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Naturally nautical

Among the many unique—and sometimes unexpected—happenings associated with homebuilding, one of the most intriguing can be a finished home’s likeness to those who caringly coax it into existence. A lakeside project finished in Bridgeman, Michigan by the residential restoration, renovation, and new construction firm known as Mark Scott Homes enveloped the personality of one homeowner as a serene and hospitable gathering place set atop a Lake Michigan dune.

“The unique thing about our portfolio is that there are really no two houses that are alike. We have a wide variety of styles,” said Jason Fischer, project designer at Mark Scott Homes in Niles, Michigan. “The personalities of the homes usually reflect the personalities of the customer, so we see a wide variety [of styles].”

Designed to complement its overlook of Lake Michigan and provide the homeowner with a second living space fit for both entertaining and simple comforts, the nearly 4,800-square-foot home incorporates modern amenities in classic, nautical stylistic themes. A pentagonal modern turret is the centerpiece of the external architecture, evoking images of classic Michigan lighthouses; and portal ship windows further the nautical theme. Practical details on the decks such as eco-friendly Trex decking and Phantom Screens—to provide an enclosed yet unobstructed view of the lake—lend a modern touch to the backdrop of the classic- and nautical-inspired architecture.

“With the exterior, we used a blue palette to help represent the lake [and then] we used natural sand and crisp white details to pull it all together,” Fischer said. “There are little pops of blue throughout the inside as well [to continue] characteristics of a nautical theme.”

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The interior was designed by the homeowner and directly influenced the architecture, moving similar themes indoors: natural, neatly cut stone composing the fireplace, navy blue seating, and crisp white wood details that flood the interior with natural light.

To begin the design process, the Mark Scott Homes team gathered inspirational pictures and a list of essential features from the homeowner to create an initial concept. Though the setting of the construction site—with its dune-top perch at the end of a single-lane street—compared to the size of the home created an initial constraint, Fischer said the team’s experience designing and constructing homes in difficult locations has given them the skills to finish projects smoothly.

“There are different challenges for different locations,” Fischer said. “That is where we tend to excel, whereas a neighborhood builder might struggle, particularly with certain sites—building off of Lake Michigan and dunes. We tend to thrive in those unique challenges and work [to find] a unique solution.”

Since 1996, Mark Scott Homes has combined its design and construction experience to deliver distinctive homes to its clients, specializing in high-end residential projects in renovation and new construction. The company is licensed in both Indiana and Michigan, and primarily services Southwest Michigan and Northwest Indiana areas along the shores of Lake Michigan and inland lakes. From becoming accustomed to the challenges inherent in developing lakefront properties, the firm has generated the knowledge and skillset to work within permit regulations and structural and soil requirements; allowing the team a deeper understanding of the nautical landscape and its impact on the design process.


Text: R. Collins | Staff Writer

Photo courtesy: Mark Scott Homes