Marvin Modern windows in a modern, accessible home
28 September 2021

A Modern Home Designed for Aging in Place

This modern lake home was thoughtfully designed to be a place where the homeowners could grow old without needing to make additional accommodations.

Call it what you like: a forever home or a last home, the homeowners of this lakeshore residence in Tonka Bay, Minnesota call it the dream of aging in place. And they’re doing it in purely modern fashion.  

This 5,536-square-foot home, designed by Colby Mattson of Charlie & Co. Design Ltd., built by John Kraemer & Sons Inc., with interior design by Carrie Ellington of Ellington&Co. Design, showcases top-of-the-line solutions for maintenance-free, adaptive living and accessible home design while embracing a beautiful modern aesthetic.  

“This client was an empty-nester couple wanting a last home with some key design elements,” said John Kraemer, of custom builder Kraemer & Sons. "They were very clear about wanting as little maintenance as possible.” 

Home Modifications for Aging in Place 

The home balances an aging-in-place agenda with beautiful design. It is built with maintenance-free materials, including brick, stone, and stucco. The driveway’s motor court and entire front patio features snow-melt technology, ensuring that the homeowners can avoid shoveling piles of snow during the sometimes-harsh Minnesota winters. The asphalt roof has a lifetime warranty, and the Marvin Modern windows promise low maintenance and high performance. The homeowners opted for double-pane glass to further improve window performance and thermal efficiency in the Minnesota climate.

“We really like using Marvin windows because their products are put to the test in our climate,” Kraemer said. “Homes operate so much more efficiently when you’re using good windows.” 

Meanwhile, the home’s interior design accommodates for main floor living, with guest rooms and an entertainment center located in the lower level. The living room, dining room, and kitchen comprise an expansive and open floor plan, with stunning views of Lake Minnetonka. And a stainless-steel elevator, with a style to match the modern aesthetic, enables easy access between floors if stairs ever become a challenge.  
A Purely Modern Aesthetic 

“The homeowners wanted as much glass as possible, and that’s why we chose products from Marvin’s Modern product line,” Kraemer said. 

The precision of the window design, narrow sightlines, leading thermal performance, and expansive glass characterize the Marvin Modern product line and make it ideal for homes seeking a thoroughly modern vibe. The walls of floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors capitalize on the stunning landscape of Lake Minnetonka.  

“With all that glass you can really take in those views, no matter where you’re standing on the main level,” Kraemer said. 
The homeowners were also excited to implement the modular system to blur the lines between inside and out on the deck off the back of the home. A Modern Multi-Slide Door glides seamlessly open to merge the path from the white oak hardwood floor in the kitchen to the Ardeo stone of the outdoor patio. Out here, there’s a dining area and an entertainment center, featuring an all-season large-screen TV, outdoor patio furniture, infrared heaters in the ceiling, and a fireplace to enable year-round entertainment while breathing in the fresh air. 
Happier, Healthier Living 

The beauty of the lake and the verdant scenery deeply resonated with the homeowners. As they thought about aging in place and creating a home that would enable happier, healthier living over the coming years, an inspiring view of nature was a big part of their plan. The Tonka Bay home faces west and offers a front-row seat to gorgeous lakefront sunsets every night.  

“Just being able to look out and see such a beautiful sight every day does something for people’s well-being,” Kraemer said.  
He notes that the beauty of the lake was very much a part of the design and build of the home, and intentional modern features framed the water through vast windows. Pulling into the home’s driveway, for example, it’s possible to look straight through two massive sets of ebony-clad Modern windows to see the lake behind the home.  

“Imagine coming home from work or an event, driving up the driveway, and being able to see the lake before you even get into the house,” Kraemer said. “It’s so cool.” 

With architecture featuring clean lines and uncluttered spaces, windows framing pristine lake views, and plenty of opportunity to enjoy fresh air, the Tonka Bay home embraces the prospect of happier, healthier living in a space carefully designed for aging in place with a beautiful modern aesthetic.