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  “I went through the house and it was old and outdated, but I looked at the bones of the house, if you will, and it was just amazing the way it was built,” Bloem said.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

  • Form,  Print Edition

    A royal renovation

    In Evanston, Illinois—a city defined by its tree-lined sidewalks and collection of homes—architecture is a diverse language. Beaux-Arts, Prairie, Italianate, Victorian, Arts and Crafts, and Queen Anne are dialects spoken across intersections and around block corners, passing down their stories through iconic massing, decorative ornamentation, gables, brick and stone, gently sloped rooflines, and the occasional tower or turret. In the renovation of this particular Queen Anne residence, a style known for its irregular roof shapes, bay windows, dramatic massing, and multiple gables and dormers, the homeowners envisioned a design respectful of the heritage in its walls and wove in dynamic elements reflective of their young family lifestyle. Once the home…

  • 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…

  • Architecture,  Design,  Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Form,  Residential

    Beachfront remodel

    For many residences dotting the Lake Michigan shoreline, the serene, timeless quality of life on the water permeates through its design elements. Views, coastal interiors, and durable materials often define the homes and cottages. When approaching the remodel of an approximately 6,000-square-foot lakefront home near Charlevoix, Michigan, the homeowners and custom home builder—Miller, Poineau & Naumes, or MPN—determined its façade and interior makeup would remain decidedly bright and beachfront-centric. “The client wanted to capture the architectural feel of the existing home and area while giving it a new, bright, cottage feel,” said Chris Miller, co-owner and general manager of MPN, in reference to the approach for the renovation. Refreshing the…

  • Featured,  Form

    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…