Crafting Home

Exterior details that distinguish this award-winning, Prairie-influenced home on Silver Lake prelude a multi-functional design that blends vast views with practical ingenuity and a new take on contemporary style. // Photography by Michael Buck
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Silver Lake House Exterior Driveway
The new design takes full advantage of this site on Silver Lake, where one of the homeowners grew up. Large overhangs, stone accents, a multiple-step fascia, fiber cement siding, Prairie style and a glass-cornered stair tower distinguish the exterior.

Naturally situated just 20 minutes from Grand Rapids in northeast Kent County, crystalline Silver Lake — a 225-acre, all-sports haven shaped like an artist’s palette — has drawn cottage-goers for more than a century. Many residents now fringe Silver’s fully-developed shoreline year-round, including one modern-minded couple who, last autumn, replaced an outdated tear-down with a new three-level residence uniquely tailored to their property and lifestyle.

Silver Lake Dining Room
Centrally-located and easily accessed, the open kitchen is defined by a lower ceiling, raised grain ash cabinetry with an espresso glaze and bleached White Sand Walnut planks from Century Floor in Grand Rapids.

This husband and wife, both busy physicians, envisioned relaxed modern spaces for two that opened to the serene view, but could expand to embrace larger crowds, too. The insightfully efficient, 6,700-square-foot solution — designed by Wayne Visbeen, AIA, IIDA of Visbeen Architects and custom-built by Scott Christopher Homes, with interiors completed by Jeffery Roberts Design — more than hit the couple’s mark.

It also garnered Best Floor Plan, Best Kitchen, Best Interior Elements, Best Curb Appeal and, best of all, the prestigious People’s Choice Award during the 2012 Fall Parade of Homes, sponsored by the Greater Grand Rapids Home Builders Association.

Silver Lake Basement
Clockwise from left: : Laminated for extra thickness and milled out on a slope by Great Lakes Granite Works, the main floor powder room’s custom Binco Antico basin drains into the wall; Designed to live like a cottage, the lower level is an entertainment mecca packed with surprises like a fully tiled wall and access to inviting spaces including the pool deck, a glass-wrapped guest suite and ample exercise room; Custom slabs of Binco Antico add earth-toned warmth in the home’s high-tech kitchen, which flows into the dining room and opens to a sweeping view of Silver Lake. “The kitchen, piano area, living room and library are all divided by walls that don’t extend all the way to the home’s rear, creating one long gathering room along the lakefront,” noted architect Wayne Visbeen; The lower level bar — topped by a laminated cut of Eco Silestone from Great Lakes Granite Works and punctuated by modern pendants — pairs with knotty alder wood in this second full kitchen.

“There was something in this house for everyone,” said builder Scott Christopher of features including a built-in dog wash/grooming station, half-bath sink that drains into the wall, infinity-edge spa accessed by heated walkway (see cover) and three-season porch with retractable screens, heated floors and fireplace. “It was definitely a game changer.”

Silver Lake Piano Room
From left: An embracing view of Silver Lake extends from the piano area to the foyer through the living room, which shares a fireplace with the library; “Floating corners” of wrap-around glass, inspired by West Coast designs seen by the homeowners, became through design/build innovation their own waterfront haven’s signature style element.

Naturally situated just 20 minutes from Grand Rapids in northeast Kent County, crystalline Silver Lake — a 225-acre, all-sports haven shaped like an artist’s palette — has drawn cottage-goers for more than a century. Many residents now fringe Silver’s fully-developed shoreline year-round, including one modern-minded couple who, last autumn, replaced an outdated tear-down with a new three-level residence uniquely tailored to their property and lifestyle.

Silver Lake Master Bedroom and Bathroom
The couple’s conservatively-sized bedroom expands into a master suite complete with library, fireplace, and raised loft-inspired office nook featuring his and hers desks, built-in shelving and elevated water views; “Super-sized silver-leafed pocket doors are used to convert the master bedroom from an open space with awesome lake views to a private luxury suite,” noted Jeffery Roberts, who enhanced that ambience in the master bath with hand-painted wall covering and transparent lattice-patterned glass sinks by Kohler set on deck-steel Silestone from Great Lakes Granite Works.

This husband and wife, both busy physicians, envisioned relaxed modern spaces for two that opened to the serene view, but could expand to embrace larger crowds, too. The insightfully efficient, 6,700-square-foot solution — designed by Wayne Visbeen, AIA, IIDA of Visbeen Architects and custom-built by Scott Christopher Homes, with interiors completed by Jeffery Roberts Design — more than hit the couple’s mark.

Silver Lake Dining Room Chandelier
The dining room showcases a chandelier purchased by the homeowners in Italy to complement the space’s faux finish platinum ceiling and geometric fireplace wall.

It also garnered Best Floor Plan, Best Kitchen, Best Interior Elements, Best Curb Appeal and, best of all, the prestigious People’s Choice Award during the 2012 Fall Parade of Homes, sponsored by the Greater Grand Rapids Home Builders Association.

Silver Lake Porch
Opening to the dining room, this three-season porch is equipped with heated floors, retractable screens and a large fireplace to extend seasonal enjoyment. Discreet storage fashioned beneath for the pool’s mechanical equipment and toys eliminated the need for an unsightly shed, said builder Scott Christopher. The pool — which features an infinity-edge spa accessed by heated walkway — includes a safety cover, too, which eliminated the need for a fence, as well.

“There was something in this house for everyone,” said builder Scott Christopher of features including a built-in dog wash/grooming station, half-bath sink that drains into the wall, infinity-edge spa accessed by heated walkway (see cover) and three-season porch with retractable screens, heated floors and fireplace. “It was definitely a game changer.”

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