Three local Northern Michigan designers demonstrate that how you look out on the world can shape your frame of mind. From industrial to mid-century modern, explore these window vignettes on homes in Glen Lake, Torch Lake and Walloon Lake to reimagine your windows.
Small awning windows are most often used as transoms—above doors or other, larger windows. But in this striking take on rustic design in a home on Walloon Lake, architectural designer Frederick Crosley Ball and builder Scott Kennard of Wentworth Builders quilted mullioned awning windows into one glorious window wall. As Kennard explains: “They perform well as a wall of smaller windows because you can really control the breeze and airflow through the house by opening specific windows to let the hot air out and the cool breeze in. Additionally, they create an interesting pattern and architectural rhythm. Each window creates its own framed story, from the sky to the wooded landscape and the beauty of Walloon Lake.”
Speaking both to the inspiration behind this bank of windows in a Torch Lake home of his design, as well as to a larger, regional sense, architect Ken Richmond says: “These windows represent a cleaner, bolder, industrial edge to the Northern Michigan cottage vernacular than we are used to seeing.” Richmond finds the roots of that industrial edge in the region’s historic and iconic work buildings. “There is no denying the role boat shops and boatyard sheds, with their huge glass overhead doors, contribute to this style. These building parts add to the depth of the character that uniquely defines our Up North architecture. They contribute to our admirable architectural heritage that makes this place memorable.”
Tasked with updating a mid-century modern home on Glen Lake, architect Ray Kendra knew that big windows were going to be needed. “We primarily were focused on creating large and uninterrupted views of the lake,” Kendra says. “We also chose aluminum windows (which means aluminum inside and out) to fit the modern sensibilities of the design both on the interior and exterior.” The home now reaches just a little closer to Glen Lake’s brilliant shores, and the expansive-framed windows flood the living space with southern light and blue-water views.