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Contemporary Cottage on the Lake – Modern, not Modest

Rural Iowa is the setting for this design by San Francisco-based MinDay Architects who, despite the densely populated West Lake Okoboji shoreline, have artfully incorporated privacy and nature into their modern residential design. While the traditional “cottage” wasn’t on the owners’ list of criteria, they still wanted a retreat that focused on the lake and the massive oaks that separate the water from the farmland, according to MinDay Architects. “In response to the narrow wedge-shaped lot with the lake at one end, we conceived of the house as a three-dimensional set of ‘blinders’ that obscure the neighbors and gradually open up to the lake beyond,” explain the architects. “Passing through the house one moves from areas of density to areas with a diaphanous quality – the house is a spatial gradient.” While the wood-clad exterior blends with the home’s natural surroundings, interiors are sleek, chic and contemporary – certainly not your traditional cottage retreat. Tall ceilings and expansive windows create a modern and bright gallery-like space, which turns your attention to the lake just outside. But those “cottagy” elements still echo in the details, like a cozy outdoor dining area off the open-to-above kitchen; the open-concept layout ideal for entertaining, relaxing and reflecting; and check out the fabulous headboard in the master bedroom, depicting a ripple of water executed in natural wood.
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