The Orchard | Car Barn

This carriage house-inspired accessory building reimagines the automotive garage vernacular as it blends traditional architectural language with contemporary details distinctive to its owners’ affinity for cars and for entertaining. The design of the space had to balance a size that could comfortably house the owners’ substantial car collection with a scale that was appropriate for a residential setting.  In order to accomplish this, a lower level was utilized with a car lift that could easily move automobiles between the two levels of storage.  A significant amount of time was spent staking and adjusting corners of the building on the site itself in order to not overwhelm the landscape and to remove a minimal number of the 200-year-old oak trees on the property.

In addition to expansive car storage space, the interior of the building also boasts a floating, metal staircase – flanked by a commissioned, sculptural monolith inspired by a Chevrolet Corvette detail spanning all three levels – leading to an upper mezzanine level that serves as entertaining space.  The lounge space overlooks the cars below through glass enclosure.  The centerpiece of the lounge area is a 130-year-old bar, originally from Detroit and more recently found in a restaurant in North Muskegon, that was refurbished and restored with care by our Custom Shop.  Rich, traditional elements meet contemporary as the antique bar is flanked by custom-built cabinetry with clean lines.  The upper level also has a small office space that doubles as a guest suite complete with a murphy bed and a full bathroom.

Architecture & Interior Design | Via Design
Photography | Ashley Avila Photography


Hillock House

Lakefront views are at the center of the design of this contemporary masterpiece and are visible from the moment you arrive at the home. This technically challenging home included angles that are seven degrees off of 90 degrees in both the floor plan as well as vertical walls. Those angular elements, along with large installations of glass and narrow site conditions required the technical proficiency our team has obtained in the more than 35 years of experience we have building lakefront homes. The property features an infinity edge pool with a seven foot waterfall on the lake side of the home as well as a beach cabana built into the base of a multi-tiered outdoor deck. Unique materials were used throughout, such as eucalyptus, exterior limestone and zinc cladding. The home has custom-designed and built features with noteworthy details such as stainless steel toe-kicks and an intentional lack of millwork casing throughout to create walls with clean lines. These unique features work together to create a truly magnificent residence. 

Architecture | Stoneberg + Gross Architects
Interior Design | Gooch Design Studio
Photography | Ashley Avila Photography


Crow’s Nest

Nestled within a beachfront community that has been welcoming residents to the shores of Lake Michigan for over a century, this traditional cottage achieves a perfect balance of elegance and comfort. Knocking down an existing cottage and constructing the new one in its place proved to have its own special set of challenges, ones in which we have extensive experience. Precise scheduling and daily on-site project management were crucial in meeting construction timeline goals while maintaining minimal disruption to the surrounding community. Like most of our projects on the shores of Lake Michigan, this project required working carefully alongside the The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) to ensure critical dunes were preserved. Millwork details, custom cabinetry and furniture pieces were incorporated into almost every square inch of this beautiful residence and our Custom Shop played a critical role in achieving the aggressive construction timeline. Rather than dealing with a third party for cabinetry and millwork, we were able to plan, execute and install each piece into the home as they were designed and completed as opposed to waiting for production to start on every piece all at once, which saved time and created seamless execution of every piece down to 1/8 inch. From a curved master vanity, to an intricately detailed kitchen island, to a two-story bunk room loft with built-in beds, custom railings and a ladder, our Custom Shop brought show-stopping vignettes to life in nearly every room.

Architecture | Robbins Architecture
Interiors | Berta Shapiro Interiors
Photography | Ashley Avila Photography


Dune Peak

Perched atop a high bluff overlooking beautiful Lake Michigan, this custom-built, shingle style home exudes traditional elegance and casual comfort. The logistics of constructing this seasonal residence posed a unique set of challenges due to its position on top of a critical dune. An existing cottage had to be demoed and removed from the property with an exceptional level of care, working alongside the DEQ the entire way through. Constructing the new structure required the use of steel sheet piling incorporated into the foundation and anchored deep into the ground, and all construction materials had to be lifted to the home site by crane throughout the entire build process, from lumber to cabinetry to masonry materials to appliances. A detached garage was built on the exact location of a previous building on the property, which was demoed down to one wall that was supporting the dune and because of that, had to remain part of the new structure. Specialty elements throughout the home included detailed millwork and custom iron railings on a three story staircase, unique skylight millwork details and custom built cabinetry throughout. A beautiful fireplace mantle was salvaged from the original home that was constructed from materials from The White House, so special attention and care were required to remove it from the original structure, meticulously store it, restore it using modern methods without losing the historical charm and then install it with precision into the new home.

Architecture | Booth Hansen
Interior Design | Bruce Fox Design
Photography | Hall + Merrick


Mountain Cottage

Located on a bluff overlooking the waterfront shoreline of Walloon Lake on a nearly 14-acre historic farm, this two-story retreat is intentional in its landscape and is designed to support an active lifestyle for a family who has a love of downhill skiing and westward travel. “Their vision was really to have a summer home that they could enjoy with their family and they wanted to be able to take advantage of the beauty of the property and also the beauty of the lake,” said Scott Christopher. Part of that vision – and priority from the onset – was to preserve an existing cabin from around the mid-20th-century on-site and keep many of its elements historically accurate, such as the fieldstone fireplace and old barnwood. That along with thoughtful consideration of driveway placement was a big part of the process that determined where the home was placed on the land. “When we are working on properties that have trees on them, it’s part of the process to understand how you can place the house to best utilize the views, but without clear-cutting the land so we are able to work within the trees and natural elements of the property,” noted Christopher. It is a home that was designed with its surrounding environment in mind, where exterior living spaces, wraparound porch, and natural wood in the ceiling speak to the natural landscape beyond.  There is also intention in the function of some of those exterior spaces, where heated concrete floor – a snowmelt system – and integrated infrared heaters in the ceiling extend its usability throughout the seasons. From its rich exterior finish, custom over-sized front door, and four-gabled roofline silhouette, the home strikes a bold, albeit harmonious architectural statement within its landscape. Natural elements, such as stone and barnwood, are repeated throughout the home from outdoor landscaping to refabricated beams within the interior in the main family room, living room, fireplace mantle, and in the upstairs area. The main floor boasts open and inviting spaces, offering the kitchen unobstructed views of the living room, dining room and lakefront vistas beyond. The upper level includes two guest bedrooms, a full bathroom and a master suite with a vaulted, beamed ceiling, a modern fireplace and a spa-like master bathroom.  Finishing off the upper level is a laundry room and a loft area with built-in bookcases and reading nook.

Architecture  |  Norman Dodds
Interiors  |  Villa Decor
Photography  |  Ashley Avila Photography


Restful Homestead

Touches of modernism, simplistic lines and a textural palette define the spaces of this restful homestead.  Located on a beautiful Northern Michigan lake, special attention was paid to maximizing lake views from every room with large windows and sliding glass doors throughout. Organic building materials on the home’s exterior and extensive millwork on walls and ceilings were utilized throughout the home.  The expansive first level has an open flow throughout, including the kitchen, living room, dining room, four-season porch and screened patio, with stained Douglas Fir ceiling details anchoring the design.  Custom-built and painted blue kitchen cabinets give a touch of lakefront whimsy. NanaWall folding doors open the four-season porch to the screened patio, which features Bluestone tile floors, lounging space and even a built-in pizza oven, providing the perfect summer evening entertaining space. The bedroom wing of the home includes a spacious master suite, laundry room as well as two bedrooms, a bunk room and two full bathrooms. A partial upper level features an expansive flex room space. A free-standing carriage house with living quarters above complete this stunning lakefront home.

Architecture | J. Visser Design
Interiors | Francesca Owings Interior Design
Photography | Geoff Shirley


Oak Park

Traditional in style, modern in layout, the Oak Park exudes elegance in every space. The earth-tone fiber cement siding and natural stone accents blend perfectly with its wooded location. Beautiful, copper roofing adorns the curved entry and transom window accent of the home’s main entrance. Special attention was paid to the custom-built, mahogany front door and its surrounding side lights and curved transom. The white kitchen cabinetry was custom built to perfectly fit the space and flow effortlessly into the open living room, complete with cedar beam details on the ceiling. A beautiful, walnut butler’s pantry flanks the kitchen and was built with care to incorporate a special mosaic tile backsplash that was a sentimental piece of history for the homeowners. The south wing of the home includes a guest bedroom and full bathroom, as well as a screened porch and laundry room. The master suite of the home boasts a cozy reading nook surrounded by bookshelves and a light palette in the bedroom and bathroom. A home office with custom-built desk and storage completes the main level. The lower level of the home incorporates more guest bedrooms as well as a comfortable recreation room with a large, wood-burning stone fireplace to anchor the space. The rear exterior of the home is centered around the courtyard, where the outdoors can be enjoyed in front of the large, gas fireplace or for dinners al fresco from the outdoor dining space adjacent to a built-in outdoor kitchen.

Architecture | AMDG Architects
Interiors | Via Design
Photography | Ashley Avila Photography


Endless View

Located minutes from the center of one of Lake Michigan’s quaint, coastal towns and just steps from the pristine shoreline of Lake Michigan, this modern lake residence was designed with the spectacular views in mind.

The expansive living, dining and kitchen areas of the home are open to one another, creating the perfect space for entertaining. The custom cement fireplace, flanked with built-in, stained shelving, anchors the soaring ceiling, sliding glass doors and transom windows that surround. The mixture of muted paint tones and rich, stained cabinetry give the kitchen added dimension. The adjacent dining space brings the outdoors in through the use of floor to ceiling windows. Accessible by hallway off the kitchen are a powder room, laundry and mudroom with access to the attached three stall garage.

The South wing of the home boasts a spacious master suite. The master bedroom takes full advantage of lake views and accesses the expansive outdoor deck by french door. A sliding barn door leads to the luxurious master bathroom, complete with glass shower, double vanity and soaking tub. A roomy walk-in closet completes the owner’s suite.

The sleek lines and easy flow of the home continues into the lower level. The family room can comfortably entertain guests with sectional seating and refreshments from the wet bar. Two bedrooms and a built-in-bunk room provide comfortable sleeping quarters, while an exercise room and lake toy storage room give space for the active lifestyle of the homeowners. Completing the lower level is a second laundry room and full bathroom.

The home’s waterfront exterior provides a variety of spaces from which to enjoy everything lakefront living has to offer. With a spacious upper level deck, lower level covered patio as well as nearly 1,500 square feet of open air patio space with built-in firepit, there isn’t a bad seat from which to enjoy stunning sunsets, the pristine sands of the beach merely steps away, or the endless views of Lake Michigan’s crystal clear waters beyond.

Architecture | Brad Douglas Design
Interior Design | Via Design Inc.
Photography | MBuck Studio


Farmhouse Estate

Nestled in the countryside and designed to accommodate a multi-generational family, this custom compound boasts a nearly 5,000 square foot main residence, an infinity pool with luscious landscaping, a guest and pool house as well as a pole barn. The spacious, yet cozy flow of the main residence fits perfectly with the farmhouse style exterior. The gourmet kitchen with separate bakery kitchen offers built-in banquette seating for casual dining and is open to a cozy dining room for more formal meals enjoyed in front of the wood-burning fireplace. Completing the main level is a library, mudroom and living room with rustic accents throughout. The upper level features a grand master suite, a guest bedroom with dressing room, a laundry room as well as a sizable home office. The lower level has a fireside sitting room that opens to the media and exercise rooms by custom-built sliding barn doors. The quaint guest house has a living room, dining room and full kitchen, plus an upper level with two bedrooms and a full bath, as well as a wrap-around porch overlooking the infinity edge pool and picturesque landscaping of the estate.

Architect | Sears Architects
Interior Design | Francesca Owings Interior Design
Photography | Tippett Photo