Words by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Studio Three Beau
 

Mark your calendars for the fourth annual Lakes Area Home Tour. This self-guided tour of seven homes takes place for one day only, on September 29. To give our readers a sneak peek, we met up with tour coordinator, Emily Dreyer, to walk us through one of the stunning, featured homes owned by Paula and Casady Thiel of Ottertail, Minn. If spectacular homes don’t pique your interest, maybe their charitable cause will. Find out how taking a tour will benefit the 549 Family Foundation and go on to support the valued student programs in their Perham, Minn., area school district.


Take a Tour / Help a Student
“The Lakes Area Home Tour started in 2015 and has been a great way to showcase many of the beautiful homes in our area, as well as help our local vendors promote their businesses and the work that they do,” said Dreyer. The 549 Family Foundation is based in Perham, Minn. and composed of 250 alumni and community members who work to counteract budget cuts and provide creative contributions to programs, activities, educational tools and facilities.

_____________
Featured Home Sneak Peek:
The Thiels – Ottertail, Minnesota


Casady and Paula Thiel with their son, Phoenix, and French Bulldog, Betty


When Paula and Casady Thiel, along with their son Phoenix, began the design of their rural home, they were not without inspiration. Their gorgeous lot is uniquely positioned between three lakes, just outside of Ottertail’s city limits. Employing the help of talented friends, family and RHET Architecture, Casady and Paula Thiel constructed a dream team of creative visionaries to complete their build.

Although a design we’d classify as one-of-a-kind, this type of project is one of many for the Thiel family. They’ve become well-known in the area for their artistic endeavors with scrap metal and salvaged materials. Take a drive down Main Street in Ottertail and we have no doubt you’ll be able to spot their family’s handiwork. In fact, you can tour one more if you’d like – Paula Thiel is the owner of Ottertail’s infamous Red Brick Boutique, also designed in their signature style and located in the restored Ottertail Creamery.

Inspiration Sparked
Influencing the home’s design was the initial work of Casady’s father Pete Thiel, the founder of Firestarters Worship Center in Ottertail. Pete Thiel’s desire to create a unique space for his ministry and restore the old Ottertail Creamery, eventually led their entire family to become local experts in making use of salvaged materials. For the Thiels, the family that builds together…stays together.Casady and Paula Thiel began their build in September of 2015, reaching out to RHET Architecture to help with the layout and placement on the lot. From the beginning, Casady Thiel, who runs his own tile business (Thiel Tile & Stone), worked closely with architect Rhet Fiskness, to make the most of the beautiful, three-lake lot, positioning all of their main living spaces south, toward the lake.”Technically, this is lakeshore, but as you can see this is a backlot of Donald Lake. The lot is split in half by Three Lakes Road with Long Lake; our lakefront is across the street on Portage Lake,” explained Paula Thiel.

Inside
Just in the entrance, the Thiel’s design-forward thinking is in full force. Referring to the rough-sawn red oak, Mid-century modern chandelier and vintage tin ceiling tile, Casady Thiel sums up their style as ‘rustic elegance’; a complementary combination of Paula’s career in fashion and Casady’s in construction.

Head up the stairs to the great room and office, and you’ll find the stairwell’s glossy, wood-paneled walls – a unique take on an ordinary building material. “This is actually B-grade plywood from Menards that we stained and polyed,” said Paula Thiel. “We went through a lot of plywood at the store, trying to find the best pieces. They ended up looking really random because some of them took stain better than others.” To finish the pieces, the Thiels worked with their friend Wendell Danielson who helped them roll on a high-gloss floor polyurethane and cut each one into 32×48 panels – getting roughly three pieces out of every sheet of plywood. “I think the sheen is the reason this design works,” said Danielson.

Custom fabrication by local welder James Virnala was used in the making of the raw steel stair railings. Throughout the home, Casady Thiel’s eye for perfection takes center stage with the precise install of raw steel wall panels with exposed bolts and steel trim work.

Open-Concept Living
The East wing of the house features an open concept with the kitchen, living room and dining room sharing one unified space. Rough-sawn oak flanks the ceiling while Carrara marble countertops and custom tile designate the kitchen space. “Casady found the tile at Menards, but they were sold as 12x12s. It just didn’t look very interesting, so he cut them down to 6x12s,” explained Paula Thiel.#1, 14
The living room is a favorite spot for the Thiels to relax, build a fire and take in the view. With only one TV in the home, the outdoors is considered their primary source of entertainment.
The Thiels have 4,000 square feet of rough-sawn oak, so in some areas, it’s white-washed and in other areas, it’s the raw, natural color like on the ceiling in the family room, kitchen and dining room. “We found the red oak from a guy in the woods up by Park Rapids, Minn. When we found a material that either Paula or I really liked, I would just buy a lot of it, so we actually had to use it,” laughed Casady Thiel.

Inside the master bath, Casady Thiel used rustic corrugated metal on the ceiling, antiqued brass plumbing fixtures, vintage pendants and his wife’s white Carrara marble tile as the elegant focal point. “Since tile is what I do for a living, I had to go big with the shower,” he laughed. “We just did marble everywhere in here.”

Just a few steps away, the couple created closet perfection with an inexpensive IKEA system that fit so well, it left them with only 1/8-inch to spare. According to Casady Thiel, about 80 percent of the closet is currently his wife’s terrain, inhabited by an array of personal favorites from her clothing store, Red Brick Boutique. For this project, Andrew Campbell helped with the framing and finish work.With his prior construction experience, Casady Thiel was able to work on the entire building project from start to finish, with help from friends and family. “My dad helped me with the foundation and fireplace masonry and my father-in-law helped me frame it,” he said. “We also had Andrew Costin of Costin Construction and our long-time friend, Wendell Danielson, helping with a lot of the work.”

Extraordinary Exterior
With their picturesque lake view setting, the Thiels chose to keep their exterior as organic as possible with elements like rough-sawn wood, salvaged corrugated metal, and raw steel which will naturally age with time. “I’ve always like the look of the shed roof and modern lines, but with rustic and salvaged materials,” said Casady Thiel.”Rhet came up with the idea of doing a sort of ‘pod’ design so that the materials would be different on each section of the house,” said Paula Thiel.#15
“To make this work, we sided it with all different styles of accent panels. Call it O.C.D., but I really needed all of the exterior windows to align,” laughed Casady Thiel. The section encompassing the living room is in a naturally rusting raw steel, while the master’s exterior is wrapped in salvaged, corrugated metal they purchased for 25 cents a square foot in Fergus Falls.Look closer and you’ll find rough-sawn wood on all of the soffit and fascia, which is carried over to the exterior, underneath the lean-to. Also on the roadside, the garage entrance doors have been wrapped with raw steel for a more cohesive exterior design.

In the Future
On the lakeside, the Thiels ongoing plan is to build a boathouse and continue working on the lakefront area which already includes a finished volleyball court. On the exterior, they will be building a Juliet-style deck on the second level coming out from the upstairs office and great room. They also plan to design a trellis over the garage doors to bring in more of the rough-sawn wood elements.

Find the Finishes:
Architect –  Casady Thiel, Rhet Fiskness, RHET Architecture, Fargo, N.D.
Landscape – Paula Thiel with floral by Swedberg Nursery, Battle Lake, Minn.
Plywood walls and tile supply – Menards
Tile design & install – Casady Thiel, Thiel Tile & Stone
Countertops – Carrara Marble, Syverson Tile & Stone, Fargo N.D.
Masonry – Casady Thiel and Pete Thiel
Metal fabrication – James Virnala
Master closet system – Ikea
Construction – Andrew Costin, Costin Construction, Wadena, Minn., Pete Thiel, Casady Thiel, Andrew Campbell
Woodwork – Casady Thiel, Pete Thiel and Wendell Danielson

 

_______________________

Take a Tour
“This year, we have homes in Perham, Frazee, New York Mills and Ottertail,” said Dreyer. “We want to have a little something to inspire everyone in their own decorating, remodeling or building projects. The homes range in sizes, decor styles, locations and more. We try to pick homes that have done some updates, are new builds, or have interesting features that would be fun to see. Inspiration can come from anywhere, and I think people just enjoy seeking that inspiration out and then bringing it to life in their own space.”

Tour Sponsors:
The tours Title Sponsor is Lumber Depot of New York Mills, Minn. “They have been our Title Sponsor for the past few years, and their knowledge and expertise in the building industry has been instrumental throughout the planning process,” said Dreyer. “Their goal is to help people find inspiration that suits their lifestyle and make their spaces uniquely their own.”Each home also has designated ‘Host Sponsors’ which are businesses in the community that are affiliated with the home on some level. These sponsors are present in the home on the day of the tour to showcase their business and assist with the tour traffic. “This year, you’ll find Bremer Bank, New Horizons Realty, Hilltop Lumber, Refreshing Designs & Karvonen’s, United Community Bank, and Thiel Tile & Stone at different homes on the tour. They change each year based on the different homes that will be featured,” said Dreyer. The tour also consists of “Friend Sponsors” and “Neighbor Sponsors” that can support the tour while marketing their products and services.

 

___________

Lakes Area Home Tour:
Saturday, September 29, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Cost is $25/ticket with proceeds benefiting the 549 Family Foundation.
[Tickets come with a coupon for a free seasonal beverage at Brew Ales & Eats in Perham!]

 

Find Tickets At:
Nest, Bremer Bank, Refreshing Designs in Perham or at Lumber Depot in New York MillsPurchase Tickets Online:
Facebook – Lakes Area Home Tour
https://www.facebook.com/events/1477321369012671/For more information:
Facebook Page – Lakes Area Home Tour
* Be sure to ‘like’ their page to see updates and sneak peeks of each featured home!To Support 549 Family Foundation, contact:
Emily Dreyer
800 Coney Street West, Perham, M.N.
info@549family.com

549family.com