Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
This home challenged a new generation of craftsmen to reproduce a Tudor’s complex details with all-brick English revival elements and state-of-the-art building practices. Capturing time-honored details was critical and this showcases successfully resolved, but daunting accomplishments.The build site was near water level in marsh-like clay presenting a significant engineering challenge so helical piers were driven 60 feet deep to transfer the structural load to stable material below.Complex brickwork is uncommon in the area. The art of masonry was revived with distinctive herringbone and basketweave brick inlay crafted with full bed brick framed by cedar batten strips and decorative corbels. Trim detail is surrounded by steep gables and distinctive curved shingles. High, off-set fireplace chimneys with limestone shoulders are capped with traditional clay flue pots, and the peak of the steep 16/12 pitch roof achieved the look of slate with three-layer shingles. Custom-made limestone door headers and window surrounds frame beveled windows with the authentic appearance of leaded glass with old-style diamond pattern inserts.A barrel vault foyer ceiling echoes the radius of the front window, paneled walls, and a sweeping curved stairway mark the formal Tudor influence of the home and its stunning first impression. The main floor is 3,200 square feet and after the auspicious entrance, becomes areas carved out for comfortable family entertaining, daily living, and private living spaces. Beamed coffered ceilings and masonry wood-burning fireplaces add traditional details to these more informal spaces, including a large eat- in kitchen area. The master suite and bath face the lake but a strategically placed screened porch affords privacy while enjoying the lake breezes.The remaining 1,800 square feet of the upstairs was built for visiting family. A raised game room nestled between the chimneys offers the best lake view in the house from two Juliet balconies.