All Publications 2020 – Great Lakes By Design V4 I3

Lake Drive Residence
East Grand Rapids, Michigan

<<Lake Drive Residence Portfolio Page

Credit: Great Lakes By Design    

     The design of the home, which Julie Sears noted took about a week between the two of them to complete initial schematic sketches, was driven not only by the goal to create spaces that would support their family-of-five lifestyle, but also an intent to be contextual within the property and the neighborhood. 

     The approach, one that was meant to be low impact on the property itself, also influenced the spatial layout of the public spaces on the first floor in how they addressed the backyard, from the sitting area and dining room to the screen porch and back terrace; as well as the intentionally understated cut of the drive. 

     At a glance, the L-shaped residence strikes a classic, New England appearance with its white clapboard siding and distinctive gambrel roof with traditional five-inch exposure and paned dormer window. Railings above the front entry, supported by Tuscan columns – a close relation to the Doric column – and on the posterior of the home, are Chippendale in design, defined by the series of interlocking diagonals. Yet there are also elements inherent to Southern Colonial evident in the use of brick on the back terrace and on the front porch. 

     There is an intention to proportions and details, ensuring the home was not only period correct, but also finely crafted, from the predominant roofline on the front to the copper gutters and downspouts. Exterior siding is also stitched together on the corners, which Zahn noted is done without corner boards, and features finger-jointed, clear cedar that is responsibly reused allowing for the aesthetic beauty of natural cedar without the impact to cedar forestry.     

     The interior, which features nine-foot ceilings on the main floor and eight-foot ceilings on the second level, is spacious without becoming lost in over-massing, integrating shallower ceiling details that offer richness without taking away from space. Its open plan is reflective of the family lifestyle, where the kitchen, dining, and living room are laid out in close relationship; while a separate den and screened porch open out onto the patio from the living area space. There are also private spaces on the first floor, such as a personal office, butler’s pantry, two powder rooms on either end of the floorplan, and a mudroom.