If you're looking to escape the harshness of winter in Minnesota, our house is as good as it gets. We've lived hear for 20 years and have done everything possible to bring in the maximum amount of light in the winter. Summer's no problem, because we're located high on a hill surrounded by lovely maples and a stately elm tree that shades the house from the heat. And there's the huge, terraced, perennial garden that graces the hill to the cul de sac below.
There are 2 actual bedrooms, and a huge music studio with 16 windows and 2 skylights (which we use as our master bedroom--because it's an irresistible place to wake up in). We've turned the master bedroom into "The Snoring Room," which has a twin bed, full bath, and a two-person jacuzzi with a skylight over it.
Since we moved our bed to the studio, the master has been turned into an entertainment center, with a large screen TV and sofa. There is also a smaller bedroom, which also has a skylight, full-sized bed, and its own bathroom with shower and tub.
Downstairs, on the main floor, we have a sunroom, where we do all our eating, visiting, and basic hanging out. Being in it feels like being in a cabin up North: pine walls, oak floors, windows everywhere, a skylight, a gas stove, and comfy furniture. The room used to be a 3-season porch, but we converted it into our dining room/kitchen/main floor hang out spot. As soon as we set eyes on the room, we were sold on the house.
Also on the mainfloor are: the kitchen, a comfortable sitting room/office that looks out on the front yard, overlooking the pond below.
It's a great spot for bird watching, with multiple bird feeders just outside the window. (We also get deer, owls, raccoons, squirrels, and occasionally, a gaggle of wild turkeys running through the front and back yardss.)
All in all, it's a great place to be--if you want or need to be in Minnesota during the winter. Our daughter lives in LA, and we've started spending bigger chunks of time there to be closer to her. That's why our home is available for the winter.
The house is perched on a hill, and sits above a quiet cul de sac with just 3 houses. It overlooks a pond where our daughter used to ice skate in the moonlight. The neighborhood is quiet, and it's tucked away from all major streets and freeways.
The neighborhood has lots of mature trees, gardens in the summer, and there is ample space between houses. Our neighbors are friendly, but respectful of everyone's privacy.
Within a 5 minute drive, there is a Target (with full grocery), a Cub Foods market, and food co-op with fresh produce, exotic cheeses, and a fish and meet market.
Our favorite restaurant is a Greek restaurant just 5 minutes from our home. Just across the street from it is Famous Dave's Barbecue, a local restaurant known for its fabulous ribs.
If you like to cross country ski, there is a hiking/biking/cross-country skiing path within a 5 minutes walk from our house. The path is part of the Rails-to-Trails system and goes on for miles and miles.