A north Minnesota lake house is a comfortable getaway for family and friends

From our partners at Houzz

Interior designer Michelle Fries grew up vacationing with her family along Minnesota’s Whitefish Chain of Lakes and wanted to create a welcoming lake house that would bring everyone together. “The overall design goal was to create a Minnesota farmhouse-cottage,” she says.

Crisp white board and batten siding, black metal roofing, classic brick accents and a wraparound porch create a pleasing simplicity on the exterior, while antique finds and warm wood provide a comfortable ease inside. Extensive porches and a rehabilitated boathouse overlook the lake, and there’s plenty of room for family and friends.

Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: Michelle Fries of BeDe Design; her husband, David Fries; their children, Declan, 14, and Betsy, 12; and their two dogs, Jimmy and Cookie.
Location: On Cross Lake in Crosslake, Minnesota, about a 2½-hour drive from St. Paul-Minneapolis
Size: 4,200 square feet (390 square meters); five bedrooms; five bathrooms; plus boathouse
Designer: Michelle Fries

“My family went up to the Whitefish Chain of Lakes every summer and rented a cabin in one of the many small, quaint resorts. Some of my favorite memories of growing up were fishing and swimming off the dock with my sisters and friends,” Fries says. “Both my sister and uncle have cabins on Cross Lake as well, so it’s always a built-in party.” Fries’ parents and another sister and her family visit frequently.

A corrugated metal fish greets guests at the end of the driveway. The designer commissioned local artist Tim Kulseth to craft the gate. He added a giant fishhook that serves as the latch.


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