There is a special lifestyle that comes with waterside living. It’s a sense of connection that, for some, calls to the soul. From Michigan’s small and Great Lakes to its rivers, streams, creeks and ponds, each one creates its own Great Lake Story.
For the past year, Michigan BLUE Magazine has taken readers along as builder Dave Morren, owner of Insignia Homes, has brought to fruition a custom-built family home in Greater Grand Rapids/Cascade Township’s Manchester Hills.
The wooded site includes an almost five-acre pond, along which local architect Jeff Visser of J. Visser Design tailored a plan to enhance views and the active lifestyle of the outdoor-loving homeowners and their six children.
A testament to Morren’s reverence for exceptional quality, Insignia Homes enjoys a well-established, collaborative history with J. Visser Design. The architect, whose designs can be found all along Michigan’s West Coast, has a particular affinity for creating shoreline homes that fulfill each client’s wishes while integrating each unique site’s best aspects: His goal is to enhance lifestyle by designing a sense of order in every home that carries through to the smallest detail.
Craftsmanship and basic good taste are also characteristics of Visser designs, ensuring homes that look better with age, grow more loved over the years and add value to their communities. To harmonize with the existing vibe of the Manchester Hills neighborhood, Visser infused elements with Old World influences, yet modern-day panache.
Throughout the three levels of this 6,654-square-foot home, daylight windows optimize natural sunlight and play up picturesque views. It includes seven bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, living and recreational gathering spaces with open-room designs, private individual retreats, outdoor living areas and entertainment patios that incorporate a family-size swimming pool/hot tub, plus an attached four-stall garage.
Exceptional craftsmanship is a top priority for Morren. He assembled a team of Grand Rapids’ foremost quality craftsmen to transform Visser’s thoughtful design into this stellar family home — including local, independent Interior Designer Francesca Owings, who worked in collaboration with the family to ensure the realization of their dreams.
Beyond expertise, Insignia Homes is recognized for an astute ability to keep high-quality construction projects on track and in budget. The company’s top industry partners play key roles.
This home on Manchester Pond showcases superior building materials sourced from Zeeland Lumber & Supply. The local, independently-owned company — still headquartered in downtown Zeeland on its original 19-acre site with more than 200,000 square feet of warehouse — has earned over nearly 70 years its renown for servicing the needs of builders and homeowners alike.
Today, Zeeland Lumber & Supply’s customers’ needs are being met in three showrooms, located in Grand Rapids and Hamilton, Mich., and Elkhart, Ind. The company’s on-going mission is to provide quality materials at a fair price, backed by experience and expertise.
Builder Dave Morren brought on more of the same through Tru Kitchens in Grand Rapids and the creative talents of kitchen designer Todd Wiley. Working in conjunction with both the homeowners and Owings, Wiley made certain both the kitchen and bathrooms performed all of the utilitarian functions the bustling family needed. Innovative design provided by Tru Kitchens is supported by premier, made-to-order cabinetry, as evidenced by this home’s spacious, hardworking family kitchen, spa-like retreat in the master bath and savvy storage in the home’s additional three-and-a-half bathrooms.
The home’s exterior stone was supplied by Belden Brick and Supply Company. With locations in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Saginaw, the business has been a leader in providing quality masonry, hardscape and hearth products to customers throughout Michigan for over three decades.
Partnered with seasoned architects, masons, hardscapers and hearth installers, Belden is renowned amongst Michigan’s preeminent builders for its vast styles and colors of brick, natural stone and concrete-based building materials — apparent with a visit to its outdoor Grand Rapids showroom, which offers innovative outdoor-living spaces to experience on a personal level, and a proven advantage in experience and service.
Because outdoor living was essential to this project, Morren also called upon Tom Rooks of Rooks Landscaping, founded in 1977. The Ada-based, full-service design, consultation, installation, nursery and maintenance business services both residential and business communities.
The company is underscored by a strong “green” environmental focus that includes growing and promoting the use of native plants and trees, and using the most eco-friendly products paired with least intrusive methods of solving common garden issues. In addition, Rooks’ five-acre nursery is an ever-evolving source of landscape inspiration.
And, as a swimming pool was a must-have for this family, Morren turned to Acme Pool Construction. Established in 1993 by Peter Folkringa — whose expertise includes more than 30 years of experience in the pool business — the company specializes in building custom shotcrete/concrete free-form pools and spas and using top-of-the-line equipment and materials. A full-service company, Acme ensures care of every detail, from design and installation to ongoing chemical needs.
On Manchester Pond, the pool’s rectangular shape lent itself well to an Auto Cover system. “All they have to do is turn a key and within 30 seconds, it opens or shuts,” Folkringa notes. “It’s not only a great safety feature, but also helps protect the pool from debris. This pool has a Caretaker self-cleaning system built into the floor, too, so it hardly ever requires vacuuming.” Rated to keep pools at least 99-percent clean, this system, he praises, adds up to low maintenance and maximum fun.
To read Manchester Pond’s full Great Lake Story beginning in Michigan BLUE Magazine’s Spring 2014 edition, visit mibluemag.com. Learn more about the exceptional skills and services provided by these Great Lake Story vendors: