News Releases

May 21, 2008
Midwest Living Announces First-ever Green Idea Home in Minneapolis
Celebrates More Than 20 Years of Idea Homes

Magazine Partnered with Award-Winning Builder Keith Waters & Associates, Inc.

DES MOINES, IA (May 20, 2008)Midwest Living’s first-ever green Idea Home will be open for public tours this June near Lake Minnetonka, 13 miles outside of downtown Minneapolis. The magazine and custom-home builder, Keith Waters & Associates, partnered with the Green Institute in Minneapolis to construct an environmentally-sound home that will be rated according to the institute’s GreenStar certification program; Waters has qualified for a Silver Star Certification from the GreenStar program. The value of the home is estimated at $1.95 million.

The sustainable Midwest Living Idea Home is a part of Portico on the Green, a neighborhood featuring 25 custom homes, including 19 single-family detached homes and six double homes, with large expanses of the property designated as open, conservation space. At 4,671 square feet, the home is smaller than many luxury homes, but the size allows for focus on custom details, such as floor-to-ceiling windows, built-in-cabinetry and other personalized amenities.

Like the Idea Home, Portico on the Green is a green living area that incorporates principles of conservation development. Ecological systems underpin the design of the development and provide services such as storm water filtration and purification. Changes to the land are minimized, and existing natural resources are connected and restored, enhancing the quality of life for residents, while maintaining ecological functions and biodiversity.

Midwest Living has been building Idea Homes for more than 20 years and we’re so proud that for the first time our Idea Home embraces green design and building in a big way,” said Midwest Living senior home editor Carol Schalla. “The home marries luxury with sustainability, proving that there are practical yet beautiful ways to make our living areas at one with the environment instead of harming it.”

The Idea Home is a three-level home, styled after a carriage house, that features a shared driveway and three-car garage hidden on the side of the house to conserve the natural environment. The four bedroom, three-and-a-half bath home includes a master bedroom with private laundry room and veranda. The main level boasts dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows in the living areas and an open living room, kitchen and dining area floorplan to highlight the beautiful views of the Lake Minnetonka wetlands. Luxurious features include six-foot tall fireplace in the living room; separate library; 10-foot long granite topped kitchen island; screened porch (with disappearing screen) and expansive stone patio outdoor living space; and lower level family room with wet bar and kitchen. And, perhaps most important, there are numerous green home design features and products including solar panels for water heating, recycled tire driveway pavers, recycled faux slate roof, ENERGY STAR appliances and renewable wood floors.

Keith Waters of Keith Waters & Associates added: “Through the Luxury Home Tour, visitors to the home can see living concepts and products generated by Midwest Living, Minnesota Greenstar and Keith Waters & Associates, Inc. It’s a rare opportunity to see all these great ideas combined into one home.”

Midwest Living is celebrating its 21st anniversary in 2008. The magazine built its first Idea Home in the Indianapolis area in 1989 and has constructed 20 homes since the program launched.

The Idea Home will be open as part of the Twin Cities Luxury Home Tour that kicks off on Friday, June 6 and runs through Sunday, June 22. The home is open to the public on Fridays from 1pm – 7pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 6:00pm. Consumers can purchase a ticket at the door for $5 to see the Idea Home or they can purchase a “passport” ticket that provides admission to all homes on the tour. For more information, visit

About Midwest Living
Midwest Living
magazine (, published by Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP), is a regional publication that celebrates the richness of life in the Midwest. Founded in 1987, the magazine is dedicated to providing its readers with a wealth of region-specific information and inspiration, focusing on travel and events, food and dining, and home and garden, as well as other editorial content categories. Midwest Living magazine, which reaches 3.8 million readers, is published bi-monthly and has a rate base of 950,000.

About Luxury Home Tour
The Luxury Home Tour is an exclusive self-guided home tour event that features some of the most magnificent multimillion-dollar homes in the country’s most prominent markets, including Chicago, Phoenix, Tampa, Twin Cities, Minn. and Naples, Fla. The participating homes will unveil the latest trends in architecture, design, décor, craftsmanship, interior design, technology, appliances and landscaping. For more information, visit

About Green Institute of Minneapolis
The Green Institute is a non-profit organization whose mission is "sustaining the environment and our communities through “practical innovation.” The Institute is a pioneer and leader in the Midwest’s green building industry and supports a nationally-recognized reclaimed building materials enterprise, the ReUse Center and Deconstruction Services.

Jen Simon