Nestled onto the top of a hill that overlooks the sparkling waters of Lake Minnetonka, design teams at Nor-Son recently custom built a beautifully traditional home with a contemporary twist. Appropriately dubbed the Modern Dutch Colonial, this impressive residential structure is notorious to the small town residents in Orono, Minnesota.
Despite its clearly classic and perhaps even old fashioned influences, this beautiful houses offers all of the amenities of modern living and more, both in terms of function and the fine details of the style. The overall shape and grand features of the home might be overtly Dutch colonial but certain things, like the bright shining copper gutters and the over-sized linear windows that flood the interiors with light, really make a modern impact.
On the main level of the home is an open concept common space that’s perfect for relaxing, sharing family time, and hosting guests. Free flowing movement is a primary element between the living room and the kitchen, but a butler’s pantry does create one area of partition to hide some elements of preparation from guests, as is custom in formal older houses.
Along the outer walls of this open floor plan are several sliding glass doors that span the entire vertical space from floor to ceiling. When opened, these lead to a patio and pool area, opening one whole side of the room to the sun and fresh air and creating a connection between inner and outer spaces that feels almost seamless.
On the outside of the house, perhaps one of the most attention grabbing features is the column of windows that stem from ground level all the way up the house to the roof. It sits right in the centre if the house, providing a hint of the comfort and style inside. The rectangular column shape is maybe the first hint of the modern twist that designers laced in with the more classic Dutch Colonial influences.
Inside, a grand living room looks rather stately but also comforting, a perfect place to both bond and host guests. A beautiful fireplace sits central, a clear focal point of the room, providing warmth in the winter and simple traditional style throughout the summer when it’s not being used.
Other areas of the house align more closely with the modern side of its lifestyle. The fully equipped and brand new laundry room, for example, hints at a sense of contemporary convenience. Even here, and elsewhere (like around the home bar, for example), however, there are clear countryside influences in things like X-frame doors and wooden trim.
One room stands out in particular as a slight deviation from both of the clearest style influences blended elsewhere in the house. This is a guest bathroom where graphic green and gold wallpaper grabs the attention of anyone who passes it immediately, while gold taps and details and an ornate gilt framed mirror create a cohesive, if kitschy, aesthetic. Grand looking pendant lights with bulbs that almost resemble gems hang above the sink.
To the side of the living room and kitchen lie a set of glass sliding doors that help flood the common spaces with natural light. These doors not only help blend indoor and outdoor spaces in a way that feels comfortable and nearly seamless, but they also give simple access out to a stunning patio and outdoor seating area.
Beyond this seating area, which is furnished with comfortable chairs that look modern in terms of their shape and style but rustic in their materiality, lies a stunning and sizeable swimming pool. This separates the raised stone patio from a rolling lawn, nearby which the family often enjoys dinners at a full patio dining table on warm summer evenings.
Photos by Scott Amundson Photography