For Kyle Simonson, local business owner and nationally renowned beauty maven, beauty comes in many forms. In fact, this wasn't Simonson’s chosen theme as she celebrated thirty years at the helm of the salon and spa chain that bears her name. “There isn’t one kind of beautiful,” says Simonson, in response to three decades in an industry where beauty is ever changing.
This mantra holds true in both her personal and professional life. Simonson and her partner Jana Noonan have found the best way to celebrate beauty in all its various forms: a modern, multi-level lake house that delights in good food, good company, and good design. Simsonson’s new home embodies the style and image of the self-described “firm, fair and consistent” businesswoman who seeks out the best in the people around her. Although Simonson has long established herself as a leader in business, her new home allows her to emerge as a premier hostess as well.
Simonson describes herself as a “natural entertainer” but it’s clear that she’s a natural businesswoman as well. When her first salon, Simonson on Seventh, opened in Anoka in 1983, big bangs, asymmetrical cuts and indoor tanning were all the rage. Simonson never intended to own more than one salon, but she could sense that the traditional beauty shops, with their limited services and open floor plans, were soon going to give way to spas that offered a myriad of hair, body and nail services, with a more personal focus. Because of her dual strengths in both business and art, Simsonson began to grow the business into what it is today: a holistic, customer-focused premier salon and spa.
As her business grew, so did Simonson’s need to entertain business associates and employees, in addition to friends and family. She and Noonan love entertaining, but they didn’t love the idea of moving, even though their first house didn’t allow them the space to entertain like they wanted to. In 2009, while house hunting for her daughter, Deidre, Simonson drove by an “L” shaped, contemporary house on Eagle Lake. She stopped her car and backed up for another look. The house wasn’t for sale—and wouldn’t be for another three years—but Simonson was hooked. She didn’t mention the house to anyone, in part because it wasn’t available, but it was always in the back of her mind.
When the property went on the market in August of 2012, Noonan’s nephew, a Realtor, sent her the listing. When Noonan brought it up to Simonson, they realized that they had found and liked the house independently of one another. Noonan and Simonson booked a showing and were delighted to find out that the house exceeded their expectations. Simonson puts it simply: “The house spoke to us.”
“It has really good feng shui,” Simonson says. “The devil’s in the details. This home has so many exquisite details.” These details have brought entertaining to a new level. The home has the capacity to hold over two hundred people, but in spite of its size, guests find that they immediately feel comfortable and at home. “What we hear all the time is, it’s a big house that feels cozy,” she says.
The great room is an example of detailed design that promotes a great atmosphere. Simonson and Noonan agree that this room always evokes a reaction from guests. From the balcony entrance to the hidden children’s play room tucked in one corner, every inch of this room is intentionally designed. For Simonson, it’s her favorite room in the house.
“I love the big, tall ceilings,” she says. “I really like open space.” Even though this room, with its great view of the lake and easy access to both the bar and the kitchen, is suited for entertaining, Simonson says that this room is perfect for a quiet night at home. “It’s obviously the room where we spend the most time,” she says. “What’s wonderful about having big, open spaces is that you become introspective.”
While Simonson’s favorite room is the great room, Noonan is particularly fond of the bar, which has ample seating. “The view from the bar is spectacular,” Noonan says. The lower level houses a theatre, a guest bedroom and bathroom, and a “beach ready” room. Guests often comment that although this is a big house with many different rooms, the design makes sense.
Simonson says that after one tour of the house, people understand and use the different aspects of the house. Friends love that there are many places, both in and out of the house, to eat, drink, and be merry, and overnight guests appreciate that they can retire to a quiet, well-designed space. The balance of community space and private space is appealing to Simonson and Noonan, as well as their guests.
Encouraging guests to feel like they’re at home is one of Simonson’s most important party planning mantras. “You always want to have a plan for greeting people,” she says. The entryway in her home is almost its own welcoming committee. The open area is surrounded by windows on all sides, and a spiral staircase to the left winds its way into a cat walk above the foyer. The unique design of the room and its impressive view of Eagle Lake, through the great room windows directly in front of this area, “immediately draws people in to the home,” Simonson says.
Equally important is the menu. Simsonson is a firm believer in planning ahead. She keeps the pantry and bar stocked so that she can easily host guests. “I like to be prepared,” she says. Fondue is her favorite menu choice for a small dinner party, but she also relies on longtime favorites: homemade spaghetti sauce and ribs on the grill. For entertaining, Simonson recommends a simple, delicious, menu that is beautifully presented. She always uses white plates and napkins, but pulls cutlery and glasses from her eclectic collection. An avid flea market shopper, Simonson maintains a robust reserve of interesting pieces. “Each piece has a history, and you can tell a story,” she says. “There are so many kinds of beautiful.”
Simonson cooks for her guests as often as she can, but since the house and outdoor area can accommodate upwards of 200 people, this isn’t always possible. Simonson is glad to have a home that is perfect for two, twenty, or two hundred people, though. One of the main reasons that she and Noonan purchased this house was to celebrate and support others. “We want to champion [our] causes,” says Simonson. “We have a home, a place, where we can do fundraisers.” For Simonson and Noonan, this house is both their safe haven and their “playcation,” as one of their friends aptly named it.
“Relationships matter,” says Simonson. It’s safe to say that for Simonson and Noonan, their house helps them build beautiful ones.