All News Westwind featured in Grand Rapids PressMarch 17, 2014

The Sears Architects project known as Westwind was featured in an article on MLive in March on high-end homes for sale in West Michigan.


High-End Homes: For $4.2 million, this Lake Michigan cottage offers ‘rustic elegance’

LAKETOWN TOWNSHIP, MI – “Rustic elegance” is how Realtor Kersh Ruhl describes this European-style timber-framed cottage tucked into a low bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.

Located just north of Saugatuck Dunes State Park, the five-bedroom, six-bath cottage was built by Zahn Builders, Inc. of Holland with rustic materials to reflect its one-of-a-kind natural setting in the dunes at the end of Hillside Trail.

Ruhl, an agent for the Andrea Crossman Group of Holland, has listed the property, located on a 100-foot lot, for $4.2 million. The 6,800 square-foot cottage also can be rented for $1,300 a night.

Dubbed “Westwind” by its owner for his grandfather’s farm in Indiana, the cottage was framed with Douglas fir timbers that are exposed throughout the main part of the house.

Held together by old world-style wooden pegs, the post-and-beam timbers extend 30 feet to the peak of the great room, where arch-framed trusses are exposed. A fieldstone fireplace dominates the southern wall and a tall bank of windows overlook the lake to the west.

The flooring also reflects an old world style as reclaimed oak planks are used throughout the first and second levels. The dark-stained planking even carries through to the floor of the elevator that links the home’s three main levels.

While the basic materials are rustic, the details in the woodwork and fixtures are elegant in this home designed by Sears Architects of Grand Rapids.   Ashley Avila Photography

In the French country kitchen, the centerpiece is a stainless and brass 60-inch La Cornue range that was custom-ordered and hand-built in France. The burgundy range features six high-capacity gas burners, two European dome ovens, and a matching oversized Monsoon hood.

The kitchen also includes an island with seating for five, a breakfast booth, granite countertops, a farmhouse sink by Herbeau, and a porcelain prep sink by La Cornue.

Across the room, the cappuccino bar is a work of art by itself with an Italian espresso machine and a stainless steel prep sink. A widescreen television is hidden inside the granite-topped peninsula located between the kitchen and dining room.

Each bedroom, while not large, offers its occupants a postcard view of Lake Michigan, regardless of which level of the house they are located. Each bedroom suite includes French doors or a balcony to relax on during cool summer evenings.

The upper level also includes a library with rich walnut bookshelves and cabinets. The library’s love seat opens to a full bed, converting the library-loft into a guest sleeping area with its own full bathroom and closet for storing luggage and hanging clothes.

Also in the library, there’s a helical oak staircase leading up to a crow’s nest with a widow’s walk overlooking the beach.

On the lower level, there’s a comfortable family room with heated stone floors and windows that also overlook the water despite their low vantage point. A wide screen glides down from the 10.5-foot ceiling for movie watching.

The lower level also includes two guest suites, each with their own bathrooms. There’s also an entrance that leads to a changing room with a shower to shed the sand from a day spent on the beach.

The home also includes a large two-stall garage with a third “Vespa” stall that could be used to store a small boat or motorcycle.

Mechanically, there is an emergency generator capable of powering the entire house. Heating and cooling is provided by a geothermal system. Water is provided from an on-site well and filtration system.

While the house is finished and ready for occupancy, there are details that remain. Over the garage, carpenters are finishing a large “bonus room” that is paneled in knotty pine with its own full bathroom.


By Jim Harger

MLive/Grand Rapids Press


Click here for a link to the article and featured photos

To view the Sears Architects portfolio for this residence, click here