Sanctuary at St. Lazare – Great Lake Story 2016
Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | Chapter Four | Chapter Five |
Lakeside living brings with it a special kind of history. From the topological story of how the body of water came to be to the tales of its role in the lives of the people on its shores. The building of a new home adds yet another chapter, interweaving two histories to create a Great Lake Story.
For the past year, we’ve unfolded the tale of the Fox residence in the Sanctuary at St. Lazare on Spring Lake, built by David C. Bos Homes. The rolling hills on the western shore of Spring Lake was originally home to a fruit farm, and through the years, became the summer retreat for the Chicago-based Bretz family and later a retreat owned by the Grand Rapids Catholic Diocese.
Alison and Steven Fox jumped at the opportunity to build their forever home on the lake, where they both grew up, and allow their two sons the chance to connect to the same waters they did as children. The Sanctuary at St. Lazare is one of the last areas of the lake to be built out, and the Fox home was the first to be completed.
Nestled on a wooded bluff overlooking the lake, the one-acre site is the premium space in the new development. It offers unparalleled views of Spring Lake, while remaining far enough off the road to give a high level of privacy, which was a huge selling point, Alison Fox said.
“In the morning, it’s so peaceful, that calm water and the sunrise. As the day moves forward, we often don’t even have to turn lights on because there is so much natural light coming through.” — Alison Fox.
David J. Bos, vice president of Bos Homes, said preserving the natural topography of the land was a top priority for the company. Bos said that led to removing the least amount of trees possible and incorporating elements like a ravine trail and nature preserve into the neighborhood.
The site provided the inspiration for the design of the Fox home, as well. “We are drawn to things that reflect the outdoors,” Alison Fox said. The Foxes, along with the team at Bos, created a family home that was inviting, peaceful and a tribute in many ways to the land’s past.
It is a striking contemporary residence with clean, simple lines, emphasized by cedar trim and a modern palette. Alison Fox said they were drawn to the West Coast color scheme and its break from the all-too-familiar beige. The rich, natural shades and textures — which include wood and stone — are found throughout the home and landscaping designs and create a harmonious reflection of the surroundings.
“One nice thing about fall and winter is the lake is a lot less busy. In the mornings, it’s so peaceful with the calm water and the large trees, it’s truly beautiful where we are.”
— Alison Fox
The two-level home includes four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, a state-of-the-art kitchen, open-room designs for recreational and living spaces, an exercise room, formal den, wine room and outdoor living and entertainment areas, including two stone patios, plus an attached three-stall garage.
“An urban spin on a contemporary look,” was the spirit behind the design of the interior. The Foxes wanted a classic look and feel with modern design elements, and the result is a home that exemplifies the Bos Homes motto “live beautifully.”
The upper level is a 2,373-square-foot space that serves as the main living area. The open floor plan creates a seamless flow from the kitchen to dining area to the main living room and optimizes the light which emanates through the picture windows, selected to maximize efficiency and play up the arresting views of the lake.
“We definitely enjoy entertaining and wanted to create spaces to do that near the lake. With the larger patio on the lower level walkout, we sought to create a living room outdoors, and the fire-pit amphitheater, something a little more intimate.”
— Alison Fox
As the premier lakeshore custom home builder, Bos Homes’ own history is rooted in a commitment to exceptional workmanship and environmental stewardship. The family-owned and operated company was founded in 1973 and employs a highly skilled team of experts who utilize the latest technology to create living spaces that are not only stylish and attractive, but sustainable and efficient.
Bos’ dedication to outstanding craftsmanship is exemplified through its in-house team, who work along with suppliers and craftsmen on each project. For the Fox home, Bos architect Paul Harloff and Wendy Fraser, interior designer and client relations coordinator, worked closely with the family to ensure its needs would be fulfilled in the design from concept to completion.
The home showcases superior building materials from ABC Supply Co. Inc., the largest wholesale distributor of roofing in the U.S. and one of the largest distributors of siding, gutters, and other exterior building products. The company was founded in 1982 and now has five locations across West Michigan that offer competitive pricing and an unparalleled selection.
“We were really inspired by the west coast, the combination of gray with natural wood trim was just something different for us and we were really drawn to that.” — Alison Fox
One of the most spectacular elements of the home’s designs — the windows — were made possible by Andersen Windows. Like Bos, Andersen prizes energy efficiency, in fact, it was awarded the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Product Brand Owner Award by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2016. The company incorporates the latest in industry innovations while transforming the look of a home.
Given the home’s emphasis on bringing the outdoors in, finding the right supplier for surfaces was paramount. Since 1992, Lakeside Surfaces has not only crafted some of the finest and most beautiful finishes in the state, but it has cultivated relationships between customers, partners and suppliers that are focused on long-term sustainable growth. One of the largest furnishers of quartz, solid surface and natural stone in the Midwest, the Muskegon-based company is a go-to source when homeowners and builders want a striking natural look.
The same is true for the flooring and tiling found throughout the home. For years, Zeeland-based Carpet Bonanza has been decorating the homes of West Michigan, including many featured in the annual Parade of Homes, and it isn’t just about carpet. The company also assists builders and homeowners in finding quality vinyl and hardwood laminate flooring, ceramic tile and more.
“The blue accents really pull in the water element and create the spa-like kind of feel. We built here because of the water and we really wanted this room to be a refuge and reflect that.” — Alison Fox
In the home’s many personal areas, it’s the small details that really make the difference, and many of them — from lumber products to kitchen and bath materials — were provided by Rycenga Building Center. Family owned and operated, Rycenga is committed to community and prides itself on long-lasting relationships with its employees, contractors, suppliers and, of course, homeowners.
And with two fireplaces in the home, the expertise of VanderWall Brothers was essential. Founded nearly a century ago in the wake of World War I, the company has been providing West Michigan with concrete and fireplace expertise ever since. The extensive hearth and stove showroom showcases some of the finest fireplaces and hearths, including a variety of alternative fuel stoves, such as coal, wood, pellet, and corn.
While the home itself is a striking new feature of the landscape, the team at Twin Lakes Nursery did an excellent job creating outdoor areas for the family to gather and entertain. Led by Larry Finneran, the Grand Rapids-based company created a stone amphitheater fire pit near the water and seamlessly integrated a variety of stone landscaping into the property.
For years, the western shores of Spring Lake has provided refuge for those seeking the calm that still waters provide, and now, the latest inhabitants continue that legacy. With the guidance and expertise of the Bos Homes team, the Fox family created their forever home and the beginning of their own Great Lake Story.
To read The Sanctuary at St. Lazare’s full Great Lake Story beginning in Michigan BLUE Magazine’s Spring 2016 edition, visit mibluemag.com. Learn more about the exceptional skills and services provided by these Great Lake Story vendors:
Bos Homes – boshomes.com
Carpet Bonanza – carpetbonanza.com
Rycenga’s – rycenga.com
Andersen Windows – andersenwindows.com
Lakeside Surfaces – lakesideinc.com
Vanderwall Brothers – vanderwallbros.com
ABC Supply Company, Inc. – abcsupply.com
Michigan Blue Magazine thanks Alison and Steven Fox for sharing their Great Lake Story with us and our readers. Please enjoy every chapter at mibluemag.com, including this sixteen page full reveal.