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    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  “I went through the house and it was old and outdated, but I looked at the bones of the house, if you will, and it was just amazing the way it was built,” Bloem said.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…

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    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…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Light and lake

    To the north of Frankfort, Michigan on the coast of Lake Michigan, Angela Goodall, owner at Kitchen Choreography LLC, had the opportunity to take creative control of interior spaces for a remodel project transforming a classic northern Michigan cottage into an elegantly orchestrated residence with some surprising design elements. The newly remodeled home, finished in July 2019, includes three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a loft overlooking its main living area, and a bonus suite over the garage.  The homeowners originally contacted the firm Heartwood Custom Builders Inc. and architect Robert Yvon for the remodel, and for the interiors Yvon recommended Goodall’s project-based design firm Kitchen Choreography, which the designer owns with…

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    Design for Sale: Charlevoix, Michigan

    Nestled among 16 acres of mature forest—and hemmed by a private deep-water marina—this design for sale in Charlevoix, Michigan is a private boater’s paradise on the north shore of Lake Charlevoix. The property is listed at $2.99 million with Pat O’Brien and Associates Real Estate, a real estate brokerage firm specializing in Northern Michigan’s luxury, residential, lakefront, and commercial properties.  The property, located on Boyne City Road, features a waterfront yard with sunrise and sunset views, allowing prospective homeowners to step from the patio to clean, scenic waters and shoreline. Owners can enjoy a deep-water harbor with room for multiple vessels—sail or powered—and extra room to spare. It also includes…

  • Architecture,  Featured,  Form,  Print Edition,  Residential,  Spotlight

    Rich welcome at Cass Lake

    Set on a waterfront peninsula, this Cass Lake residence is a warm and artful interpretation of a contemporary seaside villa. There is a careful courtship as one moves from the limestone-and-iron front gate featuring a custom design by an artisan in the Middle East, to the circular drive before the grand entrance, where lush, tropical greenery, cement tile roof, glass, and a warm, textural stone exterior greet the viewer in V-shaped layout.  At a glance, it is defined by its more than 1,000 feet of lake-frontage, low-sloped rooflines, unique massing and rounded corners, and an exterior of Minnesota-sourced Vetter stone and commercial-grade, aluminum-sash, bronze-tinted glass windows and doors. Its distinctive…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Modern polish

    In Hudsonville, Michigan, the specialty proto-design shop at Banyan Tree Fabworks is known for creating custom furnishings out of unique historic machinery and vintage artifacts. From steel tables and wine racks supported by massive industrial gears, to woodworking jointers fashioned into sleek, modern desks; the firm’s entire portfolio represents the experimental nature of repurposing some of the 20th century’s most hard-working artifacts. To date, however, one of its prized works of experimental design success is a rounded bar made from a preserved 1955 Cadillac Series 62 sedan. “I think what makes this [project] unique is we really pushed the boundaries of what our capabilities are,” said Greg Davis, vice president…

  • Featured,  Relish

    Fine design

    In November 2017, Prime + Proper, a luxurious steakhouse experience, opened in Detroit, and quickly garnered attention for its elaborate interior design and approach to fine dining. Less than two years later in June 2019, McIntosh Poris Associates, the firm behind Prime + Proper’s distinctive style and preserved historic details, received a pair of Restaurant Design Awards from the AIA’s Los Angeles chapter—the only Midwest-based firm to do so during the 2019 award program. The People’s Choice: Restaurant award and Citation: Restaurant award, were supported by a jury verdict that cites Prime + Proper’s “opulence and decadence” as winning factors in the restaurant’s downtown Detroit setting. For Michael Poris, founder…

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    Embodied carbon

    In May 2019, the overall value of construction work done in the United States totaled more than $1.29 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Value of Construction Put in Place Survey. In the same month, Michigan’s second largest city, Grand Rapids, spent $13 million on new construction alone and has undergone some measures to ensure a sustainable future in tandem with its continuing developmental upswing. It is one district among a network of urban areas participating in the 2030 Challenge for Planning, which is a national initiative focused on carbon-neutrality, and cutting water usage and transportation emissions in half by 2030. To continue the effort, the United States Green…

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    La Crême

    Charming and fresh, stepping into La Crême café is not unlike walking into a French crêperie, where serving thin, pancake-like crêpes is a defining characteristic. Located in Zeeland, Michigan, the Parisian-style creamery and crêpe shop was started by Scott and Kim De Young after they were inspired by warm spaces with specialized menus on the west coast of Oregon. As their kids got older, they decided to make the dream come alive, and brought it with them to West Michigan. Before La Crême was the inviting breakfast and lunch spot that it is now, Scott and Kim De Young owned a frozen yogurt shop, called Fuzzy Peach, in the same…