When Mahendra and Asha Nath wanted to build their home, they were lured into the northern subway suburb of North Oaks, which was built on the former farm of railroad magnate James J. Hill.
“It’s a rural area and not far from downtown,” said Mahendra. “The vision was that we wanted a big house, an open house, a modern house that also had a warm look.”
The couple decided on a property and got the luxury house builder Smuckler Architectural Custom Homes, the interior designer Jim Snustad and the landscape architecture firm Southview Design.
“It’s 1.6 acres, but it feels bigger. It’s all surrounded by trees,” Mahendra said. “All three worked together to coordinate the outside and the inside. It was about inviting nature into these two spaces. “
Most of the rooms in the house have high ceilings, large windows and skylights. Outdoor spaces – including three terraces – have been designed to maximize the view of nature from every angle.
“When you sit in our kitchen, sit in our conservatory, sit in our living room, sit in the bedroom, the house has a great view of the different seasons,” said Mahendra. “I can see the leaves on the trees. I can see the snow on the trees. I can see the flowers outside.”
The house, built in 1989, is an example of contemporary design that still resonates today with clear lines, an open concept and high-quality furnishings with exquisite details.
The foyer has six Bellagio-style water fountains. The common areas are spacious, including a two-story living room, a gourmet kitchen and a light-flooded, atrium-like winter garden with a vaulted glass ceiling. There is also a family room on the main level with a movie screen and wet bar.
The lower level has a second kitchen, a relaxation / exercise room and a games / club room with a fully equipped bar, billiards and a nightclub-style dance floor with studio lighting and a DJ station.
The master bedroom has double high ceilings and all bedrooms have a sitting area and en-suite bathroom. Ambient lighting and high-end technology were installed throughout the building and all three levels can be reached by elevator.
“There is a fireplace in almost every room. We have a sauna. We have a steam shower. We have bars at every level, ”added Mahendra. “There are a lot of modern amenities. The whole idea and the goal was to have a contemporary large house that also gives a warm feeling. We are very satisfied with all the work.”
The Naths, the owners of the restaurant, hotel and real estate company Nath Cos. are now ready to move as their adult children oversee the day-to-day running of the company.
“We have come to a point where we want to be advisors,” said Mahendra. “And that next step in my life is six months in a Florida condo, six months in a Minnesota condo.”
After living there for nearly 33 years, they launched the 11,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, eight-bathroom home.
Mahendra said living in the North Oaks private community comes with perks. These include easy access to North Oaks Golf Club, tennis courts, a playground, and several lakes with hiking trails. The home is one block from Pleasant Lake, with a system of trails that spans 5½ miles.
“It’s really unique from a convenience standpoint,” he said.
Listing agent Sonia Kohli said the house is one of the iconic homes in North Oaks in terms of architecture and size. She added that the location – 12 minutes from downtown St. Paul and 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America – is convenient too.
“The ground floor alone is almost 6,500 square meters. It’s an entertainer’s dream with multiple seating and entertainment areas, which is very unique,” said Kohli. “The nice thing is that the grounds and surroundings make you feel like you’re up north, but you are minutes away from all the important things you want to access.”
For Mahendra, being one with nature – whether indoors or outdoors – is unbeatable.
“Sometimes we sit in the winter garden and see the full moon over our heads,” he said. “How many people can see a full moon in their house? It’s just beautiful.”