Ship-Shape

This three-level marina condo has all the amenities of a fine hotel and a state-of-the-art lake house, with a custom boat floating below
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beautiful views of the water
The homeowners’ Harrison Township retreat includes beautiful views of the water.
Photography by Joe Tiano

Matthew and Lori Schulz live in East Grand Rapids, but they wanted a retreat downstate where they could entertain their relatives and moor their boat during the warm summer months.

They found a perfect corner-unit condo in Harrison Township on Lake St. Clair, but the décor wasn’t their style. Thanks to a recommendation from a mutual friend, the couple called Jennifer Asmar of Asmar Interiors in Troy to help them make their condo sing. 

“They wanted to transform the space so the second floor would feel like a luxurious hotel and the main floor would feel like a sophisticated lake house,” Asmar says. Her deadline was daunting: She had from September of 2022 through the end of July 2023, when 70 guests were being invited to come and celebrate Matthew’s birthday. 

Calacatta Retro stone porcelain fireplace
On the main floor, there’s a handsome Calacatta Retro stone porcelain fireplace, providing a warm glow.

“It was a fun project,” says general contractor George Sommers of LaBelle Construction in Mount Clemens, who took the condo down to its bare bones and navigated the existing steel structure, masonry walls, and a narrow circular stairway. The condo’s square footage measures 1,023 on the top level, 916 on the main, and 916 on the ground.

Asmar drew up her plans and quickly went to work. “I designed the whole condo, from the layout to the last candle on the table,” she says. 

Asmar completely reordered the second floor’s confusing layout (guests had to walk through the master bedroom to get to the bathroom) by adding a new corridor leading to two ensuite bedrooms, each with walk-in closets, plush king-size beds, and custom furnishings. They fit in a laundry room with lots of storage and, nestled into the balcony over the living room, they created an office area. 

kitchen
The Schulz family wanted the main floor to feel like a sophisticated lake house. Their goals were met, including in the kitchen.

Heated porcelain floors throughout the condo keep things toasty when Michigan’s unpredictable chill sweeps over Lake St. Clair. 

On the main floor, there’s a handsome Calacatta Retro stone porcelain fireplace with a leathered finish. The chic furniture was custom made to fit the smaller-scale living room and dining area. A galley kitchen, with high-end built-in appliances, offers seating for four. There’s also a pretty powder room with custom cabinetry. 

Lots more seating is found outside on the 28-by-27-foot patio, located through a double-door doorway off the living area. With a fire pit and expansive lake views, it’s ideal for relaxing in the sun with a crisp chardonnay or enjoying an after-dinner brandy under the stars.

living area and kitchen
The condo was taken down to its bare bones. It now features plenty of open space between the living area and kitchen.

The garage, or maritime level, below is another entertainment area with a bar, refrigerator, built-in HDTV, a laundry room, and an industrial-sized ice machine perfect for filling coolers before getting on the boat that’s moored in the covered well below. Picnic tables provide even more outdoor seating.

The “garage” also features a full bath with a hook-topped bench for hanging towels and beachwear, so guests can rinse off the day’s suntan oil or sunscreen. “It’s so convenient,” Lori Schulz says. “People can come in from a day on the boat, and they can change and shower right away.”

Clearly, much thought about style and creature comforts went into this rebuild. Not a thing is missing. “It’s a tighter space than I’m used to designing,” says Asmar, who praises Sommers and the LaBelle crew for their expert workmanship and congeniality during the job, ensuring that all the niceties and necessities of the best luxury retreats fit neatly inside. 

Unique adornments
Unique adornments blend well with the lakeside vibe.

“Lori gave me her list and I gave her my list,” Asmar says, adding: “I’ve grown up on the lakes around Michigan, so I really planned it so that it’s not only beautiful, but it’s functional for their needs.”

Amazingly, Asmar and Sommers’ crew made their 10-month deadline, and on the day of Matthew’s big birthday bash, the condo was ready. Guests arrived and the party began, the food was great, everyone had a fabulous time, and this condo’s debut was perfect in every way, right down to the last detail.

dining room
Heated porcelain floors throughout, including in the inviting dining room, keep things toasty when Michigan’s unpredictable chill sweeps over Lake St. Clair.
entertaining area
There’s plenty of room for family and guests in this entertaining area.
office niche
An office niche in the loft above the great room features modern furnishings and plenty of light.

BUYER’S GUIDE

INTERIOR DESIGN
Asmar Interiors, Troy, asmarinteriors.com

BATHROOM, POWDER

Sconces, Adjacent to Mirrors Visual Comfort, Herald Wholesale, Troy
Sconces, Over Mirror Visual Comfort, Herald Wholesale, Troy
Sink, Glass – Wittock Kitchen and Bath, Birmingham
Tile, Shower – Virginia Tile, Troy

BATHROOM, PRIMARY

Cabinet, Double-Sink – KSI Kitchen & Bath, Macomb
Countertop – Cristallo Iceberg, PMP Marble & Granite, Troy
Flooring – Virginia Tile, Troy
Mirrors – Robern, Herald Wholesale, Troy

bedroom
“(The homeowners) wanted to transform the space so the second floor would feel like a luxurious hotel,” designer Jennifer Asmar says.

BEDROOM, PRIMARY

Bed Frame, Cream – Bernhardt, CAI Designs, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Bedding, Circle Pattern – Hotel Collection, Macy’s
Chandelier, Circles – Visual Comfort, Herald Wholesale, Troy
Dresser – John-Richard, Asmar Interiors, Troy
Lamps, Bedside – John-Richard, Asmar Interiors, Troy
Mirror, Long – Custom Tables, Bedside – John-Richard, Asmar Interiors, Troy

DINING ROOM

Artwork – CAI Designs, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Centerpiece, Table – John-Richard, Asmar Interiors, Troy
Chairs, Dining – Kravet, Kravet | Lee Jofa | Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Chandelier – Visual Comfort, Herald Wholesale, Troy
Table, Dining – Vanguard Furniture, CAI Designs, Michigan Design Center, Troy

bathroomENTERTAINING AREA

Chairs, Kitchen – Palecek, CAI Designs, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Fan – Minka, Herald Wholesale, Troy
Flooring – Epoxy, LaBelle Electrical Contractors, Mount Clemens
Lighting, Ceiling – Visual Comfort, Herald Wholesale, Troy
Sconce – Visual Comfort, Herald Wholesale, Troy
Table, Kitchen – Palecek, CAI Designs, Michigan Design Center, Troy

GUEST ROOM

Bed Frame, Rectangle Upholstery – Custom, Kravet, Kravet | Lee Jofa | Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Bedding, Solid – Hotel Collection, Macy’s
Cabinet, Single-Sink – KSI Kitchen & Bath, Macomb
Chandelier, Star – Visual Comfort, Herald Wholesale, Troy

guest room
A guest room awaits friends and family.

KITCHEN

Bar Stools – Palecek, CAI Designs, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Cabinetry – KSI Kitchen & Bath, Macomb
Countertops – Opal White, PMP Marble & Granite, Troy

LIVING ROOM

Armchairs – Thayer Coggin, CAI Designs, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Artwork – Geode, John-Richard, Asmar Interiors, Troy
Cabinetry – KSI Kitchen & Bath, Macomb
Candleholders – Global Views, Asmar Interiors, Troy
Chandelier – Elk Lighting, Herald Wholesale, Troy
Chest, Console – John-Richard, Asmar Interiors. Troy
Drapery – Custom, Kravet, Kravet | Lee Jofa | Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan
Fireplace – Calacatta Retro, PMP Marble & Granite, Troy
Flooring – Virgina Tile, Troy
Mantle – Custom
Ottoman – Custom, Kravet, Kravet | Lee Jofa | Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan
Pillows, Accent – Custom, Kravet, Kravet | Lee Jofa | Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Rug – Stanton Carpet, Professional Rug Works, Troy
Table, Coffee – John-Richard, Asmar Interiors, Troy

powder room
A powder room gleams with style, thanks to elegant sconces and a peaceful palette.

OFFICE

Chair, Desk – Design Master, CAI Designs, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Desk – John-Richard, Asmar Interiors, Troy
Doors, Barn – Custom
Lamp, Floor – Visual Comfort, CAI Designs, Michigan Design Center, Troy

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