Connecting with the Outdoors

Michigan retreat with a small footprint pushes the boundaries
Connecting with the Outdoors - Home featured in Michigan BLUE Magazine
Photography by Jeff Garland 

For a new-construction waterfront vacation home on a narrow lot, the goal was to maximize the lakeside living aspect and maintain privacy from the nearby neighbors.

“We had to get everything they needed into the home, which really pushed the boundaries. We got as much into the property as we physically could,” says Jeremy Zeigler, architect and owner of J.T. Zeigler Architectural Services, LLC in Ann Arbor. “Everyone rose to the occasion, starting with the owners, who allowed everyone to do their best work.”

Both pages: The best spots in the house for gathering time are the patio, lakeside terrace, and family room. "It's definitely a family home," says architect Jeremy Ziegler.
The best spots in the house for gathering time are the patio, lakeside terrace, and family room. “It’s definitely a family home,” says architect Jeremy Ziegler. – Photography by Jeff Garland 

The team also dealt with time constraints, to ensure the clients and their guests would be able to enjoy the coming season. “The house is incredibly efficient and it’s definitely a family home,” Zeigler says. “The great room, open kitchen, and dining room are big enough to entertain. We made sure the spaces flow really well, and the lake is the first thing you see when you open the front door.”

In addition to delivering spectacular views on this lake (part of a chain of lakes northwest of Ann Arbor), strategically placed windows provide privacy and light, while architectural elements like a retractable glass wall and awnings, patios, and balconies connect with the outdoors. Quiet spaces, including cozy work-from-home areas and private reading nooks, join gathering areas for family and friends.

Photography by Jeff Garland 

“They’re a really good couple who worked well together,” Zeigler says. “That helped us maximize the potential, and we definitely pushed the envelope.”

Melissa Kennedy, general manager for the builder, Ann Arbor-based Meadowlark Design+Build, agrees: “For a relatively small footprint, the house accomplished a lot,” she says. “The owners can use the outdoors and indoors so well. They were really happy with how the spaces work just for them, or with family.

Interior designer Acadia Hahlbrock worked her magic throughout, including in this spacious kitchen, which conveys English charm thanks to warm wood elements. A navy island speaks to the site. – Photography by Jeff Garland 

“I was really proud of how our team executed all the details and the craftsmanship,” she adds. “The architect, interior designer, and builder collaborated with the homeowners for creative solutions.”

Acadia Hahlbrock, interior designer and principal for Surroundings Inc. in Superior Township, was an integral part of the talented team. “The house performs so well despite the narrow footprint,” she says. “It was lovely to present the owners with such a great escape. The home can perform equally well as a gathering area for family or a quiet retreat (where they can) relax and recharge.”

Photography by Jeff Garland 

She describes the style as crisp and modern, but welcoming; textured finishes can handle real-life scenarios like sandy flip-flops. “Durable features will still be beautiful in 10 years, so they can live in the home and not be fearful,” Hahlbrock says. “You can sink into the sofa in your bathing suit and have no fear.”

A spacious kitchen conveys English charm, with warm wood elements and classic portraits from a trip to the Cotswolds. Quartz countertops and a sizable island in a deep shade of navy speak to the site. Integrated outlets make whipping up morning smoothies a breeze in the scenic location, where guests are greeted at the front entry with inlaid wood floors inspired by nautical flags and a beaded chandelier made from sea glass.

A shiplap-chic hallway; the master bath (unique caning stars in the cabinetry); and the master bedroom, which features vaulted ceilings with exposed beams.
A shiplap-chic hallway; the master bath (unique caning stars in the cabinetry); and the master bedroom, which features vaulted ceilings with exposed beams. – Photography by Jeff Garland 

Additional character comes from a cast iron tub that plays a starring role in the master bathroom, along with a custom vanity with caning details. The shiplap used throughout the home suits the waterfront setting.

A guest suite welcomes weekend visitors for family fun, and a textured cork wallcovering with a basketweave pattern accentuates the unique ceiling. The graphic shower door in the guest bath emulates English leaded glass windows.

Photography by Jeff Garland 

In the lovely bunkroom, Hahlbrock says even the smallest shipmate can make it up to the outlook, thanks to a built-in staircase. A second bedroom combines cheerful textiles with floral wallpaper that evokes memories of grandma’s house. “We really wanted to play with color,” the designer says.

Photography by Jeff Garland 

There’s truly something for everyone in this well-appointed home on the water. Beneath the stairs, a quaint play area boasts an adorable Dutch door, complete with a porch light, for the ultimate creative space. In the great room, with its striking fireplace, a retractable wall system opens onto the lake, where family members can be separate yet connected as they sit in the shade with a book or play lawn games. Closer to the water, Adirondack chairs surround a fire pit. “They’re designed to be movable to chase the sun or the shade, allowing flexibility,” Hahlbrock says. “It’s really gratifying to see the family using the space and living in the outdoors as much as possible.”

Photography by Jeff Garland 

Inside and out, the home is a juxtaposition of wide-open spaces and cozy retreats. “Whether they choose the big dining table or the built-in banquette to just sit with a cup of tea and not feel isolated, it was a big lifestyle goal to gather with family and friends and have time to reflect and unwind,” Hahlbrock says.



Meadowlark Design+Build, Ann Arbor,

Photography by Jeff Garland 


Cabinet – Rifted White Oak with Natural Finish, Expo Kitchen & Bath, Ann Arbor
Countertop – Florim Calacatta Gold with Gloss Finish, Dwyer Marble & Stone Supply, Farmington Hills
Flooring – 8” Hex in Graphite, WOW USA, Virginia Tile Company
Lighting, Vanity – Graydon Double Sconce, Visual Comfort, Circa Lighting
Mirror – Pottery Barn
Tile, Shower – 3” x 6” Herringbone Tile
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Loggia

A guest bedroom features mixed patterns and cozy vibes, while the guest bath’s hex-style tile is a stunning accent. The team chose Sherwin-Williams’ softly hued Loggia for the wall paint. – Photography by Jeff Garland 


Baskets, Storage – Serena & Lily
Bathtub – 67” Brayden Bateau Cast Iron Skirted Tub, Navy Blue, Signature Hardware
Cabinet – Expo Kitchen & Bath, Ann Arbor
Countertop – FLORIM Calacatta Gold with Gloss Finish, Dwyer Marble & Stone Supply, Farmington Hills
Flooring – Carrara Marble Tile, Virginia Tile Company
Hardware – Atlas Bradbury Pull, Warm Brass, Gross Electric, Ann Arbor
Lighting, Bathtub – Capiz Scalloped Chandelier, Serena & Lily
Mirrors – Bristol, Restoration Hardware; Inset Medicine Cabinet, Brass
Rug – Serena & Lily
Sconces – Marais Medium Bath Sconce, Brushed Gold, Visual Comfort, Gross Electric, Ann Arbor
Stool – Serena & Lily

Photography by Jeff Garland 


Bed Frame – Avalon Bed with Footboard, Serena & Lily
Ceiling Paint – Benjamin Moore, Pink Harmony in Flat Finish
Lights, Ceiling – Pescadero Pendant,
Serena & Lily
Rug – Round Cotton and Jute Rug,
Serena & Lily
Trunk, Wicker – Balboa Storage Trunk, Serena & Lily
Wallpaper – Watercolor Poppy, Inspired
by Color

Even younger shipmates love sleeping in the kid-friendly bunkroom, while a second bedroom combines cheerful textiles with floral wallpaper. – Photography by Jeff Garland 


Rug – Mirabelle Rug, Serena & Lily
Bed Frame – Carson Bed, Serena & Lily
Chandelier – Pescadero Drum Shade,
Serena & Lily
Sconces, Bedside – Flynn Sconce with Woven Shade, Serena &Lily
Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Woodlawn Blue
Wallpaper – Cayman Cork Wallcovering, Serena & Lily


Armchair – Venice Rattan Chair, Serena & Lily
Bed Frame – Tall Broderick Bed, Serena & Lily
Bedding – Owens Quilt, Navy, Serena &Lily
Chest, Bedside – Serena & Lily
Drapery – Pottery Barn
Dresser – Driftway Dresser, Serena & Lily
Light, Ceiling – Robinson Pendants, Visual Comfort, Circa Lighting
Rug – Seaview Rug, Serena & Lily
Wall Treatment – Grasscloth Wallcovering, Ochre, Serena & Lily

Photography by Jeff Garland 


Bedding – Serena and Lily
Ceiling Color – Benjamin Moore, Hale Navy in Flat Finish
Lights, Wall – Pelham Sconce, Circa Lighting, Gross Electric, Ann Arbor


Armchairs – Mattituck Armchair,
Serena & Lily
Chairs, Dining – Balboa Side Chair, Mist, Serena & Lily
Chandelier, Sofa – 60” 20-Light Chandelier, Pearson
Chandelier, Table – Serena & Lily
Drapery – Custom
Fireplace – Stone Cladding with Raked Joint
Pillows, Accent – Granada and Beach Stripe Pillow Covers, Serena & Lily
Rug – Channing Hand-Knotted Rug,
Serena & Lily
Table, Coffee – Cape Coffee Table,
Serena & Lily
Tables, End (Blue) – Trestle Side Table,
Serena & Lily


Chandelier – Frankie Malibu, Ro Sham Beaux
Lighting, Artwork – Cabinet Makers Art Light with Brass Finish, Circa Lighting, Gross Electric, Ann Arbor
Mirror – Blake Mirror, Navy, Serena & Lily
Railing – Matte Black Metal Railing with Horizontal Wire; Balustrade and Oak Handrail


Bar Stools – Riviera Bar and Counter Stools, Navy/White, Serena & Lily
Cabinetry – Expo Kitchen & Bath, Ann Arbor
Countertop – FLORIM Calacatta Gold with Gloss Finish, Dwyer Marble & Stone Supply, Farmington Hills
Faucet – Chesterfield Two-Handle Kitchen Faucet, Newport Brass, Ferguson, Ann Arbor
Hood – Zephyr 36” Monsoon DCBL Insert, Big George’s Home Appliance Mart, Ann Arbor
Lighting, Bar – Eugene Large Pendant, Brushed Gold, Visual Comfort, Gross Electric, Ann Arbor
Refrigerator – 48” Built-In Side-by-Side Refrigerator, Monogram, Big George’s Appliance Mart, Ann Arbor
Runner – Woven Wool Rug, Malta Blue, Dash & Albert
Sconces – French Laundry Single Arm, Circa Lighting, Gross Electric, Ann Arbor
Stove – Monogram, Big George’s Home Appliance Mart, Ann Arbor


Pillows, Accent – Serena & Lily
Sofas – Serena & Lily
Table, Coffee – Serena & Lily
Table, End – Serena & Lily

Photography by Jeff Garland 


Door, Children’s – Dutch-Style Arch Topped Door, TruStile, Mans Lumber & Millwork, Birmingham
Sconce – Small Stanway Sconce, Brass, Circa Lighting
Wallpaper – Goldfish, Nathan Turner


Color, Accent – Benjamin Moore, Hale Navy
Trim, Casing, and Fascia Color – Benjamin Moore, Decorator’s White

Photography by Jeff Garland 


Architect – Jeremy Zeigler, J.T. Zeigler, LLC, Ann Arbor

Interior Design – Acadia Hahlbrock, Surroundings Inc., Superior Township

Landscaping – Turner’s Garden Center & Landscaping, Ann Arbor

By Jeanine Matlow & Photography by Jeff Garland

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