A lifelong dream of owning a weekend home on beautiful Lake Michigan finally came true when the Chicago-based owners purchased land on a natural sand dune above the lake, complete with its own beach. private.
The new cabin by the lake, one of the the best houses in the world, marries and borrows from its magnificent lakeside setting. Its earthy, organic decor and furnishings ensure that the indoor and outdoor worlds merge to create the perfect natural retreat from the hectic everyday life.
The lakeside house is newly built and replaces a colonial style house which was unsuitable for development. With the talented team of architects Booth Hansen and interior designer Bruce Fox involved, the new home quickly began to take shape. We caught up with designer Bruce Fox, who walks us through the highlights, starting with the porch space, above.
“A summer house isn’t complete without a screened porch,” says Bruce. “Here, we’ve brought local vintage finds like the Old Hickory sofa and 1940s rocking chair to set the tone for this beautiful indoor-outdoor space. The desire to create a relaxed and soothing space was the concept.
A Kingsley-Bate weathered teak larkspur coffee table and round teak dining table reflect the natural hues of the wooden planks and pillars, while vintage Tolix chairs complement the other antique furnishings.
“This lower level entrance is the main entrance to the house,” says designer Bruce, “you go up to the main level from here.” When the entryway is on a different level from the rest of the house, it’s worth working hard to make it a room, rather than just an empty transitional space.
Bruce’s hallway ideas revolved around making this entryway welcoming to set the tone for the home. “The early 19th century painted cabinet was the perfect find for this space and, paired with a chair, provides a welcoming respite upon entering the house and doubles as a reading nook for the guest bedroom beyond,” says Bruce.
Living room – airy during the day
living room ideas as this light and bright space was meant to work just as well on winter evenings, and the combination of vintage and natural wood furniture grounds the space and helps it blend into its beautiful surroundings.
“The client asked to bring the outdoors into the space – easy with all the amazing windows – but we wanted to take it a step further,” explains Bruce. “At first they described the interiors as a bit of a cabin feel and here we’ve used old hickory and a reclaimed wood table to bring in the warmth of natural wood.”
Key pieces include a pair of rustic mid-century American hickory benches from Newel Seating, upholstered in Ralph Lauren’s Red Rock Blanket/Harvest fabric; 1920s French lounge chairs from Restoration Hardware; and a handmade Catalan cocktail table from Demiurge, NY.
Living room – cozy at night
“We wanted this cozy seating area to be as cozy on a perfect August beach day as it is on a cold winter evening by the fire. Being a year-round getaway, this home needs to be comfortable in all seasons,” says Bruce.
And with a twilight view of the lake, there’s surely no space in the house to match it.
Treetop dining area
dining room ideas for this central hub of the house is simple and organic – there’s no point in trying to compete with treetop views through full-height windows. The room is also positioned with the stairs behind it, so it is important that the furniture does not obstruct the view from the stairs.
“Bringing the outdoors inside was the primary design goal here,” says designer Bruce. “Choosing an original, locally handcrafted Live Edge dining table from solid black walnut was the right decision. You can really feel the soul of the tree with a live edge. Our client was very nostalgic for red and white gingham and here it’s perfect for the cushions of the chairs painted Windsor style.’
Kitchen style kitchen workspace
This is designer Bruce Fox’s favorite space. “I love that you can open doors on either end and have the breeze blow through.” The island painted green in Farrow & Ball’s Lichen is just perfect for treetop perch,” he says.
His kitchen ideas included creating a kitchen-style layout for the main work area with dark worktops and pulls against white cabinetry. “We wanted the cabinets to feel neutral and calm, leaving the island to us to provide contrast in the paint color.”
A custom bench seat has been tucked away in an alcove at one end of the kitchen to keep things cozy and sociable. “The orange of the flatwoven rug and stool provides a beautiful counterpoint and pop of color to the neutral space,” adds designer Bruce.
Anyone who seeks bedroom ideas for a truly relaxing room, consider this mix of earthy neutrals with a cool watery blue. Designer Bruce Fox explains the thinking behind the scheme: “Perched in the trees, this room offers a remarkable view of Lake Michigan, which was the initial inspiration for the color palette. Blue is calm and relaxing, as one would imagine a lakeside home should be. The Live Edge headboard brings the outdoors back into this quiet space and the kilim rug extends the relaxed vibe.
The long, narrow master bathroom is perfectly appointed with a shower at one end and a gorgeous soaking tub at the other.
Bruce explains his bathroom ideas for the space that cleverly bridges the gap between contemporary luxury and a more rustic vibe. “We took the opportunity to create warmth with a beautiful antique rug and twig chair that again brings back the cabin exterior and aesthetic that our client appreciates,” he says.
The outside view
“The outdoor spaces were vital to the client who wanted to ensure there was plenty of flexible space on the outdoor patio which overlooked the lake and the screened porch quickly became one of the favorite spots in the house” , explains Bruce. “It’s an amazing place to be in the summer with the cooling lake breezes and catching the sun shining on the lake through the trees.”
This idyllic retreat is the result of a perfect collaboration between the architect, builder, designer and client. It has successfully translated the client’s wishes for indoor-outdoor living and marries cozy indoor rooms with more rustic beach hut and cabin style spaces. And the new home’s position, three flights above street level, makes the most of the lake and treetop views.
Interior design: Bruce Fox Design
Architecture: Booth Hansen
Construction: Scott Christopher Homes
Landscape architecture: Hoerr Schaudt Landscape architects