5th Annual Lakes Area Home Tour
By Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Micah J. Zimmerman, Amdak Productions
This month, we're giving you a sneak peek inside the upcoming Lakes Area Home Tour, benefitting the Perham area students of District 549. As the tour coordinator, Emily Dreyer takes us inside one of their featured homes on Lake Marion - a spectacular 2,250 square-foot remodel that's near and dear to her family. Recently completed by her parents, Chris and Peggy Rutten, the once closed-in cabin has undergone a complete overhaul thanks to a whole lot of labor and love. Mark your calendars, because this is only one of seven homes to be featured and the tour is one day only, Saturday, September 28th.
When it comes to remodeling projects, Chris and Peggy Rutten have an awesome advantage; they own a lumberyard, Lumber Depot in New York Mills, Minn. They purchased the 60s era lake property in 2016 and immediately saw the potential with its 200 feet of beachfront. Little did they know, their quaint cabin with small windows and low ceilings would soon be transformed into a wide-open stunner with a killer view.
"It started with the idea that we were just going to replace the kitchen, but we discovered that the wiring in the wall was connected together with baling wire and they had just pushed it into thin walls," said Chris Rutten. "The structure was a bunch of add-ons with more add-ons, so for our own safety, we needed to gut it." Not wanting the paperwork hassle of changing the existing footprint, the Ruttens chose to rearrange the square footage they already had, rather than build on.
"We didn't really do any work that first summer, we were just going to keep it as a fun place to go but, we kind of fell in love with it," said Peggy Rutten.
Contrast in the Kitchen
In the kitchen, the Ruttens opted for a Hanstone on the perimeter counter with Mid Continent Portabello-painted cabinetry. The prep island features Q Quartz and a charcoal-stained cabinet base. "I love white cabinets, but I have white at home and I didn't want the same kitchen here," said Peggy Rutten.
Throughout the home, the Ruttens installed a Karndean Designflooring in a rustic plank. "It's the only flooring we carry at the lumberyard because it has a great wear layer making it very scratch resistant; it's resilient and it doesn't take on moisture," explained Peggy Rutten.
Serve + Seat
With the idea to leave the kitchen's main island for food prep, Peggy designed a charcoal-stained, oak serving bar at the back of the bench and chaise dining area. "We used to have a bench table in our old house, but when we took it out, everyone really missed it," she explained. "So, the first request from the kids was getting a bench back. It's also a great place for the grandkids."
"Oak is the most economical and it's durable, but most people are tired of it. What a lot of people don't realize is that you don't have to do a golden oak stain - if you put a more modern stain on it, it's beautiful," said Peggy Rutten.
Great Room Glory
Fittingly, the "great room" is the site of the greatest renovation. Peggy's wish list included being able to see the lake when she walked in the door. Undergoing extensive changes to the walls and ceilings meant being able to add much bigger windows which would give them plenty of access to lake views. Adding a peaked, wood ceiling gave the room height and offered the entire house the illusion of more space. "The ceiling is a tongue-in-groove, pine ceiling panel that comes prefinished and distressed," explained Peggy Rutten."The whole cabin seems so much bigger just because of that extra elevation."
Mastering the Suite
The Rutten's master suite is spacious and bright, showcasing custom Mid Continent Cabinetry and a spa-inspired shower design by Thiel Tile & Stone.
In the dining room, the Ruttens were able to use a laminate countertop fashioned onto a custom base to create the large dining table. "Our kid's second request was the oversized, comfy dining chairs. They're not like a typical dining room chair where you'd rather go sit on the sofa - they're basically a sofa on wheels. I found them at Karvonen's, in stock. Their third request was an icemaker - so they got all three," laughed Peggy Rutten.
Just beyond the dining room is the space of the original, detached three-season porch. While still in progress, the Ruttens have already removed the wall separating the rooms, adjusted the ceiling to meet the great room's, then insulated the new walls and added white shiplap to give it a more cohesive flow into the home. "We don't have a screened porch anymore, but I think we'll use this space more than we did the old one," said Peggy Rutten. "Fixing that room really opened up the space."
Outdoor Lake Living
What most would assume is a fantastic addition to their exterior patio is actually an updated, covered carport. To create a fun, outdoor living room, the Ruttens had maintenance-free decking follow the line of the existing tar, then they installed a built-in grill area and stone bar top, adding in café lights and cozy, outdoor furnishings.
The exterior facade was also given a crash course in curb appeal with new stone accents, wood shutters and LP SmartSide from Lumber Depot.
On the Horizon!
With a couple of months to go, the Ruttens have big plans to finish the lakeside boathouse, just in time for the tour. What's now a gutted shell, will soon be a fantastic beachside lounge.
Find the Finishes:
Take a Tour & Support the Students!
The Lakes Area Home Tour is a self-guided tour of seven homes throughout the Vergas, Ottertail and Perham areas. In addition to beautiful decor from area businesses, tourgoers will marvel at the architectural and interior design work by local contractors. Area businesses come together to offer discounts, raffle prizes and unique shopping ideas for the season. All proceeds benefit the 549 Family Foundation, serving the Perham-Dent school district. Since the foundation's start in 2002, they have awarded over $700,000 for local schools varying educational programs. Last year, in one day, the home tour raised over $17,000 for the Foundation.
"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. We have a great mix of homes in all styles, so there's something for everyone."
Lakes Area Home Tour:
Saturday, September 28, 2019
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Cost is $25/ticket with proceeds benefiting the 549 Family Foundation.
[Tickets include an exclusive swag bag with special offers from local businesses.]
Find tickets at each featured home, or buy in advance at:
Nest, Bremer Bank, Refreshing Designs in Perham or at Lumber Depot in New York Mills
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:
Midwest Nest loves the culture from the upper midwest, and we are excited to share stories from around the area.