Walloon Lake Great Lake Story 2019
Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | Chapter Four | Final Chapter
Ask anyone who’s spent time on Walloon Lake to describe its beauty and each echoes the last. The deep turquoise hue reminiscent of the Caribbean. The crystal clarity of its waters that offers peeks into its greatest depths. The winding bends that draw boaters into daylong voyages. Described by Ernest Hemingway’s mother, Grace, as “fairest of all the inland seas,” Walloon Lake is, indeed, the stuff of summer dreams.
When designing any waterfront vacation home—but especially one on Walloon Lake—the desire is to create as much access and as many views as possible. With the property Liz and Mike Pulick purchased on the lake, they saw potential as well as obstacles. Enlisting the expertise of White and Liebler Architects was one of the first of many great decisions on the journey to building the home where the Pulicks, their children, extended family, and generations to come could make lasting memories. “We’re really, really looking forward to it being a family place that we can celebrate together,” the Pulicks said.
“The nice, dry, gentle sloping lots were built on very early and now we’re into the ones that present design opportunities. Liz and Mike’s lot was a little unique in that it had quite a bit of topography to work with.”
— Nick Liebler
With a history in the area dating back to 1979, White and Liebler is one of the longest continuously serving architectural fi rms in Northern Michigan. “We’ve been doing it a very long time, and we’ve really made our focus more on the resort end of architecture,” Nick Liebler said. “We do venture into other aspects, but what we do—and what we do well—is waterfront and resort homes.” Both Nick White, the fi rm’s founder, and his partner Nick Liebler have a special relationship with Walloon Lake, with more than 150 projects in their portfolio, including some of White’s first.
Their knowledge of the lake, the surrounding landscape, and tricky conditions of the properties available on the lake came to be indispensable to the project. “The nice, dry, gentle sloping lots were built on very early and now we’re into the ones that present design opportunities,” Liebler said. “Liz and Mike’s lot was a little unique in that it had quite a bit of topography to work with.”
“It’s something that’ll be important to them and their family as they continue to grow — and we get to be a pretty signifi cant part of that. A lot of these are homes stay within a family for generations; we try to create a sense of timelessness that everyone can enjoy.”
— Nick Liebler
With the goal of ensuring a connection to the water, so the Pulicks could enjoy the lake, not just look at it, the process began—and involved a cooperative effort that was present throughout— working here with the landscape designers and the installers to tackle the steep grade and create a path to the shoreline.
Though there were design challenges, there were many more moments of gratifi cation. The creative process of working with homeowners, collaborating with the design-build team, and watching a project evolve is one of the most rewarding parts for Liebler. He understands the distinct nature of a vacation home as a place designed specifi cally for leisure and unwinding from day-to-day life.
“It’s something that’ll be important to them and their family as they continue to grow—and we get to be a pretty signifi cant part of that,” Liebler said. “A lot of these are homes stay within a family for generations; we try to create a sense of timelessness that everyone can enjoy.”
Next, in Chapter Three, we’ll explore more design elements and delve into construction of the home, spotlighting the work of Northern Michigan-based builder Eric Render, who has been a constant presence since the beginning. Look for it in BLUE’s upcoming SUMMER Issue 2019.
Great Lake Story is a continuing series chronicling exceptional waterfront homes and those who design, build and own them. Michigan BLUE invites you to learn more about the team crafting the Pulicks’ new summer residence on Walloon Lake at mibluemag.com.