Lake Society Magazine - Spring 2022

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Serious about style. Fanatic about function. Fiddlehead 2

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The Proper Balance 26

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Letter from the Editor As spring approaches, we begin to think about gardens, landscapes, and pops of color indoors and outdoors – all welcome changes to the dreary Minnesota landscape. In this issue, we have curated a collection of beautiful homes and landscape projects that we hope will inspire a desire to embark on your own home projects or begin dreaming about them. The landmark Cotswold home on Lake of the Isles is now under the careful stewardship of a dynamic couple, each committed to maintaining the house’s architectural integrity. Water was the inspiration for a refresh of a charming lake cottage on Lake Minnetonka. The renovation of a 1940s family home brought together a talented team of professionals who guided the process. Our visit with Brad Agee and David Duvall provides a glimpse into the life of two serious collectors. Our regular contributors are definitely thinking about Spring. Jen and Andréa are looking forward to the outdoor season, and their selections will put a smile on your face. Determining the best furniture placement in rooms with large expanses of windows is the topic tackled by Andrew. A soft and dreamy color palette is at the heart of Carter’s top picks for this issue. We want “one” of everything! Vincent Francoual is a well-known chef in Minneapolis. He invites us to share his passion for cooking with his family. Isles Studio is a community treasure and has long been the source of beautiful, one-of-a-kind gifts and home accessories. Owner Jeff


Bengtson has added some stunning pots and urns to his garden collection for inside and outside the home. We are excited to add Carole Hyder, Feng Shui Expert, to our regular features. She’s a longtime friend, and in this issue, she speaks to elements that will enhance your garden and your life. We hope you will enjoy the journey she has planned for us. Many Minneapolis area homes have stunning landscapes, despite the short growing season. They are designed to extend the house’s living areas and provide a space for rest, relaxation, and entertaining. Family and friends gather year-round at a property transformed into a lakeside oasis designed for maximum fun. A serene reflecting pool and structured gardens are some of the key elements of another stunning project. It’s a peaceful and tranquil setting, and French influences can be found throughout the property. A beautiful Lake Harriet home’s landscape has been restored to its former elegance. The expansive outdoor spaces can accommodate large-scale entertaining and intimate family gatherings. A distinctive Lionshead fountain is the jewel of the property. We continue to search out exciting homes and landscapes for your enjoyment. As signs of life begin to emerge from our cold, gloomy winter, take a moment to savor the incredible transformation of the natural world that Mother Nature has in store for all of us. It’s nothing short of miraculous. We appreciate your support and continued readership.

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28 A LETTER FROM the editors.


A landmark Cotswold country house is transformed into a light-filled home that is warm, welcoming, and inviting.


Andrew has a process for thinking about furniture placement in a room with a view, or expanses of windows.


Brad Agee and David Duvall, a Lowry Hill couple, have an eye for beauty in all its forms.

48 SUSTAINABLY CHIC Soft blues, aquas, greens, and golds are colors currently taking center stage in the sustainable design industry.


Water was the primary design inspiration for the refresh of a charming lake cottage on Lake Minnetonka.


Jen and Andréa are looking forward to the upcoming outdoor season and putting a “Spring” into your step. 32


A dream team of professionals collaborated on the lovely renovation of this 1940s home while keeping the family’s best interests at heart.


For Vincent Francoual, executive chef at the Minikahda Club, cooking at home is a family affair.


A Lake Harriet home’s landscape is restored to its former elegance through the thoughtful curation of landscape materials, stone, and plantings.


Isles Studio is a fabulous resource for beautifully curated gifts, garden pots, containers, statuary, and plants.


A lakeside property was transformed into an oasis that brings friends and family together all year round.


French influences are evident in the details of the exterior spaces and landscape of this stately lakeside home.


Feng Shui Expert Carole Hyder identifies some garden elements that are Feng Shui specific, which can enhance your garden as well as your life. lake society magazine



photography by alto aerials




lake society magazine

A landmark Cotswold country house is transformed into a light-filled home that is warm, welcoming, and inviting. written by ellen olson, photography by spacecrafting SPRING 2022



“The community is lucky to have stewards like the Grossmans to

transform and care

for this landmark house.” –SANDY LAMENDOLA, ASID, TWIST INTERIOR DESIGN 36

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project credits: · residential design: charlie & co design · builder: l. cramer · interior design: twist interior design · landscape architect: yardscapes 38


When Andy and Suzanna Grossman first laid eyes on the Cotswold Country home on Lake of the Isles, they knew it was something special. It had significant old-world charm and grand, sweeping spaces. They asked Charlie Simmons, Founding Principal & Designer, Charlie & Co Design, to tour the home with them, so they fully understood the possibilities and challenges. “Our vision was to retain the charm and character of the house but bring it into the 21st century,” said Andy. “We knew that home offered the potential for phenomenal views if the house could be opened up to the lake.” The home is one of Charlie’s favorites on Lake of the Isles; given that few of these historic homes are left in the area, he was eager to have a chance to transform the architectural treasure. “The first order of business was to flood the house with light,” said Charlie. “Many of the original features of the home were intact: the small original windows that had been fitted with storm windows, the original flooring which had turned very dark, and small closed-off rooms. We envisioned a space that was light and bright.” Charlie and his work colleague/design partner, Doug Tang, focused on creating a more open floor plan, while honoring the home’s architecture. They widened the openings into the family room and the living room from the front entry. They kept the elliptical shape of the original feature, which echoes the curvature of the distinctive roofline. Curved architectural details are found throughout the home. They have been reimagined and reinvented with a contemporary flair. “You don’t want to turn your back on the DNA of the home,” said Charlie. “Homes are living things that change and evolve over time.” A wall between the kitchen and the former dining room, now a family room, was removed, and another archway was created. “We changed the orientation of the kitchen and removed a concrete planter at the front of the house, so we could drop the windows in the family room down to the floor,” said Charlie. “That opened up spectacular views to Lake of the Isles.” The kitchen is fitted with clean, modern, rift-cut oak cabinets and soapstone countertops. “Soapstone is a quietly elegant and organic material that has a lot of depth to it,” said Sandy LaMendola of Twist Interior Design. “On the other side of the kitchen, Charlie & Co designed a built-in banquette that follows the serpentine space. Together we collaborated on creating a comfortable location for reading for extended periods of time.” The turquoise upholstery and Pierre Frey fabric with a graffiti-like pattern, along with the light fixture have a mid-century modern vibe. The table features a gold toned base, and has an industrial strength top. It can be moved, as needed. Throughout the home, the design team looked for ways to share and borrow light from space to space. All of the windows were replaced, and repair work was done where leaking had occurred. Where possible, windows were enlarged to invite more natural light into the home. The home was completely renovated, although the original wood floor was preserved. Where necessary, the floor was patched and matched, and the final finish was lightened and whitened from the original. The light floors, along with the creamy white walls, become the backdrop for art and other architectural elements in the home. Color was added throughout the home through furnishings, draperies, and upholstery choices. “Things blend, but don’t match,” said Sandy. “That way the rooms feel more natural, organic, and not overly composed.” Some furniture pieces were reupholstered to give them new life and help minimize some of the supply chain challenges that surfaced during the project. “My focus was to be sure that the house ended up feeling welcoming, warm, and inviting,” said Suzanna. “I wanted it to mirror its lovely park surrounding and maintain a casual, relaxed elegance.” lake society magazine





Creating a 4-season screened-in porch where the homeowners could read, relax, and enjoy views of the garden, was a priority. The wall at the end of the living room was opened up and French doors added. The screened-in porch, formerly a sun porch, was fortified with steel columns. A barrel-vaulted roof adds interior interest and hides the recessed infrared heating lamps. The team at L. Cramer built glass inserts so the room can be used through most of the year. In the 1930s, a previous owner had connected the carriage house to the main house via a second-story bridge. While the idea was clever and ahead of its time, the angle at which the bridge and carriage house lie was awkward relative to the home. Ultimately, after several discussions about how to solve the problem, Charlie came up with the concept of creating a circular library at the top of the stairs. The room is accessed by a couple of steps and an opening fitted with French doors and sidelight. “We put a curved soffit in the ceiling and added a custom, curved built-in bookcase,” said Charlie. “Soft diffused light cascades down the stairs, and is another example of how we created borrowed and shared light throughout the home.’ “Our hats off to Charlie and Doug for a brilliant solution which turned the weakest architectural element into perhaps one of the home’s strongest,” added Andy. Sandy chose the light fixture and furnishings that give it a 1920’s vibe. The library opens to a media room with windows on two walls. Here mid-century-inspired furnishings keep the room fresh and livable. “We were able to take over these underutilized spaces and create enclaves that are pivotal to Andy and Suzanna’s enjoyment of the home,” said Sandy. Beyond the media room is a laundry room and exercise room. The outdoor space created under the skyway span, with the inlaid wood ceiling and columns matching the front entry columns, creates a welcoming, warm and exciting outdoor space. “This was a serious project which required the highest level of creativity, execution, and communication,” said Andy. “Sandy and Charlie are hard-working, serious, and professional. Despite the complexity of the effort, we came in without unexpected cost problems and met a very ambitious construction schedule. L. Cramer worked seamlessly with the design team and was unbelievably responsive and did the highest quality work.” Both Andy and Suzanna agree, “We had fun and got exactly what we expected!” Their dog, Bart, has found his perches, which give him several vistas where he can see everything going on in the house at one time. “Nothing more a dog with short legs loves than to have long lanes to sprint and stay fit!” remarked Andy. “This house has beautiful bones and architecturally was brought to life beyond its original expression,” said Sandy. “The house is a 360-degree experience, and the design team, along with Andy and Suzanna, were thoughtful about every view.” Despite being situated on a public park, the home offers a good deal of privacy to the homeowners. “This is a new gem for a new generation,” she added. “The community is lucky to have stewards like the Grossmans to transform and care for this landmark house. Our clients committed to all the parts that make the home beautiful.” • • lake society magazine

“Our vision was to retain the

charm and character

of the house but bring it into the 21st century.” –ANDY & SUZANNA GROSSMAN




Andrew has a process for thinking about furniture placement in a room with a view, or expanses of windows. photography by spacecrafting


lake society magazine


How do you orient furniture in a room where you have one or two walls of windows in the main living area, especially when the view is spectacular?


For any project, I always start with the question: “How are you going to use the space?” Do you entertain a lot, or are you going to primarily use the space for time with family? What’s going to happen in that space day by day? Answers to these questions will set up the criteria for how the room needs to work. Think about the activities you and your family enjoy and make sure the room can accommodate them. Next I create a floor plan that addresses those needs. Not all of the furniture in a room has to have the same orientation to the view. If space allows, I like to create groupings and seating areas. A room may have a place for conversation and a glass of wine at the end of the day, or a place for family relaxation and TV/movie time. Place the TV opposite the view, and run the furniture perpendicular to the TV and the view, so you can enjoy both from the same place. Think outside the box. Don’t rule out things like back-to-back sofas or light scaled chairs that can move around a room throughout the day, as your needs change. I like to create quiet places for lounging, napping or reading a book. That can be accomplished in a corner with a chaise, small side table, and a lamp. Game tables are another clever way to create a space for a specific task. They can double as a place to do work or an intimate dinner. In general, if you have a view, all of the furniture and fabrics can’t be “look at me.” Busy patterns and ornamentation will detract. Anchor the room in natural, neutral fabrics, and texture. Think about where you want the eye to travel, and where you want the eye to land. Consider the colors in the landscape, and remember our icy, cold winters, when the landscape is white and grey. Green is a nice neutral that will warm up a room in the coldest months when natural sunlight is at a premium. Choose colors that harmonize with the exterior views. Another consideration is what happens after dark? Landscape lighting, whether illuminating a walkway, or a favorite tree, can create pools of light that give depth to the view, and create a sense of safety and security. Window treatments can also create a feeling of warmth and coziness across large expanses of glass that tend to look like big, black holes. Even if you don’t have a fabulous view, these are helpful tips. Remember, function and utility are at the heart of every successful design project. If you have a design question that you’d like me to address, please send it to editor@lakesocietymagazine and I’ll do my best to answer it. A portfolio of my work is available on my website: SPRING 2022




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written by andrew ramirez, photography by spacecrafting

“This Lowry Hill couple has an eye for beauty in all its forms.”




Stepping into Brad Agee and David Duvall’s Lowry Hill home is like entering a venerable cabinet of wonder. The motif is an eclectic and curiously curated collection of art, books, seashells, sculpture, and other distinguished objects from their lifetime of world travel. For the couple, collecting is a generational affair. Many of the best treasures in their home have been in their families for generations. Each object has a story. Lining the walls and propped on shelves is a remarkable collection of English Staffordshire china dating to the Regency Period depicting American scenes. Contrasting these pieces are coveted French pieces from the 1930s. The couple is dedicated to both the antique and the contemporary. “You need to open your arms to change, while maintaining your core values,” explained David. When not scouring auction catalogs the couple is happiest when walking along the cliffside beaches and blue grottos of a certain island in the Tyrrhenian Sea. All they will say is that the explorer Jacques Cousteau described this Italian paradise as the most beautiful place in the Mediterranean. Mr. Duvall is a Saint Paul native. He was classically trained in visual aesthetics at the renowned Rhode Island School of Design and works in a variety of mediums. He has made bespoke jewelry pieces from fine silver, gemstones and shagreen. His current focus is dedicated to printmaking, with many of his pieces adorning the walls of their home. By profession, Mr. Agee is a teacher and landscape designer. His company, Constable-Steele Garden Design is one of the area’s premier word-of-mouth garden services. “I maintain so many gardens in the neighborhood that I consider Lowry Hill to be my extended backyard,” jested Brad. His love for gardening has roots in his Florida childhood. “Old Florida is exotic,” reminisced Brad, “It is a tropical paradise filled with gorgeous Mediterranean architecture and red-brick streets set against a backdrop of jungle-like flora and fauna.” He recalls playing around inner-city lagoons replete with alligators. His father was a city planner and landscape architect. Brad spent his childhood following his dad around while helping to maintain the family garden where he learned how to manage and care for plants. While completing graduate studies in landscape architecture at the University of Minnesota, Brad began to distinguish himself as a residential designer who worked collaboratively with a variety of clients to design exceptional outdoor spaces. Today, he is an Adjunct Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Landscape Architecture at the U of M. “The core of our curriculum is based in the planning and design of spaces that are beautiful, functional and resilient,” explained Professor Agee. His professional work focuses on crafting “stages” for outdoor living, dining, growing food, and recreation. Brad’s philosophy is that gardens are dynamic, living, breathing, and ever-changing. Great gardens require constant attention. It is an investment in stewardship and one that is continually evaluated, cultivated, and reshaped. The best gardeners know that finding success is a balance between nature and nurture. Brad is a detail-oriented and specific gardener who listens closely to homeowners’ aspirations. “This business is all about relationships, you become well acquainted with your clients, their children, their dogs, their habits and desires.” Some of his clientele have landmark estates in Wayzata with elegant and formal grounds, manicured to perfection. While other properties in his business portfolio are around the Minneapolis lakes, with gardens that are right out of an English fairytale. “I am precise but attempt to use a light hand,” he opined. Follow Brad on social media for a window into their beautiful world: Instagram: @constablesteele lake society magazine





“It is Spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke As if we needed an excuse to see colour again by warding off the last vestiges of a cold grey winter. Yes, winter has it’s beauty, but like all cyclical things in nature, there is no choice but to move forward onto the fresh and new.

The design industry is still gaga over colors that represent earth’s evolution to a more greener planet through sustainable design practices: soft blues, aquas, green and golds are at the forefront. The new neutrals are bone, chalk, champagne and the palest of blush to replace taupes, grey and beige. “Millennial Grand” is the new style on a mission to lower our carbon footprint by reviving older pieces into unmistakable style. Never has a design movement had a purpose that takes on global climate and manufacturing before, but here we are and we can thank millennials and get Z for the effort - not to mention a huge dose of style.

A vintage Adrian Pearsal gondola sofa invites Sunday afternoon naps easily mixes with an 18th century Baroque side table in the true millennial grand style. Blond wood is back as a welcome reprieve from all the dark that’s been happening for the past few years. Tapered floor lamps of a grand scale helps bring in the light as well as an innovative reinterpretation of a vintage chandelier in dichroic glass by Omforme. Oh, and did you know big beautifully colored curtain tassels are back? The shell tassel is a favorite of mine. The design industry still favors a tight colour palette to encompass a room in keeping with the peace we all crave in this world, but now it’s not just limited to neutrals only; analogous colour schemes make way in this abstract rug as if to lift our moods out of the wintery doldrums into Spring on a permanent basis. Oh, to have the warmth of the sun wake up nature again,…it is indeed Spring after all.

3. Spring Wallpaper Detail

All items available through Omforme Design.

1. Tapered Wood Floor Lamp 48

4. 18th Century Baroque Side Table

2. Vintage Adrian Pearsal Gondola Sofa lake society magazine

5. Aqua Dichroic Glass Vintage Chandelier

6. Spring Wallpaper

Carter Averbeck is an interior designer specializing in stylish, sustainable design. For More Information:

7. Shell Curtain Tassel

8. Ocean Abstract Rug SPRING 2022


LAKE SPIRIT Water was the primary design inspiration for the refresh of a charming lake cottage on Lake Minnetonka. written by ellen olson, photography by spacecrafting


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Being invited back to refresh the interiors of a home, extensively remodeled 20 years ago, is the ultimate compliment for an interior designer. The homeowners had enjoyed working with Maureen Grace Haggerty, founder, and owner of mint interior design. “Her sense of understated elegance and her ability to understand and implement our vision were reason enough to request Maureen’s assistance again,” they said. “It was an easy decision.” The charming, multi-level, yellow brick lake cottage, built circa 1947, is located on a narrow, heavily wooded peninsula on Lake Minnetonka. The home is framed by the lake on three sides and has a celebrated history with the Dakota people. “Our clients are avid nature lovers and protectors of their lakefront sanctuary,” said Maureen. “They wanted the interior of their home to complement the lovely exterior surrounding them, especially their beloved lake.” The recent project began as a minor refresh necessitated by storm-related water damage. The scope included replacing several windows, adding wood floors to carpeted rooms, and painting, as required. “Most projects evolve over time, and this one grew into a much larger remodel,” remarked Maureen. “While no rooms were gutted, almost every space in the home was enhanced in some manner. Like a game of dominoes, one space relates to the next, making it difficult to stop the momentum.” The primary design inspiration was water: fluid, whisper-like, welcoming, and organic. The color palette features soft tones. “Our design mission was to update, reimagine, and refine our clients’ home,” said Maureen. “They envisioned a comfortable yet sophisticated vibe that honored the vintage of their storybook home.” Darril Otto of Otto Painting Design added his magical finishes to several spaces. During the first remodel, he incorporated a multi-layered waxed Venetian plaster finish on the walls in the foyer and kitchen. This time around his artwork was added to ceilings in the living room and dining room, which connect the two spaces in an unexpected way, and creates a watery, reflective ambiance. New wood flooring was installed in previously carpeted areas. They flow into the wood floors already in place, simplifying the main level, and connecting the spaces. Area rugs in water-colored hues are placed throughout the home. Erik Wyckoff, a talented local artist hand-carved the custom foyer table. The decorative metal stair railing is original to the house and relates beautifully to the ornate ironwork on the antique entry door. Its contemporary design serves as an unexpected contrast to the traditional elements in the home. Window treatments are purposely sheer to allow sunshine to filter into the space while still offering privacy. Several heirloom furniture pieces from Rose Tarlow were acquired during the first remodel. They are timeless, hand-made pieces, finished with crackled chinoiserie and delicate ornamentation. They were repositioned reupholstered to revamp and renew. Unique bronze sculptures are found throughout the home. The den/sitting room is tailored and classic. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows frame the wooded grounds outside. The exquisite views of the gardens become the art for this space. The spunky dog sculpture was purchased at a local art fair, and his delightful spirit brightens the atmosphere. In the sunroom, existing woven wicker chairs and an ottoman were recovered with a splashy awning stripe texture by Schumacher. The fabric pays homage to lake living in both color and style. “The whimsical touches of frogs, turtles, and other small woodland creature figurines are randomly placed throughout the house and integrated with other thoughtful accessories,” said Maureen. “They allude to the world outside with a dash of lightheartedness.” The homeowners are devoted to their sprawling gardens, which showcase many varieties of native MN horticulture, orchids, Lady Slippers, and massive hosta plants in a natural and organic setting. The entire property, including the nature-inspired interiors, is a true reflection of the homeowners, their authentic spirit, and their commitment to the mystical land upon which their sweet lake home is poised.




project credits: · interior design: maureen grace haggerty, allied asid, mint interior design · builder: arien yineman, metro building companies · design collaboration: nicole kappus solheid, nks artsource · decorative finish/artist: darril otto & crew, otto painting design 56

lake society magazine

“My clients wanted the interior of their home to complement the

lovely exterior surrounding them.”






Interior designers Jen Ziemer and Andrea Dixon of award-winning Fiddlehead Design Group share their top picks for the upcoming outdoor season which are sure to put a “Spring” in your step!

Outdoor Fabrics, Furniture & Lighting


lake society magazine

Lounge Chairs

Pendant Lighting


Bucket Hat & Tote

Outdoor Rug



RENOVATION ALCHEMY A dream team of professionals collaborated on the lovely renovation of a 1940s home while keeping the family’s best interests at heart. photography by spacecrafting 60

lake society magazine




project credits: · interior design: martha dayton design · architect: rehkamp larson architects · builder: hamann’s custom carpentry 62

lake society magazine


For Jessica Pecararo, choosing a favorite cookbook is like choosing between her children. A devotee of Nigella Lawson, Dorie Greenspan, Christopher Kimball and other authors, Jessica reads cookbooks like novels, devouring the recipes and imagining how the ingredients will come together to create culinary alchemy. Among her favorites, Jessica loves Amanda Hesser’s almond cake, a deceptively simple recipe that calls for a short list of quality ingredients and always delivers amazing flavor and a tender crumb. “For me, the process of baking is relaxing and has a nice reward at the end,” says Jessica. For Jessica and her husband Joep Hogervorst, renovating their charming 1940s home near Lake Harriet was a similarly ruminative process. Faced with a choice of selling their home and moving, or doing an extensive remodel, they carefully considered their options for several years. “We love the character of our home and the neighborhood, so we finally decided to renovate to support our family’s needs, now and for the future,” says Joep. As a first step, Jessica consulted Martha Dayton, a friend from WPO, a leadership community of women business leaders. An interior designer and owner of Martha Dayton Design, Martha lives in a historic home in Kenwood that she and her husband have renovated, so she understands firsthand the challenges and joys of updating an older home for a modern lifestyle. “Jessica and Joep wanted every room to be beautiful and functional for their two kids and Luna, their beloved Cavalier King Charles spaniel, so I introduced them to architects Mark Larson and Anders Matney of Rehkamp Larson Architects, and builder Dan Hamann, owner of Hamann’s Custom Carpentry, a team I trust,” says Martha. “Over the next two years, we worked with Jessica and Joep to create a plan to utilize every inch of space in the house while meeting their timeline and making the most of their budget.” “As architects, we find great satisfaction in maintaining the character and detail of a traditional home,” says Anders. “While working within an existing structure offers a unique set of challenges, it also provides a base architectural language from which to draw. As we worked through the floor plan with Joep, Jessica, Martha and Dan, we created a cascade of borrowed spaces from one room to the next, resulting in a serene owners’ suite with a pair of walk-in closets and a vanity with a window view, a larger family bathroom, an updated kitchen, a guest room that does double duty as an office, and a lower-level family room.” Thanks to careful planning and expert craftsmanship by Dan and his team, the construction took only five months. “Dan is an incredible carpenter, so he made all of the interior doors and trim to match our original woodwork in his own workshop,” says Jessica. “He also made a custom dog door for Luna and a built-in bookshelf above the staircase for my collection of cookbooks—details I cherish every day.” Martha and her team helped the family move into a rental and the moment the renovation was finished, they moved the family back into the house and installed furnishings, art, rugs, accessories (and hundreds of cookbooks!) in a single day. “Even though we didn’t change the square footage, the renovation has allowed us to better use and enjoy our home. As a family, we feel more organized and the energy in our house feels brighter and fresh,” says Jessica. “We cannot say enough good things about working with Martha, Dan, Mark, and Anders,” adds Joep. “As a team, they had our family’s best interests at heart. They understood our goals and helped us make better decisions based on our priorities. They also brought awareness to issues we didn’t realize would be important, and took a ton of stress and work out of our hands. They will always be trusted partners for our family.” • • SPRING 2022


“We love the character of our home and the neighborhood, so we finally decided to renovate to

support our family’s needs, now and for the future.” –JOEP HOGERVORST, HOMEOWNER


lake society magazine






lake society magazine

“Even though we didn’t change the square footage, the renovation has allowed us to

better use

and enjoy our home.” –JESSICA PECARARO, HOMEOWNER




lake society magazine

CHEF’S KITCHEN For Vincent Francoual, executive chef at the Minikahda Club, cooking at home is a family affair.

written by nancy monroe, photography by spacecrafting




Vincent Francoual and 8-year-old Chloe add the finishing touches to their duck salad. 70

lake society magazine


When Vincent Francoual closed Vincent A Restaurant in 2015, there were a lot of tears shed, mostly from the foodies in town who considered it their go-to spot for business lunches, elegant dinners before the symphony, or that special occasion. Gone almost overnight were the signature Vincent burger, the elegant white-tablecloth service, the delectable French cuisine that was unlike anything else in town, and, most importantly, gone was the classy Frenchman with his charming accent and twinkle in his eye. His wife, Brenda Maurseth, says she still runs into people who reminisce about their wedding reception at Vincent’s and how much they still miss it. Closing his namesake restaurant may have been a setback, but like the space on Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, he’s moved on. Fast forward to 2022, and Francoual is running the kitchen at the elegant Minikahda Club as executive chef. But an even better place to be in, he says, is his home kitchen cooking with his precocious 8-year-old daughter, Chloe. The pair amassed a following on Facebook, featuring their antics in the kitchen, starting when she was a 2-year-old debating the likelihood of her holding a lobster. Originally, the intent was to record their cooking lessons to share with his family in France, but friends saw it and wanted more. That also led to his podcast, Le Grand Fromage. Another reason for cooking lessons, he explains, a bit chagrined, is “As an older parent, I’m not good at playing, but I am good at sharing what I do.” The joke, he adds, is that Chloe can’t cook without a camera present. On the day we visited, Chloe blew in like a gale from school, shedding her coat and backpack in a flurry of activity. Francoual, who packs her lunch four out of five days, picked up her lunch box to inspect the remains. Most days he’ll find the crumbs from quiche or mussel shells, but today there’s an ill-gotten, half-eaten bag of chips. He shakes his head and groans. Francoual routinely cooks three meals a day for the family in their streamlined kitchen. Brenda cooks as well. “I follow recipes, he fixes it,” she says. “He’s good at recognizing what’s missing.” When the couple remodeled a few years ago, they gutted the kitchen, adding a farmhouse sink and a professional-quality gas stove with an efficient hood. “I can cook with everything,” he says, “but the thing with electric is if you want to lower the heat it takes longer. With gas you get a bigger reaction.” Francoual’s plan to hang his pots and pans from a rack was vetoed, “but I still have hope for that,” he says. Spices, which he hand grinds, are stored in magnetic containers on the refrigerator. Appliances are kept out of sight until needed. Because of his schedule at the club, breakfasts have become the traditional sit-down, family meal. For dinner, Chloe stands on a small stool to help prep. “I like to cook because you can taste test,” she enthuses, demonstrating her fingers scraping the last of the sauce from the bowls. The berries for the duck salad were especially appealing. “I can’t help myself,” she says on her third pass at them. “I love blackberries.” Whether Chloe ends up in her own kitchen is anyone’s guess. “I used to want to be an artist, but then I learned that chefs are artists, too,” she says. Especially when they’re French.

SUMMER BERRIES & DUCK BREAST SALAD 4 guests Arugula Duck breast Moulard Raspberries Blackberries Fresh goat cheese Pan Brioche (from Bakers Field) Honey Lemon Juice Grape seed oil Dijon mustard Hazelnut Fine sea salt Black pepper in a grinder

1 cup washed 1 (12 to 15 oz) ½ cup ½ cup ½ cup at room temperature ½ cup of really small diced croutons 2 Tbsp 1 Tbsp ½ cup ½ Tbsp ¼ cup to taste to taste


Pull the cheese out of the fridge. Mix the lemon juice with honey, divide in half. Toast the brioche dice in the oven until golden and crispy. Cut the blackberries in half and split the raspberries by hand. DUCK

Heat a pan on medium-high heat. Score the duck breast and season with salt and pepper. Place the duck on the dry pan on the fat side and heat to medium. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes to render the fat, while making sure the fat does not get too dark. Lower heat, if necessary. Flip the breast and cook for 4 minutes. Once cooked, put the duck breast aside and brush the fat side with half the honey lemon mixture.


Place mustard in a mixing bowl, whisk in 3Tbsps of the honey/lemon mix. Season with a ½ tsp of fine sea salt and 1/8 tsp of freshly ground black pepper. Mix well, then slowly whisk in the grape seed oil. If the vinaigrette separates, it is still usable, just whisk again. SALAD

Spread the arugula across the top of each plate, sprinkle goat cheese pieces, the berries and the hazelnuts.

Thinly slice the duck and place 5 slices on each salad. The duck should be lukewarm. Drizzle the vinaigrette evenly on each salad. Sprinkle with the croutons. PRO TIP

I like to use plates for salad instead of bowls. The reason is that the heavy ingredients fall to the bottom of the bowl and the salad does not look as nice. Also, when you eat a salad from a plate, you get more of a mix of ingredient for a more enjoyable experience. SUBSTITUTIONS

• If you do not find the duck breast Moulard, other duck breeds will work. Cooking time might need to be shorter.

• If you do not find Pan Brioche, regular brioche or even a pullman bread type will work. Brioche adds a toasted sweet flavor.



written by ellen olson, photography by alto aerials



lake society magazine

A Lake Harriet home’s landscape is restored to its former elegance through the thoughtful curation of landscape materials, stone, and plantings.






A landscape project that began as a “sprucing up” quickly morphed into a full-scale renovation. The Italian Renaissancedesigned home was built at the turn of the last century and sits on a stately property overlooking Lake Harriet. It features the original leaded glass windows, a flat roof, and brick walls with stone quoins. The home’s beautiful architecture was eclipsed by overgrown vegetation and most of the backyard was consumed by a swimming pool in the shape of the State of Texas. The homeowner’s vision for creating more open areas for outdoor entertaining provided a spark for the creative design process. “We ended up putting together a plan that addressed the entire property,” said Bob Wallace, Landscape Architect with Keenan & Sveiven. “Our goal was to complement the architecture with the landscape design and selection of materials as much as possible.” During the final stages of design, John Richards, co-founder and co-owner of ORIJIN STONE, collaborated with Bob on curating the stone for the project. “We chose Ardeo Limestone and Bluestone, as they create a timeless look and have a historical reference to the home,” said John. “Both materials are well suited to our freeze-thaw climate and, if properly maintained, will endure for many years.” The front paver walkway was replaced with a custom-cut Thermal Bluestone Squares layout arranged in a stacked bond pattern. The squares were placed diagonally at the main landing areas and the front stoop and perpendicular in the walkways. Existing Indiana Limestone banding and steps were preserved. The entry fountain required a new concrete footing and a minor repair but was left in the original location. Existing plant material was removed at the front of the house, large shade trees were extensively trimmed to allow for more sunlight, and existing grass areas were replaced. A hedge of Chicagoland Green Boxwood lets the home’s features claim center stage. Bluestone steppers from the driveway lead to the backyard and main dining area. The design for the backyard space was meant to be more open and flexible to accommodate the homeowners’ love of entertaining, but with purpose. The dining room patio was centered on the doors leading from the dining room and was designed to fit a large 20’ x 30’ open tent structure. It has a site line to a “sculpture garden” with a walkway surrounded by vegetation and a curved backdrop of Taylor Junipers. The dry-laid stone arch wall connects with the existing brick wall. Because the backyard area doesn’t get much sun, plantings include shade tolerant and low-maintenance Chicagoland Green Boxwoods, Taunton Japanese Yews, and beds filled with mass plantings of colorful annuals. For now, a large urn, beautifully planted, is the focal point until the perfect sculpture is found for that location. Originally, the garage was detached from the main house. The previous homeowners added the link addition that connects the two. This is where the kitchen, family room, and informal dining areas are located. The main patio is centered on the family room. It creates a cohesive space for entertaining groups large and small. “The Ardeo Limestone complements the brick on the house, and the Bluestone border adds a dramatic accent,” said Bob. “We set the Ardeo Limestone at a 45-degree angle to create some visual interest and to increase the feeling of spaciousness. The Bluestone bands divide the patio to provide a sense of scale and create some definition to the expansive space.” lake society magazine

project credits: · landscape architecture: keenan & sveiven · landscape construction: keenan & sveiven · stone and custom fabrication: orijin stone · lighting consultant: milow outdoors SPRING 2022


ORIJIN STONE pre-cut the large Bluestone radial banding to facilitate the installation of the materials. Large planters anchor the corners of the patios, and they are lit at dusk. “We used our proprietary surface finish condition called Lemon Peel for the 24” x 24” squares of Ardeo Limestone used for both patios,” said John. “It provides a tactile slip resistance and brings out the color. The stones are also tumbled, giving the material an antiqued feel.” The patios appear as if they have always been there. Synthetic turf was installed in the entire backyard and is bordered by low evergreen plantings in the landscape beds. Low maintenance was important, but with the yard being shaded, maintaining a healthy, green turf would have been a challenge. The turf can handle the overflow of guests, who can enjoy this area in its entirety. The jewel of the backyard is the fountain that features a distinctive custom-made “Lionshead.” It replaces an overgrown pergola that existed along part of the brick wall that runs around the entire back yard. All the columns were shortened, and new custom limestone caps were installed. The fountain is a classic design and became the water element the homeowner desired after removing the pool. “This was the most exciting part of the project for us,” said John. “The 18.5” Lionshead was CNC machine-carved, then finished by hand to make it look authentically hand-carved. Large monolithic blocks of the Ardeo were used for the basin walls and back surround. They are carved with intricate edge detailing and feature butterfly joints — subtle details that give it more strength and enhanced design.” Bob chose a ceramic tile for the fountain, which is rich and elegant. “We wanted to separate the fountain from the brick wall and provide an understated backdrop for the lion head,” said Bob, “A pair of imported brass spigots are placed slightly below the Lionshead and all shoot streams of water, which provides soothing and relaxing sounds that can be heard from the house.” The auto court and driveway also needed to be addressed. An existing arched brick entry with Indiana Limestone Quoins separates the two areas. The driveway had a steep grade and was difficult to navigate during icy conditions. The installation of a heating system and gray concrete pavers with a shot-blasted finish from County Materials provided the best solution for both areas. The concrete curb was replaced with Ardeo Limestone. The auto court incorporates a 24” x 24” Custom Thermal Bluestone inset with an Ardeo Limestone border. A half-circular seating area set into the small landscape area features a Techny Arborvitae hedge. It is flanked with two single stem Ivory Silk Lilac trees. Extensive low-voltage lighting was installed on the entire property. Up-lights are placed in the stone patios to highlight the large urns, columnar plants, and the architecture of the home. Downlights from some of the mature trees provide a soft glow to the property, and low fixtures were installed to accent the landscape beds. The attention to detail and thoughtful selection of materials make this project truly exceptional. “For me, one of the criteria for a successful project is to join the new with the old in a way that is cohesive and has a sense of age,” said Bob. “It’s hard to pick out what’s new and what’s not, which is as it should be.” • 76

lake society magazine


“Our goal was to

complement the architecture

with the landscape design and selection of materials as much as possible.” –BOB WALLACE, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT & PROJECT MANAGER, KEENEN & SVEIVEN



NATURAL BEAU Isles Studio is a fabulous resource for beautifully curated gifts, garden pots, containers, written by ellen olson, photography by pennoyer-newman


lake society magazine


statuary, and plants.






Isles Studio is a feast for the senses. A beautifully curated collection of objects, art, taxidermy, and jewelry is housed in a charming Arts and Crafts bungalow built in the early 1900s. Located at 25th and Hennepin, Isles Studio also features a growing collection of statuary and containers, both terracotta and stone, and an artful selection of plants for indoor and outdoor use. Handmade ceramics from maker Astier de Villatte in Paris preserve 18th-century shapes for contemporary living. The coveted Maison Trudon candles, steeped in centuries of history, are favorites of the shop’s most loyal customers. Jeff Bengtson, Owner/President, opened Isles Studio in 2015. He aspired to create a destination that resembles a shop you might find when wandering the streets of Paris, a city he and his husband, David Bjork, have visited frequently. “We are trying to fill a niche where you can find unique, high-quality pieces that are handmade with classical details,” said Jeff. “We spend a lot of time sourcing products that are hand-crafted, made by real people with stories behind each product.” Jeff often gets asked about the eclectic mix of products he carries, and he answers thoughtfully, “I believe they all work together. Many of the products have a strong connection to nature or are hand-crafted. We live in a high-tech, digital world, and gardening and nature feed the soul. Fashion is inspired by nature. Natural history and design go hand-in-hand. Our taxidermy is all ethically sourced, and our collection of birds and insects is beautiful in an interior environment. It all works.” His vision makes for hours of leisurely browsing to find that one item that will make the perfect gift or add a unique flourish to a room in one’s home. Jeff and his assistant, Jacob Pierre Louis III, are happy to provide assistance. Before opening Isles Studio, Jeff owned a garden shop on 50th and France, Colibri Home and Garden, so his passion for gardening products is finely tuned. “Our collection of products has grown over the years and includes three lines of European-inspired pots for indoor and outdoor use,” said Jeff. “I’ve curated a selection of the finest garden products, designed and created by masterful artisans.” Campo de’ Fiori is a line of naturally mossed terra cotta planters that create the look of antiquity. They are made from materials drawn from the earth and age beautifully in the garden. Bergs Potter, founded in 1942, features pots designed in Denmark and produced at a small family workshop in Tuscany. They are made of high-quality materials that will live on from generation to generation. This spring, Jeff will add terracotta pots made by the master Guy Wolff in his Connecticut studio. Jeff will also add containers from Pennoyer-Newman this season, which will be perfect for some of the topiary-styled plants and tropicals available in the spring. Pennoyer-Newman has a European aesthetic, which goes well with other lines carried at Isles Studio. The classic designs are manufactured from a lightweight material, a combination of pummeled marble, rock, and resin. The pots are cast from originals that once graced some of the most prestigious estates in the United States. The vessels are very large in scale, and they can be left outside, even in the harshest of Minnesota winters. “PennoyerNewman has expanded their line to include a stunning collection of mid-century style containers that will be appreciated by customers living in some of the stately homes in the Minneapolis Lakes area,” remarked Jeff. Isles Studio will resume Wednesday – Saturday hours in early March, and once the gardening season arrives, hours will be extended. Typically plant material arrives in May when the season begins in earnest. Add Isles Studio to your list of places to visit for gardening inspiration. You will not be disappointed! lake society magazine



BEACH HOUSE A lakeside property was transformed into an oasis that brings friends and family written by ellen olson, photography by troy thies photography 82

lake society magazine

BEAUTY together all year round.





lake society magazine


Transforming a somewhat neglected property into a lakeside family oasis took careful planning, ingenuity, and collaboration. It originally consisted of the main cottage, garage, and a beautiful “sleeping cabin” for guests, the latter having been built over 100 years ago. The new homeowners wanted to save and enhance the existing lakeside patio and create a family retreat that could be used at all times of the year. “The property had really good bones but needed an update with a fresh new look for the exterior landscaping,” said Tim Johnson, Founder/President/Lead Designer of LIVIT Site + Structure. “We had to replace the garage because of extensive water damage, and we needed that to tie in architecturally with the existing home and cottage.” New plantings and hardscapes were designed to bring cohesiveness to the project. The property also had some long-standing drainage issues that needed to be addressed. Removing the garage and replacing it was not a straightforward option, as city codes only allowed for one additional structure in addition to the main house, which was taken by the sleeping cabin. Tim proposed adding a new garage with a covered porch attached to the existing home to make the two structures one. “The city was on board, as long as we moved the new garage to new setback requirements,” said Tim. “Once the new garage-porch was approved, the new walks, covered terrace-porch areas, and driveways fell into place. And although the covered porch wasn’t on our clients’ wish list, once they saw the drawings, it became a “must-have!” The garage ties in with the home’s original architecture, including shake and soffit details on the exterior. In addition to providing space for two vehicles, interior living space was added to the garage, which allows the family to play table games and enjoy their custom sound and entertainment system. A lakeside garage door allows for easy access to summer toys, and the space can be used as additional living space on warm, summer days. A new courtyard patio adjacent to the water feature was added. It features NY Bluestone laid at a 45-degree angle to create visual interest. It makes a private area for the guests of the sleeping cabin for relaxation. Lakeside, a hot tub and wall structure was added, with the hot tub being sunk into the yard. The Bluestone steps were designed to provide easy access to the electrical panel through a removable stair tread. A unique outdoor shower was installed to keep the hot tub water quality stable and clean. The stone slabs are massive and were cut by a local fabricator. They were so large they had to be moved with two skid loaders, through the garage, and a backhoe was required to erect them into place. A comfortable basin of bluestone and beach pebbles ties in with other elements in the landscape. The fire pit, a family favorite, was moved to enhance the lake views from the central patio and outdoor dining areas. New entry and driveway planters were built with the same wall material used lakeside to create a cohesive look property wide. Plantings include boxwoods, lilacs, and roses, which create a more formal and sculpted feeling for the landscape. Stepping stones were added in the courtyard and from the covered porch to the lakeside living area. A beautiful hydrangea tree and the street-side evergreen were preserved from the original landscape. New lighting highlights the attractive features of the new landscape, and pathway lights direct guests, providing safety and security. “The result of our efforts over two years has been nothing less than transformative,” said Tim. “What was once a humble beach house and cottage is now a prime entertainment spot for friends and family, no matter what area of the property you are on. Every practical and whimsical aspect of our clients’ wish list has been attended to, and it is well-loved.” Project selected in 2021 by Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association for their LANDSCAPE Award.




lake society magazine


project credits: · landscape design: livit site + structure, llc · landscape construction: livit siteSPRING + structure, llc 2022 87


lake society magazine


“What was once a humble beach house and cottage is now a

prime entertainment spot for friends and family.” –TIM JOHNSON, FOUNDER/PRESIDENT/LEAD DESIGNER, LIVIT SITE + STRUCTURE SPRING 2022


Elegant RESTRAINT 90

lake society magazine

French influences are evident in the details of the exterior spaces and landscape of this stately lakeside home. photography by landmark photography




lake society magazine




“The interior design of a home starts at the curb. You must

create harmony

with both inside and outside spaces.” –JIM NOBLE, NOBLE INTERIORS INC.


lake society magazine


project credits: · interior design: noble interiors inc. SPRING 2022


Structured gardens, symmetry, a restrained color palette, and stone surfaces are some of the elements that create the peaceful tranquility of this elegant and stately home. Artistry and beauty are evident in each detail, many of them deriving from French traditions, such as the reflecting pool and Parterre, the walled garden. The statuary and ornamentation, such as the concrete finials on garden walls, were original to the home, while the plantings are new.


lake society magazine






Helping people create a dream-aligned space that inspires and uplifts. Contact for a consultation: 612-823-5093 98

Feng Shui is an Eastern tradition that is built on the belief that your space reflects your life. If your space is in order, then it follows your life will be in order as well. By changing your space, you will find that your life will have a corresponding change. A Feng Shui approach can help someone create a home or office that they love, which in turn will make the occupants feel safe and happy and able to create a life that they also love. Traditional Feng Shui actually has its earliest roots in the land. If the landforms were auspicious (water in the front, a hill or mountain in the back, healthy wildlife), the land would pass along this good fortune to the occupants. In modern times, Feng Shui is identified mostly with buildings. Yet there is still a need to apply its principles to the land, such as a garden. Here are some garden elements that are Feng Shui specific which can enhace your garden as well as your life: · Entrance. Have a specific way to enter the garden that does not include walking through the house. Whether a gate, an arbor, pillars, or a series of potted plants, use something that will differentiate the garden from surrounding land and will broadcast to a visitor that something new is about to happen. The metaphor is that you are also inviting in new opportunities into your own life. · A fence. Set limits on your garden; enclose the space that defines the garden. This is symbolic of the owner setting their own limits and boundaries at home and at work. · A place to sit. A bench, a rock, a tree stump, a swing can all be an invitation to visitors and owners alike to bask for a moment in the beauty of the garden. Having a place to sit in your garden is a metaphor for slowing down. · A curving path. A gentle, curving path or walk guides people through the garden, letting them participate in its splendor. Without a path, visitors may not know where to go, nor will good luck, nor opportunities. · Water. A stream, a fountain, a pond or a birdbath all work well in a Feng Shui garden. It’s important to make sure the water is clean and flowing since the element of water represents the flow of money. Think carefully before having actual water since a dried-up pond or a fountain that no longer works is a set-up for financial issues. A dry bed counts as water. Seeing how your garden mirrors aspects of your life can help you “weed out” what you want to let go and nurture what you want to have “blossom.”

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