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Spacious & Cozy Lake Home

The Aanensons built their perfect retirement home to include favorite features from their former home1 / 8
The Aanensons used stone tiles throughout the kitchen and living room to tie the two rooms together.2 / 8
The large twin home, as seen from the lake side of the house.3 / 8
Every room in the house, like the living room, is filled with light thanks to large windows throughout.4 / 8
The spaciousness of the twin home is hidden when just seeing the front of the house.5 / 8
The deck is the perfect place for a view of the lake.6 / 8
Even the downstairs guest bedroom is flooded with light from the large windows.7 / 8
The master bedroom gives a nice view of the lake, and also features a large bathroom and walk-in closet.8 / 8

When Julie and Walt Aanenson retired, they wanted to have a downsized twin home that was still big enough for their family. Mission accomplished.

"We designed this. We drew up the plans as we wanted," Julie said. "We like the open design. It's nice for entertaining."

Three years ago, the couple moved from East Grand Forks to 1411 Long Lake Drive, and they made sure they could see the lake, regardless of where they're at in their home.

"Just about every room in the house has a view of the lake," Walt said.

"We wanted a lot of windows," Julie agreed.

Upon entering the Aanenson home, there is an office, open kitchen, dining room, living room and master suite -- bed-room, bathroom and closet -- and laundry room on the main level.

When they designed the twin home, they created just one small, shared wall between the two units. Upstairs, it happens to be the dining room wall. The adjoining home was built as a spec home and later sold.

Also when they designed the house, which they did with the help of Fargo designer Paul Sorum, they made sure to have everything they needed on one level, to avoid excess use of the stairs.

To make the house look even bigger and more open, they have high ceilings upstairs and down.

When the Aanensons sat down with Sorum to design their new home, they talked about what they liked about their existing house in East Grand Forks and incorporated those features into the new place.

The downstairs houses a large sitting area, three bedrooms and two bathrooms -- ready for when their children and their families visit. They were even considerate enough to make sure they put a tub in the downstairs bathroom for the young grandkids.

"It works out well when everyone is here. We have room for the kids and the grandkids," Walt said.

And like upstairs, the downstairs has a view of the lake as well. The walkout basement gives easy access to a fire pit and Long Lake.

To enjoy that view for most of the year, the Aanensons can sit in their three-season room off the downstairs living room. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer a great view, and the ability to open the windows and just have screens showing is an added bonus for those breezy summer evenings.

"We're very pleased," Julie said.

The garage, which can actually hold four vehicles, is filled with their two vehicles, Walt's classic Thunderbird he's had since high school, and the woodworking projects he's gotten to spend more time on since retiring from being a superintendent.

From the front, the twin home looks average sized, but from the back, the sprawling home is more eminent.

"It's the perfect retirement home," Julie said.

And location, location, location is a plus. Not only is it located on the lake, but it's close to town, but not in town, Julie said. The wooded lot used to be a campground and is now being developed for single-family homes.

When asked to be on the Damien's Fall Home Tour, Julie said it was an easy decision because it's a fund-raiser for a good cause, with proceeds going to area charities.