Home & Design | West by Midwest

Allison and Joe Sriver can quickly rattle off a list of things they love about their Brainerd-area getaway on the Whitefish Chain of Lakes: taking the pontoon out, morning coffee on the dock listening to the loons, and s’mores around the firepit. But what they savor most are the sunsets visible from the screened porch, signaling another relaxing end to a blissful day.

The promise of those sunsets—especially for Joe, an amateur photographer who captures them through his lens—is what drew the Edina couple to the property, which offers wide lake views. “When we saw this lot, we knew immediately it was the one,” Allison says. The couple was just as confident in the look they wanted for their new house. Rather than a traditional lake home with nautical references, they envisioned a rugged western ranch house or mountain lodge. And they were serious enough about nailing the look that they rented an RV and drove 1,000-plus miles to explore around Yellowstone and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The end result: a 4,100-square-foot cabin—as the Srivers call it—that welcomes reclaimed wood, stone, wrought iron, and even a few touches of corrugated metal and cowhide (on kitchen stools). “It has a rustic feel, but yet it’s refined and with all of the nice creature comforts,” Allison says.

Attention to detail is visible in every room. There’s wrought iron strapping on mantels, actual twigs sheathing the refrigerator door, and tiles that mimic a cozy patchwork quilt.  “We all took it to the next level when it came to the details,” says Jen Ziemer, interior designer and principal of Fiddlehead Design Group in Minneapolis, which collaborated on the project with Lands End Development in Crosslake.

Looks weren’t the end-all, though. Function was high on the couple’s list, too. Andréa Dixon, a certified kitchen designer and principal at Fiddlehead, worked with Allison to replicate the function of the kitchen in the couple’s primary residence for easy navigation in this home. They even drilled down to the ideal spot for the mixer for Allison, a baker who runs the home-based Whisked Away Macarons. Throughout the house, surfaces such as porcelain tile and quartz countertops are durable and easy to clean. And many of the new furnishings were chosen for their vintage look and ability to age gracefully. “They feel like they could have been there through the generations,” Dixon says.

Now, when Allison and Joe catch up on the popular TV drama Yellowstone, they see a bit of their lake home in the main house at that show’s Dutton Ranch. The painting on their living room mantel—aptly titled Yellowstone and purchased from a Wyoming gallery—reminds them of their RV adventure out West.

But for all the western influences, Allison likes her father’s description of their lake home best. “My dad calls it heaven on earth,” she says.

Interior Design: Fiddlehead Design Group, 275 Market St., Ste. 211, Mpls., 612-747-6431, fiddleheaddesigngroup.com //  Contractor: Lands End Development, 13817 Co. Rd. 36, Crosslake, 218-692-5263, landsenddev.com