At The Lake Magazine – Winter 2008
House of Dreams
Nestled along the shores of Green Lake (part of the Lauderdale Lakes chain) is an intimate, rustic retreat, the product of a rewarding partnership between Randy Thelen of Thelen Total Construction and homeowner Bruno Bottarelli. Adhering to his creed, Thelen has constructed a home that effortlessly complements and snuggles into the verdant woodland. Built with authentic, hand-honed, “hand-chinked” beams and posts — a nod to historic Appalachian homes — the 6,800-square-foot “Casa Del Sueño,” or “House of Dreams,” is a spectacular success that lives up to its name.
Its unique architecture seamlessly blends elements of Bottarelli’s travels into a welcoming home for family and friends. “We designed the home to reflect architectural features we’ve experienced in our travels throughout the world,” says Bottarelli. From the lower level to the second floor, from the decks, patios and outdoor living spaces to the “casita” (a separate guesthouse), there are well-placed details reminiscent of Nantucket and southern coastal towns, the Caribbean, Montana, Colorado, Arizona, Italy, Australia, Africa and Midwestern farms. Thelen equipped the kitchen and dining room, along with the rest of the house, with hot water radiant floors that keep toes toasty during those frosty winter mornings. Exposed beams and woodplanked ceilings evoke a back-to-basics place to eat and enjoy company.
Thoughtful concepts influenced by Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern of Language, a book that outlines 250 patterns repeated throughout history, unite to make Bottarelli’s home a delightful surprise from any viewpoint. The use of simplistic, unadorned natural materials, and the seamless unification of land and home, creates a relaxing second-home retreat from the bustle of city living.
Heart & Soul
“Anyone building a legacy home normally has it for a long time,” says Bottarelli. “As the owner, I put my heart and soul into it. I had to spend a lot of time and effort and wanted a builder I could have a partnership with; one who had as much heart and soul as I did, who was conscious of my intentions. Randy and his team were awesome. They were patient, competent, gave attention to the details that were so important to me and fulfilled all of our expectations — which were pretty high because this is what I do. My home is esoteric with classical designs merging philosophy and science. Randy learned from me and I learned from him. The final product was close to the project plan. My family and I are very pleased.”
“We enjoyed working with Bruno and Judy building their very unique and beautiful home,” Thelen adds. “Our years of design/build construction gave us the expertise to maximize the building potential here while remaining sensitive to the natural beauty of the setting.”