An airy Minnesota lake retreat embodies a contemporary, no-fuss attitude that's warm and inviting—and Midwestern all the way.
It can be a tough thing to let go of the familiar in exchange for something that hovers in the realm of the unknown. Rik and Lyn Myers already had their dream home where they expected to retire, a bright and airy contemporary home south of Minneapolis that Lyn was loath to relinquish.But when suburban sprawl extended right over 20 of their secluded acres, they took to the rural woods and found a new kind of tranquility three hours north of the Twin Cities in Nevis. This time, they were right on a lake—and in a log home. To make the adjustment as smooth as possible, the couple embarked on injecting the same sense of "light and bright" from their former abode into their new one. However, putting a contemporary twist on a more traditional architectural form proved to be a challenge. But just like people, logs are adaptable, and the couple finally achieved their dream in a 3,500-square-foot design after months of gathering ideas from magazines, poring over floor plans, attending log-home shows and seeking recommendations for a builder who could make it happen. "We took the best of everything we could find," says Rik. The key component to achieving the "light" portion of their theme was to keep the 2-foot-thick hand-scribed white pine logs as pale as possible and prevent sap stain, which is a harmless bluish discoloration that can form on pine. To do this, Jon Andersen of Jon Andersen Log Homes in Walker, Minnesota, harvested the logs in the fall before the wood darkened—but an unusually early freeze that year locked in the logs' moisture. Construction halted for a month while builders ran fans to dry out logs before painting or putting in cabinets and flooring.