Brandis and Paris had found a great new homesite in Wayzata, a place they have long loved. They showed their best pals Amy and Bo their chosen site and plans for their soon-to-be new home with Pillar Homes and couldn’t be more excited. That is until Bo and Amy fell in love with the location and decided to build right next door. Now these two besties and their families are thrilled to be next-door neighbors building homes together.
Brandis and Paris
Brandis and Paris with their almost 9-year-old son, Caelan, their 6-year-old daughter, Harper, and their two French bulldogs, Lennox and Parker, had previously built two homes, the most recent on the eastern edge of Wayzata. They love hanging out in the downtown Wayzata area and building new allowed them to stay close to their favorite location while getting the custom home of their dreams. “There’s just this constant vacation vibe that Wayzata has,” explains Brandis.
It’s obvious they weren’t intimidated by the homebuilding process, and while they loved their current home, they simply fell in love when they visited a Pillar Homes Parade Home a year or so ago. When they found out Pillar was offering four home sites a couple blocks off the lake, they walked the lot with K.C. Chermak, the president and owner of Pillar Homes, and were hooked.
“This is our third build and sixth move in only five years,” Brandis laughs, saying that this time they expect to put their roots down deep.
“All the restaurants and places we love are within walking distance,” Paris emphasizes, explaining that this is the home they expect their kids to grow up in.
They put all their ideas together — cataloguing all the things they loved about their previous homes as well as all the things they’d want to change. “We were able to be extremely thoughtful about this build,” Paris says. They worked closely with the Pillar Homes team, including Ben Nelson and Jim Kuiken, refining their ideas to make sure they got just what they wanted. “Jim was really instrumental in helping us,” says Brandis. “He validated our choices, but also pushed us out of our comfort zone.”
Their new home has a main level perfect for entertaining. “Our goal was to have a lot of windows to pour natural light into an open concept and a butler pantry to hide most typical kitchen cabinetry. And the lower level is truly a kids’ playland inclusive of a sport court and game room,” Brandis says.
The layout is unique and designed for just how they plan to live, while the décor and selections create the perfect aesthetic. “I explain it as an industrial loft feel,” Paris says. “We wanted it to be cool and edgy, but integrated elements of wood so we didn’t lose the warmth.”
And the best part is that “Bo and Amy, our best friends, who are basically family, are going to be next door to us,” Brandis exclaims.
Amy & Bo
When Amy and Bo learned Brandis and Paris were building a new home in Wayzata, they were excited for their best friends but had not really considered moving out of Minneapolis themselves. That is, until they visited.
“Brandis and Paris encouraged us to look at the lots where they were building in Wayzata,” Amy says. “Our ﬁrst thought was that it was kind of far out, but on the drive back Bo said he kind of loved it.”
The Minneapolis residents had been on the lookout for a home better suited to their love of entertaining, but in Minneapolis or maybe Golden Valley. “We got to the point that we were having a hard time ﬁnding the right house, or a lot big enough for the pool we wanted,” explains Bo.
They decided that a new build was their best choice to get everything on their wish list in their home.
And when they saw the Wayzata homesites with K.C., it was an easy decision. “We both listed the top ﬁve things we wanted in a house,” Amy says. “We tried to make a list of cons, too, but there just weren’t any. And on top of that, we’d get to live next door to best friends.”
That did it. They took the plunge. Their home is also designed by the Pillar team and ﬁts their needs perfectly. The modern aesthetic is just what they wanted and the home is seamlessly planned for the urban lot. Their upstairs owners’ suite opens to the roof top deck off of the master bedroom, and the screen porch connects to wide open and perfect-for-entertaining living spaces. Amy has the closet space she craved after living in older Minneapolis designs, and their master bath is the spa retreat they’ve always wanted.
With three kids, Cobin (18), Sawyer (16) and Jonah (13), plus their 15-year-old Himalayan cat Noah, “we wanted to be the house where everyone wants to hang out” notes Amy. “It’s a place our boys will love to bring their friends and we can comfortably host parties.”
Another key consideration was walkability. “Every weekend we walk around one of the lakes,” Amy explains. Now, in the heart of Wayzata, they can walk to the lake, to shops and to some of the best restaurants around.
They also got that all-important pool with a bonus — living next door to their best friends, Brandis and Paris. “It’s like having one giant backyard,” says Amy. “We’re all so busy, now we can get together on the spur of the moment.”
Written by Wendy Danks | New homes by Pillar Homes Partner