It felt like a dream come true when Mandy Tuong had a space where she could play piano while others in her brood could also enjoy their morning rituals with plenty of elbow room.
Music from an alcove wafted throughout the main floor of their Minneapolis home and up the open atrium, reaching the floor above.
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"Even though I'm playing in my own space, my husband is reading the morning paper and my children reading their books on a Saturday morning — we could all enjoy each other's presence," she said. "We could have our distinct spaces and were able to be together all at the same time."
When Tuong and her husband, Paul Johnston, built their Bryn Mawr home in 2016, it quickly garnered the nickname the "Stack House" for its vertical design. The house, with walls of glass and a modern exterior of cedar planking and white corrugated metal, even graced the pages of Dwell magazine.
At just over 3,200 square feet, their four-bedroom, four-bathroom has become home to the family's best memories from watching the snow fall from the floor-to-ceiling windows to hosting concerts with friends and family.
Much of the home is centered around a musical alcove, said Tuong, a pianist major. Close your eyes while the piano is playing and you might think you're jazzing out to music in a concert hall.
"It's a very intimate setting," she said. "You can sit around the fire, stand by the kitchen island — you choose how and where you want to listen to the music."
When building the house, design played as important of a role as creating spaces that functioned for the family. At first glance, the kitchen might look a little bare with just a sink and oven. But rest assured, it comes with a refrigerator and dishwasher that are hidden in cabinetry. Designed by Johnston, it keeps the house feeling open and airy, Tuong said.
"We have different strengths," she said. "I brought in how I want to live in this space and warmth and he has a good eye [for design]."
The house was also built with ample windows to enjoy the lush greenery surrounding the property.
In fact, Tuong was once hesitant about the windows she now enjoys so much, fearing she might lose a sense of privacy. But coupled with a copious amount of trees in the backyard — and good window placement overall — that became a non-issue.
These days the family finds themselves spending more and more time in California away from Minnesota's snowy winters, prompting them to put their beloved home on the market.
"We are really mourning leaving the house," she said. "It's a space to experience life."
Listing agent Barry Berg said the home has a particularly spacious design. In addition to the upper level with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, the ground level features a one-bedroom Accessory Dwelling Unit with a private entrance, kitchen and bathroom that comes with a dog wash.
The house also has ample storage for things such as paddleboards and bikes for those who want to take advantage of the house's location near Cedar Lake and Theodore Wirth Regional Park.
"You've got the trails all over the place, bike trails and you can go canoeing on the lake," he said. "For someone who is recreationally inclined, it's a terrific location."
Barry Berg (Barry@cbburnet.com; 612-670-3600) of Coldwell Banker Realty has the $2.2 million listing.