A love of site and careful planning culminates in a Harbor Springs waterfront home that makes living in it as calming and lovely as a summer breeze.
This family’s devotion to their Lake Michigan property runs as deep and true-blue as the waters that lap at its shoreline. The land, located in Harbor Springs, has been in the husband’s family since his great grandmother purchased it in 1924. So when he and his wife, who shares his sensibilities, had the opportunity to build a summer home on a corner of the land, they knew they would do it with utmost sensitivity. “We wanted a home that was quiet and tranquil,” his wife says. The couple also envisioned a structure that would blend into its natural dune and forest setting as well with the architectural vernacular of historic Harbor cottages.
Enter architect Mark Buday of the Habor Springs–based firm Buday + Kruzel Architects, who approached the project with the thoughtfulness worthy of his clients. After lengthy discussion with his clients, Mark found his inspiration for the project in a picturesque fieldstone pump house that had been on the property for decades. “We wanted the new home to tell a story and not look like it was just dropped here,” he explains. Looking at the pump house made Mark feel that that story should begin with fieldstone: Imagine an old stone outbuilding that sat next to a cottage; imagine that one summer many years ago the structures were connected by a porch and then as the family grew that porch was enclosed …
That narrative defines the home’s basic structure. The house, which parallels the shoreline, is designed around two wings connected by a long low section (the imaginary closed-in porch). The larger, two-story wing is meant to resemble the site’s original cottage, while the smaller wing, faced in fieldstone, symbolizes the old outbuilding. The design fits beautifully into the local vernacular architecture, and clad in a palette of natural shingles and burnt orange and red trim, it feels very organic to the site.
The lovely exterior is equaled by a harmonious interior. The hive of the home is nestled into the two stories of the large wing, with the foyer and kitchen/breakfast area on the ground floor and guest rooms, baths and living area above. With that “busyness” artfully taken care of, the rest of the home spools out in a stream of tranquility manifest in the living area housed in the connecting section.
Rowland Design of Indianapolis, a firm that had designed two previous homes for the family, worked closely with Mark Buday on interior details. “Mark is very articulate in his architectural details,” says Eric Rowland, a principal with Rowland Design. “We worked with him to tailor the home seamlessly from inside to outside.” Among the standouts are floor-to-ceiling window walls in the living area that keep the room awash in lake views and in good weather, lake breezes. Generous windows on the opposite wall welcome in forest views. More light comes in from French doors that open to an outdoor room on the lake side of the home. Soft, cream-colored walls and Jurastone tiles (a low-maintenance foil for limestone) keep the space feeling calm. At night the room glows from in-floor lighting that shines on the walls.
The home culminates at the master bedroom, tucked into the fieldstone wing of the home. A cream and dove-gray palette and gracious views of the dunes and water make this room the sanctuary that it is meant to be. The feeling is perfectly expressed in the master bath’s precisely placed soaking tub, which sits beneath an oval window that looks out onto the forest side of the home. The tub faces the lake, a view that floats across the master bedroom and through its windows—a touch that reflects the harmony of vision between these homeowners, their architect and their interior designer.
Elizabeth Edwards is managing editor of Northern Home & Cottage. [email protected] // Photos by Dave Speckman
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