Photos by Eliesa Johnson
Project: Outdoor Terrace
Design Studio: David Heide Design Studio
Project architect: Mark Nelson
Interior designer: Michael Crull
Location: Lake of the Isles
Planters and florals: Bachman's
If you work in construction, you’re no stranger to change orders. But when David Heide got the call at 8 p.m. the night before breaking ground on a major renovation on a Lake of the Isles bungalow with the idea to relocate the garage, he knew it would take more than a few hours to amend the design. Heide, founder of David Heide Design Studio, went back to the drawing board with project architect Mark Nelson, and six weeks later, construction began on an entirely new plan. “Moving the garage [from behind the home] to beneath it gave us the opportunity to create an outdoor space on top of the garage,” says Heide. The rooftop terrace also gives the homeowners privacy even as it faces the lake. Heide started by lowering the driveway down to the basement level. He had to remove the neighbor’s retaining wall, only to rebuild it more efficiently to protect the long, narrow driveway from caving in. Heide created a terrace for the homeowners, who are avid entertainers, that seamlessly transitions from the adjacent living and dining rooms to the outdoors. “Continuous floor space was important,” Heide says. “Putting it all on one level so there aren’t steps to navigate while you’re trying to carry a tray of lemonade—that’s important.”
Outdoor spaces feel very different in scale than indoor spaces, so it’s important to get the furniture right from a scale standpoint. Heide created three separate conversation zones—the pavilion, the table, and a front sitting area—but he tied them together with soothing shades of purple to keep the aesthetic cohesive.
Designer David Heide encourages anyone looking to create an outdoor space to clearly define the parameters. Here he used Chilton limestone on the stone wall surround, which was a nice complement to the Ubatuba granite flooring with a flamed finish and the dark red limestone of the fountain.
Project architect Mark Nelson included the fountain to create a focal point that would be visible from the adjacent family room. Though the bronze spout is new, it was based on designs of period fountain spouts. “The sound of running water provides a restful comfort to the terrace experience,” he says.
Shiplap cladding and a beadboard ceiling blend with the home’s architecture.
Q & A
David Heide's tips for creating a seamless adjoining outdoor room.
Living in Minnesota, we value our summers, but the season is so short. What did you do to this space to extend the season so the homeowners can enjoy it for as long as possible?
We created the pavilion at the back of the terrace, so there was a way that the homeowners could be outside, even though it may be raining. It provides some weather protection, so you’ve got a little bit of a sheltered space, and you can store cushions in there when it’s not in use. There are also ways in which we can extend the season using devices for additional heat. A little heater can extend another week or two out of either end of the season.
Because the terrace was built to seamlessly transition from the inside to the outside, how did you respect the original character of the 1903 home in the new space?
We used shiplap on the interior with a beadboard ceiling in the pavilion, so they’re very much of the same time period of the house, but not a direct match. [All-weather] fabrics and stone flooring were used to keep the terrace more cohesive and weather-friendly. There’s a layering of things and I think it’s really important so that nothing seemed new.
How did you balance the desire for an outdoor space with the need for privacy?
This house was basically built as close to the setback as possible, and there isn’t a backyard because the house occupies the entirety of that space. The only place to be outside is the front, which, on Lake of the Isles, isn’t a great place to hang out. The glass panels on the terrace allow for a view of the lake without sitting in the front yard, while the pavilion at the back of the terrace keeps you completely out of sight from passersby.
What advice do you have for homeowners looking to create a stylish yet functional terrace?
The terrace is accessible from the family dining rooms by way of a folding glass door system by Marvin Windows and Doors. Anytime you can have the space flow in a circular way, it works better for entertaining. Also, consider the orientation of the space. Some people don’t like being in the sun, so try to provide a multiple-layered experience so there are some sheltered and shaded areas. Finally, remember that you’re creating an outdoor room, so think about ways to visually define the edge of the space. You don’t want to feel like you’re in an outdoor room that’s sitting in the middle of a field.