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The Welu Annex, across the street from the main house, features a guest house for when family visits.
The Welu Annex, across the street from the main house, features a guest house for when family visits.

A vacation right at home

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Detroit Lakes, 56501

Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

After downsizing from their Lake Melissa home, Paul and Judy Welu moved to Lake Sallie and Fox Lake. Their house sits on Lake Sallie, and their guest cottage -- also known as the "Welu Annex" -- sits across the street on Fox Lake.

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Location was one of the major selling points for the Welu's 23747 Pebble Beach Lane home.

"We were looking for a smaller house, and we loved how close it was to the lake," Judy said.

And while the main house may be a size down from their previous house, there is still plenty of room for guests and entertaining.

Besides the three-bedroom loft house and guesthouse with two king size beds, there is a smaller cottage in the yard for those wanting to stay even closer.

"It used to be a dorm with three small rooms. We opened it up to a one-room cottage," she said.

The smaller cottage, decorated in an outdoorsy, cottage-style motif, has a kitchen and table, bed and bathroom. There is also a storage shed on one end.

The guesthouse has a two-stall garage on the lower level with an enclosed deck facing the lake, and a one-room sleeping/sitting area upstairs with a bathroom. The Welus bought the land it sits on when they purchased the main house.

It is also likely the only house to have a dishwasher in the bathroom. Yup, the bathroom.

There are dishes for guests to use, and the Welus had an extra dishwasher they didn't see the need to get rid of, so it's now a fixture in the bathroom.

When they built the guesthouse, they built it for more than just guests.

"We knew we needed more storage because we don't have a basement," Judy said.

When they moved to the smaller house -- even though they outfitted the house, cottage and guesthouse -- Judy said she didn't have to buy any furniture; she had it all from their previous house.

The extra cottages are perfect for when their three grown children and spouses -- two in Minneapolis and one in Fargo -- and grandson come to visit.

The main part of the house is over 100 years old, with the original fireplace -- now converted to gas -- still the centerpiece.

The Welus have added large windows, and the light pours into the home. Judy said the natural light of the house is one of its best features.

"The things we have done are cosmetic," she said of changes to the house since they purchased it seven years ago. "We painted every single thing you could paint."

They enclosed a porch, now Judy's favorite room in the house, and added six feet to the kitchen, brightening it up with a wall of windows.

When it came time to add on to the kitchen and design it, she said she gave the movie "Something's Gotta Give" with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton to the crew and told them to pay close attention to the kitchen in the movie because that's what she wanted.

"I like the kitchen. I'm so happy with the way it turned out," she said.

With the large kitchen and plenty of floor space, it makes entertaining easy for the couple.

"I don't have a real decorating style. I just tried to keep a cottage-y look."

While the Welus also have a house in Florida, "I'm always glad to come home," Judy said. "It's a pretty northern Minnesota look when you drive down this road."

Paul commutes to Fargo each day, where he owns Welu Dental Laboratory.

With the home tour being just a month before Halloween, Judy plans to have the house decorated for the occasion -- a holiday that happens to be her favorite.

And while the main house may be a size down from their previous house, there is still plenty of room for guests and entertaining.

Besides the three-bedroom loft house and guesthouse with two king size beds, there is a smaller cottage in the yard for those wanting to stay even closer.

"It used to be a dorm with three small rooms. We opened it up to a one-room cottage," she said.

The smaller cottage, decorated in an outdoorsy, cottage-style motif, has a kitchen and table, bed and bathroom. There is also a storage shed on one end.

The guesthouse has a two-stall garage on the lower level with an enclosed deck facing the lake, and a one-room sleeping/sitting area upstairs with a bathroom. The Welus bought the land it sits on when they purchased the main house.

It is also likely the only house to have a dishwasher in the bathroom. Yup, the bathroom.

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