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March/April 2011 $3.00
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Pictured: A home of contemporary design that offers simplicity with style. See feature on page 26.
Grand Rapids Cosmopolitan Home MARCH â€˘ APRIL 2011
departments 5 GARDEN CALENDAR Garden tasks all year long 6 IN THE GARDEN Fine Tuning with Pruning Winter is a great time for this important step 8 CUISINE Rise & Dine Healthy yet delicious breakfasts
features 11 Relaxation Switch A familyâ€™s Pentwater retreat by New Urban Home Builders provides customized relaxation 19 Nostalgic Flow A Lake Mecosta cabin gets an addition by TruBuilt Homes that blends old with new 26 Simplicity Refined An East Grand Rapids conversation piece by True North Homes is revealed FLIP SIDE 2011 PRODUCT SOURCE GUIDE From new construction to simple home improvements, the ideas start here
Cosmopolitan Home Grand Rapids | 3
Leo Bullian Custom 616.454.2380
cover photo by Ashley Avila
Volume XXI1I Issue 1 No. 121 PUBLISHER
Leo Bullian Custom,
Come visit our new space, just in time for the Holidays!
David J. Koning
Jennifer Vander Vliet
5380 Cascade Road Ste. 200 Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Joanne deHaan Abolt Laura Michels Jeff Visser Jennifer Koning Marie Kamp Lynn Marwood Charlie Nardozzi
David J. Koning
ROOKS LANDSCAPING Design Installation Maintenance 9244 36th St., S.E., Ada, MI 49301 (616) 897-4287 F (616) 897-5121 4 | March •April 2011
Unsolicited manuscripts accepted. Send to Editor, 4550 Cascade Rd. Ste. 206, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. ©2011 Summit Media. Grand Rapids Cosmopolitan Home is published by Summit Media Inc., 4550 Cascade Rd. Ste. 206, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Subscription Rate: 1 year, $15.00; single rate, $3.00 (includes third class postage). Postmaster: send changes to 6757 Cascade Rd. Box 211, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without the expressed written consent of the publisher.
march Plan flower beds that will provide summer color
Prune trees and shrubs (except those that bloom early in the spring) while plants are still dormant, removing dead and injured branches first
Avoid walking on frozen lawns
Fertilize early flowering bulbs
Remove winter coverings from roses as soon as new growth begins
Press heaved plants back into the soil
Harden off transplants started earlier in the spring before planting outdoors by gradually exposing the young plants to outdoor conditions
Transplant and divide early flowering bulbs
Prepare soil for planting.Test soil pH; adjust if needed
Sow tender annual and vegetable seeds that require four to six weeks indoors
Protect tender plants from unexpected frosts if needed
Fertilize woody plants before new growth begins
Plant hardy perennials, such as daylilies and delphiniums
Watch for blooms of early spring bulbs, such as daffodils and crocuses
april Sow hardy and half-hardy annual vegetable and flower seeds outdoors
Plant a tree in celebration of National Arbor Day, April 30
Transplant roses, shrubs, trees, ground covers and vines
Fertilize shrubs, trees, ground covers, vines, fruits and perennial herbs and flowers as growth starts
Cosmopolitan Home Grand Rapids | 5
Fine Tuning with PRUNING BY CHARLIE NARDOZZI
hile it's easy this time of year to just daydream about summer's garden, there are some chores to be done. Late winter is the perfect time for one of my favorite garden tasks: pruning fruit trees. Most gardeners are nervous about making cuts to their precious trees, and, consequently, they prune only a little, and poorly, or not at all. However, pruning isn't rocket science. You just need to follow some basic principles and get out there and start cutting. PRUNING NEW AND OLD TREES When pruning young trees, the goal is to create a strong branch structure and proper angles for future growth. Prune to create three to five branches that have a 45- to 60-degree angle from the main trunk. These branches should ideally be evenly arranged around the trunk and at least 2 to 3 feet off the ground. You can spread the branches when they're young to grow at the right angle. Hang fishing weights with nylon wire on the branches for one growing season, or use wooden "spreaders" to push the branches apart to create the optimal angle.
BASIC PRUNING CUTS Keep these basic tips in mind: Use sharp pruning shears for any cuts on branches smaller than 1/2 inch in diameter. Use loppers or a pruning saw for larger diameter wood. Cut thin diameter branches 1/4 inch above a bud that is facing in a direction you want the new branch to grow. Make the cut on an angle to shed water and promote faster healing. Horizontal branches produce more fruit than vertical ones. Prune vertical branches back to a main stem or trunk. Prune moderately every year to keep the tree healthy and fruiting consistently. The tendency of some fruit trees to bear in alternate years can be caused by insufficient pruning. For more tips and garden information visit www.garden.org.
For established trees, always remove dead, diseased, broken and competing branches back to the trunk or a main branch first. For a neglected tree, try not to prune more than 25 percent of the tree in any given year. Too much pruning can cause lots of sucker growth that year. The exception would be a very old tree that needs to be stimulated to put out new growth. The goal is to have large diameter limbs near the bottom of the tree and smaller ones at the top. Don't prune limbs flush to the trunk or main branches. Leave the branch collar (raised area near the trunk or main branch) intact so the branch can quickly heal and protect the wound. 6 | March â€˘April 2011
Charlie Nardozzi, a nationally recognized garden writer, book author, speaker and radio and television personality, has appeared on HGTV, PBS and Discovery Channel television networks. He teaches and inspires home gardeners to grow the best vegetables, fruits, flowers, trees and shrubs in their yards.
Dr. Michel Marie Wicksall Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
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OVERHEAD DOOR COMPANY OF GRAND RAPIDS
Overhead Door (616) 261-0300 www.overheaddoorgr.com
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Member of ADA, MDA, WMDDS, KCDS & CDS
Accepting New Patients
Cosmopolitan Home Grand Rapids | 7
Rise & Dine
A Healthy Spin on a Delicious Breakfast
ost people are familiar with the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” However, many may not realize that what they choose to eat for breakfast is just as important as eating the meal itself. Now, breakfast lovers and skeptics alike can be good to themselves by eating a satisfying breakfast that’s full of the flavors they love. This Baked Asiago Frittata is a delicious combination of eggs, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, Italian seasonings, cheese and sausage patties. These veggie sausage patties contain 76 percent less fat than traditional pre-cooked pork sausage patties.* Try using egg substitute as a way to further reduce the fat and cholesterol. Spicy Southwest Breakfast Omelet Egg Rolls are a great way to wake up those taste buds, while MorningStar Farms Eggs Benedict puts a meatless spin on a familiar favorite. *Pre-cooked pork sausage patties contain 13g total fat per serving (38g); MorningStar Farms Veggie Sausage Patties contain 3g total fat per serving (38g). BAKED ASIAGO FRITTATA Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Servings: 6 2 cups finely chopped broccoli 1/3 cup sliced green onions 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 MorningStar Farms Veggie Sausage Patties 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves or dried Italian seasoning 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 8 eggs, beaten* 1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely shredded Asiago cheese or Parmesan cheese 1/4 cup chopped tomato 1. In 10-inch oven-safe nonstick skillet coated with nonstick spray, cook and stir broccoli, onions and garlic over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat. 2. Stir crumbled veggie sausage patties, basil, salt and pepper into vegetable mixture. Pour eggs over top. 3. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 15 to 19 minutes or until set. Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand, covered, for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with tomato. Cut into wedges. *Note: For a lower fat version, substitute 2 cups refrigerated egg substitute for the 8 eggs. 8 | March • April 2011
SPICY SOUTHWEST BREAKFAST OMELET EGG ROLLS Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Servings: 4 6 eggs, slightly beaten 1/3 cup milk 2 teaspoons salt-free Southwest or Mexican seasoning 2 MorningStar Farms Veggie Sausage Patties 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper 2 green onions, bias-cut into 1-inch pieces 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 4 10-inch flour tortillas 1/4 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese ( Jalapeño-White Cheddar Country Gravy or salsa 1. In medium bowl, beat together eggs, milk and seasoning. Set aside. 2. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook and stir crumbled veggie sausage patties, mushrooms, bell pepper and onions in 2 teaspoons of the vegetable oil for 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender. 3. Pour egg mixture over vegetable mixture in hot skillet. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until mixture begins to set on the bottom and around edge. Using spatula, gently lift and stir partially cooked eggs so uncooked portions flow underneath. Continue cooking and lifting over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until eggs are cooked through, but still glossy and moist. Remove from heat. 4. Spoon about 3/4 cup of vegetable mixture onto each tortilla just below center. Sprinkle with cheese. Fold bottom edge of each tortilla over up and over filling. Fold in sides. Roll up from the bottom, completely enclosing filling. Secure with wooden toothpicks. 5. Carefully wipe skillet out with paper towel. Brush with remaining 4 teaspoons oil. Add filled tortillas. Cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. 6. Remove toothpicks. Diagonally cut each into halves. Serve with JalapenoWhite Cheddar Country Gravy or salsa.
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Cosmopolitan Home Grand Rapids | 9
616.897.0848 www.buildersfireplace.com firstname.lastname@example.org
ONE GLANCE and you ll understand why this big and bold fantasy of flames is called the Grand Infinite. Stretching a dramatic five feet in length, this is the newest addition to the Marquis Collection by Kingsman. Available as a see-through or single-sided unit, this beauty features a viewing area that is 43 percent larger than our current Infinite model. With numerous design options, it s easy to see why the Grand Infinite is widely appealing.
10 | March â€˘ April 2011
SWITCH TEXT BY LAURA MICHELS
PHOTOS BY ASHLEY AVILA
THE MERE MENTION OF THE TOWN OF PENTWATER, Mich. brings summer fun to mind: charming shops, great restaurants and beautiful Lake Michigan beaches. But, for this Michigan family, a cottage on Pentwater Lake serves as a peaceful sanctuary — an escape to custom luxury most every weekend come summer. Once they arrive, it’s like hitting the off switch — relaxation ensues.
“We have a very busy lifestyle, and the second we are up there we relax and unwind,” said the owner. “It truly has been wonderful for our family.” The couple wanted their dream cottage to be a place where they could relax, restore, entertain — and most importantly—spend quality time with their two young boys, ages 6 and 7. “They will have so many great memories, family memories up there,” said the owner. Those involved in creating the cottage say the property on which it was built is one of the last prime pieces of real estate on Pentwater Lake. The views speak for themselves. “There is always activity on the lake and it’s just breath taking to watch it. It’s such a gem for us,” said the owner. Years before their fantasy escape came to fruition, the owners began compiling a wish list of things they wanted. They used this scrap book to serve as a guide for the creation of their haven. “My husband and I, we looked through magazine after magazine ... and we just gradually, over a several year process, collected pictures of things that we would want in a cottage.” The couple brought that scrapbook to architect Jeff Visser of J. Visser Design. He used the couple’s ideas to create an open floor plan with the main entrance off to one side in an effort to include an “abundance of windows to the north and south” to maximize light and view. “He pretty much hit the nail on the head with his first design,” said the homeowner. Tim Brinks, owner of New Urban Home Builders, brought Visser’s design to life. Brinks spent 16 years working on historical restoration projects in Chicago. He now specializes in creating unique custom homes for clients working with smaller spaces.
ISN’T IT TIME ...
“That’s really what we like to do. It’s a lot of fun and really is, I think, a lot more satisfying for clients when they see what you can do with a smaller amount of space and how the details can really make a house more livable,” said Brinks. Brinks said the prime location made working on the Pentwater property a builder’s paradise. He ensured the cottage soaked up every ounce of the landscape. “The views start as soon as you turn in on the property — it's a great set up,” he said. “We wanted to spread the house across the lot as much as possible and take advantage of the view.” That meant utilizing large, open windows to bring in the most light. For example, the gigantic windows in the dining room carry light all the way through into the kitchen. In addition, the screen porch is open to the lake so the patio door ushers lake beauty and light into the family room.
12 | March • April 2011
THE VIEWS START AS SOON AS YOU TURN ONTO THE PROPERTY. THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION ENSURED THAT THE COTTAGE SOAKED UP EVERY OUNCE OF THE LANDSCAPE. THE RESULT: A UNIQUE CUSTOM HOME WITH AN OPEN FLOOR PLAN HAVING OPTIMAL VIEWS OF PENTWATER LAKE.
Cosmopolitan Home Grand Rapids | 13
THE CHOICE OF FABRICS AND FURNITURE WERE MADE WITH THE COUPLE’S CHILDREN IN MIND. IT WAS IMPORTANT THAT THE CHILDREN WERE COMFORTABLE EVERYWHERE — NO PLACE WAS OFF LIMITS. BUTLER USED SOOTHING SOFT HUES TO CONTRAST THE STARK
THROUGHOUT THE HOME. CLEAN AND SIMPLE FABRICS ACCENTUATE THE PEACEFUL, SOPHISTICATED INTERIOR
The outdoor living space is a favorite room of the homeowners. “It’s an outdoor space that feels like we are still inside,” said the homeowner. Large windows in the master bedroom also lure in sun and offer a bed side view to the lake activity. “We can lie in bed and watch the boats go heading out to the big lake. It’s just very serene very peaceful for us,” said the owner. Todd Wiley, owner of Tru Kitchens, designed the cottage’s kitchen and bathroom. “They have very sophisticated taste but were very open to suggestions or ideas,” said Wiley. “The premise was somewhat of a contemporary farmhouse.” The kitchen is designed with an open floor plan that allows for a connection between the kitchen and other rooms in the home. Wiley said it was important that the kitchen doubled as an area for entertaining. “In home design now we put a lot more thought into the kitchen being a place to hang out in rather than the traditional living rooms,” said Wiley. In their kitchen, the cottage owners wanted a warm atmosphere that would allow for conversation and fellowship. This desire is what drove the decision to use wood — walnut and grand bamboo — instead of granite or quartz on the counters, said Wiley. 14 | March • April 2011
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Construction Company Retractable Solutions, Inc. (RSI) Serving Grand Rapids and the Greater Mid Michigan Area www.phantomscreens.com 1-888-PHANTOM (742-6866) 16 | March • April 2011
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Wiley designed the kitchen by component design, meaning each part of the kitchen was designed for specific functions. To that end, the main window area serves as a space for cleaning and dish storage. This section includes the main sink, dishwasher and cabinetry to house dishes. The cooking wall contains the stove and refrigerator, while the island serves as a place for cooking preparation. An end-grain bamboo top sits at one end of the island to provide a place for chopping. In addition, the island contains a beverage refrigerator, and a small narrow sink that doubles as an ice bucket called a trough sink. The island is also equipped with a microwave drawer which conceals the microwave while offering convenient access. “We are doing far less upper cabinetry in kitchen design because we are doing so much with windows or islands,” said Wiley. “This allows for convenient storage in drawers below.” The booth seating offers a soft seating area set up as a place for the couple’s children to eat breakfast. The magnificent view was a determining factor in where Wiley placed the kitchen elements in the locations he did. For example, the kitchen sink faces away from the water, but the island and cooking areas face the lake. One of the kitchen’s most unique features is the tile wall that surrounds the window above the
kitchen sink. Whereas traditionally homes implement just an 18-inch back splash, Wiley opted to tile the entire wall in lieu of implementing a wall covering to create “consistency and texture.” Jennifer Butler, the owner of Jennifer Butler Interior Design created the interior landscape of the Pentwater Lake cottage. Butler said she designs her homes based on how her clients want to feel when they are there. “In the end it is their space and it’s how they feel in the space to live there that determines whether it’s a success or not,” said Butler.
THE KITCHEN, DESIGNED BY TODD WILEY OF TRU KITCHENS, FEATURES A COMPONENT DESIGN WHERE EACH OF THE DIFFERENT AREAS IS UTILIZED FOR SPECIFIC FUNCTIONS. A WALNUT-TOPPED ISLAND GIVES THE SPACE INVITING WARMTH, CREATING A WELCOMING ATMOSPHERE FOR CONVERSATION AND FELLOWSHIP. Cosmopolitan Home Grand Rapids | 17
THE OWNERS’ SUITE CONTINUES THE FEEL OF ELEGANCE WITH ITS SIMPLICITY. IT FEATURES EARTHY TONES THAT COMPLEMENT THE BEAUTY OF THE OUTDOORS. IT’S A PRIVATE GETAWAY WITHIN THE COTTAGE.
The owners revealed to Butler that they wanted the interior of their getaway to live up to its name. “A place you could go to get away… that you just could relax,” said Butler. For Butler, part of creating the tranquil environment her clients envisioned meant working in conjunction with the intent of the architect. “There’s a lot involved in creating the whole feeling of the exterior, and I think that the plan and the exterior should be cohesive with what’s inside,” said Butler. “It shouldn’t be vastly different. It’s relaxing in and of itself and you want to accentuate it rather than take away from it so that your interior isn’t distracting from the beauty of what is in front of you outside,” she said. To that end, Butler used soothing soft hues to contrast the stark white cabinets featured throughout the home. Clean and simple fabrics as opposed to fabrics with a lot of detail and beading accentuate the peaceful, sophisticated interior.
“They wanted a space within their own space so the master suite is truly a private getaway within their own cottage,” said Butler. The homeowners said the cottage is everything they could have imagined when they began charting their dream escape by way of magazine cutouts years earlier. Now, their fantasy cottage may be providing the inspiration for someone else’s dream scrapbook. “We just love it. We absolutely love it.”
“It’s very elegant in its simplicity. There’s not a whole lot of fringe and frills and trim and all kinds of details,” said Butler.
BUILDER . . . . . . . . .New Urban Homes ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN... ...J. Visser Design INTERIOR DESIGN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jennifer Butler
In addition, Butler’s choice of fabrics and furniture kept the couple’s children in mind. “You want the kids to feel like they are always a part of everything and they don’t have to be separate,” said Butler.
DECORATIVE HARDWARE. . . . . . . . . . . . US10B FIREPLACE. . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . Builder s Fireplace FLOORING. . . . .. . . . . . . . . .Century Floor Space FRAMING. . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Agustus GRANITE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Granite Pro PLUMBING FIXTURES. . . . .. . . . . . . . Etna Supply PHANTOM SCREENS. . . Retractable Solutions STONE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Belden Brick
To that end, the booth seating makes for easy cleaning, as do the slip covers on the dining room chairs. Plus, the stools around the booth are virtually indestructible, she said. 18 | March • April 2011
The owners’ suite is the couple’s retreat within their retreat. Here, the carpet mimics grains of sand and earthy tones complement the beauty of the outdoors.
NOSTALGIC TEXT BY JENNIFER KONING
PHOTOS BY ASHLEY AVILA
More than just memorable, nostalgia can stir a yearning strong enough to connect our past to our present â€Ś
Endearing childhood memories — there’s nothing like them —- they’re priceless. So, when the opportunity to own a cabin on Lake Mecosta presented itself 20 years ago, nostalgia took over and the purchase was made. A beautiful inland lake (one of the many that saturates Michigan), Lake Mecosta offers memory making at its finest. And, for this homeowner, the memories run deep: the land around the lake was developed by his Great Grandfather decades ago — his past and present were now connected. Today, the owners are empty-nesters and are beginning to anticipate their future while treasuring their past. Soon the pitter patter of little grand children would visit the small cabin, another chapter of memories was about to be written. It was time to add on and create a more conducive floor plan for the family’s growing needs — all the while, keeping the charm and the feel of the cabin they love very much in tact. “We wanted the new space to flow with the old,” said the homeowner. “We wanted to incorporate old things.” Herman Hanko, and his team at TruBuilt Builders, was the ideal choice for the project. A hands-on builder, Hanko is passionate about custom building and creating the ideal results for his clients. With experience in additions, remodels and new construction, TruBuilt’s attention to detail and meticulous workmanship were the forefront qualities the homeowners wanted.
The dining area features the cabin’s original fireplace, updated with a natural stone veneer. The furniture selection and fabric choices allow for a “come in off the lake with wet clothes” lifestyle — the right mix of fun and classic charm.
20 | March • April 2011
Let us ORCHESTRATE your dream. For the perfect products for your kitchen or bath, stop by a Ferguson showroom. It’s where you’ll find the largest range of quality brands, a symphony of ideas, and trained consultants to help orchestrate your dream. With showrooms from coast to coast, come see why Ferguson is recommended by professional contractors and designers everywhere.
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Because every home should meet the lifestyle of its owners
Detail Oriented 22 | March â€˘ April 2011
“They wanted to keep the integrity of the cabin,” said interior designer Christine DiMaria. “It was important to make sure the new part as quaint and charming as the existing.” New chocolate siding; a red, standing-seam metal roof; and natural stone give the exterior a classic updating that keeps the charm alive. White trim punctuates ideally as the existing windows were in great shape and worked well with the color scheme. “It was important to everyone involved not to throw out things that could be salvaged,” said DiMaria. “Reusing the windows is just one example.”
The cabin’s original linoleum flooring (circa 1940s) had a vintage charm. DiMaria took a small section and had it refurbished and framed. It now serves as a piece of fun artwork — a small reminder of the cabin’s happy past. The kitchen features custom cabinetry by TruBuilt, stained to reflect the knots of the original pine logs. Slate flooring adds contrast underfoot while black, honed-granite countertops give the space a refreshed look and offer more functionality.
Cosmopolitan Home Grand Rapids | 23
logs. Slate flooring was chosen underfoot to contrast the beauty of the wood and “break-up” the exceptional amount of woodwork. Black Atlantic honed-granite countertops with a slate backsplash give the space a refreshed look and offer more functionality. A hand-hammered copper hood, dark bronze light fixtures and oil-rubbed bronze hardware give a detailed finish. The adjoining dining area features the cabin’s original fireplace, updated with a natural stone veneer. “We wanted something comfortable but wanted to modernize it and still have the old feel of the cottage,” said the owner. “We were able to accomplish that.”
TruBuilt’s attention to detail and meticulous workmanship were the forefront qualities the homeowners wanted. A beautiful inland lake (one of the many that saturates the state of Michigan), Lake Mecosta offers memory making at its finest.
They took off an existing bedroom but saved the logs, stripped them down and re-used them in the new study. The interior flows beautifully from space to space connecting new with old seamlessly. New walls feature a skip trowel effect adding texture to the plaster and giving the appearance of age. Views of the lake were honored in nearly every room of the addition — no small task considering the owners wanted to preserve any and all the trees they could. Hanko was excellent to work with in this realm as he met the challenge accommodating changes as they were needed. “He was very meticulous,” said the owner of Hanko. “We didn’t use an architect so we designed it together. He was very flexible and able to change things on the go — extremely good to work with.” The inviting kitchen features custom cabinetry by TruBuilt, stained to reflect the knots of the original pine 24 | March • April 2011
clothes.” The furniture selection and fabric choices reflect this with the right mix of hip style and classic charm. The owners are now ready to start their next chapter and the updated cabin is the ideal backdrop for new memories. Thanks to the talents involved, Lake Mecosta will continue to hold a special place in the hearts of the family’s future generations.
The stairway successfully blends old with new while adding a little “hipness” to the home. A galvanized metal railing with wire cable modernizes while the Australian Cypress wood flooring contributes more knots that lend to the cottage charm. BUILDER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .TruBuilt Builders INTERIOR DESIGN. . . . . . . . . Christine DiMaria FINISH HARDWARE. . . . . . Modern Hardware MOULDING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..DeLeeuw Lumber PLUMBING FIXTURES. . . . .. . . . . . . . . Ferguson ROUGH LUMBER. . . . . . . . . .DeLeeuw Lumber WINDSOR WINDOWS. . . . .DeLeeuw Lumber
The stairway is a tribute to blending old with new while adding a little “hipness” to the home. A galvanized metal railing with wire cable modernizes while the Australian Cypress wood flooring contributes more knots that lend to the cottage charm. The skip trowel walls continue to emphasize the attention to detail and confuse what’s old with what’s new. The family cabin had acquired mementos throughout the years including the kids’ etchings on one of the original logs. TruBuilt was able to “mill down” and re-use the log that now serves as a charming reminder in one of the bathroom’s vanities. DiMaria was also creative in her tributes to the existing cabin. The original linoleum flooring (circa 1950s) had a vintage charm. DiMaria took a small section of that flooring and had it refurbished and framed. It now serves as a piece of fun artwork — a small reminder of the cabin’s happy past. “The cabin also had to remain ‘worry free,’” said DiMaria. “They need to be able to come in and plop down in their wet lake Cosmopolitan Home Grand Rapids | 25
TEXT BY JOANNE DEHAAN ABOLT PHOTOS BY ASHLEY AVILA
estled in the heart of East Grand Rapids, on the edge of Fisk Lake, sets an extraordinary home. Here, amongst the traditional and classic architecture that EGR is known for, is the Ferriby residence and it’s become quite a conversation piece. According to homeowners Dale and Chris Ferriby, “People walking by will stop and tell us what a cool house this is. We never really thought about it, but it is unique.” Walk past and you’ll know just what the commotion is about. In stark contrast to the neighboring houses, this dwelling boasts a flat roof, walls of frameless windows, and a sleek, modern design. Dale Ferriby, a local architect, designed his home with simplicity in mind. “This house is a condo, a cottage, and an empty-nester home all rolled into one.” explained Ferriby. “And, it’s completely barrier-free.” Originally from Farmington Hills, Mich., the Ferribys have a son who used to live in East Grand Rapids. During a visit, they took a walk and happened to see an open lot on Wealthy Street, bordering Fisk Lake. Ferriby contacted the owner who, at that time, was not interested in selling. A year later, due to change-of-circumstances, the owner re-contacted the Ferribys and the deal was made. The 1,700-square-foot, one-story home took Ferriby about a year to design. He created it with an eye toward energy efficiency, simplicity, and maximizing the view of the lake and natural wetlands. With just two-bedrooms and two-bathrooms, the home is relatively small in size, but the large windows offer a feeling of expansiveness; it?s as though the outside is an extension of the living space. Ten, four-by-four skylights also add to the home?s airy feel while providing desired light and added warmth (although the use of solar energy is passive as opposed to active).
“Four-foot overhangs allow us to maximize the sun’s heat in the winter but block its heat in the summer,” explained Ferriby. Adjacent to the home’s living space is a sunroom that, in the warmer months, essentially becomes a screened porch. “Chris wanted a screened porch but we decided instead to make a room that converted to a screened porch so we could have the best of both worlds,” said Ferriby. As a result, there is more usable living space, year ’round. The kitchen features a 12-foot-long floating granite island and a dining area, but the couple often retreats to the “porch” to share their meals. A ground-level deck, off the living room, offers a place to enjoy the lake view while reading a book or simply chatting. Along with the light and openness that the large windows and numerous skylights provide, Ferriby created a look and feel of vastness through design and structural features. Although counterintuitive, the home’s eight-foot ceilings are a contributing factor. “[One might think] lower ceilings would make the home seem smaller,” explained Ferriby. “But lowering the ceiling height actually creates the illusion of greater size.” The cabinets, all built on site, by design, do not reach the ceiling. “By leaving a space above the cabinets, there is a continuous flow,” said Ferriby. The eye travels beyond one space to the next, without obstruction. The same principal was used for the flooring. The entire space is done in oak so there is no break between floor coverings to distract the eye. Built by Rich Bloem and his team at Homes By True North, the construction of this unique dwelling took only six months. “Our company builds homes with energy efficiency and environmental friendliness as key components,” said Bloem. “As such, this home runs at a 95 percent rate of efficiency and very little waste resulted from its construction. We didn’t need a dumpster during the course of the entire project.” According to Ferriby, all of the materials used in the home are recyclable. Both Ferriby and Bloem are passionate about environmental friendliness and not a single tree was removed to build the home; rather, the home was built around nature. “The closest tree is two feet from the house,” said Ferriby. Aside from the home’s unique appearance, its construction is unconventional. It sets only four feet above the 100-year flood plain and is constructed on less than desirable soil conditions which precluded using a traditional foundation system. The use of pilings was considered but was a very expensive solution. Instead, expanded polystyrene (EPS) or geofoam blocks were used to create the shallow footings that distribute the loads over a much larger area. 28 | March • April 2011
dale d. ferriby architect 1833 wealthy street se east grand ra pids michigan 49506 616•406•8909
30 | March • April 2011
In addition to the air-tight construction, the unconventional house is “about ten times stronger than traditionally constructed homes,” said Bloem. At the end of the day, the Ferriby’s home is just that: home. Designed for their lifestyle (and much different from the abode they left behind in Farmington), it is everything they wanted their new home to be. They have downsized significantly and couldn’t be happier with living smaller. “Life here is much more peaceful, the pace much more enjoyable,” said Ferriby. They made it simple, and will keep it that way. BUILDER . . . . . . . . .Homes by True North ARCHITECT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Dale Ferriby APPLIANCES. . . . .. . . .Williams Kitchen & Bath FINISH HARDWARE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .US10B GARAGE DOORS. . . . . . . . . . . . . Overhead Door GLASS SHOWER. . . . . . . . . . . . . .Glass Concepts GRANITE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Great Lakes Granite WOOD FLOORING. . . . .. . . Rockford Flooring
Cosmopolitan Home Grand Rapids | 31
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