Linwood Lake Rambler

Cozy in Winter, Breezy in Summer

Project Summary 

From Decrepit Rambler to Prairie Classic. Green building principles and modern living guided the remodel of this 1969 Linwood Minnesota lake home.

The couple who bought this 1960’s rambler fell in love with the shoreline property and the spectacular view on Linwood lake. The home on the other hand, with all the charm of a fish cleaning shack, had to go. Murphy Bros. reduced the home to its foundation and transformed the entire property into a stylish lake home masterpiece. "It was the third home I designed and built," recalls John Murphy, owner of Murphy Bros. Design | Build | Remodel, "And by far the nicest. Fortunately, we completed it just before the great recession of 2008."

Exterior view front elevation of completed remodel.


The scale and proportions of the house fit the lake front property perfectly, but lack of maintenance and dated materials called for a re-creation from the foundation up.


The main floor was lifted for higher ceilings, more light, and better lot presence. Electrolux kitchen appliances like the double ovens, and the high-capacity refrigerator, make this kitchen a chef’s dream. The island sink gives two cooks plenty of elbow room. A variety of natural woods, ceramic and stone finishes perfect for a Prairie Classic home decor. Details like lighting fixtures were selected complement architectural details, like the arched doorways.

Saving energy and reducing environmental impact was important to the family. The foundation was poured with energy-saving insulated concrete forms (ICF’s).

Close up of front elevation showing entrance and front porch.
Front elevation in winter.
Back elevation showing landscaping and deck.
Front entrance designed with echoing archways, and a mix of slate tile and Brazilian hardwood.
Living room space with massive Marvin window wall overlooking lake and patio door access to the deck.
Kitchen Island, reverse view into living room. Granite countertops on custom maple cabinets with prep sink.
Maple Island granite "Yellow River". Knotty Alder perimeter cabinets, flooring Cumararu Brazilian hardwood. Note access to 4-season porch in the background.
4-season atrium porch off kitchen—perfect for a cup of morning joe. All floors in the entire home are heated. Makes winter bearable.
Master bedroom with stunning view of Linwood lake.
Master bath covered in Travertine tile.
Master bath custom vanity with Cambria countertops and under-mount sinks.
Dry-stack stone facade with custom hand-tapered application.
Lower level kitchen dinette/bar, stone backsplash and cork flooring.

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