Niche Space

Project name: Bay Lake Retreat
Project location: Bay Lake in Minnesota
Square footage: 720 (family room only)
Project cost: $180,000 (family room only)

A second-story, 720-sq.-ft. niche-space family room is created within this lake home capturing views of a northern Minnesota lake. The dramatic design and intimate space by Nor-Son Inc. in Baxter, Minn., is a favorite spot for the family to comfortably gather.

A desire for privacy was the motivation to have the family room physically separated from the open living room and kitchen area to facilitate use by the owners’ two college-aged daughters. The space also serves as a sanctuary where family members can rest, read or visit while enjoying the views.

Designing a variation of the vaulted great rooms and foyers typical to the area’s lake homes and foregoing the traditional basement family room, the solution was to place the family room on the second floor. Its lakeside location and large double-hung windows capture views of the lake, as well as flood the room with natural light.