LAKEFRONT MODERN

When this couple bought this vacant, dilapidated lake front home perfectly perched on a ravine, with its private beach, and cantilevered pool deck, they knew they had stumbled on to something special.


Designed by esteemed architect Tony Grunsfeld, famous for his low slung, very simple and tailored, no mess, no fuss modernist homes, they saw the potential. This particular design was an experiment for him, a tri-pavilion ranch connected by two hallways, with a walk-out lower level rec-room. The new homeowners and I had a phone meeting with Mr. Grunsfeld, as it was toward the end of his fabulous life, and shared their ideas about their plans for how they wanted to live in the home. It was important to receive his stamp of approval, as they wished to honor the structure and the brilliant man who created it. This was a project for the strong and steady……not for the faint of heart. We took this home to the studs and back, re-engineered it, reinforced it, and gave it an incredible new life. Before: The original home’s first pavilion served as the garage, mudroom and kitchen, while the hallway that joined it to the center pavilion living/dining room served as the butler’s pantry. The living room was connected to the sleeping quarters consisting of a main bedroom and two bedrooms. The oversized skylight, mostly glass home, protected by cedar siding and a cedar roof, was awe inspiring. After: We relocated the kitchen to the center pavilion, which was truly the heart of the home, and designed a loft like open concept with the kitchen, living room, bar, and dining room in the same space. We converted the former kitchen and guest room to two generous size en suite bedrooms with a roomy, well organized, mudroom. We reconfigured the butler’s pantry to max out it’s functionality which also doubled as a catering kitchen with pocket doors to hide clutter and messy work being done while entertaining. We reshaped and merged the main bedroom with another bedroom in the third pavilion in order to provide a well thought out main suite with large walk-in closets, two home office/dens, one nicknamed the nest, because we finished the attic space, designed a stairway, and built his very own private tree top balcony overlooking Lake Michigan. The main bath featured a steam shower, grecian soaking tub, an enclosed water closet, and floor to ceiling windows providing unobstructed lake views. The pool house and pool baths were also completely renovated along with the removal of the existing brick floors replaced by radiant heated wood inspired Spanish porcelain floors throughout the entire home. A laundry closet in the main suite provided the couple with quick and easy washing for their activewear, and the lower level housed a full size laundry room, work out room, bedroom, full bath, family room with a pool table, a cedar closet and loads of storage. Three fireplaces keep the home cozy in the chilly months, and every room’s windows and sliding doors keep the fresh lake air flowing in the warmer months while letting in the sounds of the crashing lake waves against the shore.