Southview Design Completes Extreme Makeover of Minnetonka Residence

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Minnetonka Property Goes from Ho-Hum to Wow in Multi-Phased Project

Southview Design Completes Extreme Makeover on Minnetonka Property

Southview Design Completes Extreme Makeover on Minnetonka Property

“What was remarkable about this was that it was a huge cooperative project – not just between contractors, but also between neighbors,” said Tim Johnson, a landscape designer with Southview Design.

Southview Design has transformed a modest mid-century, two-story home in Minnetonka into a neighborhood head-turner that has become the site of many family gatherings.

“What was remarkable about this was that it was a huge cooperative project – not just between contractors, but also between neighbors,” said Tim Johnson, a multi-award-winning landscape designer with Southview Design. “This homeowner loves to entertain, and after her cousin bought the home next door, the two women got together to design the side yard they shared.”

Nearly every aspect of this property was transformed – the driveway, walkways, side deck, fence and back patio; eventually even architectural touches were added to the home’s façade. The family can now enjoy a wide variety of activities outside, thanks to the addition of a large backyard patio with a dining area, fire pit, water feature, hot tub and outdoor shower.

The transformation took place in two phases; in the first phase, Southview Design constructed the design ‘bones,’ laying the foundation and building hardscapes such as the driveway, walkways and patio. Luxury and architectural features and much of the landscaping were completed this year in phase two.

Johnson said the Southview Design team faced a wide variety of issues that made this project particularly challenging. The front yard sloped dramatically from left to right, so the street and garage floor were lower than the driveway. The front entry and steps were dangerous and had to be demolished, along with the cracked and aged asphalt driveway. Several diseased or dying trees posed a hazard and had to be removed. Plus, two severe storms in 10 days brought down large trees and branches, causing scheduling delays as the clean up had to take priority.

In the first year, working off of Johnson’s artist rendering, Southview Design installed retaining walls on both sides of the driveway made from Fond du Lac stone, as well as new colored concrete front steps, aluminum railings and landings made from NY Bluestone pavers leading to the front door.

Originally a large expanse of lawn, the back yard was transformed into an entertaining mecca. Southview Design installed a bluestone dining patio with a fire pit, water fountain and hot tub. Fiberglass columns supporting a cedar arbor create a cozy framework to the patio while custom lighting and a sound system provide the ambiance.

In the second phase, a shower with custom fixtures was added to the back, while the front sported a new mailbox on an upright Fond du Lac stone with lighting that illuminates the surrounding landscaping.

The front of the home still needed a little character, so Southview Design designed a covered front entry with fiberglass columns and a new front door to complete the transformation.

After the owner’s cousin moved in next door, the two homeowners collaborated to create a seamless landscape from one yard to the next. The first step was to remove the scrub brush between the cousins’ properties, and then the Southview Design team built a stone stepper path lighting the way between the two houses.

“The reason this landscape works is because it all flows together,” Johnson said. “We connected the outdoors with the indoors, so they can literally spend as much time outside as they can inside.”

For before and after photos and a full description of this Minnetonka property transformation, visit

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