly combine the firm’s rich heritage with the unique vision of the individual homeowner.

The homeowner of this lakeside abode is passionate about wine, so the team incorporated a bespoke, glassed-in wine vault that operates like a functional art piece. Beautifully poised between the kitchen and great room, the glass wall magically holds bottles of wine which seem to float in midair. “This feature requires precise engineering to ensure the perfect climate control for wine storage, while maintaining the aesthetic requirement of transparent walls to showcase the collection,” Gustafson explains.

This family also likes to entertain, so the kitchen was designed with social gatherings in mind. In this space, appearance and functionality are given equal priority. Custom cabinetry conveys a sleek, uncluttered look, while the marble countertops add an element of organic panache. Meanwhile, a mini-prep kitchen is quietly hidden right behind the cabinetry, allowing the main kitchen to always look tidy and neat. “The strategic placement of the prep kitchen tucked out of sight is a masterstroke in design,” Gustafson says. “This setup speaks to our understanding of the homeowners’ need for a space that’s as practical as it is beautiful.”

On the warm and cozy lower level, which serves as an entertainment hub, movie watching and pool games take center stage. A piano is tucked into a nearby music nook where signed guitars and a modern turntable set the scene for melodious evenings. “Ultimately, this home is a testament to the adaptability of design and the personal narrative of the homeowners,” Gustafson sums up. “They managed to capture Florida’s bright, coastal ambiance within a structure that feels inherently at home in the Lake Minnetonka setting.”

Read this article as it appears in the magazine.

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