“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Planned for a challenging build site, our Dunes project took loads of teamwork, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking to bring this stunning retreat to life. Read about the process from start to finish and take a remarkable pictorial and virtual tour of this one-of-a-kind home in the cover story of Cosmopolitan Home Magazine’s most recent issue. Click here to see the full issue.
We recently posted the finished photos of our Urban Oasis project. The creative brilliance of this project highlights the exciting idea that not every home needs to be structurally rearranged to gain the cosmetic and practical beauty of a thematic update. With flooring choices, ceiling enhancements, thoughtful lighting and color selections, select cabinetry upgrades with custom cabinetry, fresh feature accents (ie: fireplace areas), and even new furniture, it’s exciting to creatively bring a classic home into the 21st century. Such was the case in the kitchen, dining, formal living, family room, recreation rooms, and bedrooms of this home. To truly appreciate the “afters” of this renovation, take a look at how far it has come from the “befores.” [ commence temporary descent of jaw altitude ]
ArtPrize is in full swing! In preparation for the eighth year of this delightfully diverse art competition, Scott Christopher Homes has been hard at work behind the scenes. You may have seen information kiosks around ArtPrize last year, which we had the unique pleasure of constructing. After a few modifications and a new color scheme, we installed the new and improved kiosks in four spots around Grand Rapids. You’ll find one in front of the entrance to Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, one in front of DeVos Place, one on Monroe Center in front of the Art Museum and one on Rumsey Street, adjacent this year’s SiTE:LAB venue. ArtPrize volunteers will be staffing these kiosks to provide ArtPrize-goers with information and answers to any questions they may have along the way.
Scott Christopher Homes also worked with ArtPrize and Via Design on revamping the new location of the ArtPrize Artists’ Clubhouse with a custom built bar serving as the main information desk, the installation of functional room dividers, as well as paint and drywall work providing the backdrop for unique installations by Clubhouse sponsor Wolverine Worldwide.
We also worked on the Learning Lab Experience at ArtPrize’s main HUB. The room got a bit of a facelift and we installed TVs throughout, where ArtPrize attendees can test out Tilt Brush, a virtual painting experience, Code.org, an online coding program, and Planet3, an immersive game-based platform that explores the planet’s history and future.
It is truly our pleasure to partner each year with an organization that turns the city we love into the stunning backdrop for dazzling paintings, fascinating sculptures and an overall experience that hundreds of thousands of visitors come from near and far to discover. For the eighth year in a row, this event will not disappoint, so be sure to check it out between now and October 9. Enjoy!
We had the pleasure of partnering with ArtPrize again this year to host their annual kick-off event – ONE WILD NIGHT. It took place on the grounds of one of our favorite lakefront projects, Lakeside Chic. The delightful fare was as good as it looked, courtesy of Chef Steve at Mr. Eat Right and Doorganics, with some amazing sweet treats by Cakabakery and refreshments by The Crushed Grape. We got a little taste of what is to come during ArtPrize 8, as artist Joey Ruiter displayed his stunningly creative sculptures throughout the property. There wasn’t a dull moment as guests and hosts alike were entertained by a stunt water skiing group, an opera singer and fire dancers. It truly was one wild night! Peruse through a few photos from the evening, as captured by the talented Amy Carroll Photography.
When it comes to home maintenance, humidity control is probably one of the most important factors for your home’s well-being and the air quality you experience in it. Have too little humidity, and you’ll stress your home by over-drying. You’ll see it manifested in the separation of drywall & trim joints, flooring, tile joints, fastener “pops,” and even in your furniture. Adding to that, you’ll personally experience dry skin and hair, static electricity, and increased susceptibility to respiratory illness. Too much humidity, and you’re dealing with the effects of expansion of these same construction components, condensation on your windows and surrounding woodwork, a ripe environment for dust mites (they absorb moisture from the air to survive) and bacteria, virus, and fungi growth. Put all that together, and humidity control is a pretty big deal.
The Right Mentality
A common misconception is that humidity management is a “set it and forget it” event, or that it can be fully automated. The bottom line is that you will have to manage your humidity based upon some key home design & environmental factors like, the quality & type of windows you have, type of HVAC system(s) and the level of engineering that went into it, your window treatments and how they’re hung, where your furniture and home décor is placed, what the temperature outside and inside are, whether or not you live next to water, whether or not you have a fireplace and how often you use it, etc.
During the warm summer months, we recommend keeping the indoor humidity level below 60%.
Two things are important to understand about humidity:
Achieving the Goal | Warm-Weather Season
Most of us in Michigan don’t think too much about the effect of humidity on our homes in the summertime. Instead, we usually monitor our personal comfort when we feel “sticky,” or aren’t sleeping well because of it. Yet, in the warm-weather season, you will probably need a dehumidifier to mitigate the negative effects of humidity on your home and to gain simple health benefits.
Typically, your AC system will be your dehumidifier and the tool which provides that critical air circulation. In addition, using ventilation fans during & after bathing, and when running the dishwasher and/or cooking, will prove helpful. If you find your indoor humidity levels are consistently above 65%, either a whole-house dehumidifier or the strategic placement of “right-sized” portable dehumidifier(s) may be necessary (especially in basements), as levels at or above this may prove problematic.
Special Circumstance | Long-Term Cold Weather Absences
If you have a seasonal home or will be taking a winter hiatus to warmer climates, we encourage that you consider leaving your thermostat temps at the low end of the range we suggest, and that you leave your humidifier (and its water supply) functional.
One of the things we like best about our work is the opportunity to make connections. In any home building or renovation project, we’re looking to create an environment that connects with our client and their vision of how they want to live. But in one recent case, creating that kind of connection also allowed us to connect with the past.
Our client came to us to help plan a new cottage on the shore of Lake Michigan. After several years of living in Paris with her family, she had developed a fondness for a certain quality of finishes that are difficult to find in new materials.
We were able to meet her extremely high expectations by introducing her to a local supplier of reclaimed barn wood. Jeremy Beadner of Barn Baron Lumber Company has built a business out of taking down old barns and reclaiming the reusable lumber and hardware. Beadner told us that in several years of harvesting this old wood, he’s come across some amazing treasures, including one continuous beam that was 16” x 16” and over 80 feet long, with an estimated value of over $10,000!
With new material readily available, you may wonder why anyone would choose to reuse old wood. In fact, many of these old structures were constructed with old-growth hardwood, which has extremely tight growth rings that give it a high level of structural integrity–making it a very sound choice for a new construction project. What’s more, the natural aging and weathering of this wood has given it a character and history that simply can’t be found in new materials. It turns out that was exactly the look our client was hoping for in her cottage.
We arranged a visit with the supplier, where our client was able to see and touch the different types of materials available for wall, ceiling, and floor surfaces, along with decorative faux structural beams. During the tour, our client also discovered an original barn door which we plan to repurpose for her project, restoring the hardware to function like new without losing any of its desirable, as-found patina. Now that the client understands what is available, we’ll work with her and the interior design team to choose the right lumber for the right locations throughout her cottage.
The barn wood is just one of the many details we’re considering to help our client’s vision come to life. We began working together very early, allowing us to recommend one of our most trusted partners for architecture and interior design services. We’ve also been able to help with environmental/DEQ regulations and permitting.
Coming into the project early allows us to manage the big picture so that everything runs smoothly–and continues to satisfy after move-in day. But along with understanding the big picture, we really love to focus on getting all of the details exactly right, too. Hunting down the perfect barn wood for this project is just one example of the extra mile we’ll go to make sure our clients end up delighted with their surroundings.
Scott Christopher Homes and Artprize partnered to host ONE WILD NIGHT—a remarkable garden party held to celebrate the 2015 Artprize season. It was an enchanting evening of food, fun and friends—an amazing night we won’t soon forget!
Photo by Drew Davis