Making Memories by the Lake

Story by Anna Mason

Photography by DMD Real Estate Photography

Perched next to a quiet lake in the Mat-Su Valley, Carla and Patrick’s home takes full advantage of the surrounding beauty. The strategically positioned wall of windows showcases sparkling water views all yearlong. Adding to the lure of lake life, a boat dock, gravel paths, and a fire pit grace the grounds of this shoreline home, calling to mind long days spent outdoors in the sun of summer and the chill of fall.

Carla and Patrick fell in love with Alaska when they were stationed here in the military. “We made some wonderful lifelong friends here,” says Carla, “so we decided to move back. We found this wonderful lake and we love it! There was a house here already, a 3 bedroom with a garage, but we wanted a bigger house and outbuildings for land and water toys, so we decided to renovate to give ourselves that space.”

They certainly got the space they asked for, with a detached bunkhouse boasting four custom-built bunks and a private bedroom in addition to the main house. “The bunkhouse is super cool,” says Jana Seda of 360 Construction & Design (formerly Trailboss Solutions). “Rustic elegance was more what we were going for there, with all the hardware and rustic pieces. Every room had special care taken, and every room was designed specifically for the owners.”

That care shows throughout the home, with small pieces from Carla and Patrick’s life incorporated seamlessly into the larger design. “Having lived in many different houses and types of houses around the world, there are lots of features that we liked and we wanted to incorporate those into this house,” says Carla. “But we wanted it to be comfortable and we wanted it to have that Alaska feel.” Carla had pieces of furniture and decor that she knew she wanted to end up in the house, but they were all in storage when they were working on the design. “We worked off of photos she had,” says Jana. “Figuring out how to work a piece into a new design, off of a photo of it in a former home, was quite the challenge!”

“I think that the main goal for us was to bring the beautiful lake and views that we have outside, into the house,” says Carla. “We used lots of large windows to incorporate the views. Another design feature that I like a lot is the three sets of French doors. You can look straight through the house to see the mountains!”

“We did have to change the staircase to a more flowing design, and to me it’s a focal point now,” says Carla. “I love that it’s so accessible and fits the space really well now.”

“The original design plans didn’t fit exactly what we needed,” says Jana, “so we had to change the design and layout as we went, including the staircase.” The location of the home added another hurdle: “When you build in a rural setting like this,” says Carla, “it presents a unique set of challenges. Everything has to be brought in and it takes extra time and expense.Patrick even brought some of the lamp fixtures back with him in his suitcase when he went on a business trip!”

Getting beyond the challenges of building in a remote location, Carla and Patrick now get to enjoy the product of all that hard work they – and their contractor – put into the home. “We designed our kitchen after a home we owned previously, because we loved the flow and the extra large island. This kitchen feels like we’ve been here for a long time because it’s the same as that previous home.” The kitchen is one of Jana’s favorite parts of the house as well: “I’m a kitchen and bath designer so of course I love the kitchen! The big window to take in the views is amazing. The outside is just as striking as the inside for me, though. The textures and colors are just gorgeous, especially around the entrance and the deck.”

The house stood its first structural test during the 2018 earthquake, and it stood up very well. “A few cosmetic issues, but other than that it was all perfect,” says Carla. “I was in the house for that earthquake, and I’m very happy with how it performed. I was happy that we decided to put in a wood stove, because I used that for heat after the earthquake! That stove makes a great space to enjoy winter evenings as well. We use it all the time now.”

“I also love the gym – that’s been a blessing during this pandemic,” adds Carla. Best of all: “We enjoy being where we are because we get to go outside and enjoy all the natural beauty of Alaska without any long drives.”

Key Contributors

General Contractor: 360 Construction & Design (Formerly Trailboss Solutions)
Interior Designer: Jana Seda, Red Door Design/360 Construction & Design
Flooring: Ala Round Distributors; Installed by 360 Construction & Design
Windows & Doors: Spenard Builders Supply; Installed by 360 Construction & Design
Countertops: Rino’s Tile & Stone
Cabinets & Island: KraftMaid; Jana Seda, Red Door Design / 360 Construction & Design
Appliances: Allen & Petersen
Bathroom Tile (Floor & Shower): Jana Seda Red Door Design / 360 Construction & Design
Plumbing: Ferguson Enterprises (fixtures); Clearwater Mechanical (plumbing)
Exterior Roofing, Stonework & Paint/Siding: 360 Construction & Design
Garage Door: Pioneer Door
Staircase & Railing: 360 Construction & Design
Radiant Heat: Clearwater Mechanical