When Mike Karch bought his house in Minnetrista, it was the seven-car attached garage that sealed the deal.
“I’m a car collector,” he said, with a fleet of muscle cars and famous movie vehicles, including a Batmobile, a “Back to the Future” car and a shagadelic “Austin Powers” Jaguar.
Karch and his wife also liked the 1989-built home’s open floor plan, with a master suite and family room on the main floor. But the home’s contemporary style wasn’t to their taste.
“We like traditional,” Karch said.
Over the next 26 years, the couple undertook multiple home-improvement projects, increasing their home’s size to 9,330 square feet and adding traditional detailing, including hand-carved woodwork, columns, a barrel-vault ceiling and handpainted murals and finishes.
“We think traditional, with warmer woods, makes a warmer atmosphere,” Karch said.
The exterior got a Country French-inspired makeover with a stone facade and a copper-topped front entry with artisan-made iron doors.
Karch and his wife also added a large “safari room” handpainted by artist Jeff Biggerstaff to look like a hut, with bamboo walls, an open ceiling with “sky” and “birds” and greenery so lifelike that it fooled their listing agent.
“I thought they were real vines,” said Nancy Arneson, Edina Realty.
But why a safari room? “No one has one,” said Karch. The room has heated floors of stamped concrete and a wet bar, one of five in the home. “We used it for entertaining, and we entertain a lot.”
The couple also added a home theater and a custom dog suite that opens to an outdoor exercise area.
And Karch added more garage stalls — a nine-vehicle “car barn,” designed to match the existing horse stable, including a man cave with a TV, washer-dryer, office and bathroom.
Karch and his wife are now ready to downsize and have put the home on the market for $1.95 million. “It’s been a wonderful ride all these years,” he said.
The home’s 10-acre site provides a serene setting, Arneson said. “It’s private and quiet.”
Those who value craftsmanship will appreciate the house’s “fine detailing, exquisitely done,” such as nine-layer hand-carved crown molding. “You can’t find or afford that today,” she said.
And with the stable, a workshop and all those garage stalls, “there’s a place for all your toys,” Arneson said. “It’s a hobby farmer’s dream, a Disneyland for men.”
Nancy Arneson, 952-474-8648, Edina Realty, has the listing.
Kim Palmer • 612-673-4784