Ample Natural Light Revives a 1948 Lakefront Midcentury Home
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Ample Natural Light Revives a 1948 Lakefront Midcentury Home

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By Kathryn M.
Presented by Marvin
Once featured in a 1954 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, this house has been masterfully renovated with thoughtful design moves and carefully selected materials that exemplify key tenets of midcentury modern design.

On a quiet lake just outside of Wayzata, Minnesota, sits a midcentury modern gem that appeared on the November 1954 cover of Better Homes and Gardens. At the time, the home’s clean, minimalist lines and large windows overlooking a serene landscape spoke to newly emerging principles of the now classic architecture style. Decades later, the home’s current owners sought to update and expand the original living areas while preserving its admired midcentury aesthetic.

A look at the 1948 home before the remodel. Though the home had strong bones, its current owners sought to modernize the interiors while creating a close connection to nature.

A look at the 1948 home before the remodel. Though the home had strong bones, its current owners sought to modernize the interiors while creating a close connection to nature.

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Originally built in 1948 by Thorshov & Cerny, the single-story home was recently renovated by Minneapolis–based Peterssen/Keller Architecture. Principal Kristine Anderson, Assoc. AIA, led the effort, which focused on modernizing an outdated interior and strengthening the home’s indoor-outdoor connection––updates that could meet the needs of a modern lifestyle, but retain the home’s existing character. 

To achieve the project goals, Anderson and her team carefully selected materials for the renovation, including key products from Marvin.

Before, the inside felt dark and dated due to the dominating wooden features.  

Before, the inside felt dark and dated due to the dominating wooden features.  

"While the clients loved the look of their house and its location on a hill overlooking a quiet lake, they were challenged by the outdated interior layout and the lack of a strong connection to the outdoors," recalls Anderson. The team decided to flip the location of the kitchen and living rooms, allowing both spaces to flow more easily. 

Besides transforming the interior, the team changed the entire lakefront facade. The addition of Marvin Ultimate Lift & Slide Doors offers seamless transitions between the main living areas and outdoors. 

To expand and also brighten the home, the team added a sun-filled dining space and opened up the lakeside facade with Marvin Ultimate Lift & Slide Doors.  "My team and I are big fans of Marvin products," says Anderson. "Designed and manufactured here in Minnesota, they're ideal for local modern and traditional homes, as well as our other projects across the country."

To expand and also brighten the home, the team added a sun-filled dining space and opened up the lakeside facade with Marvin Ultimate Lift & Slide Doors.  "My team and I are big fans of Marvin products," says Anderson. "Designed and manufactured here in Minnesota, they're ideal for local modern and traditional homes, as well as our other projects across the country."

"By adding a wood-burning fireplace and Marvin’s full-height windows and Ultimate Lift & Slide Doors, we have transformed the living room into a light-filled space for relaxing and entertaining in all seasons," explains Anderson. Throughout the home, the team replaced older aluminum windows and doors with custom variations to match the existing styles, increasing energy efficiency and indoor comfort even during the harshest Minnesota winters.

The Marvin Ultimate Lift & Slide Door is available in sizes up to 48 feet wide, providing the option for expansive openings that seamlessly transition to exterior spaces. 

The Marvin Ultimate Lift & Slide Door is available in sizes up to 48 feet wide, providing the option for expansive openings that seamlessly transition to exterior spaces. 

Emphasizing the connection with nature, transom and corner windows illuminate spaces by inviting natural light throughout the entire home. Floor-to-ceiling windows help immerse the owners in their natural surroundings. Anderson and her team also transformed a three-season porch into a sun-filled dining area with windows along all sides, framing views of the landscape like artwork.

A crisp white color palette contrasts beautifully with the home's restored hardwood floors. In addition to copious windows and doors, skylights help usher in natural light throughout.

A crisp white color palette contrasts beautifully with the home's restored hardwood floors. In addition to copious windows and doors, skylights help usher in natural light throughout.

When asked how the design of Marvin windows and doors contribute to the firm’s creative process, fellow principal Gabriel Keller, Assoc. AIA, answers that the products are designed to fulfill the exacting needs of modern design: "We love how Marvin products allow us to design homes with expansive walls of glass that ‘disappear,’ integrating nature as a dynamic part of the living environment."

With fresh design updates that retain the midcentury modern aesthetic, this home’s classic style will endure for decades more.

Project Credits: 

Architect: Peterssen/Keller Architecture  / @peterssenkellerarchitecture 

Photography: Steve Henke Studio