• Featured,  Form

    Classically refined

    When Rich Bloem, founder, owner, and project manager at Homes by True North in Grand Rapids, Michigan, arrived at the site of a prospective tear-down residence in South Haven, Michigan, a walk-through told him the home would be worth saving. Originally completed in 1940, it bore characteristics of the Federal style—an influential design movement of the late 1700s—and held significant potential at its core, according to Bloem.  “I went through the house and it was old and outdated, but I looked at the bones of the house, if you will, and it was just amazing the way it was built,” Bloem said. “I said ‘you don’t want to tear this…

  • Featured,  Form

    Beach house

    Amid Lake Michigan’s steadily swelling tides and changing dune faces, the design-and-build team at Mark Scott Homes—based in Niles, Michigan—has created a quaint reprieve designed to minimize coastline impact, while maximizing the qualities of beachfront living.   Mark Scott Homes specializes in high-quality homes in southwest Michigan and northern Indiana, offering custom home building and property management, as well as design, remodel, and renovation services. The team delivers solutions rich in craftsmanship and material intuition, and as seasoned navigators of lake-side building, its approach to this Lake Michigan beach house was no exception. In fact, the project offered a variety of design challenges, from building among the parcel’s challenging natural…

  • Featured,  Form

    Coastal texture

    A ranch house in northern Michigan has been redesigned as the coastal destination for one happy client’s friends and family. Completed in July 2019 and located in Burt Lake, Michigan, the cottage’s renovation was overseen and directed by Stephanie Baldwin, president, owner, and designer of Edgewater Design Group LLC. The result is picturesque: as soon as someone stores their shoes and coat in the plentiful cubby space at the front door, they are greeted to a space where family and other guests can dine while gazing out at the lake through wall-spanning windows; sharing memories and conversation below a tasteful, spherical chandelier. The lights are reminiscent of candles, emanating a…

  • Design Spotlight,  Print Edition

    Dream boat

    Water, in its many forms, could be considered a first and final frontier. A fundamental element of survival, its freshwater bodies are a priceless resource and have led to vast, complex cities developed at its shorelines. Its waterways have proven to be vital conduits for the transportation of commercial goods and services, and in the Great Lakes region, offer a sprawling, interconnected aquatic playground for recreational boating elements. In Manitowoc, Wisconsin, there is a company that has built a legacy of designing and building custom, handcrafted vessels since the mid-1800s with the launch of small 20-to-30-foot fishing boats for local commercial fishermen. For the next 156 years, the company would…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Purposeful rebuild

    Though the idea of sustainability is often associated with environmental impact, an organization in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood is adding social and economic sustainability to the circuit. Rebuilding Exchange is a nonprofit, social enterprise that strives to create value in its surrounding communities by repurposing discarded building materials—from architectural salvage down to plumbing fixtures—and responsibly developing Chicago’s underserved communities through education and job training opportunities. Rebuilding Exchange was founded in 2009 by Elise Zelechowski, current chairperson at Rebuilding Exchange and director of social impact at ThoughtWorks, in collaboration with the Delta Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to solving complex environmental issues in the region. What began as a small organization with the…

  • Form,  Print Edition

    Revived colonial

    “When you work in older homes, whether [people] are going to keep the same essence or want to be a little avant-garde—do something transitional or modern on the inside, but maintain the outside— there is stuff going on in that house from the past. Most people like to find out what is going on, and we kind of disassemble and reassemble—it is a great experience,” said Michael Menn, AIA, CGR, CAPS, CGP, principal architect at Michael Menn Ltd. in Northbrook, Illinois. Michael Menn Ltd. is an architectural and planning firm providing design-and-build services to clients throughout Chicago’s North Shore and the greater Phoenix, Arizona areas. The private practice was initially…

  • Form

    Contemporary farmhouse

    In residential design, personal history and nostalgia can often influence features large and small, gradually creating the identity of a space until it merges into something that clearly signifies the homeowner. In the spring of 2017, Steve Werner, architect and partner at the Shoreline Architecture & Design Inc. firm in Petoskey, Michigan was approached by an unexpected figure from his own childhood—the owner of a Hudsonville, Michigan ice cream supplier near his childhood home—to design a seasonal cottage reminiscent of classic dairy barns. “One of the homeowners had seen a building we had done previously with this bow truss design, which is reminiscent of a dairy barn, and that was…

  • Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    Modern lodge

    Reposed on a cresting dune, this contemporary, coastal lodge is built for the drama of the offshore shoals, turbulent weather, and proud lighthouses that line the Lake Michigan waterscape. It is a home whose beauty is in its implied simplicity, honest materials, and integrated design; where its rich tones are matched only by its memories as a family reprieve in a meaningful setting. Designed by Douglas DeHaan and built by the team of DeHaan Homes in Hudsonville, Michigan and Studio K Creative in Chicago, Illinois, this modern lodge is one of purposeful understatement and custom luxury. Its site, while challenging the buildability with about 100-foot-width, is intentional as it neighbors…