All Publications 2019 – Great Lakes by Design V3 I1

Grand Haven Retreat
Grand Haven, Michigan

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Credit: Great Lakes By Design    

       Perched high on a steep bluff with a survey of lake and ravine, this Lake Michigan home was designed and built with an awareness of and toward the water; capturing both clean functionality and a calm flow within its extensively remodeled walls. It is tucked within its landscape, among trees and terrain, and built upon an existing foundation. The modern-inspired exterior of contrasting dark metal and neutral facade greet those from the drive with a blend of simple lines and forms, and light touches of added warmth, such as in the details beneath overhangs and the oversized light fixture at the door.

       The design strategy re-envisioned an existing second-bedroom-and-den on the first floor as part of the master suite; opened up the lower level to allow increased natural light and livable space; expanded and reoriented the kitchen with sightlines of the lake; omitted a formal dining room; and added spa-like bathrooms, a hot tub and sauna, and lower-level entertainment. While a stark contrast to the existing ranch, the home is intentionally kept simple with an organizing flow toward the lake.

       “Although it is one of the most beautiful, established Lake Michigan lots in the Lower Peninsula, various Michigan Department of Environmental Quality regulations had to be adhered to and approved due to its fragile dune location,” Sears said. “Septic, foundational, and structural updates had to be implemented within the context of the state and local zoning regulations as well for the owners to reach their design goals.” 

       Sears said the new house is a dramatic difference in style and size despite the existing ranch bones.

       “The new design is clean and crisp modern,” Sears said. “This project was a huge team effort among Sears Architects, Scott Christopher Homes, and the homeowners. Their involvement and interior design skills were an integral part of this project.”